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Visions and Revisions

Studies in Literature and Culture


Edited By Grzegorz Czemiel, Justyna Galant, Anna Kędra-Kardela, Aleksandra Kędzierska and Marta Komsta

Collected under the theme of Visions and Revisions, the papers included in this volume examine different aspects of literature and culture of the Anglophone world. The first part gathers articles dealing with poetry of such epochs as the seventeenth century, the Victorian era and the modern times. Part two focuses on prose works representing such conventions and modes as the romance, the Gothic novel, the condition of England novel, Victorian and neo-Victorian fiction, the science fiction novel and gay fiction. Part three concerns various aspects of British and American culture, including the new media, drama and journalism, and advertising. In its diversity the volume reflects the dynamics of change in literature and culture, enabling the readers to investigate the multifaceted canon.
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The Dionysian in Virginia Woolf’s Between the Acts

← 140 | 141 →Katarzyna Sokołowska


Woolf’s vision of reality and of art is marked by the tension of two opposing categories, which can be summed up as the complete, the stable, and the coherent vs the variable, the fluid and the fragmentary. Woolf’s protagonists are usually preoccupied with looking for a refuge from reality, which is caught up in constant change; they are eager to create the world of perfection and unity as Mrs. Ramsay in To the Lighthouse, Clarissa in Mrs. Dalloway, Bernard in The Waves, to mention a few. At the same time, Woolf opts for the world in flux, not determined by clearly defined reference points. In her fiction she embraces the modernist formula of questioning all widely shared values and cognitive strategies in the areas of culture, religion, philosophy and psychology. In her famous, somewhat provocative statement, she placed the experience of the radical transformation of reality at around the year 1910. This experience made her focus on the search for original, revolutionary forms that would match the era of fundamental change, but also inspired her to seek a new understanding of the relationship between art and reality in order to convey deeper insights in her literary works. Her fiction registers the conflict between the need to design rules for structuring chaos and the rejection of obsolete forms rooted in the metaphysical absolutes.

This conflict also informs Woolf’s last novel, Between the Acts. Recently more and more critics opt for the interpretation of the novel which ignores the theme...

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