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Henri Bergson different ideas of time

-dealt with the differences between historical time, which is external, linear and measured in terms of spatial distance travelled by a pendulum/ hands of a clock
-psychological time: internal, subjective and measured by the relative emotional intensity of a moment


How can you measure pyschological time (bergson)

-thought or feeling could be measured in terms of the number of perceptions memeories and associations attached to it`


woolf and cubism

-woolf shared the concern with modernist thinkers and artists about the importance of perspective
-even concrete objevts could only be partially represented from a single fixed perspective in the vocabulary of realists
-woolf breaks the narrative plan as cubists broke up the visual plane


proust on the pyschological plane

-there could not only be a two dimensional 'plane psychology' but a depth psychology in space and time'- people are the product of their past as well as their present, the sum of multiple perspectives , the ways in which OTHERS perceive them


Woolf and cinema

1) Woolf's narrative technique is very cinematic- she makes use of montage, close ups flashbacks, tracking shots and rapid cuts in constructing a three dimensional story
2) Cinematic devices would have been very familiar to 1920s reader- flocked to new cinema houses to see the lastest American silent films
-Cinema: a post war development that altered the relationship between art and the classes- opened upo culture and art to all classes


woolf on urban life

We get imitations only in the chaos of the streets, perhaps, when some momentary assemblee of colour, sound movement suggest that here is a scene waiting for new art to be transfixed


Where do the characters of clarissa and richard first appear

in woolfs first novel the voyage out: clarissa is a 'tall slight woman wrapped in furs' with artistic tastes and inclination but no brain whatsoever. Richard is a conservative MP with the most conventional views on womens rights, literature and politics- says that he will be in his grave before a woman os ever allowed to vite in england


what did mrs dalloway the novel orginate from

in august 1922 Woolf wrote a short story 'Mrs Dalloway in Bond Street' with the idea that it would be the first chapter of a novel


intial intentions for the book that would come out of Mrs Dalloway and bond street

-play with the public and the private, the feminine and the masculine, in broad almost allegorical terms


woolf on the organisation of the novel (chapters) at first and the how it changed

-6 chapters each completely separate vignettes
then: -8 chapters (dalloway in boind strett/ the prime ministyer/ ancestors/ a dialouge/ the old ladies/ country house/ cut flowers/ the party) Yet she wanted these seperate stories to be connected by a


woolf on chapterisation in Mrs D

the novel became too interwoven for a chapter broken off to be intelligible


woolf on Septimus

-he is only real in so far as [rezia] sees him


what was Woolf reading at the time of writing and how this impacted the connectivity of the text

-reading works of the greek dramatists
-considered replacing chapeters with 'observers in the street' acting as a connecting chorus


Importance of Time in Mrs D

-striking of Big Ben acts as a temporal grid to organize the narrative
-initially callled the hours- insistent chiming of clocks keeps us aware of the passage of time and measuring out of human lives and seasons


time and different clocks as a motif

a major motif of the book is the analogy between the hours and the female life cycle (body clock)


examples of different women of differnet ages

elizabeth dalloway: nearly 18
Rezia: in her 20s
Milly Brush and Kilman: in the 40s
Sally and Clarissa: 50s
Bruton: 60s YET dreams of when she was a little girl
Miss Parry: past 80 lives on her memories of India and Burma
Namless old woman clarissa sees from her window in the attic roiom


explain 'fear no more the heat of the sun'

-heat of the sun: sexuality: feminine blossoming and ripening which peaks in the heat waves of the \June day and of the reproductive cycle and ends in the furious winter of old age


examples of flowers/ sun for sexual maturity of different characters

-elizabeth: Hyacinth which has had no sun (viriginal flower like a lily- yet to experience the heat of sexuality)
-Clarissa's own sexuality has always been muted and moonlit; her one moment of erotic bliss has the delicate intensity of a match burning in a crocus


woolf and children

-due to her mental insitabilty her doctors imposed upon her that she should not have children


how does woolf explore menapause

-menapause is symbollic of ageing mortality and loss. the illness that has struck clarissa is a metaphor for the loss of fertility (richard advises that they sleep apart due to her illness)
-in the 20s menapause was called 'the little death', it could not be discussed in polite company and waas implictially linked with illness
-according to the medical opinion of woolfs day meanpause was a condition to be dreaded and feared as much as insanity- from the mid 19th centurary it became increasinlgy medicalized, linked with depression, madness and suicide


fertility/ childbirth in Mrs D

-septimus' mad horror of the body and reproduction
-rezia longing for a baby
-clarissa coming to terms with the finality of a central aspect of her idenity


how attitudes towards female sexuality changed before and after the war

Before: women seen as lacking sexual impulse and even having a distaste for sexual intercourse
After: new accent on motherhood due to political, social and economic requirement of a post war society (major decline in population) led to a growing emphasis on the importance of sexual activity, sexual pleasure ans sexual compatibility


what was woolfs orginal ending for the book and why

mrs dalloway was originally menat to kill herself or die at the end of the party. Woolf saw her as a woman who was deeply depressed, someone so sensitive to the suffering behind the masquerade of gaiety arounbd her taht she becomes a scapegoat


how is septimus linked to clarissa

-anxieties about sexuality and marriage
-agunish about mortality and immortality
-acute sensitiveness to surrounding


what is shell shock (what it was thought to be/ what it actually was)

-term alluding to the shell explosions military doctors initially blamed for the epidemic of pyschological distrubances among solidiers in wwi
-Actually described various forms of male hysteria in which terror anguish and immobility of combat led to a variety of physical and emotional conversion symptoms: limps, contractions, paralysis, stammering, loss of voice, sexual impotence, blindness, deafness, heart palpitations, insomnia, night mares dizziness and acute depression


how were shell shock victims treated

-widespread reaction to shell shock was to condemn it as a form of cowardice
-some soldiers threatened with court martial if they did not give up their disabling symnptoms
-some soliders were subjected to punitive treatments such as electric shocks


why was 'shell shock' so severe and pronounced in wwi

-it was a psychic effect not of war itself but of indurtralized warfare which forced immobility and passivity of soliders in the trenches facing long range artillery and a faceless enemy created anxities that could not be dissipated in action of controlled through expression


pyscholanaltical explainations for shell shock

result of emotional web of contradictions
-soldier was expected to kill at the expense of unleashing infantile sadistic impulses that had previously been successfully repressed
-it was encouraged to form close emotional bonds with other men, yet homosexuality was forbidden


when was shell shcok most pronounced

-the worst outbreaks of neurosis came after the war
-this was because emotions that had to be repressed during the war resurfaced- including survivors guilt


woolf connection to the war

-many bloomsbury intellectuals were pacifist so didnt fight in the war but had some friends such as siegfried sasson who had been in the trenches and had experienced shell shock