In Virginia Woolf's "The Years", the teenage Delia Pargiter can't feel what she's supposed to feel at her mother's funeral: "None of us feel anything at all, she thought; we're all pretending." And at the grave, she's still at a loss: "She hesitated – she did not know what she ought to do next." This might be shock, as with Septimus Smith in Woolf's "Mrs. Dalloway", but given Delia's previous longing for her mother to finally die of her long illness, her uncertainty about feelings and appropriate behavior is less about that experience and more a matter of characterization – with Delia perhaps being on the autism spectrum before that terminology was coined. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 8 August)
Saturday, August 08, 2020
"None of us feel anything at all, she thought; we're all pretending": Delia Pargiter in Virginia Woolf's "The Years"
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