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Virginia Woolf's short fiction : a study of its relation to the story genre, and an explication of the… Tallentire, David Roger 1968

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VIRGINIA WOOLF'S SHORT FICTION: A STUDY OF ITS RELATION TO THE STORY GENRE; AND AN EXPLICATION OF THE KNOWN STORY CANON by David Roger T a l l e n t i r e B . S c , The University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1963 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF Master of Arts i n the Department of English We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard. THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l , 1968 In presenting t h i s thesis i n p a r t i a l fulfilment of the requirement for an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library s h a l l make i t fre e l y available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of th i s thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representatives. It i s understood that copying or publication of t h i s thesis for f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The University of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada Date /&, /?6S i i ABSTRACT The short stories of V i r g i n i a Woolf have never re-ceived serious scrutiny, c r i t i c s determinedly maintaining that the novels contain the heart of the matter and that the sto-r i e s are merely preparatory exercises. Mrs. Woolf, however, provides s u f f i c i e n t evidence that she was "on the track of r e a l discoveries" i n the s t o r i e s , an opinion supported by her Bloomsbury mentors Roger Fry and Lytton Strachey. A careful analysis of her twenty-one known stories suggests that they are indeed important (not merely peripheral to the novels and c r i t i c i s m ) and are successful i n developing s p e c i f i c techniques and themes germane to her t o t a l canon. One of the reasons why the s t o r i e s have never been taken seriously, of course, i s that they simply are not stories by any conventional d e f i n i t i o n — but are nonetheless "short f i c t i o n " of i n t e r e s t and s i g n i f i c a n c e . The s t o r i e s derive from three d i s t i n c t l y separate chronological periods. The e a r l i e s t group (1917-1921) was published i n Monday or Tuesday and included two s t o r i e s a v a i l -able only i n that volume, now out of p r i n t . (To enable a complete assessment, I have made these stories available as appendices II and III of t h i s t h e s i s , and included V i r g i n i a Woolf's lone children's story as appendix IV since i t too i s of the early period}. This phase of creation u t i l i z e d one primary technique—that of evolving an apparently i i i random stream of impressions from a usually inanimate and tiny focussing object, and was generally optimistic about the "adorable world." The second phase of her short fiction (those stories appearing in magazines between 1927 and 1938) illustrates a progression in both technical virtuosity and in personal discipline: the f i c t i o n a l universe i s now peo-pled, and the randomness of the early sketches has given way to a more selective exploitation of the thoughts inspired by motivating situations. But vacillation i s here evident in the author's mood, and while optimism at times burns as brightly as before, these stories as often presage Mrs. Woolfs abnegation of l i f e . The third group, posthumously published by Leonard Woolf in 1944 without his wife's imprimatur (and recognizably "only in the stage beyond that of her f i r s t sketch"), s t i l l reveals a desire in the author to pursue her original objective suggested i n "A Haunted House"--the unlayering of facts to bare the "buried treasure" truth, using imagination as her only tool. In one respect, and one/Only, the c r i t i c s who have neglected these stories are correct: the pieces are often too loosely knit, too undisciplined, and too often leave the Impression of a magpie's nest rather than one "with twigs and straws placed neatly together." In this the stories are obviously i n f e r i o r to the novels. But by neglecting the s t o r i e s the c r i t i c s have missed a mine of information: herein l i e s an " a r t i s t ' s sketchbook, H which, l i k e A Writer's  Diary, provides a major avenue i n t o the mind of one of the most remarkable writers of our age. CONTENTS Chapter Page I. THE SHORT STORY GENRE AND VIRGINIA WOOLF . . . . 1 I I . MICROCOSM TO MACROCOSM 26 THE MARK ON THE WALL 33 KEW GARDENS 40 SOLID OBJECTS 46 A HAUNTED HOUSE 51 MONDAY OR TUESDAY 55 BLUE AND GREEN 57 THE STRING QUARTET 61 I I I . THE MACROCOSM PEOPLED 75 AN UNWRITTEN NOVEL 78 THE SHOOTING PARTY 85 NURSE LUGTON'S GOLDEN THIMBLE . . ; . . 94 A SOCIETY 100 LAPPIN AND LAPINOVA 106 THE NEW DRESS 110 MOMENTS OF BEING 115 THE LADY IN THE LOOKING-GLASS 120 THE DUCHESS AND THE JEWELLER 125 IV. POSTHUMOUS PIECES 132 THE SEARCHLIGHT 134 THE LEGACY 138 THE MAN WHO LOVED HIS KIND 143 TOGETHER AND APART 146 A SUMMING UP 151 V. THE SUM RETOTALED 157 WORKS CITED 168 APPENDICES I . CHRONOLOGY 171 I I . " A SOCIETY" 173 I I I . "BLUE AND GREEN" . . 197 I V . "NURSE LUGTON'S GOLDEN THIMBLE" . . . . 199 KEY TO SYMBOLS IN THE THESIS PROPER MOW The Mark on the Wall KG Kew Gardens UN An Unwritten Novel SO So l i d Objects HH A Haunted House MoT Monday or Tuesday SQ The String Quartet TND The New Dress MoB Moments of Being LiLG The Lady i n the Looking-Glass SP The Shooting Party DaJ The Duchess and the Jeweller LaL Lappin and Lapinova TMWL The Man Who Loved His Kind TS The Searchlight TL The Legacy TaA Together and Apart ASU A Summing Up 1 CHAPTER I THE SHORT STORY GENRE AND VIRGINIA WOOLF But what are s t o r i e s . Toys I twist, bubbles I blow, one ring passes through another and sometimes I begin to doubt i f there are s t o r i e s . —Bernard i n The Waves The short story, as we have come to know i t , i s an amorphous e n t i t y . Despite the many attempts to define and categorize the genre no one has ever succeeded i n bounding i t and V i r g i n i a Woolf's short f i c t i o n i n p a r t i c u l a r defies p r e s c r i p t i v e analysis. However, i t i s necessary to begin any ex p l i c a t i o n of " s t o r i e s " with a working d e f i n i t i o n of the medium to be mined i f a conclusion i s to be reached. It i s too easy though i n our te c h n i c a l l y oriented world to over-specify, to quest beyond the knowable, unable, i n Keats' phrase, to rest i n "mysteries, doubts and uncertain-t i e s without an i r r i t a b l e reaching a f t e r f a c t s " . I t i s hoped that t h i s thesis w i l l escape the p i t f a l l of over-pr e s c r i p t i o n , while achieving a useful c r i t i c a l synthesis of the Woolfian canon. The short story, as Hugh Kenner points out i n Studies in Change^ sprang from o r a l t r a d i t i o n — " a tale i s a thing 2 t o l d ; tale and t e l l are nearly the same word." By the same, perhaps dubious, etymological argument, he describes 2 the roots of story, as "nearly the same word as h i s t o r y ; a 3 methodical record, something with system to i t . " However, exactly what constitutes the short story's system i s , as we s h a l l see, far from simple. In the early part of t h i s century, before writers l i k e V i r g i n i a Woolf had obfuscated the issue, c r i t i c s were in the habit of thinking that the story had evolved from Poe and Maupassant with a d e f i n i t e , predictable structure. Esenwein's "seven c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s " of the short story w i l l do to represent t h i s d e f i n i t i v e approach popular in the 1920's. He claimed that the story i s always marked by: "1) a single predominant character; 2) a single pre-eminent incident; 3) imagination; 4) p l o t ; 5) compression; 6) or-ganization; and 7) unity of impression."4 At f i r s t glance t h i s seems precise and encompassing but on r e f l e c t i o n i t i s obvious that these aspects of the story do not allow f o r the magic of such "pieces" (since they cannot be"stories) as "A Haunted House" which has no characters i n the 'real' sense, no d e f i n i t e incident, no relatable p l o t , and c e r t a i n l y the impression l e f t upon readers polled by t h i s author i s diverse. Nor can one, i n evaluating V i r g i n i a Woolf's s t o r i e s , answer in the required affirmative to H.T. Baker's l i s t of questions designed to c u l l the r e a l story from imposters. Baker's " P r a c t i c a l Manual 3 of Short Story Writing" rejects stories which cannot answer these test questions with a resounding yes: "do the opening paragraphs c l e a r l y indicate the nature of the story? . . . 