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Theses Doctoral

"We Are the Thing Itself": Embodiment in the Künstlerromane of Bennett, Joyce, and Woolf

Maiwandi, Zarina W

This dissertation is a study of the relationship between the modern Künstlerromane of Arnold Bennett, James Joyce, and Virginia Woolf and issues of embodiment. Born of the field of aesthetics, the literary genre of Künstlerroman inherits its conflicts. The chief dilemma of the form is how an isolated artistic consciousness connects with the world through a creative act. Bennett, Joyce, and Woolf offer different and contradictory resolutions. By examining how each writer conceives the body, I discover in Woolf the idea of an ethical aesthetics that contravenes the assumed polarity between mind and body, between self and other, and between material and ideal. Written only a few years apart, Clayhanger (1910), A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916), and The Voyage Out (1915) tell a compelling story of the relationship between embodiment and a creative life.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
English and Comparative Literature
Thesis Advisors
Mendelson, Edward
Degree
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
January 15, 2013
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