Mag.phil. Cecilia Servatius
Institut für Anglistik
Forschungsprojekt: Space in Virginia Woolf´s Novels: Between Tradition and Innovation
Betreuer: O.Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Werner Wolf
Woolf’s seminal essay “A Room of One’s Own” (1929) related the ability to create to the privilege of private work-space; further, a deeply-felt connection between spatial surroundings and artistic inspiration, personal identity, and politics echoes throughout her fiction. Since the ‘spatial turn’ has provided an explosion of spatial theories from a wide variety of disciplines, this dissertation will examine Woolf’s use of space not only in the elements traditionally considered under the literary rubric of the ‘spatial setting’, including landscapes, cityscapes, and interior ‘settings’, but will also consider her use of space in broader terms, including gendered spaces, work spaces, artistic spaces, public vs. private spaces, borders, transgression of borders, liminal spaces, framing, active movement through spaces (walking, riding), passive transportation through spaces (carriages, trains, boats), the effect of time on spaces, emotionalized spaces, spatial metaphors, and spatial features of the text including format and orthography. A chronological close-reading of Woolf’s novels, against the foil of her own theories on artistic and domestic space, will reveal the development of her various literary uses of space, their narratological functions, and political resonances. Contrasting her use of space with that of her immediate literary predecessors and contemporaries will show in how far her use of space relies on deep literary traditions, and in which ways her work was the crest of a new literary wave.