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Misfit FormsPaths Not Taken by the British Novel$
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Lorri G. Nandrea

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823263431

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823263431.001.0001

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Woolf’s Fin

(p.185) Conclusion
Misfit Forms

Lorri G. Nandrea

Fordham University Press

This conclusion returns to arguments about style and singularity set forth in the introduction. Virginia Woolf is situated as a writer whose work takes up or dynamically repeats some of the paths less travelled, offering modern experiments in sensibility, performativity, cumulative structures, negative capability, and above all, style as singularity. In Woolf's hands, style is a mode of recognition or witnessing, potent but also tragically limited in its power to capture and convey mortal singularities. Readings of Woolf's novels Jacob's Room and The Waves help illustrate and elaborate these concepts, emphasizing the potential importance of the novel as a forum for certain kinds of ethical and aesthetic experience. The conclusion thus suggests motives for novel reading that depart from both the nineteenth-century emphasis on epistemological gain and the twentieth-century emphasis on critical reading as a mode of social critique.

Keywords:   Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room, The Waves, Novel Reading, Singularity, Recognition, Style, Aesthetic experience, Ethics in the novel, Dynamic repetition

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