Abstract

Abstract:

Abandoned, broken objects fascinate Virginia Woolf. Her attention to such things is so exquisite that Michel Serres writes that in her work "inanimate objects have a soul." I trace the progress of these inanimate souls across three texts from their life in human service to their afterlife as debris, reading Woolf 's attention to these objects through the lens of New Materialism and theories of decay and haunting. Household objects, having outlived their usefulness, are abandoned to a spectral process of decay and re-asserted materiality. Woolf reveals the afterlife of these things to be an uncanny transformation toward an ontological illegibility that ultimately troubles anthropocentric subjectivity.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1464
Print ISSN
0022-281X
Pages
pp. 80-97
Launched on MUSE
2020-04-02
Open Access
No
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