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Visuality and Spatiality in Virginia Woolf’s Fiction

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Savina Stevanato

This book offers an interpretative key to Virginia Woolf’s visual and spatial strategies by investigating their nature, role and function. The author examines long-debated theoretical and critical issues with their philosophical implications, as well as Woolf’s commitment to contemporary aesthetic theories and practices. The analytical core of the book is introduced by a historical survey of the interart relationship and significant critical theories, with a focus on the context of Modernism. The author makes use of three investigative tools: descriptive visuality, the widely debated notion of spatial form, and cognitive visuality. The cognitive and remedial value of Woolf’s visual and spatial strategies is demonstrated through an inter-textual analysis of To the Lighthouse, The Waves and Between the Acts (with cross-references to Woolf’s short stories and Jacob’s Room). The development of Woolf’s literary output is read in the light of a quest for unity, a formal attempt to restore parts to wholeness and to rescue Being from Nothingness.

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Abbreviations vii Note on the Text ix Preface xi Acknowledgements xv Chapter 1 An Approach to Interart Investigation 1 Chapter 2 The Modern Age and the Arts 27 Chapter 3 Woolf ’s Visuality and Spatiality 83 Chapter 4 To the Lighthouse, The Waves, Between the Acts: An Analysis 125 Chapter 5 The Remedial Implications of Spatial Form 197 Bibliography 275 Index 287

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