5 and i s there a genuine climax". How does V i r g i n i a Woolf fare with such c r i t e r i a ? Surely "Monday or Tuesday" can hardly even be said to have a tangible beginning, l e t alone a climax, and even at the "end" of the -fragment one, would be hard-pressed to " c l e a r l y indicate the nature of the story." Yet c r i t i c s and laymen alike p e r s i s t i n tying the story down, i n making i t f i t the r e s t r i c t i o n s they i n s i s t i t work beneath. S i r Hugh Walpole voices t h i s conventional view of the old guard most emphatically when he states: A story should be a story: a record of things happening, f u l l of incident and accident, swift movement, unexpected development, leading through suspense to a climax and a s a t i s f y i n g denouement. In recent years, however, c r i t i c s have been forced to admit that such prescriptions of the story genre cannot define many experimental vignettes recognized as e f f e c t i v e l i t e r a t u r e . I f these " s t o r i e s " work, yet cannot be cast into any e x i s t i n g mold, -surely the molds are wrong. Henry James perhaps expresses the sanest viewpoint i n urging readers to forswear the urge to c l a s s i f y , and* to accept the author's o f f e r i n g , unlabelled though i t might be. What he 4 says of the novel i s no less true of the short story: "a novel i s a novel, as a pudding i s a pudding, and . . . our 7 only business with i t could be to swallow i t whole." James, then, subjugating his c r i t i c a l tenets, i s urging us to be more i n c l i n e d to tr u s t our own senses as to what constitutes merit and to be less dependent on outmoded templates against which to compare tentative short s t o r i e s . His voice i s the much needed proponent of common sense: "the only obligation to which i n advance we may hold [ f i c t i o n ] i s that i t be in t e r e s t i n g . " ^ I have here extended James' views on the novel to the short story as the quotations apply rea d i l y to a l l prose f i c t i o n . This, of course, i s not to say that the novel and the story are i d e n t i c a l but only that both can function beyond t h e i r conventional d e f i n i t i o n s . Or, i n other words, we should continually expect the story and the novel to explore new concepts i n l i t e r a t u r e — a s the name of the l a t t e r genre suggests—or f i c t i o n w i l l become s t a t i c . But to change tack for a moment, the novel and the story have enough i n common to warrant a cursory examination of the two forms, e s p e c i a l l y with regard to a writer who excelled i n both genres, notwithstanding c r i t i c s who assert that "the stor i e s of V i r g i n i a Woolf . . . are beside the novels, negligible."" I t might be stated here that t h i s attitude, 5 by no means a t y p i c a l , prompted t h i s thesis since Mrs. Wo o l f s sto r i e s are by no means n e g l i g i b l e . I t would be true to say that they are heavily influenced by the Russian s t o r y - t e l l e r s and Katherine Mansfield, but they also reveal evidence that t h e i r author was evolving a story form of her own. Since the Russians played a large part i n forming V i r g i n i a Woolf s story tenets, and her Diary i n 1940 records the continuing appeal they had for her, i t i s advisable to look b r i e f l y at t h e i r influence. In T o l s t o i , V i r g i n i a Woolf found Always the same r e a l i t y — l i k e touching an exposed e l e c t r i c wire. Even so imperfectly conveyed—his [Tolstoi's] rugged short cut mind—to me the most, not sympathetic, but i n -s p i r i n g , rousing: genius i n the raw 1 A "short cut mind" describes that of V i r g i n i a Woolf too, since idea-association underlies most of the s t o r i e s . Mrs. Woolf sees Russian f i c t i o n to be "composed purely and wholly of the s t u f f of the soul . . . . Out of Shakespeare 12 there i s no more ex c i t i n g reading." There i s much of the Russian "soul" i n V i r g i n i a W o o l f s f i c t i o n too: she sees each human being as "the vessel of thi s perplexed l i q u i d , 13 t h i s cloudy, yeasty, precious s t u f f , the soul" and one thinks at once of a l l the V i r g i n i a Woolf stories and novels i n which a "precious treasure" i s sought; a treasure ephemeral 6 and hazy l i k e the soul. The Russians also pointed the way to the suicide motif i n the l a t e r story period ("The Legacy") since T o l s t o i ' s dominant message to V i r g i n i a Woolf i s that "there i s always at the centre of a l l the b r i l l i a n t and 14 flashing petals of the flower t h i s scorpion, 'Why l i v e ? ' " . Then too, what she said of the novels of Turgenev became true of her own s t o r i e s : "They are so short and yet they hold so much. The emotion i s so intense and yet so calm. The form i s i n one sense so perfect, i n another so broken.'!^ V i r g i n i a Woolf was, of course, much better acquainted with the Russians than the average reader, since between 1921 and 192 3 she collaborated with S.S. Koteliansky on tr a n s l a t i o n of Russian works. One such project that also reveals her i n t e r e s t i n the psychological insights of the Russian novelists i s Stavrogin's Confession by Dostoevsky, a book that contains 16 "a psychoanalytic study of the author by Sigmund Freud". I t i s beyond the scope of t h i s thesis to examine the influence of Katherine Mansfield (herself admittedly i n -fluenced by the Russians) but In a German Pension (1911) B l i s s (1920) The Garden Party (1922) and The Dove's Nest ( 1 9 2 3 ) — a l l major c o l l e c t i o n s — e x h i b i t many techniques u t i l i z e d by Mrs. Woolf. The most convenient source for the reader wishing to examine the above volumes i s the Collected  Stories of Katherine Mansfield. One b r i e f example from B l i s s that might serve to indicate a relationship between the two 7 women i s the opening of "The Man Without a Temperament" i n which a gentleman stands aloof from the i n a n i t i e s of two 17 American women, "his glance t r a v e l l i n g ] c o o l l y , deliberately," over them. In V i r g i n i a W o o l f s "The Man Who Loved His Kind" we have a s i m i l a r t i t l e and s i t u a t i o n — P r i c k e t t E l l i s also stands apart from " i d l e , chattering, overdressed" (TMWL, 110) party-goers . But l e t us return for a moment to the novel and the short story as related art forms. I t i s not the intention of th i s work to provide yet another d e f i n i t i o n of the two genres— i n fact I seek to avoid further r e s t r i c t i o n s — b u t a few state-ments by a recent c r i t i c need commentary. Frank O'Connor claims that "the novel i s bound to be a process of i d e n t i f i c a t i o n 18 between the reader and the p r i n c i p a l character," whereas the story need not be. O'Connor l a t e r seems rather vague i n d i s -tinguishing between the novel and the story, i n s i s t i n g that the 19 former reveals the " c l a s s i c a l concept of c i v i l i z e d society" while the story i s some sort of bastard son of the novel: "the short story remains by i t s very nature remote from the com-20 munity—romantic, i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c , and intransigent." But, despite the ephemeral nature of t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n , i t seems that t h i s i s as close as one can come i n d i s t i n -guishing between the genres i n such an a r t i s t as V i r g i n i a Woolf. Her novels do catch c i v i l i z e d society i n certain c l a s s i c attitudes, yet the sto r i e s reveal only glimpses of this society. Of course the story's physical l i m i t a t i o n s 8 help make, thi s so, and " i t i s no longer necessary to des-21 cribe; i t i s enough to suggest." Before proposing any theory about the conception and intent of Mrs. Woolf*s short s t o r i e s , i t i s probably advisable to examine the progression i n the novels (in a very cursory fashion) to provide some basis for comparison. I f , for instance, as Joan Bennett t e l l s us, "after Night and Day 22 [1919] the novels of V i r g i n i a Woolf cease to t e l l s t o r i e s " we might well ask what then happens to the sto r i e s at t h i s date. I t would be f o o l i s h to i n s i s t that any evolutionary pattern found i n the novels be a r b i t r a r i l y imposed upon the conception of the stories (or vice versa) but since the stories and novels both sprang from the same years, some a r t i s t i c processes and concerns must surely be s i m i l a r . With t h i s i n mind, l e t us look at the novels i n chronological order with a view to discovering any continuing trend that might illuminate the s t o r i e s ' conception. The novel sequence that began r e a l i s t i c a l l y and conventionally with The Voyage Out and Night and Day rapidly developed into a progression from convention. The sequence became, i n f a c t , a "voyage out" from r e a l i s t i c e x p o s i t i o n — a voyage into the conscious and subconscious workings of the mind. The t i t l e of the next novel, Jacob's  Room, can be seen as a synonym for "Jacob's Mind", a retreat r e a d i l y available from a l l external and worldly pressures. Its successor, Mrs. Dalloway, carries us further into the human psyche by p r e s e n t i n g a woman f u l l y at home i n s o c i e t y ( i n f a c t she becomes the g r e g a r i o u s h o s t e s s o f v i r t u a l l y e v e r y W o o l f i a n p a r t y ) b u t i n c r e a s i n g l y aware o f the emptines o f h e r l i f e . T h i s n o v e l , perhaps more than any o t h e r o f V i r g i n i a W o o l f ' s,, h i n t s a t a despondency o v e r the d i f f i c u l t a r t o f l i v i n g — a n d i n i t s p r e o c c u p a t i o n w i t h t h i s theme p r e s a g e s the s u i c i d e o f the a u t h o r i n 1941. "There was an 2 3 emptiness about the h e a r t o f l i f e ; an a t t i c r o o m . " To escape the emptiness e n t a i l s an escape from the body and a l l c o r p o r e a l c o n c e r n s — a n d as the p r e s s u r e s o f the r e a l w o r l d mount, and "shades o f the p r i s o n house b e g i n to c l o s e . . . " M r s . Dal loway b e g i n s a r e t r e a t from the w o r l d t h a t i s more than a mental w i t h d r a w a l . A l l o f h e r s e n s i n g g a n g l i a t u r n i n w a r d and she s e v e r s h e r t i e s w i t h the r e a l w o r l d . She renews h e r l e a s e on v i r g i n i t y and d e n i e s h e r h u s b a n d ' s entrenchment upon h e r i n d i v i d u a l i t y , upon h e r s o u l i n f a c t . So the room was an a t t i c ; the bed n a r r o w ; and l y i n g t h e r e r e a d i n g , f o r she s l e p t b a d l y , she c o u l d n o t d i s p e l a v i r g i n -i t y p r e s e r v e d through c h i l d b i r t h which c l u n g t o h e r l i k e a s h e e t . ? -One can c o n t i n u e the "voyage" analogy i n t o the n e x t n o v e l . To the L i g h t h o u s e c o n c l u d e s w i t h an e p i s o d e i n which a f a t h e r who has f a i l e d to communicate w i t h h i s f a m i l y t h r o u g h o u t the n o v e l b e l a t e d l y at tempts t o a c h i e v e r a p p o r t by f u l f i l l i n g a promise made years before, to take his c h i l d -ren "to the lighthouse". This journey seems more