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Title: Narrative aesthetics and the visual arts in Virginia Woolf's London writings
Author: Lin, Tzu Yu Allison
ISNI:       0000 0004 2685 5429
Awarding Body: Goldsmiths, University of London
Current Institution: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Date of Award: 2010
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My thesis argues that Virginia Woolf's London writings reveal the technique of the visual arts: painting, film and photography, from Impressionism to the Post- Impressionism. Critics have focused on either Woolf's London or on Woolf s, writings and the visual arts. My research synthesises the city and Woolf's Post- Impressionist narrative aesthetics. The idea of 'androgyny' shows the transformation from `binary oppositions' to hybrid textuality. This illustrates the way which Woolf uses the aesthetics of the Bloomsbury Group in writing. Drawing on Roger Fry's and Clive Bell's theories of 'Post-Impressionism', 'significant form' and 'emotion', Woolf's 'painting-in-writing' technique visualises the 'inner life' of her characters through the outer world of `blue and green' atmosphere. Woolf's 'fläneuse' shows the androgynous `dual vision' in Jacob's Room. William James's conception of psychology helps the reader to see Woolf s `halo' metaphor. Learning from Henry James's Impressionist `process of vision' in The Ambassadors and his travel sketches of London, Woolf develops Post- Impressionist technique in Night and Day and The London Scene. While Strether internalises the external world as a passive `impression', Katharine's emotion was externalised through lines, colours and shapes in words, moving toward `psychological realism', as emotion comes to reveal the city's spatial relation. I read Cubism, Bergson's `pure duration', Deleuze's `the movement-image' and `the time-image' to theorise the way which Woolf uses cinematic techniques, such as flashback, close-up and montage. Woolf's techniques see 'inner' time through 'outer' physical movement in words, as Clarissa walks in Mrs Dalloway. Woolf criticises the Victorian aesthetics of Julia Cameron's photography, developing the Post-Impressionist female gaze to show emotion, feeling and thought. Through the 'Angel' of the 'House', Woolf's London narratives show a transformation of style from Impressionism to Post-Impressionism, as emotions of the female gaze can subvert the patriarchal society in Eleanor's 'angle of vision' in The Years.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral