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Title: Eclipse and prismatics : the feminist post-impressionism of Virginia Woolf
Author: Goldman, Jane
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1995
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This materialist feminist approach to Woolf's photological and colourist tropes seeks to revise orthodox interpretations of her Post-Impressionism. It falls into two interrelated parts, "Eclipse", and "Prismatics", each taking as its point of departure a significant moment for Woolf: the 1927 solar eclipse, and the 1910 Post-Impressionist Exhibition. Chapter 1 relates the thesis to Woolf criticism in general, and, as a basis for understanding the relation between its two parts, focuses on the "The Moment: Summer's Night", where a luminous moment is understood as one of (patriarchal) oppression into which Woolf invites intervention. Chapters 2 to 8 examine photological theories in relation to Woolf; analyse Woolf's diary entry on the eclipse and her prose piece "The Sun and the Fish", along with other eclipse-related texts (ideal material for a close study of her engagement with the tropes of light, shade and colour); and explore Woolf's manipulation of gendered photological discourses in relation to a range of mythological sources. Part One's sustained close readings suggest Woolf intrudes into a discourse of solar subjectivity (traditionally inscribed as masculine), an intersubjective feminist colourism, discussed in relation to suffrage iconography and elegiac traditions. Part Two adopts a more varied approach. It begins with a contextualising account of Post-Impressionist theories and practice from 1910 and 1912; and along with samples of Woolf's later writing on feminism and art, it discusses two novels. Chapter 9 examines the reception of the 1910 exhibition in relation to colourism and to the contemporary spectacle of suffrage agitation. Chapter 10 charts the move from romantic colour-based definitions of Post-Impressionism to the second exhibition's more dominant theory of significant form. It proposes the former as more pertinent to Woolf's engagement with the visual arts than the latter (more orthodoxly emphasized).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available