Virginia Woolf: The Patterns of Ordinary Experience
In her timely contribution to revisionist approaches in modernist studies, Lorraine Sim offers a reading of Virginia Woolf's conception of ordinary experience as revealed in her fiction and nonfiction. Contending that Woolf's representations of everyday life both acknowledge and provide a challenge to characterizations of daily life as mundane, Sim shows how Woolf explores the potential of everyday experience as a site of personal meaning, social understanding, and ethical value. Sim's argument develops through readings of Woolf's literary representations of a subject's engagement with ordinary things like a mark on the wall, a table, or colour; Woolf's accounts of experiences that are both common and extraordinary such as physical pain or epiphanic 'moments of being'; and Woolf's analysis of the effect of new technologies, for example, motor-cars and the cinema, on contemporary understandings of the external world. Throughout, Sim places Woolf's views in the context of the philosophical and lay accounts of ordinary experience that dominated the cultural thought of her time. These include British Empiricism, Romanticism, Platonic thought and Post-Impressionism. In addition to drawing on the major novels, particularly The Voyage Out, Mrs. Dalloway, and To the Lighthouse, Sim focuses close attention on short stories such as 'The Mark on the Wall', 'Solid Objects', and 'Blue & Green'; nonfiction works, including 'On Being Ill', 'Evening over Sussex: Reflections in a Motor-car', and 'A Sketch of the Past'; and Woolf's diaries. Sim concludes with an account of Woolf's ontology of the ordinary, which illuminates the role of the everyday in Woolf's ethics.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Part 1 Quotidian Things
1 Factualism and the Search for Ordinary Things
Sensations of Colour
Part 2 Rethinking Ordinary Experience
3 Pain Common Illness and Ordinary Life
4 Motoring from Beauty to the Sublime
Other editions - View all
aesthetic argues artistic attitudes beauty Berman Bloomsbury Group Blue & Green body Cambridge chapter character Clarissa colour common common-sense conception consciousness cotton wool critical Critique cultural Dalloway describes dialogues diary discussed E.m. forster Enquiry Concerning everyday example expressed fact feeling Feminist Feminist Aesthetics forms G.E. Moore gillian Beer human Hume Hume’s ideas illness imagination Jacob’s Jane goldman Kew gardens levinas Lighthouse literature London malcolm Bradbury metaphors mind Modern Fiction Modernist Literature modernists moments moore moore’s moral mystical narrator narrator’s nature one’s ordinary experience pain Pater pattern perception perspective philosophy physical Plato political Post-impressionists Prelude present rachel ramsay ramsay’s reader reading reality reflect relation relationship representation roger fry Romantic sensation sense Sketch social Solid Objects story sublime suggests Sussex T.S. Eliot theory thought tradition University Press Victorian Virginia Woolf wool of daily Woolf’s essay Woolf’s ethics Woolf’s fiction Woolf’s writing Wordsworth