Virginia Woolf A Haunted House

2458 words - 10 pages

Modernist literature is marked by a break with the sequential, developmental, cause-and-effect presentation of the 'reality' of realist fiction, toward a presentation of experience as layered, allusive, discontinuous; the use, to these ends, of fragmentation and juxtaposition, motif, symbol, allusion.Language is no longer seen as transparent, something if used correctly allows us to 'see through' to reality: rather language is seen as a complex, nuanced site of our construction of the 'real'. Experimentation in form in order to present differently, afresh, the structure, the connections, and the experience of life.The tightening of form: an emphasis on cohesion, interrelatedness and depth in the structure of the aesthetic object and of experience; this is accomplished in part through the use of various devices such as motif, juxtaposition, significant parallels, different voices, shifts and overlays in time and place and perspective.The (re)presentation of inner (psychological) reality, including the 'flow' of experience, through devices such as stream of consciousness.The use of such structural approaches to experience as psychoanalysis, myth, the symbolic apprehension and comprehension of reality.The use of interior or symbolic landscape: the world is moved 'inside', structured symbolically or metaphorically.Time is moved into the interior as well: time becomes psychological time (time as innerly experienced) or symbolic time (time or measures of time as symbols, or time as it accommodates a symbolic rather than a historical reality), not the 'historical' or railway time of realism. Time is used as well more complexly as a structuring device through a movement backwards and forwards through time, the juxtaposing of events of different times, and so forth.A HAUNTED HOUSE is a symbolic representation of Modernism as seen through Virginia Woolf?s style. It is not accidental the fact that it is a short-novel; the profound concentration of images, symbols, connections has a greater impact than it would have had in a more detailed presentation. A few pages are enough for condensing images laden with significance, and their apparent arbitrary flowing is enriched by their mirroring into the attributes of Modernism.It is not dangerous or far-fetched to compare the novel with a poem, with some sort of Virginia Woolf?s Ars Poetica in blank verse; as in a poem, the novel has its interior rhyme that circles around the idea of literature as treasure, it?s refrain ? ?Safe,safe,safe? and even its poet ? ?a ghostly couple?- in its musical searching for the Muse; additionally, the novel opens and ends with the same idea of ?wakening? as in a ring-like poem, but also pointing to writer?s recapture in the world of words.We should ask ourselves why the novel doesn?t start with the image of the couple who sleeps; and the answer is obviously related to the fact that the sleeping couple is not as important as the ghostly one; modernists didn?t agree with the cannons,...

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