Boredom is widely considered a subjective malaise best gauged in twentieth-century literature. Woolf’s preoccupation with boredom is evident throughout her work—particularly Orlando—but comes to fruition in “The Lady in the Looking-Glass: A Reflection.” This story pits the perception of boredom as a form of self-affirmation against a rejection of the inherent dullness of continually acknowledging the self, a process elucidated via examinations of Heidegger’s visionary ennui and Levinas’s reworking of bored subjectivity. Additionally, “Lady in the Looking-Glass” participates in a relatively unexamined aspect of boredom theory: namely, the treatment of time as a spectre haunting the bored.


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