The short stories written by Daphne Du Maurier when she was in her twenties – apparently rejected by the editors then – are now available for the reader.
‘Stunning’, is too feeble a word for her percipient writing! One can see the origins of her eponymous heroine ‘Rebecca’ in a story ‘ The Doll.’ Now, that is a truly breath taking story: apt material for any literature student who wants to research on gender, power play, and openly subversive writing.
Also, it is worth to explore the similarities of character in the two Rebeccas. The play of emotions, the hatred, the loathing, the desire, the love, the mystery and the jealousy. The heroine asks whether one can love someone to such an extent that it becomes pleasurable to hurt that person! The hero wonders whether he could strangle her to her death. The ending is….unspeakable! Ah, definitely the twisted tale of Manderlay, first stirred to life in that story…I could only hum ‘ Yeh nayan dare dare…’
It was not that song which I hummed when I read the story, ‘And his letters grew colder.’ How perfectly the young Daphne Du Maurier analysed the mind of the player! The hunting, the chasing and the cold hearted abandonment. The callousness of the casual trickster has been dissected with needle sharp cynicism and ruthlessness by a master writer!
Any day, any century, any era, a woman can benefit by reading that story! Poor Mrs.B, or A : how you fell for the hunter at large! It is a tale which will hold true in the age of tinder and instant messaging; and probably save a few lives from unwarranted suicides too. Apparently, from reading reviews of that story , a lot of women across the world agree on that particular chronology of Daphne’s surreptitiously sly narrative.
The perfect song to hum is Kelly Clarkson’s of course.. ‘Baby you don’t know me..what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…’
P.S. For all who love Conan Doyle. He could write some real creepy stuff too! Check out ‘ The case of Lady Sannox.’ Now that is another story which can fit in this particular genre. Du Maurier would have applauded.