meaningful than the lighthouse i t s e l f (notwithstanding the various c r i t i c a l attempts to explicate the lighthouse's symbolism). Mrs. Woolf seems to be pointing out once again that the^midd i s sacrosanct, and attempts to i n f i l t r a t e i t w i l l be doomed to f a i l u r e . Because Mr. Ramsay f a i l s to impinge upon his children's minds, his son and daughter remain distant and unsympathetic. The physical act of transporting the children to the lighthouse i s i n s u f f i c i e n t penance for Mr. Ramsay's e a r l i e r s p i r i t u a l i s o l a t i o n . Only Mrs. Ramsay, the heart and soul of the family, has the power of penetration into the mental "rooms" of her charges, and she dies midway through the n o v e l — a g a i n i n s e r t i n g a hint of melancholia at the fu-t i l i t y of l i f e . Orlando and The Waves, which followed, explored d i f f e r e n t avenues of technical v i r t u o s i t y , but the char-acters within these works s t i l l concern themselves with the problems of e x i s t i n g i n the r e a l world when a l l of t h e i r minds cry out for a larger and more inhabitable universe. By Orlando, the escape from the body i s almost complete, and the process suggested i n Jacob's Room (of withdrawal from the world into a private room of the mind) and continued in Mrs. Dalloway (im which withdrawal involves denial of previous physical involvement with the world) has become so f l u i d that Orlando has the a b i l i t y to transcend b a r r i e r s of time and gender at w i l l . When we reach The Waves, the complete divorcing of bodily and mental processes has been reached. Bernard, N e v i l l e , Louis, Susan, Rhoda and Jinny do not e x i s t as characters who eat, drink and fornicate (as, say, Tom Jones does) but rather the six are voices, attitudes, dramatic p o s t u r e s , — a fact that i s attested to by the adaptability of The Waves to dramatic readings. Six voices are s u f f i c i e n t — s i x bodies superfluous. This pattern of increasing i s o l a t i o n of mind from body i s seemingly 'interrupted i n The Years, a retrograde step i n the novel cycle. The family chronicle of "The Pargiters" (the book's e a r l i e s t appellation) harkens back to the format of The Voyage Out and Night and Day, though even i n this work the concern with d i v i s i o n of the s e l f con-tinues. Rose Pargiter frequently has " . . . the usual f e e l i n g of being two people at the same time, as does Miriam Parrish who " . . . seemed able to divide herself i n two."2^ Granted, these "pluckings" might not indicate the dominant concern of the novel, but surely the frequency with which such references to d i v i s i o n of the s e l f occur pre-cludes t h e i r being fortuitous. In the l a s t of V i r g i n i a W o o l f s novels, Between the Acts f the growing despair of the author at the demands of l i f e , and the need for at least a successful i l l u s i o n of escape bursts from the pages. There can be l i t t l e doubt that the author of Between the Acts i s , to some extent, the author of the "pageant", and the anguish of Miss LaTrobe i s V i r g i n i a W o o l f s own: "This i s death, death, death, she 27 noted i n the margin of her mind; when i l l u s i o n f a i l s . " Miss La^Trobe (and her. creator) are trapped between the acts of l i f e ; existence has become Sartre's e x i s t e n t i a l h e l l from which there i s "no e x i t . " V i r g i n i a Woolf herself 2 8 speaks the l i n e "I am the slave of my audience." Melvin J. Friedson has also noted th i s voyage of V i r g i n i a Woolf toward pessimism i n the novels. He sees " . . . the same sad discouragement . . . present [in Jacob's Room] as i n The Voyage Out: self-discovery as a prelude to death. 29 This theme runs through a l l of V i r g i n i a Woolf . . ." What have we accomplished i n th i s s p r i n t through the nine novels, and what relevance to the stories have any such comments? Only t h i s an e n t i r e l y d i f f e r e n t d i r e c t i o n i s taken i n the stories than i n the novels. The stories do not involve a generally increasing complexity i n which the avenues of the mind replace the by-roads of Kensington; the stories do not become (as do the novels) progressively more pessimistic; and most important, the stories are not preludes or exercises preparatory to the larger composi-tions, as the st o r i e s written simultaneously with (or immediately preceding) novels have few thematic s i m i l a r i t i e s with t h e i r desk-mates, and often d i f f e r s t y l i s t i c a l l y as well. However, before attempting to suggest the possible creative process whereby the stories evolved (or attempting to explicate the story canon), i t i s of paramount importance that a cle a r chronology be determined as far as i s possible. As with many writers, the " f i r s t publication" date of each of V i r g i n i a W o o l f s stories i s not necessarily an accurate i n d i c a t i o n that that year (or even the preceding decade) was the time of conception of the piece. Neither the order of the s t o r i e s i n A Haunted House nor the date of magazine pub-l i c a t i o n i s i n any way in d i c a t i v e of the composition date. For example, judging from what Leonard Woolf says, "The Mark on the Wall" was probably his wife's e a r l i e s t story, i t f i r s t receiving l i m i t e d public attention i n the 150 copy 30 e d i t i o n of Two Stories (1917); yet i t appears sixth i n the co l l e c t e d s t o r i e s which have no s p e c i f i c order i f not one of chronology. Publication date as a c r i t e r i o n would likewise suggest that "Kew Gardens" was next written, yet th i s appears f i f t h i n A Haunted House. The problem of dating and order-ing Mrs. Wo o l f s s t o r i e s i s complicated by her own known 14 work habits as recorded by her s e l f i n the Diary, and by her husband i n his biographies. We are to l d that V i r g i n i a Woolf 31 composed her "sketches" not only as interludes between larger works of f i c t i o n or c r i t i c i s m (though the rejuvenating power of a turn to short f i c t i o n i s acknowledged by the author) but as works important i n t h e i r own ri g h t . That she regarded success i n the short story genre as highly as success i n the novels i s attested to i n her joy at hearing of Lytton Strachey's approval of "The String Quartet". The news " . . . flood[ed] every nerve with pleasure, so much so that [she] . . . walked 32 over Hungerford Bridge twanging and vibr a t i n g . " In a di f f e r e n t mood, she laments the i n a b i l i t y of a c r i t i c , i n this instance an u n i n t e l l i g i b l e reviewer i n The Times, to 33 recognize "that I'm af t e r something i n t e r e s t i n g . " I t would thus seem l i k e l y that V i r g i n i a Woolf was attempting to create a form and technique i n her stories that would be every b i t as s i g n i f i c a n t as that of the novels. That she was, i n f a c t , experimenting towards a " s i g n i f i c a n t form" i n her stories i s also attested to i n the Diary, ". . . and then there was Roger [Fry] who thinks I am on the 34 track of r e a l discoveries and ce r t a i n l y not a fake." But to return to the problem of dating the sto r i e s and deciding upon a working chronology, Leonard Woolf has not helped matters i n his introduction to A Haunted House and  Other Short Stories. He states that t h i s volume contains "• • • s i x stories which appeared i n magazines between 1922 and 1941; [including] . . . " S o l i d Objects". 3 5 yet "Solid Objects" appeared i n The Athenaeum, 22 October, 1920. 3 6 Mr. Woolf has further complicated t h i s study (and, i n c i -dentally, I f e e l has done his wife a great disservice) by omitting two stories from the canon because he was " . . . 37 p r a c t i c a l l y certain she would not have included [them]." I t i s possible of course that his wife's wishes dictated t h i s decision, but as the stories had reached publication and public attention i n Monday or Tuesday, the deletion seems a pointless scruple. That "Blue and Green" i s d e f i c i e n t as a story i s unquestioned—it i s i n fact two separate "word paintings"--though i t i s not completely 38 without "any dramatic framework" as Guiguet suggests. However, the omission of "A Society" cannot be j u s t i f i e d on any grounds, as t h i s story reveals a s a t i r i c wit and mastery of dialogue unmatched by any of the remaining : s t o r i e s — o r , i n fact, the novels ei t h e r . I t might be argued that t h i s story i s therefore not r e a l l y " V i r g i n i a Woolf", but rather an eulogy to some unknown writer that impressed Mrs. Woolf enough to tempt her to do a piece " i n the s t y l e of . . ." as a l i t e r a r y pastime. This hardly seems l i k e l y 16 as "A Society" i s not a s l i g h t exercise but the most devel-oped (and longest) story i n the canon. Whatever the reasons for t h i s story's deletion, the loss i s acute, as the s c a r c i t y of the only source to reach the public, (the 1000 copy e d i t i o n of Monday or Tuesday, 1921) has caused the story to be v i r t u -a l l y unknown even i n academic c i r c l e s . The d i f f i c u l t y I had in obtaining copies of the two f u g i t i v e pieces prompted me to include them as appendices to t h i s t h e s i s , i n the hope that t h i s one source would provide c r i t i c i s m of the entire story canon (which to my knowledge no one has yet attempted) and (when used with A Haunted House) provide easy access to a l l of the primary material of which I speak. Scholars might object to my e x p l i c a t i n g "Nurse Lugton's Golden Thimble" (this story i s also appended) since a children's story should require l i t t l e explanation. This s l i g h t sketch is_ s i g n i f i c a n t , however, as w i l l l a t e r be shown. A chronology postulated from Leonard Woolf s introductions to the s t o r i e s (and his biog-raphies,); V i r g i n i a Woolf s own "clues" l e f t scattered through the Diary; Guiguet's seminal study; and Kirkpatrick's ex-c e l l e n t bibliography; i s likewise appended. Various c r i t i c a l methods have been adopted i n group-ing V i r g i n i a W o o l f s s t o r i e s , and most, i t seems to me, have defects greater than any advantage gained by grouping. The most common c r i t i c a l practice i s to a r b i t r a r i l y divide the canon into "early" and "late"periods corresponding to the two story c o l l e c t i o n s Monday or Tuesday and A Haunted House, thus a l l stories before 1921 are "early" and a l l thereafter " l a t e " . This d i v i s i o n i s not p a r t i c u l a r l y useful as stories s i m i l a r i n theme and technique can be found i n both groups, and the active periods of story c r e a t i v i t y as revealed by magazine publication dates, Mrs. W o o l f s own comments i n A Writer's  Diary and her husband's biographies suggest a tri p a r t i t e , . structure. Jean Guiguet notes t h i s i n drawing attention to the fact that "the publication of the stories f a l l s into three b r i e f periods: 1 9 1 7 - 1 9 2 1 , 1927-1929 and 1938-1940." 