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The Art of English - Assignment Example

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Creative Writing Tuesday May 28th (1929) Now about this book, The Moths [the initial working title for what became The Waves]. How am I begin to it? And what is it to be? I feel no great impulse: no fever; only a great pressure of difficulty. Why write it then?…
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The Art of English

Download file to see previous pages... The current of the moths flying strongly this way. A lamp and a flower pot in the centre. The flower can always be changing. But there must be more unity between each scene than I can find at present. Autobiography it might be called. How am I going to make one lap or act, between the coming of the moths, more intense than another; if there are only scenes? One must get the sense that this is the beginning; this is the middle; that the climax – when she opens the window and the moth comes in. I shall have two different currents – the moths flying along; the flowers upright in the centre; a perpetual crumbling and renewing of the plant, In its leaves she might see things happen. But who is she? ... Virginia Woolf After reading passages such as this where the only human is simply described as ‘She’ and does nothing more than open a window, one can agree with Kronenburg ( as quoted by Liukkonen 2008) who claimed that Woolf was not concerned about her human characters but rather, ‘the poetic symbols, of life--the changing seasons, day and night, bread and wine, fire and cold, time and space, birth and death and change.’ This is a description of a purely internal process – no one watching would be able to guess what was going on unless they read over her shoulder. And even then they might ask ‘What’s she going on about?’ This lack of physical action has an effect upon the minds of readers – they are more used to stories with a beginning, a middle and an end – stories about people’s actions, achievements or disappointments, but Woolf seems much more concerned with the mind’s inner workings – thoughts, sensations, emotions, and often people find this harder to deal with. This would be especially so if they aren’t themselves as introspective, aren’t so concerned with why one acts in a certain way as in the action itself. She intends to write a novel yet says ‘ I am not writing a story’ – how can a novel not be a story? Virginia Woolf has had two books of her diaries published. This selection comes from ‘A Writer’s Diary’ and was edited by her husband Leonard. She was born Adeline Virginia Stephen in 1882, so was 47 at the time of this entry. The other work considered is by a soldier and prisoner of war. Both writers are Londoners, but John Mansel on the other hand was 32 when he wrote so they are almost, but not quite, of the same generation and background. John Mansel (1909- 1974) trained as an architect , but joined the Territorial Army in 1935. His diaries cover the period of his interment in Germany as a prisoner-of-war during the 2nd World War. There were huge differences between their lives – not least that Woolf was permanently scarred by childhood sexual interference. Both came from financially secure backgrounds.- Mansel senior was a stockbroker. He had attended both school and university and had professional qualifications - Virginia Woolf had never been to any kind of school. Mansel’s diary only covered the war years, whereas Woolf was a full time professional writer whose works, although not the easiest to read, were read widely. Mansel’s writing was presumably meant of only private consumption, at least in the first instance, although he is careful not to mention names, probably in case of causing offence. It was not published until a few years after his death. They each use the diary form in different ways. Woolf seems to be using it as preliminary ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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