Friday, May 22, 2020

The authoritarian mind in Virginia Woolf's "Solid Objects"

In Virginia Woolf's 1920 short story "Solid Objects", the movement of John's mind from his moment of immediacy with a "lump" of beach glass to the return of mediation in the form of kitsch as he imagines possible origins for the "gem" resembles the workings of movements emerging when the story was published. First, history and politics are rejected in favor of a direct experience of the world beyond all partisan interests; then, the desire for an origin story arises to fill the gap left behind by that rejection; finally, history and politics return in their simplest forms with heroes stripped of tragedy and authoritarian leaders of the whole "imagined community". (Andrew Shields, #111words, 22 May)

[A continuation of my previous post on "Solid Objects", which was a continuation of my first such post, so that makes three in all.]

No comments: