Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.553121
Title: Dorothy Richardson and the cinematic writing of temporal perception
Author: Worlton-Pulham, Kathryn
ISNI:       0000 0003 7107 5635
Awarding Body: Oxford University
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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Abstract:
By the early twentieth century, the epistemology oftime had become a question of an individual's changing perceptions. In this context, Dorothy Miller Richardson (1873-1957) provided one of the most striking studies of an individual's varying perceptions of time in her magnum opus, the multi-volume Pilgrimage (published 1915-1967). Frequently overlooked as a theorist of time, Richardson developed innovative literary techniques to represent this new understanding of the variable quality of temporal perception. Drawing on her affinity with film for its ability to disrupt linear chronology, Richardson appropriated cinematic devices and the experience of the silent cinema into Pilgrimage. By choosing a technique that combines notions of time, human mentality, and cinema-and the implicit relationships between philosophy, art, and science-Richardson contributes to the very definition of "modernism." This thesis incorporates Richardson's unpublished and published literary and film theory into her predominant works, including but too often limited to Pilgrimage and her column in the film journal Close Up, in order to provide a more detailed contextual and theoretical explanation of Richardson's cinematic writing. This explanation reveals that her fiction and non-fiction mutually support her position that certain cinematic themes--change, silence, and openness to interpretation-express temporal perception. This intertextual analysis is also a method of providing Richardson studies a contextual interpretation of Richardson's Close Up articles, now widely available. This examination grounds Richardson's cinematic fiction in her own philosophy in order to illuminate the consistent themes throughout her works. As Richardson's philosophy corresponds with and diverges from philosopher Henri Bergson's ideas on time and the cinema, it concludes that the problems with articulating temporal perception reside in verbal language. The temporal capacities of the "language" of film explain Richardson's motivation to transform cinematic devices into literary techniques. This thesis will analyze her use of specific cinematic devices throughout Pilgrimage, supported by her philosophy on the cinematic nature of existence. This analysis reveals that Richardson's cine-literary theory was shared by the writer Gertrude Stein, who unknowingly complements Richardson's approach by privileging the temporal abilities of cinematic "language" over traditional verbal language. Outlining Richardson's equation of silence with free contemplation, this thesis also reinterprets her feminism as her push towards both human intellectual freedom and the emancipation of her own identity. Ultimately, this thesis's intertextual reconstruction of Dorothy Richardson's identity inaugurates her as an analyst ofmodemity, substantiating the contextual relevance of this single-author study and providing a methodology for bringing neglected authors like Richardson out of obscurity.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.553121  DOI: Not available
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