3 9 How-ever, upon grouping the stories accordingly he i s forced to abandon such a r e s t r i c t i v e framework, and immediately and evasively changes tack i n announcing that to adhere to t h i s d i v i s i o n would mean "neglecting [the stories'] autonomous char-40 ' ' • acter." Guiguet then c l a s s i f i e s "according to other e n t e r s : 41 i a " despite his e a r l i e r avowal that the three periods "correspond too cl o s e l y to the periods of exploration i n V i r -g i n i a Woolf s career for the coincidence to be a fortuitous ,,42 one. I f one were to use A Haunted House and Leonard Woolf s introduction as a basis for a grouping he would again divide the canon into three: "stories or sketches which o r i g i n a l l y appeared i n Monday or Tuesday, . . . [stories] which appeared in magazines, between 1922 [sic] and 1 9 4 1 ; . . . [and the] 43 f i v e [hitherto] unpublished s t o r i e s . " The defects i n Mr. W o o l f s p r e f a c e are noted below (and h i s g r o u p i n g i s l e s s u s e f u l than the o t h e r s ) but i t p o i n t s the way to y e t another method o f d i v i s i o n i f one were so i n c l i n e d to use i t . Both 4 4 L e o n a r d and V i r g i n i a use the phrase " s t o r i e s o r s k e t c h e s " s u g g e s t i n g t h a t a d i s t i n c t i o n e x i s t s between the two (or the second would be r e d u n d a n t ) . Would i t not t h e n be as u s e f u l t o a n a l y z e a c c o r d i n g t o a d i v i s i o n between " s t o r i e s " and " s k e t c h e s " ? The purpose o f these p r e f a c i n g remarks i s to p o i n t out a g a i n , as I d i d i n the f i r s t s e c t i o n , t h a t t o i n s i s t upon a p r e s c r i p t i v e mold i n t o which t o pummel the s t o r i e s i s b o t h l i m i t i n g (as G u i g u e t f i n d s ) and m i s l e a d i n g . C l e a r l y the o n l y l o g i c a l reason f o r g r o u p i n g i s t o make c o m p a r i s o n s , and I s h a l l endeavor t o adhere to t h i s s i m p l e c r i t e r i o n . The s t o r i e s w i l l be a n a l y z e d (as f a r as i t i s p o s s i b l e ) i n c h r o n o l o g i c a l o r d e r , as i t i s f e l t t h a t some p r o g r e s s i o n o f thought can be t r a c e d t h r o u g h o u t the twenty-one p i e c e s c o m p r i s i n g V i r g i n i a W o o l f s known s t o r y c a n o n . T h i s means e x p l i c a t i n g r o u g h l y i n the o r d e r g i v e n i n A Haunted H o u s e , w i t h a. few n o t a b l e e x c e p t i o n s . L e o n a r d W o o l f ' s p r e s e n t a t i o n o f the s t o r i e s , as mentioned e a r l i e r i s somewhat c o n f u s i n g , t h e r e f o r e , I have r e - i n s e r t e d the two s t o r i e s he o m i t t e d i n t h e i r o r i g i n a l o r d e r , and r e p o s i t i o n e d " S o l i d O b j e c t s " where i t r i g h t l y b e l o n g s , . a m o n g V i r g i n i a W o o l f s e a r l i e s t s t o r i e s . The d e c i s i o n to i n c l u d e " A S o c i e t y " and " B l u e and G r e e n " a t a l l might be c o n s t r u e d as d i s c o u r t e o u s , (Leonard Woolf having declared his wife's intention to omit them from A Haunted House) but the fact remains that they were published (with Mrs. W o olfs apparent blessing i n 1921) whereas four of the l a s t f i v e s t o r i e s presented by Leonard 45 Woolf are not " f i n a l l y revised" and recognizably i n need 46 of "a great deal of work . . . before . . . p u b l i [ c a t i o n ] . " I t therefore seems only f a i r that i f unpolished work i s allowed to face c r i t i c a l opinion, published pieces (though l a t e r disinherited) should also. I t should be stressed at the outset that no attempt has been made to l i n k systematically the stories with other f i c t i o n or c r i t i c i s m by Mrs. Woolf. I have taken the l i b e r t y of noting pertinent connections between some of the stories and novels, but the scope of t h i s work precludes a rigorous foray into t h i s i n t e r e s t i n g , but peripheral concern. A l -ways , my cardinal goal has been to explicate these twenty-one  pieces, though I have digressed on occasion where I f e l t i t was j u s t i f i e d . To thus continue with a seeming digression i s hardly the way to e l i c i t approval from the reader, but Guiguet's thematic groupings of the s t o r i e s , a f t e r abandoning the chronological, provide a useful s t a r t i n g point. "Kew Gardens" "Blue and Green", "A Haunted House", "Monday or Tuesday, and "The String Quartet", (one quarter of the stories) are des-cribed as 20 impressionistic studies . ... characterized by t h e i r lack of any dramatic framework and by t h e i r attempt to present, i n a contiguity which creates continuity, the disparate elements of consciousness, made homogeneous by uniformity of tone and the absence of any precise reference to place or time.^7 His second group, "An Unwritten Novel," "Moments of Being," "The Shooting Party," and "The Lady i n the Looking Glass" have a b r i e f e r connection: a l l reveal "the writer i n search of 48 "Mrs. Brown/" and are simply l e f t at that. "The New Dress," "The Man Who Loved His Kind," "Together and Apart," and "The Summing Up" comprise, for Guiguet, "the Mrs. Dalloway saga . . . [in which] the atmosphere of a s o c i a l gathering i s conducive to the theme . . . , the d i f f i c u l t y of communicating 49 . . . ." -' "The Legacy" and "Lappin and Lapinova" are grouped together i n a rather clumsy fashion on the basis of 50 both being "abridged dramas, of married l i f e . " Suffice i t to say that at least four other stories concern some facet of the marriage "drama" and the very nature of a short story presupposes abridgement. S i m i l a r l y , Guiguet lumps together the remaining odds and ends into a group he hes-51 i t a n t l y labels "incursions into less f a m i l i a r f i e l d s , " though one i s l e f t i n doubt as to which f i e l d s Mrs. Woolf's "incursions" have led her into i n the four m i s f i t s t o r i e s , and what these f i e l d s are "less f a m i l i a r " than. The pattern I have chosen to follow i s , as i t seems must always be, a compromise (between the arrangements of Guiguet and Leonard Woolf). In order to make any meaningful analysis of the stories certain p a r a l l e l themes and techniques must be noted (hence the need to group s i m i l a r works) but to r e t a i n one's perspective as to the evolution of Mrs. Woolf's a r t , the i n d i v i d u a l s t o r i e s within these groups w i l l be discussed chronologically. I t i s f e l t that t h i s method can best explain the growth of certain recurrent themes, while providing the most convenient method of e x p l i c a t i o n — that of discussing thematically and t e c h n i c a l l y s i m i l a r material i n one related analysis. N O T E S 1(New Jersey: Prentice H a l l , 1965), p. v. 2 l M d . 3 I b i d . 4 As quoted by Walter B. P i t k i n , The Art and the  Business of Story Waiting (New York: MacMillan, 1923), p TT. 5Harry T. Baker, The Contemporary Short Story (Boston: D.C. Heath, 1966), p. 253. ^As quoted by H.E. Bates, The Modern Short Story (London: Thomas Nelson, 1948), p. 15. 7 The House of F i c t i o n (London: Ruper Hart-Davis, 1957), p. 24. ^Ibid., p. 29. 9 Joan Bennett, V i r g i n i a Woolf (Cambridge: Camb. U. Press, 1945), p. 42. 1 0 A Writer's Diary (London: Hogarth, 1953), p. 32 Ibid. 12 "The Russian Point of View," The Common Reader, 1st Series (London: Hogarth, 1925), p. 226. 1 3 I b i d . , p. 228. 1 4 I b i d . , p. 231. 23 1 5"The Novels of Turgenev," The Captain's Death Bed (London: Hogarth, 1950), p. 54. "^F.M. Dostoevsky: Stavrogin's Confession/Trans. V i r g i n i a Woolf and S.S. Koteliansky. With a psychoanalytic study of the author by Sigmund Freud (New York: Lear Publishers, 1947). 17 "The Man Without a Temperament," Collected Stories  of Katherine Mansfield (London: Constable and Company, 1945), p. 129. p. 17, 1 g The Lonely Voice (New York: World Publishing, 1962) , 19 Ibid., p. 21. Ibid. 21 Bates, p. 24. 22 V i r g i n i a Woolf, Her Art as a Novelist (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1945), p. 42. 2 3 V i r g i n i a Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1962) , p. T5~. 2 4 l b i d . , p-. 46. • —. 25 V i r g i n i a Wo&lf, The Years (London: Hogarth, 19 37) , p. 182. 2 6 I b i d . , p. 248. 27 V i r g i n i a Woolf, Between the Acts (London, Hogarth, 1941) , p. 210. 2 8 I b i d . , p. 248. 24 29 Stream of Consciousness: A Study i n L i t e r a r y Method (New Haven: Yale Univ., Press, 1955), p. 190. "^Leonard Woolf, Beginning Again: An Autobiography  of the Years 1911 to 1918 (London: Hogarth, 196 4), pp. 235-7. 31 V i r g i n i a Woolf, A Haunted House and Other Short Stories (London: Hogarth, 1962), p. 8. 32 V i r g i n i a Woolf, A Writer's Diary, p. 105. 