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dc.contributor.supervisorWild, Min
dc.contributor.authorKearns, James Anthony
dc.contributor.otherSchool of Society and Cultureen_US

This thesis demonstrates for the first time that a mode of consciousness which Jason Brown formulates as microgenetic – an emergent and dynamic process of cognition from depth to surface – is highly compatible with Woolf’s own critical dictum, expressed most fully in “Modern Fiction,” that the point of interest of a modern novelist lies “in the dark places of psychology” (E4 162). Woolf’s textual representations of the transition between selves in relation to the unfolding external world have determined the trajectory of the analysis and the areas of exploration in this study; the significant points of confluence between the flow of cognitive microgenesis and Woolf’s own descriptive powers are a source of continuous and determinative preoccupation throughout the following work. By focussing on wide-ranging but interrelated aspects of microgenetic theory across four thematic chapters, I will offer a new perspective on Woolf’s fictions by demonstrating how Woolf’s textual representations elucidate “consciousness as an emergent property of a process of differentiating unified experience into individuated object/events” in the external world (Schweiger et al. 328). I will argue that Woolf’s writings are aimed at the exploration of the “hidden depths” of perceptual process (E3 11, “The Tunnel”) and it is via these “invisible presences,” as she refers to them in “Sketch of the Past” (“Sketch” 92), that Woolf attempts to describe and so reveal “the momentary histories” of her characters as “a continuous wave-like transition” in microgeny to surface detail (PAL 223). The cognitive formation of mind as the shaper of the external world is, I will argue, central to Woolf’s process of composition. Woolf’s works are examinations of myriad selves wandering “down, deep into what passes, as this omnipresent, general life,” but they are at all times conscious of the human process which aims at wholeness (Waves 84). The following readings in microgenesis are broken down as follows: on phylo-ontogeny in The Voyage Out, on “conceptual-feeling” in Mrs. Dalloway (MTPT 68), on time and “transmuting process” in To the Lighthouse (D3 102), and on perceptual trans-formation in The Waves.

dc.description.sponsorshipThis study was part-financed with the aid of the the Higher Education Research and Scholarship Activity Fund studentship (2014) (Cornwall College Group), amounting to 50% of fees.en_US
dc.publisherUniversity of Plymouth
dc.rightsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States*
dc.subjectVirginia Woolfen_US
dc.subjectCognitive Process
dc.title“The Unseen Part of Us … Spreads Wide”: Virginia Woolf’s Momentary Histories in Microgenesis in The Voyage Out, Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, and The Waves.en_US

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