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The Death of the BookModernist Novels and the Time of Reading$
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John Lurz

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780823270972

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823270972.001.0001

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The Binding of The Waves

The Binding of The Waves

(p.135) Chapter 5 The Binding of The Waves
The Death of the Book

John Lurz

Fordham University Press

The final chapter furthers the transformation of the subject’s perspective into that of an object by placing the temporal aspects of such a move center-stage. It treats the way the novel’s meditations on pagination connect up with Woolf’s stated intention—echoed by one of the novel’s six narrators—to represent the very flow of time itself. By imagining how its bound pages might physically index the impersonal passing of narrative time that its curious interludes represent verbally, The Waves underscores the persistence of the object world that undergirds—and exceeds—the reader’s subjective experience of the novel. In doing so, it shows how what persists is precisely the passing of time itself, a transience that impinges on subject and object alike. As the binding of The Waves comes to physically embody this transience without arresting it, it mediates the temporality and finitude of the individual volume and cleaves together the preceding chapters’ arguments as well as the double-meaning of the titular phrase “the death of the book.”

Keywords:   binding, time, transience, The Waves, Virginia Woolf

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