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The Journal of English Language and Literature , Vol.63, No.4, 823 ~ 841, 2017
Virginia Woolf’s Kitchen Table and Her Artistic Imagination in To The Lighthouse
진명희 Myunghee Jin
Virginia Woolf incessantly imposes on the readers such philosophical questions as what a reality is, what life is, what a truth is, and what a relationship between knowledge and perception is, among many others. David Hume’s separation of object and subject and his consequent skepticism is critiqued in To The Lighthouse by the kitchen table which is the example of stability independent of perceiving circumstances and subjects. In Hume’s skepticism the table does not exist as an object when we do not perceive it. However, if for Mr. Ramsay the table is the example of the object separate from the perceiving intelligent beings, it is, for Lily and Mrs Ramsay, the place of communion, communication, and vision, unifying subject and object inseparably. Woolf says of the table in Lily’s words that in the ordinary experience of a chair and a table they are perceived as objective things, yet at the same time they are experienced as miracles and ecstasies in and by the transforming power of imagination. The things as they are, are transformed into what they might have been by and in imagination. This possible world is where art comes into. In fine, Woolf’s kitchen table in the novel is pivotal to the understanding of her artistic vision and the question of representation. What matters for Woolf after all is not the formal or factual relations but the narrative/relative relations and reconfiguration of things observed.
Key Words
『등대로』, 식탁, 예술적 상상력, 데이비드 흄, 사물성, To the Lighthouse, kitchen table, artistic imagination, David Hume, thingness
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