Monday, February 21, 1983

Fleeting moments

I stayed up all night but did nothing, and so it was with little remorse that I decided to miss today’s tutorial. I suppose if I’d really tried I could’ve finished the essay, and in a way it’s a little self-defeating to not go after reading the whole of Woolf, but at least I now can see the continuity between Joyce, Eliot and Woolf and their preoccupation with deeper levels than ordinary conversational consciousness.

More important for them are the meaningful ‘internal dialogues’ the characters have with themselves, and also (perhaps this a clue to reaching these ‘deeper levels’) the fragmented mental influence of immediate sounds, colours and experiences, their sudden breaks in continuity and shifts in time and character.

The everyday is important, for it’s in the everyday that we constantly live. No longer does a story have to be epic, tragic or noble in scale or character. Now mundane ‘average’ people and the fleeting moments of their lives take up centre-stage, sparking deeper resonances: Bloom and his breakfast and toilet, the Ramsays and Lily Briscoe and their everyday desperations and revelations.

There’s an incomprehensibility to this too, a new sense of confusion and doubt, a sense of not knowing anymore, a vision of a chaotic universe that replaces the old Victorian world of ordered morality, Church, and faith.

No comments:

Google Analytics Alternative