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Old Challenges and New Horizons in English and American Studies

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Edited By Anna Walczuk and Wladyslaw Witalisz

The volume is a collection of essays representative of the wide focus of research encouraged and coordinated by the Polish Association for the Study of English (member of ESSE). Articles selected for the volume deal with works of poetry, drama and prose written in English and invite the reader to view them in the context of intercultural and intertextual discourse. Authors discussed in the articles include: John Redford, William Shakespeare, John Dryden, James Macpherson, John Clare, Anna Radcliffe, Horace Walpole, George Gordon Byron, Charles Dickens, G.K. Chesterton, T.S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, T.F. Powys, Patrick White, Brian Friel, Brendan Behan, Philip Roth, Alice Walker, Chaim Potok, Ian McEwan, Kiran Desai, and Sarah Kane. In many of the essays the reader will notice a meta-discursive argument on the interplay between tradition and innovation in English studies.
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Aporia of Time in Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway and “Kew Gardens” in the Light of Paul Ricoeur’s Hermeneutics

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Małgorzata Hołda

Presenting the hermeneutic conceptualization of time in relation to narrative time and time as an ontological entity, in part three of Time and Narrative, Paul Ricoeur explicates the dynamic nature of the narrative of Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway. The novel’s dynamism results, according to Ricoeur, from the antagonism of ‘time towards death’ and ‘monumental time’. Time in Mrs. Dalloway is viewed as a net of particular time streams concordant with characters’ consciousness and the way they relive the past in their minds. Clarissa Dalloway and other characters in Mrs. Dalloway, Peter Walsh and Septimus Warren Smith, are caught in a constant tentative evaluative process of the past. Similarly, four groups of characters in Woolf’s short story, “Kew Gardens”, reminisce the past, which appears to impinge on the present time – the past and the present converge. “Kew Gardens” encapsulates what Mrs. Dalloway expands upon; both narratives shape a particular version of the characters’ consciousness in terms of images and metaphors relatable to a relentless passage of time. Time is non-linear, it is circular. The aim of this paper is to show how these two texts thematically and structurally propose no boundaries of time, and how the hermeneutic perspective of aporia of time illuminates such a proposal.

Paul Ricoeur‘s Time and Narrative, one of the greatest works of philosophy published in the late twentieth century is concomitantly without doubt one of the best examples of con-temporary philosophical hermeneutics. His study of...

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