3 3 I b i d . , p. 31. 3 4 I b i d . , p. 33. 35 Leonard Woolf, Introduction to A Haunted House, p. 8. 36 B.J. Kirkpatrick, A Bibliography of V i r g i n i a Woolf (London: Rupert Hart-Davis"^ 1957) , p. 106. 37 A Haunted House, p. 8. 3 8 Jean Guiguet, V i r g i n i a Woolf and Her Works, Trans. J. Steward (London: Hogarth, 1965), p. 331. 39 Ibid., p. 330. 4 ^ I b i d . , p. 331. 4 1 I b i d . Mcra. 4 2 I b i d . , p. 330. 43 A Haunted House and Other Short Stories, p. 8. 4 4 T , . , Ibid. Ibid. Ibid. 47 Guiguet, V i r g i n i a Woolf and Her Works, p. 331. 48 *°Ibid., p. 332. 49 Ib i d . , p. 336. 50 I b i d . , p. 338. ^"^"Ibid. , p. 341. 26 CHAPTER II MICROCOSM TO MACROCOSM Supplementing her longer journeys through the world of appearances and through the years, these s t o r i e s each represent a b r i e f excursion from which, in her unremitting quest for r e a l i t y , V i r g i n i a Woolf brought back some s l i g h t q u a r r y — s l i g h t indeed but re-vealing of the depths i n which i t was discovered. — J e a n Guiguet, V i r g i n i a Woolf and Her Works E.M.W. T i l l y a r d begins The Elizabethan World Picture with the observation that "the f i r s t pages of V i r g i n i a W o o l f s Orlando are . . . t y p i c a l [of the modern view of Elizabethan l i f e ] . " ' ' " He makes the remark disparagingly, implying that Mrs. Woolf provides a conventional, but untrue picture of an age that but few moderns f u l l y -understand, (of course T i l l y a r d i s among these). I f t h i s i s so, i t i s indeed curious that the habits of mind revealed by so many Elizabethans i n his book coincide so cl o s e l y with those of V i r g i n i a Woolf, so much so i n fact that I propose to group the story canon according to Elizabethan character-i s t i c s that seem so appropriate to the work before us. T i l l y a r d notes that a prevalent Elizabethan idea was that of anthropocentricity, and that man i n fact was 2 a "microcosm" — a n i n f i n i t e l y varied and complex creature composed of a smattering of each of the fundamental elements comprising the universe or macrocosm. The only thing that distinguished man from the highest l i n k i n the chain of being—the angelic (and prevented his reaching th i s state)—was a deficiency i n the amount of c e l e s t i a l power (reason) given him. What i s important to t h i s discussion, however, i s the co r o l l a r y to the idea; that reason (and indeed a l l i n t e l l e c t u a l endeavor) must progress from the small to the large i f order and enlightenment are to be attained. Thus man, to understand the processes of l i f e and his r e l a t i o n to the scheme of creation must begin by considering the inanimate realm which nurtures plants, which i n turn feed animals, that provide for the needs of men, who serve the gods. That the Elizabethans did i n fact order t h e i r cosmos from least to most i s attested to i n the Governor of Elyot referred to by T i l l y a r d : Behold also the order that God hath put generally i n a l l his creatures, beginning at the most i n f e r i o r or base and ascending upward.3 (My i t a l i c s ) When we remember V i r g i n i a W o o lfs remarks about the large common objects upon which novelists are fated to gaze: man and men; behind that Nature; and above them that power which for convenience and brevity we may c a l l God4 i t should be clear that the preceding thought process was 28 not foreign to her, and while t h i s p a r t i c u l a r comment from The Common Reader does not suggest an ascending order i n considering objects, the e a r l i e s t s t o r i e s c e r t a i n l y do. What i s "The Mark on the Wall" i f not a creation of a macrocosm from a t i n y focal point i n which the author sees the possi-b i l i t y of a f i c t i o n a l universe? I f V i r g i n i a Woolf*s mind was oriented towards modern p r a c t i c a l i t y as T i l l y a r d implies she would have b e s t i r r e d h e r s e l f to v e r i f y v i s u a l l y the mark as a s n a i l at the outset (and thereby negated the situation's p o s s i b i l i t i e s ) but of course she didn't. She obviously f e l t i t f a r more i n t e r e s t i n g to speculate and create her own world than to be bound to a tangible but commonplace universe. Of course, Mrs. Woolf knows that her world i s a v i o l a t i o n of the r e a l one, and that she i s merely indulging i n fancy, but so did the Elizabethans. The Copernican theory of planetary motion was well known, but the Elizabethans preferred an amalgam of Platonic and Ptolemaic concepts and did not allow "Copernicus and Machiavelli to disturb the great outlines of 5 t h e i r world picture. In support of my contention that V i r g i n i a Woolf was i n many ways a latter-day Elizabethan, the reader i s directed to the several essays i n which Mrs. Woolf examines the E l i z a -bethan world. She sees i n S i r P h i l i p Sydney's Arcadia " a l l the seeds of English f i c t i o n [lying] . . . latent" and wonders i f modern f i c t i o n " w i l l make i t s dwelling i n . . . psychology and the adventures of the soul [since t h i s possi-b i l i t y i s ] present in the Arcadia.* While reading Hakluyt Q i n her essay e n t i t l e d "The Elizabethan Lumber Room", Woolfs mind wanders to sea with the Elizabethan adventurers, and she returns frequently to tales of t h e i r exploits to refresh her own muse. After the labours of these novels and A Room  of One's Own V i r g i n i a Woolf i n 1929 noted her eagerness to return to the Elizabethans: I am free to begin reading E l i z a b e t h a n s — . . . . This thought f i l l s me with j o y — n o overstatement. To begin reading with a pen i n my hand, discovering, pouncing, thinking of phrases, when the ground i s new, remains one of my great excitements.^ The fact that Elizabethan voyages held a great fascina-tion for V i r g i n i a Woolf, and that these adventures inspired her to recount her own, i s e a s i l y seen i n a comparison of the 1922 1 0 essay "Reading" 1 1 with "The Elizabethan Lumber Room", -tehe l a t t e r c e r t a i n l y drafted i f not completed i n 1922 also. "Reading" plucks f i v e pages v i r t u a l l y unchanged from "The Elizabethan Lumber Room"—and the two essays should prove invaluable to any scholar interested i n analyzing V i r g i n i a W o olfs method of r e v i s i o n . That "Reading" i s the l a t e r essay i s suggested by Mrs. Woolfs rewording of the h i s t o r i c a l account—which she probably would have extensively quoted only i n the f i r s t d r a f t . A t y p i c a l passage from "The Elizabethan Lumber Room" reads: 30 The ships, says Froude, were no bigger than modern yachts. There i n the r i v e r by Greenwich the f l e e t lay gathered . . . . "The Privy Council looked out of the windows of the court . . . the ships thereupon discharge t h e i r ordinance . . ."12 but i t s matching passage i n "Reading" v i t a l i z e s the bare bones of h i s t o r y : the ships, Froude says, were no bigger than a modern English yacht. As they shrink and assume the romantic proportions of the Elizabethan ship, so the sea runs enormously larger and freer and with bigger waves upon i t than the sea of our time . . . . The l i t t l e company gathers somewhere o f f Greenwich. The courtiers come running to the palace windows; the Privy Councillors press t h e i r faces to the panes. The guns are shot o f f i n salute . . . . I 3 I have devoted what seems an unwarranted amount of space to these two essays, but t h e i r relevance to the stories i s great. I t was therefore necessary to est a b l i s h t h e i r order of creation to make an important point: the f i r s t essay was p r i n c i p a l l y a c r i t i c a l review; the second, an avenue into a p a r t i c u l a r adventure of the author—an evening moth hunt. Why does the author choose Hakluyt and S i r Thomas Browne to launch her own creative work? Simply because Elizabethans, l i k e Browne,thought exactly l i k e V i r g i n i a Woolf i n creating t h e i r own realms of fancy. S i r Thomas says: the world that I regard i s myself; i t i s the microcosm of my own frame that I cast mine eye on: for the other I use i t but l i k e my globe, and turn i t round sometimes for my r e c r e a t i o n . 1 Mrs. Woolf further acknowledges the power of the Elizabethans to activate her own c r e a t i v i t y i n "Notes on an Elizabethan play". She feels that Elizabethan drama " w i l l not s u f f e r i t s e l f to be read passively, but takes us and reads us""*"5 (my i t a l i c s ) . This suggests that the writer becomes a book under the Elizabethan influence, with her mind on display. The same essay suggests that a mind so stimulated turns to i t s own thoughts, "to explore i t s own darkness, not the b r i g h t - l i t - u p surfaces of others".''"