Wednesday, May 20, 2020

From immediacy to kitsch in "Solid Objects"

As John in Virginia Woolf's "Solid Objects" digs into the sand, he discovers a "lump of glass" he finds fascinating. When he wonders about its origin, he imagines it is "really a gem" that could have been "worn by a dark princess" or an emerald from "a sunk Elizabethan treasure-chest." So with his focus on unmediated experience, the only origin story he can imagine is a generic romance or adventure. At the same time, the political world that John just "damned" returns through the royalty of the Princess and through the era named after its Queen. Instead of a "background of thought and experience", he's left with aesthetic and political kitsch. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 20 May)

[A continuation from the previous post on "Solid Objects“.]

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