A Specially Tender Piece of Eternity examines Virginia Woolf's treatment of time both as a theme of her works and as an essential element in her experimental narrative techniques. It starts from the individuation and analysis of Woolf's key concepts of moments of being, ecstasy and rapture and builds around these ideas an epistemological inquiry into her treatment of what Paul Ricoeur has defined as a-linear time. By drawing on both stylistic analysis and philosophy, Teresa Prudente investigates the experience of a-linear time in Woolf both as the possibility for the subject to enter a timeless temporal dimension, in Orlando and To the Lighthouse, and as a tragic alteration and separation from reality, in Mrs. Dalloway. Through the accurate examination of the meta-narrative elements in Woolf's novels, and of her original employment of interior monologue and free indirect speech, Prudente closely relates these two states of extra-temporality to the process of artistic creation. In this sense, Woolf's experiments in narrative are redefined and reassessed in the light of the writer's concern to challenge ineffability in re-creating moments of ecstasy.
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About the Author
Teresa Prudente is a research fellow in the department of comparative literature at the University of Turin in Italy.
Table of Contents
1 Contents 2 Acknowledgments Chapter 3 Introduction Part 4 I. "It's Ecstasy that Matters" Chapter 5 1. Contemplation, Solitude, Love Chapter 6 2. Memory and A-linear Time Chapter 7 3. Ecstasy and Emptiness Part 8 II. "If Only I Could Write!" Chapter 9 4. Ecstasy and Ineffability Chapter 10 5. The Artistic Re-Creation of Ecstasy Part 11 III. "Communication is Health" Chapter 12 6. A-linear Time and Stream of Consciousness Chapter 13 7. "The Caves Shall Connect": Polyphony and Decentering Woolf and Gide Chapter 14 8. "To Be Continuing to Live": A-linear Time and the Novel 15 Bibliography 16 Index 17 About the Author