*' Hence, the Elizabethans might well be seen as a more important stimulus to Mrs. W o o l f s mind than the apparently motivating factual observances i n the s t o r i e s . I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t too that the mark on the wall that inspir e d V i r g i n i a W o o l f s f i r s t story and launched the rest should have been a s n a i l . F i r s t , to consider l i f e of a low order as a l o g i c a l prerequisite to a consideration of man p r e c i s e l y f i t t e d the Elizabethan pattern. Then too, the s h e l l of a s n a i l i s symbolic of an increasing u n i v e r s e — a tiny mark at the cehter s p i r a l s out to i n f i n i t y — w h i c h p r e c i s e l y describes the i n i t i a l technique of the early s t o r i e s . I t i s no accident that "Kew Gardens" while 17 commencing with an "oval-shaped flower bed" (KG, 32) to set the scene should require l i g h t from "the s h e l l of a s n a i l with i t s brown c i r c u l a r veins" to carry the story's 32 development to the human passers-by. The Diary records yet another use of the gastropod mollusk i n V i r g i n i a Woolf: "But I had rather write i n -my own way of Four Passionate Snails than be, as K. Catherine] M. [ansfield] maintains, 18 Jane Austen over again." Other early stories are remarkably s i m i l a r . While the l i f e of man i s the underlying theme, seemingly i r r e l e v a n t ob-jects begin the thought processes which "swarm upon a new object, l i f t i n g i t a l i t t l e way, as ants carry a blade of straw" (MOW, 37). Thus i n "Monday or Tuesday" the mind i s activated by "the heron . . . shaking space e a s i l y from his wings" ( M o T , 12) and i n "Solid Objects" the tiny dot motif as v i s u a l focus i s repeated. "The only thing that moved upon the vast semicircle of the beach was one black spot" (SO, 79). So far I have suggested p a r a l l e l s between several stories to suggest that a dominant concern of most of the 1917-1921 st o r i e s was a speculation about l i f e galvanized by a small (but far from unimportant) object. The stories using t h i s technique include "The Mark on the Wall," "Kew Gardens," "S o l i d Objects," "Monday or Tuesday," and "Blue and Green." I have also included "A Haunted House" and "The String Quartet" among t h i s group since (despite t h e i r technical departure from the " f o c a l object leading to l i f e " pattern) they are chrono-l o g i c a l l y and thematically of the group. For example, while "A Haunted House" does not use the focal point technique, the "buried treasure" sought i s not r e a l l y d i f f e r e n t from the quests for " l i f e " in the other pieces. Nor does "The String Quartet" use a focusing agent d i r e c t l y , though the opening paragraph, i n which the author notes that the various London conveyances "have been busy at i t , weaving threads from one end of London to the other" (SQ, 27) suggests that the concert h a l l at which the quartet i s about to play i s the center of a giant spider's web—and therefore the reader's attention i s e f f e c t i v e l y mar-shalled to t h i s center. THE MARK ON THE WALL I t i s f a i r l y safe to say that "The Mark on the Wall" was V i r g i n i a W o o lfs f i r s t short story as i t was t h i s piece, along with her husband's "Three Jews" that launched the 19 Hogarth Press i n 1917. Unfortunately, though we know that 20 V i r g i n i a Woolf kept a diary from 1915, Leonard Woolf has seen f i t to begin A Writer's Diary at 1918, so that source throws l i t t l e l i g h t upon the genesis of his wife's f i r s t story. There are i n fact only three indexed references to "The Mark on the Wall" in the Diary, and V i r g i n i a Woolf appears to be d i s s a t i s f i e d with the story i n retrospect i n 1919—" [I] read the Mark on the Wall and I found a good deal of f a u l t with 21 . . . that." In 1920, however, she sees i t i n a more optimistic l i g h t — a s a stepping stone to a new technique: but conceive (?) Mark on the Wall, K.G. and Unwritten Novel taking hands and dancing i n unity. What the unity s h a l l be I have yet to discover; the theme i s a blank to me; but I see immense p o s s i b i l i t i e s i n the form I h i t upon more or less by chance two weeks ago. Unfortunately, the Diary entry immediately preceding t h i s i s more than a month e a r l i e r and we have no clue as to what the accidentally discovered form might be. The date of course would suggest the beginning of the stream of consciousness technique that led to Jacob's Room. Guiguet thus i s pro-bably correct i n saying that the e a r l i e s t group of pieces which includes at least four stories p r i o r to the composition of Jacob's Room and three that are contemporary with i t , represents unquestionably an exploratory path which was to lead to that novel.23 I t would seem, however, that he i s quite wrong i n not including "The Mark on the Wall" among t h i s group (in fact t h i s story does not appear i n any of Guiguet's f i v e groupings) since V i r g i n i a Woolf herself has implied a connection between her f i r s t story and her f i r s t non-conventional novel. Guiguet apparently has taken Mrs. Woolf seriously i n her frivolous categorizing of "The Mark on the Wall" as " C r i t i c i s m etc," yet no one has considered Orlando a biography despite the author's s u b t i t l e . I t i s curious that Guiguet has not noted the p o s s i b i l i ^ •ties, of "The Mark on the Wall" since he has chosen as his f l y -l e a f epigraph a quotation revealing exactly what V i r g i n i a Woolf was attempting i n her early stories—though the quotation purports to be c r i t i c a l l y oriented only. I t reads: "Our c r i t i c i s m i s only a bird's eye view of the pinnacle of an 3 5 iceberg. The rest under waiter", and surely t h i s was always her f i c t i o n a l method—to begin with the v i s i b l e , i f tiny fact, and then to create the world of her imagination hitherto nine-tenths submerged. She says as much i n her f i r s t story, "I want to sink deeper and deeper, away from the surface, with i t s hard separate facts" (MOW, 3 9 ) . The reader might object to my returning to the E l i z -abethans, but to me i t i s not merely fortuitous that the f i r s t image that the mark leads to i s that of a "castle tower . . . and the cavalcade of red knights r i d i n g up the side of the black rock" (MOW, 3 7 ) . I t i s the medieval s o c i a l order with i t s estates of the realm and orders of chivalry that appealed so strongly to the Elizabethan mind (which I have more than once suggested t y p i f i e s V i r g i n i a W o o l f s ) . This i n t e r -pretation i s strengthened by the following l i n e , " . . . rather to my r e l i e f the sight of the mark interrupted the fancy, for i t i s an old fancy, and automatic fancy, made as a c h i l d per-haps" (MOW, 3 7 ) . I t i s true that fancy i s usually considered synonymous with imagination but, as used i n this context (an automatic fancy), the modern sense j a r s . However, the Elizabethan sense seems quite appropriate, as i n that period a hierarchy of the brain was thought to ex i s t i n which reason ruled, served by the more automatic functions of "common 2 4 sense, . . . fancy, and memory"- which i n turn were fed by the f i v e senses. Orlando gives an i l l u s t r a t i o n of t h i s sense of f a n c y — ( a s simply "idea") i n sta t i n g that the Elizabethans "had" no fancy that what we c a l l " l i f e " and " r e a l i t y " are somehow connected with "ignorance and b r u t a l i t y " . The t r a i n of thought i n "The Mark on the Wall" i s not dramatic, nor does there seem to be an attempt to move towards a synthesis. In a graphic medium i t would be free f o r m — i n the written i t i s a stream of consciousness equation of l i f e . In d i f f e r e n t parts of the sketch (for such i t is) we are t o l d that l i f e i s . . . "an accidental a f f a i r . . . a scraping paring a f f a i r . . . being blown through the Tube at f i f t y miles an hour [and] . . . /shot out at the feet of God e n t i r e l y naked" (MOW, 38-39). Thus f h i s f i r s t piece contains the germ of despair at the disorder of l i f e , " a l l so casual, a l l so haphazard" (MOW, 39) that was to become so evident i n the l a t e r s t o r i e s . I t also suggests another Elizabethan habit of mind i n the author, that of a desire for order i n l i f e so succinctly put by Shakespeare: "Insisture, course, proportion,season,form,^g Office ?and custom, i n a l l l i n e of order." Need we then r e a l l y be surprised at V i r g i n i a Woolf's mental process when she "catch[es] hold of the f i r s t idea that passes" (MOW, 42) and finds i t to be Shakespeare? It i s i n t h i s f i r s t story that another technique (to become a recurrent one) commences—that of comparing 37 the discovery and uncovering of l i f e i t s e l f to the s t r i p -ping-off of a flower's foliage to bare the heart within. This image of course i s central to "Kew Gardens" and a com-parison of the f i r s t occurrence and i t s successor i s revealing: But aft e r l i f e . The slow p u l l i n g down of thick green stalks so that the cups of the flower, as i t turns over, deluges one with purple and red l i g h t . . . . There w i l l be nothing but spaces of l i g h t and dark, intersected by thick stalks . . . [and] rose-shaped blots of an i n d i s t i n c t c olour—dim pinks and blues—which w i l l , as time goes on, become more d e f i n i t e , become—I don't know what . . . (MOW, 42). From the oval-shaped flower-bed there rose perhaps a hundred stalks spreading into heart-shaped or tongue-shaped leaves half-way up and unfurling at the t i p red or blue or yellow petals marked with spots of colour . . . and from the red, blue or yellow gloom of the throat emerged a straight bar, rough with gold dust and s l i g h t l y clubbed at the end . . . . Then the breeze s t i r r e d rather more b r i s k l y overhead and the colour was flashed into the a i r above, into the eyes of the men and women who walk i n Kew Gardens i n July (KG, 32). In the f i r s t story the idea i s there, but the technique i s weak. The colours are confused and " i n d i s t i n c t " indeed— and the writer seemingly i s at a loss to e x p l o i t the image created. Perhaps unconsciously anti c i p a t i n g "Kew Gardens" she concludes that the image w i l l " . . . as time goes on become d e f i n i t e . " The tapering into three e l i p s i s marks suggests a f l e d g l i n g technique but the technique had matured i n the opening section of The Waves: the l i g h t struck upon the trees i n the garden, making one leaf transparent and then another . . . . The sun sharpened the walls of the house . . . but a l l within was dim and un-substantial. The birds sang t h e i r blank melody outside. 