To the Lighthouse: End of Meaning
Adrian A. Husain
Abstract: The study, diverging from current critical discourse on Virginia Woolf as eccentric author, sets out expressly to look at Woolf as enigmatic text. In so doing, it explores largely untapped Woolf terrain. Its broad focus is on Woolf’s two major novels, Mrs Dalloway and To the Lighthouse though it concerns itself more particularly with the latter – and more mature – work. It takes in Woolf’s distinctive angle on modernism, as evinced by her first short story, “The Mark on the Wall,” besides considering her unique aesthetic, as laid out in her quasi-memoir, “A Sketch of the Past.” The discussion likewise engages with Woolf’s understanding of the tensions and disjunctions inherent within fiction and the nature of fiction as a deconstructive mode. Principally, it engages with Woolf’s individual understanding of time and her ostensible resolution of the conundrum of time’s slippage. Equally significantly, the essay looks at the impact of the revolution in pictorial art, especially Picasso, on the shape of fiction, as conceived of by Woolf. It considers the possibility, in the light of this revolution, understood as pivotal to modernist thought, of a transition from theme to form taking place, for instance, in To the Lighthouse.
Keywords: Virginia Woolf
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Published in 2017