‘Narcolepsy in Ottessa Moshfegh’s My Year of Rest and Relaxation

Abstract

Moshfegh’s protagonist is not interested in the overwhelming sensations of the scandalous. She seeks a sleep characterised by an enveloping blankness. But can this blankness itself be a source of shock? Can this shutting down of emotions – a shift into a mode of unfeeling – be an effective form of resistance to, and rupture of, the perpetually new and fleeting sensations that characterise modernity? The novel’s sleeve claims that it shows us ‘how reasonable, even necessary' her quest is. If this is accurate, it perhaps results from Moshfegh’s placement of her narrative in the space between the solipsistic self and the world of the social – the gap between the delicate, sensitive consciousness and the intruding world around it.

Keywords

Narcolepsy, Ottessa Moshfegh, My Year of Rest and Relxation

How to Cite

Griffin, N., (2022) “‘Narcolepsy in Ottessa Moshfegh’s My Year of Rest and Relaxation”, Moveable Type 14(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.14324/111.1755-4527.136

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Authors

Nicholas Griffin (University of Sheffield)

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0

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This article has been peer reviewed.

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