Article published in:Linguistics and Literary History: In honour of Sylvia Adamson
Edited by Anita Auer, Victorina González-Díaz, Jane Hodson and Violeta Sotirova
[Linguistic Approaches to Literature 25] 2016
► pp. 171–194
Chapter 9. Dismantling narrative modes
Authorial revisions in the opening of Mrs Dalloway
This study examines Virginia Woolf ’s authorial revisions of the opening of Mrs Dalloway and their implications for narrative theory. I compare passages from the short story ‘Mrs Dalloway in Bond Street’ and the early drafts of ‘The Hours’ with the published novel and show that there is a consistent pattern of revision which complicates the representation of character consciousness. This complexity lies in the dismantling of narrative modes used for the representation of consciousness, most typically by conflating them into the syntactic boundaries of a single sentence. From a stylistic standpoint, the dissolution of the syntactic boundaries between narrative modes challenges most standard accounts of speech and thought presentation which posit narrative modes as discrete syntactic units. From a narratological standpoint, this syntactic and semantic dismantling of narrative modes reflects an attempt at representing distinct facets of consciousness as simultaneous phenomena of experience. Thus, Woolf ’s revised text captures the simultaneity of, for instance, a character’s less conscious perception of the narrative world and the more consciously executed reflective thought, or of a character’s internal state and direct speech, grafting them into the text as narrative modes that are syntactically and semantically interdependent.
Published online: 20 October 2016
Cited by 1 other publications
Grisot, Giulia, Kathy Conklin & Violeta Sotirova
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