Publication details [#1757]

Albini, Theresa K. 2007. Virginia Woolf's 'The Waves': A lyrical 'sense of continuity' in a sea of dissociation. Futures 8 (3) : 57–84. 28 pp.


'The Waves', written in 1931 by Virginia Woolf, is an astounding depiction of an internal landscape richly full of dissociative phenomena. Although applauded for its genius and considered by many to be her highest literary achievement, critics complained that the language of the characters seemed artificial and a departure from the usual interior monologue appearing in other works that utilized stream of consciousness writing at the time. Woolf believed this work to be misunderstood as she often felt herself. This paper illustrates how 'The Waves' might metaphorically connote the internal experiences of dissociating. The narrative of the novel illuminates the mapping of Woolf's internal system as it changes across a life span. Woolf deftly submerged not only the facts of her personal life in The Waves but, more important, revealed through both her literary method and language the dissociative nature of her own mind. By extrapolating from Woolf's autobiographies, journals, and letters, the parallels between fact and fiction become apparent. (LLBA, Accession Number 19212141, (c) CSA [2008]. All rights reserved.)