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Title: Dying in other words : the writing subject in Virginia Woolf's fiction.
Author: Abdelmohcine, Ahmed.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3389 6577
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 1999
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This thesis examines Virginia Woolf's fiction in light of structuralist and psychoanalytic theories of the subject, with particular reference to the works of Barthes, Bakhtin, Lacan, Kristeva, and Cixous. The orientation of my reading 'bridges' the gap between biographical and text-centred approaches to her fiction. Woolfs novels as the trace of a practice in which the subject is set in a continuous process of enunciation, is constantly questioned, 'put on trial', 'put to death', in pursuit of the 'new': new articulation of the subject with the writing of each novel, experimentation with new modes of writing the subject, with new formal decisions and enunciative strategies, and with a new writing of death and characterisation. The thesis attempts to provide a reading of 'death', not simply as a personal obsession for Woolf and as a thematic construct, but as a writing process which involves the writer's own 'death' in the text. Chapter one explores The Voyage Out, a novel which marks Woolf's laborious entree to the literary world. Woolf's aggressivity offers a cul-de-sac narrative solution with the death of twenty-four-year-old Rachel Vinrace; a formal decision which illustrates the subject's initial difficulties with narrative. Chapter two deals with Mrs Dal/oway, another novelistic attempt to write into the text a 'violent' death, with Septimus's suicide. The chapter pays close attention to the sequence of Septimus Smith's narrative appearances, characterisation, and his aggressivity. Chapter three explores the autobiographical claims of To the Lighthouse in terms of the factual and fictional representation of the mother. Through the artist-in-process Lily Briscoe, Woolf tries to construct a modernist outlook in writing about her own childhood and family. Chapter four examines the unfamiliar formal strategies Woolf experimented with in writing The Waves, using speaking voices as characters and working towards a kind of narrative 'murder' of the conventional omniscient narrator. Chapter five provides an intertextual reading of Woolf's 'Anon', the carnivalesque character of La Trobe's pageant, Kristeva's 'semiotic' language, and the heteroglossia which composes the enunciation of Between the Acts.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Literature Literature Mass media Performing arts