Virginia Woolf’s Experiments with Consciousness, Time and Social Values

Author: Hellerstein, Marjorie
Year:2001
Pages:142
ISBN:0-7734-7421-8
978-0-7734-7421-5
Price:139.95
There were many paradoxes Virginia Woolf had to resolve in her fiction writing: how to bring readers into close touch with life and yet keep them at a distance by means of the special life in fiction; how to follow the details of real life and yet symbolize meaning; how to write prose and yet discharge some of the functions of poetry. Consciousness was her way of contending with the paradoxes – consciousness by the characters of their unique selves, of the influence and interaction of other characters, a flow of inner consciousness. The consciousnesses are not abstract; they are always connected to a phenomenal world of action, environment, and time.

Reviews

“Hellerstein provides a reading of Woolf’s works that explores her integration of outer and inner reality; her experimentation with genre; and her insistence that form and thought are inseparable. Recognizing that Woolf saw herself as a poet, Hellerstein emphasizes the dramatic and lyrical development in Woolf’s fiction and Woolf’s kinship with Roger Fry in creating rather than imitating new forms. . . . Recommended for upper-division undergraduate and graduate students, the book will also be valuable for faculty teaching Woolf.” – CHOICE

“The clarity of her exegesis renders such classics as Mrs. Dalloway and To the Lighthouse, for example, directly accessible to the general reader and thus genuinely fulfilling as an experience of works of art. She has performed a major service for those of us who are, in her words, ‘absorbed’ and serious readers. . . . she offers a thought-provoking discussion of the influence of the ideas of the art historian Roger Fry on the developing forms and style in Virginia Woolf’s fiction.” – Virginia Allen

“Marjorie Hellerstein’s study of Virginia Woolf’s experimental styles and structures can enable transformations of traditionally passive readers into active, informed participants in Woolf’s revisionary writings.” – Panthea Reid

Table of Contents

Table of contents:
Preface by Virginia Allen
Introduction: Virginia Woolf’s Experiments in Fiction
Part I: Metamorphosis – Prose into Poetry
1. The Examination of Consciousness: Short Stories and Jacob’s Room
2. Intermingling Streams of Consciousness: Mrs. Dalloway
3. Inner and Outer Life and the Passing of Time: To the Lighthouse
4. Interior Life Tells the Story; Metaphor Frames the Story: The Waves
5. Mock Allegory and Present Time Consciousness: Between the Acts
Part II: Satire/Parody/Attack
6. Orlando
7. Flush: A Biography
8. Freshwater – A Comedy
9. A Room of One’s Own and Three Guineas
10. After Virginia Woolf, What’s New?
Appendix I: Artists, Statements on Modern Art and Virginia Woolf’s Aspirations for Fiction
Appendix II: From The Pargiters to The Years
Bibliography; Index