The dialectic of self and other in Montaigne, Proust and Woolf
Robson, Julia Caroline (2000) The dialectic of self and other in Montaigne, Proust and Woolf. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
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Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b1368627~S15
This thesis investigates the construction of identity in relation to an other. It considers three
writers who, working at moments when the nature of selfhood was an urgent issue, conduct
profound and original enquiries into the question of self- construction, and seeks both to
reassess their contributions to this debate, and, in bringing their preoccupations and methods
to bear upon each other, to open up new ways of approaching and reading their work.
Considering a range of socio-cultural and religious forms of otherness -- the cannibal, the
witch, the Jew, the aristocrat, the woman, the divine -- it embraces material from a number of
important modem critical fields, and suggests how these topics might be combined to offer a
coherent statement about the enduring issue of s elf- fashioning.
The thesis seeks to map out a trajectory of decreasing investment in external communities,
and an increasing perception of the self as a source and agent in the construction of identity.
Looking in turn at the work of Montaigne, Proust and Woolf, it argues that where the Essais
construct complex orders which appropriate the other to reinforce the identity of the self,
Proust and Woolf increasingly, although gradually, and by no means always successfully,
attempt to negotiate a less precisely- engaged relationship between other and self, and to
assign the other a less constitutive role in the realization and expression of identity. The
thesis also considers more briefly contexts in which this trajectory is reversed. To the extent
that they examine modernist subjectivity, Proust and Woolf articulate an anxiety about the
separation of self and world which leads to an attempted recuperation of the integrated orders
depicted by Montaigne.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
P Language and Literature > PQ Romance literatures
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Montaigne, Michel de, 1533-1592 -- Criticism and interpretation, Proust, Marcel, 1871-1922 -- Criticism and interpretation, Woolf, Virginia, 1882-1941 -- Criticism and interpretation, Self (Philosophy) in literature, Identity (Philosophical concept) in literature, Other (Philosophy) in literature|
|Official Date:||March 2000|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies|
|Supervisor(s)/Advisor:||Mack, Peter, 1955- ; Rignall, John, 1942-|
|Sponsors:||Arts and Humanities Research Board (Great Britain) (AHRB)|
|Extent:||vi, 261 leaves|
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