Thursday, January 23, 2020

Virginia Woolfs Use of Moments of Being Essay -- Biography Biographie

Virginia Woolf's Use of Moments of Being      Ã‚   Virginia Woolf is recognized as one of the great innovators of modern fiction. Her experiments with point of view and her use of stream of consciousness have influenced many writers that followed her. But one particularly interesting technique that does not seem to receive much attention is her use of "moments of being."    She first mentions moments of being in her essay, "A Sketch of the Past," which was to be the beginning of her memoirs. She begins with one of her earliest memories: a night in the nursery at St. Ives. She vividly recalls the way the blinds fluttered in the wind, the light coming through the window and the sound of the sea. She had a feeling of "lying in a grape and seeing through a film of semi-transparent yellow" (65). This memory is so strong that when she recalls those sensations they become more real for her than the present moment. This observation leads her to wonder why some moments are so powerful and memorable--even if the events themselves are unimportant--that they can be vividly recalled while other events are easily forgotten. She concludes that there are two kinds of experiences: moments of being and non-being. Woolf never explicitly defines what she means by "moments of being." Instead she provides examples of these moments and contrasts them with moments of what she calls "non-being." She describes the previous day as:      Ã‚  Ã‚   Above the average in 'being.' It was fine; I enjoyed writing these first   Ã‚  Ã‚   pages . . . I walked over Mount Misery and along the river; and save that   Ã‚  Ã‚   the tide was out, the country, which I n... ...ople. When the cotton wool is rent, when one experiences a moment with full consciousness, one experiences the true intensity of life. These moments of being can be read as brief poems hidden among the trivial details of life that some characters--and readers with them--are fortunate enough to experience.    Works Cited    Winterson, Jeanette. "A Gift of Wings." In Art Objects: Essays on Ecstasy and Effrontery. New York: Vintage Books, 1995.    Woolf, Virginia. Between the Acts. New York: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1969.    -------. Mrs. Dalloway. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1981.    -------. To the Lighthouse. New York: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1981.    -------. "A Sketch of the Past."In Moments of Being.Ed. Jeanne Schulkind. 2nd ed. New York: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1985.

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