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Virginia Woolf: Writing the World$
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Pamela L. Caughie and Diana L. Swanson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780990895800

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780990895800.001.0001

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date: 23 October 2017

“The Problem of Space”: Embodied Language and the Body in Nature in To the Lighthouse

“The Problem of Space”: Embodied Language and the Body in Nature in To the Lighthouse

Chapter:
(p.167) “The Problem of Space”: Embodied Language and the Body in Nature in To the Lighthouse
Source:
Virginia Woolf: Writing the World
Author(s):

Kim Sigouin

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9780990895800.003.0023

This essay argues that Virginia Woolf moves beyond commonplace understandings of language as a system of representation as she examines the interplay between ecstatic, motile forms of “embodied language” and transformative natural processes. Her interest in investigating the ecological implications of an embodied language is especially apparent in “On Being Ill” (1926) and later in “Craftsmanship” (1937), her contribution to a radio broadcast titled “Words Fail Me.” By placing these essays in dialogue with To the Lighthouse, we can see the development of an experimental language that frustrates denotative meaning in favor of evoking the sensorial apparatus of the body as it interacts with, affects, and is affected by volatile forces in the natural environment.

Keywords:   Virginia Woolf, On Being Ill, Craftsmanship, To the Lighthouse, Language, Body, Natural environment, Culture

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