38 On the other hand, the "Kew Gardens" passage immedi-ately suggests maturity of the image. The colours are the primary ones—and bright and sharp. And the author knows to what purpose the colours w i l l be used—to " f l a s h colour" onto the walkers i n the garden. This s h i f t s the scene, connects the l i f e of the garden to that of the passers-by, and suggests that the men and women are part of the garden "not unlike . . . white and blue b u t t e r f l i e s " (KG, 32), a l l i n one deft stroke. "The Mark on the Wall" also introduces another object with which Mrs. Woolf was to become increasingly concerned— the looking-glass. Its incl u s i o n into her f i c t i o n might be due to the influence of Roger Fry who noted that: a somewhat s i m i l a r e f f e c t to that of the cinematograph [motion picture projector] can be obtained by watching a mirror i n which a street scene i s r e f l e c t e d . I f we look at the street i t s e l f we are almost sure to adjust ourselves i n some way to i t s actual existence. We recognize an acquaint-ance, and wonder why he looks so dejected t h i s morning, or become interested i n a new fashion of h a t s — t h e moment we do that the s p e l l i s broken, we are reacting to l i f e i t s e l f i n however s l i g h t a degree, but, i n the mirror, i t i s easier to/abstract ourselves completely, and look upon the changing scene as a whole. I t then, at once, takes on the visionary q u a l i t y , and we become true spectators, not selecting what we w i l l see, but seeing everything equally, and thereby we come to notice a number of appearances and relations of appear-ances, which would have escaped our notice before, owing to that perpetual economising by selection of what impressions we w i l l assimilate, which i n l i f e we perform by unconscious processes."28 In mathematical terms, r a t i o n a l (and r e s t r i c t i n g ) l i f e i s a two-dimensional plane—the surface of the mirror i n f a c t — a n d a l l of the t r u l y i n t e r e s t i n g , and variable 39 . aspects of l i f e l i e i n front of or behind the l i m i t i n g plane. I t i s t h i s dimension, the "Z" axis, that i s V i r g i n i a W o o lfs domain, and her desire i s always "to sink deeper and deeper, away from the surface, with i t s hard separate facts" (MOW, 42). The e a r l i e s t s t o r i e s a l l deal with speculation about the world beyond that of mere appearance, and what might be revealed i f "the looking glass smashes, the image disappears" (MOW, 43). By the time V i r g i n i a Woolf writes To The Lighthouse, the mirror i s e x p l i c i t l y smashed, and the image fragmented. That V i r g i n i a Woolf f e l t her analogy for l i f e as a r e f l e c t i o n i n a mirror to be an important one among her techniques i s attested to i n her statement that a l l observation of other humans i s simply "looking into the mirror . . . and the novelists i n future w i l l r e a l i z e more and more the importance of these r e f l e c t i o n s " (MOW, 41). The general technique begun in "The Mark on the Wall" i s explored with a s p e c i f i c human speculant i n "The Lady i n the Looking Glass," which bears the s i g n i f i c a n t s u b t i t l e "A Reflection." We remember that Mabel Waring "had her f i r s t suspicion that something was wrong" (TND, 4 7) as a r e s u l t of being handed a mirror, and that only the hardened Mrs. Manresa feels at ease when the pageant mirror i s put before the audience i n Between the Acts. On each occasion the implied desire of the author i s to smash the offending glass which pretends that l i f e i s merely that which can be objectively v e r i f i e d . 40 The conclusion of "The Mark on the Wall" i s the most revealing section, since i t reveals Mrs. Woolf to have a pure-l y speculative mind. It i s noteworthy that her thoughts a r i s i n g from the mark become the real world, and that the mark i t s e l f i s forgotten. Only when the second speaker arrives does pragmatism return and the mark *s r a t i o n a l i d e n t i t y emerge. V i r g i n i a Woolf, i n the guise of narrator, would otherwise, presumably, have ended without confirming the mark to be a s n a i l . KEW GARDENS Because "The Mark on the Wall" was " f i r s t c l a s s i f i e d 29 under ' C r i t i c i s m etc.'," and indeed lacks most of the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the conventional story defined i n the opening chapter, i t might be f a i r to say that "Kew Gardens" i s V i r g i n i a W o o l f s f i r s t "story." For the f i r s t time, the human element i s introduced, though the passing couples i n the garden are not i n d i v i d u a l i z e d at t h i s stage of development, and the author notes that t h e i r motion i s "not M l i k e that of the white and blue b u t t e r f l i e s who crossed the t u r f i n zig-zag f l i g h t s from bed to bed" (KG, 3 2 ) — seemingly i n acknowledgement that she i s s t i l l more concerned with ordering the v i s u a l impressions of l i f e than i n portraying character. 41 T h i s s t o r y , however, t a k e s us i n t o t h e minds o f t h e g a r d e n - s t r o l l e r s , and i n c o r p o r a t e s an e x p e r i m e n t a l s y m b o l i s m . Simon, w a l k i n g w i t h h i s w i f e E l e a n o r and h i s c h i l d r e n , muses upon a v i s i t t o Kew f i f t e e n y e a r s p r e v i o u s w i t h L i l y , a woman he t h e n l o v e d . H i s p r o p o s a l was t h e n r e j e c t e d , and now he has r e a s s e m b l e d h i s l i f e and l o v e i n E l e a n o r , p r e -s u m a b l y h a p p i l y . A l l t h i s i s i n c i d e n t a l b u t n e c e s s a r y b a c k g r o u n d t o t h e r a t h e r awkward s y m b o l i s m o f t h e p r o p o s a l , d u r i n g w h i c h a h o v e r i n g d r a g o n f l y r e f u s e s t o come t o e a r t h , and L i l y ' s s i l v e r - b u c k l e d shoe t w i t c h e s i m p a t i e n t l y . A more e x p e r i e n c e d w r i t e r w o u l d n o t have f e l t t h e n e e d t o c u d g e l t h e r e a d e r w i t h t h e b a l d e x p l i c a t i o n " t h e whole o f h e r seemed t o be i n h e r s h o e . And my l o v e , my d e s i r e , were i n t h e d r a g o n f l y " (KG, 2 9 ) . Had t h e s c e n e b een l e f t as a s k e t c h i t w o u l d be c h a r m i n g , b u t t h e h e a v y l a y e r i n g o f r e -du n d a n t p a i n t r u i n s t h e c a n v a s . A s i l v e r b u c k l e on a t w i t c h i n g f o o t d i s c o u r a g i n g a d r a g o n f l y ' s a p p r o a c h i s h a r d l y a s u b t l e symbol f o r an i m p a t i e n t e n c h a n t r e s s s p u r n i n g an i m p e c u n i o u s l o v e r . O t h e r a s p e c t s o f t h e s t o r y a r e , s e e m i n g l y , o f a l a t e r p h a s e and a more m a t u r e s t y l e . E l e a n o r ' s memories o f t h e p a r k , f o r i n s t a n c e , i n c l u d i n g a k i s s f r o m "an o l d g r e y - h a i r e d woman w i t h a w a r t on h e r nos e [which becomes] t h e mo t h e r o f a l l [ h e r ] k i s s e s a l l [ h e r ] l i f e " (KG, 3 0 ) , a r e f a r more d e l i c a t e l y c o n s t r u c t e d . T h i s k i s s a n t i c i p a t e s t h a t b e s t o w e d on Fanny W i l m o t i n "Moments o f B e i n g " and s u g g e s t s t h a t as e a r l y as 1919 V i r g i n i a W o o l f was e x p e r i m e n t i n g w i t h a f i c t i o n a l method o f c a t c h i n g moments o f a l m o s t t r a n s c e n d e n t a l s i g n i f i -c a n c e . S uch moments a r e f r e q u e n t l y m a n i f e s t e d as k i s s e s i n Mr s . W o o l f s s t o r i e s , f o r t h e k i s s i s s y m b o l i c o f t h e d e e p e s t and s t r o n g e s t c o m m u n i c a t i o n p o s s i b l e . The k i s s i s n o t n e c -e s s a r i l y a p r o d u c t o f o r p r e l u d e t o p h y s i c a l d e s i r e , and t h e k i s s b e s t o w e d b y S a l l y S e t o n on Mrs. D a l l o w a y p e r h a p s b e s t i l l u s t r a t e s t h e e m o t i o n e n g e n d e r e d : " S a l l y s t o p p e d ; p i c k e d a f l o w e r ; k i s s e d h e r on t h e l i p s . The whole w o r l d m i g h t h a ve t u r n e d u p s i d e down!" 3^ I n a w o r l d i n w h i c h c o m m u n i c a t i o n i s a g o n i z i n g and d e s t r u c t i v e ( c f : "The New D r e s s , " "The Man Who L o v e d H i s K i n d , " " L a p p i n and L a p i n o v a " ) , t h e k i s s becomes t h e u l t i m a t e i n s i l e n t e l o q u e n c e . "Kew G a r d e n s " i s a l s o a s i g n i f i c a n t work i n t h a t i t r e p r e s e n t s t h e f i r s t a t t e m p t t o a c h i e v e t h e f o r m f u l l y r e a l i z e d i n The Waves. As i n t h a t n o v e l , i n t e r l u d e s o f human a c t i v i t y a r e i n t e r s p e r s e d w i t h s c e n e s i n w h i c h s e e m i n g l y i r r e l e v a n t o b j e c t s a r e f o c u s s e d upon. I h :The Waves t h e c y c l i c r h y t h m o f sun and s e a s e r v e s t h e d o u b l e f u n c t i o n o f r e v e a l i n g t h e p a s s a g e o f t i m e , and o f p r o v i d i n g a n a t u r a l r h y t h m t o complement t h e e m o t i o n a l c y c l e s o f t h e human p r o t a g o n i s t s . "Kew G a r d e n s " , t o a much l e s s e r e x t e n t i n c o r p o r a t e s t h e same t e c h n i q u e — h u m a n p a s s e r s - b y w r e s t l e w i t h t h e i r p r o b l e m s "between t h e a c t s " o f a s n a i l ' s dilemma w h e t h e r t o c l i m b o v e r , go a r o u n d o r c r e e p u n d e r an o b s t r u c t i n g l e a f . "Kew G a r d e n s " c o u l d a l s o be d a t e d as an e a r l y s t o r y f r o m i t s l a c k o f t h e c o s m o p o l i t a n s t y l e e x h i b i t e d i n l a t e r work. Two women a r e d e s c r i b e d c o n d e s c e n d i n g l y as " o f t h e l o w e r m i d d l e c l a s s " who r e a c t p r e d i c t a b l y " l i k e most p e o p l e o f t h e i r s t a t i o n " (KG, 3 6 ) . The c o n v e r s a t i o n a t t r i b u t e d t o t h e s e women i s e x p e r i m e n t a l , b u t awkward, c o n s i s t i n g o f r a n dom s n a t c h e s o f u n g r a m m a t i c a l commonplaces i n a p s e u d o -p o e t i c g u i s e : " N e l l , B e r t , L o t , C e s s , P h i l , P a , he s a y s , I s a y s , she s a y s , I s a y s , I s a y s — " "My B e r t , S i s , B i l l , G r a n d a d , t h e o l d man, s u g a r S u g a r , f l o u r , k i p p e r s , g r e e n s S u g a r , s u g a r , s u g a r " (KG, 3 6 ) . S i m i l a r l y , a t t h i s s t a g e o f h e r d e v e l o p m e n t , V i r g i n i a W o o l f was n o t y e t e x p e r t i n c h a r a c t e r m a n i p u l a t i o n and t h e two e l d e r l y women a r e awkwardly s h u n t e d o f f s t a g e w i t h t h e s u g g e s t i o n " t h a t t h e y s h o u l d f i n d a s e a t and have t h e i r t e a " (KG, 3 6 ) . The c o u p l e t h a t f o l l o w s i n t h e wake o f t h e d e p a r t e d l a d i e s i s d e v e l o p e d w i t h c o n s i d e r a b l y more s k i l l , and i s f i t t e d i n t o t h e b a c k d r o p o f n a t u r e t h a t u n d e r s c o r e s t h e story. "This time they were both young . . . i n the prime of youth, the season before the smooth pink folds of the flower have burst t h e i r gummy case . . . ." (KG, 37) Sim-' i l a r l y t h e i r dialogue i s more concise, and more suggestive. "He" comments that i t i s lucky that i t i s n ' t Friday (lucky because they have escaped paying sixpence admission) which leads to the following exchange: "What's sixpence anyway? Isn't i t worth sixpence?" "What's 'it'—what do you mean by ' i t ' ? " "0, anything—I mean—you know what I mean." (KG, 37) This b i t of dialogue s k i l l f u l l y explores a conversation-g u l f and anticipates the theme of many of the l a t e r s t o r i e s how inadequate words are. The " i t " i s s p e c i f i c a l l y "the gardens," or generally " l i f e " but the writer leaves the choice to the reader. It i s i n t e r e s t i n g that t h i s dialogue about " l i f e " ( i f we a c c e p t " l i f e ' t o be an alternative antecedent of " i t " ) takes place on a weekday—suggesting "Monday or Tuesday" and the very d e f i n i t i o n of l i f e pre-sented* i n the "Modern F i c t i o n " essay of The Common Reader. The words found so inadequate" ' to convey so much are here made to f i t the zoological environment as well : tfords with short wings for t h e i r heavy body of meaning, inadequate to carry them far and thus a l i g h t i n g awkwardly upon the very common objects that surrounded them,and were to t h e i r inexperienced touch so massive, (KG, IT). And, i n t h e l a s t p a r a g r a p h , v i s u a l i n s i g h t s r e p l a c e c o n v e r -s a t i o n : " b o t h s u b s t a n c e and c o l o u r d i s s o l v e d i n t h e g r e e n -b l u e a t m o s p h e r e " r e p e a t s t h e " g r e e n b l u e v a p o u r " a p p e a r i n g e a r l i e r i n t h e same s e n t e n c e and a n t i c i p a t e s " B l u e and G r e e n " . I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t h a t t h e c o l o u r becomes h y p h e n a t e d , b l e n d e d , d i p h t h o n g i z e d , i n i t s s e c o n d o c c u r e n c e , s u g g e s t i n g t h e q u i n t -e s s a n c e o f a l l g a r d e n c o l o u r s , j u s t as t h e s k e t c h " B l u e and G r e e n " s u g g e s t s , i n two b r i e f e x e r c i s e s , t h e r a n g e o f meaning two c o l o u r s c a n embrace. The s t o r y "Kew G a r d e n s " has a s e n s e o f c o m p l e t e n e s s ; a c y c l i c a l , r o u n d e d p a t t e r n r e a s s u r i n g i n c o m p a r i s o n t o t h o s e s t o r i e s l i k e "A H a u n t e d House" o r "A Summing Up" w h i c h l e a v e us s e a r c h i n g f o r a t r e a s u r e , o r d e c i d i n g w h i c h o f two v i e w s o f l i f e i s t h e t r u e one, i f e i t h e r . "Kew G a r d e n s " b e g i n s w i t h an image o f a g a r d e n which, when compared w i t h t h e c o n c l u s i o n r c a n be s e e n s y m b o l i c a l l y as human. The p e r -s o n i f i c a t i o n o f t h e o p e n i n g i s a p t t o e s c a p e c a s u a l p e r u s a l u n t i l t h e c o n c l u s i o n i s , r e a c h e d , when t h e e q u a t i o n o f " g a r -den" t o "mouth" becomes o b v i o u s . We a r e l e f t w i t h t h e s o u n d o f " v o i c e s . . . w a v e r i n g . . . as i f t h e y were f l a m e s l o l l i n g f r o m t h e t h i c k waxen b o d i e s o f c a n d l e s " (KG, 39) w h i c h i m m e d i a t e l y r e f o c u s e s a t t e n t i o n upon t h e o p e n i n g p a s s a g e i n w h i c h " . . . t h e o v a l - s h a p e d f l o w e r - b e d [ w i t h ] t o n g u e -s h a p e d l e a v e s . . .[and] y e l l o w g l o o m o f t h e t h r o a t " (KG, 32) s t i r s i n t h e w i n d . The a u t h o r i s s e e m i n g l y e x p l o r i n g a n o t h e r avenue o f c o m m u n i c a t i o n i n s u g g e s t i n g t h a t f l o w e r s and gardens speak as r e a d i l y to the human s o u l as do our f e l l o w s , and t h a t , i n f a c t , the s i g h t of inanimate beauty i s o f t e n the only b a s i s f o r communication p o s s i b l e . Thus i n "The Man Who Loved His Kind," P r i c k e t t E l l i s and Miss O'Keefe, a f t e r coming to an impasse on the former's avowal t h a t "he was a f r a i d he d i d not understand beauty apart from human beings" (TMWL, 114), are for c e d , i r o n i c a l l y , t o turn to a source of non-human beauty: "so they g l a r e d i n t o the empty garden where the l i g h t s were swaying . . . " i n sub-conscious acknowledgement th a t only there can communication, a l b e i t s i l e n t , be achieved. SOLID OBJECTS The reason behind Leonard Woolf*s p l a c i n g of " S o l i d Objects" tenth i n A Haunted House has never been s a t i s f a c t -o r i l y e x p l a i n e d because i t i s , i n both s t y l e and s t r u c t u r e , d e f i n i t e l y among the e a r l i e s t s t o r i e s . The s i m i l a r i t y of i t s opening to that of "The Mark on the W a l l " has already been noted, and the r e s t of the s t o r y l i k e w i s e e x p l o i t s : t h e concern f o r r e a l o bjects only as sources of s p e c u l a t i o n . This c h a r a c t e r i s t i c i s , i n f a c t , the dominant t r a i t of the e a r l y s t o r i e s , and a recurrent p a t t e r n can be traced i n "The Mark on the W a l l , " " S o l i d Objects," "An Unwritten Novel" and "The Shooting Party," among others. In these s t o r i e s , the " s o l i d o b j e c t s " i n i t i a t i n g the process of free a s s o c i a t i o n a r e , r e s p e c t i v e l y , a s n a i l , a p i e c e o f e r o d e d g l a s s , and two women i n r a i l r o a d c a r r i a g e s . I n e a c h c a s e t h e mind o f V i r g i n i a W o o l f d i s c a r d s t h e p e r t i n e n t r e a s s u r i n g c o n n e c t i o n w i t h r e a l i t y , h e r " p l a n k i n t h e s e a " (MOW, 47) f o r t h e d e l i g h t s o f i n t r o s p e c t i v e s o l i l o q u y . I t i s i r o n i c t h a t J o h n , t h e p r o s p e c t i v e p a r l i a m e n t a r -i a n o f " S o l i d O b j e c t s " , s h o u l d t u r n f r o m s o l i d a r i t y ( h i s c a r e e r as a ' s o l i d ' c i t i z e n i n t h e r e s p e c t a b l e w o r l d ) t o t h e l i f e o f an i t i n e r a n t r a g - p i c k e r as a r e s u l t o f an i n c r e a s i n g a w a r e n e s s o f s o l i d o b j e c t s . T h i s a p p a r e n t i n -c o n s i s t e n c y c a n r e a d i l y be e x p l a i n e d , however, i n t h a t i t i s n o t t h e o b j e c t s t h e m s e l v e s t h a t f a s c i n a t e t h e c o l l e c t o r , b u t t h e s p e c u l a t i o n t h a t t h e o b j e c t s p r o v i d e . I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t h a t V i r g i n i a W o o l f i m p l i e s a p p r o v a l o f J o h n ' s d e f e c t i o n f r o m o r d e r e d s o c i e t y ( o r d e r s i m i l a r l y s c o r n e d as W h i t a k e r ' s T a b l e o f P r e c e d e n c y i n "The Mark on t h e W a l l " ) i n t h e d i a l o g u e between J o h n and C h a r l e s where t h e f o r m e r f i n d s h i s r e a l i t y i n a p i e c e o f g l a s s . C h a r l e s has been skimming b i t s o f s l a t e a c r o s s t h e waves, and h ence i s d i s -i n t e r e s t e d i n J o h n ' s d i s c o v e r y s i n c e "he saw i m m e d i a t e l y i t was n o t f l a t " (SO, 81) and t h e r e f o r e u s e l e s s as a p r o -j e c t i l e . The n a r r o w - m i n d e d a t t i t u d e o f C h a r l e s i n d i s -m i s s i n g a l l t h a t i s n o t i m m e d i a t e l y germane t o h i s " s t r a i n of thought" i s completely foreign to the author's view-point, and V i r g i n i a Woolf subtly suggests that Charles i s as wrongly dogmatic as medieval astronomers who rejected a l l theories of l i f e that denied the flatness of the world. Thus Mrs. Woolf implies that while society (represented by Charles and those who give John up as a candidate and dinner-guest) w i l l undoubtedly reject the unproductive rebel, l i f e w i l l not. This i s made clear i n the f i n a l scene between Charles and John,, where the former attempts to discover why John w i l l i n g l y forsook a promising career; "What was the truth of i t , John?" asked Charles suddenly, turning and facing him. "What made you give i t a l l up l i k e that a l l i n a second?" "I've not given i t up," John re p l i e d " (SO, 85). That Charles has "a queer sense that they were tal k i n g about d i f f e r e n t things" i s not surpri s i n g , since of course they are: Charles means p o l i t i c s , and can see no farther than that narrow sphere of a c t i v i t y . John of course means he has never given up l i f e , but i n fact heightened his consciousness of i t through c o l l e c t i n g . For, as V i r g i n i a Woolf makes abundantly clear i n nearly a l l of her s t o r i e s , the objects themselves are not important but t h e i r connotations are everything. Or, i n other words, Mrs. Woolf i s urging us to forswear the modern trend of seeking secur-i t y and s t a b i l i t y , and return to the imaginative world of c h i l d h o o d whereby we m i g h t s e e t h e w o r l d t h r o u g h f r e s h e y e s . " I t " s i g n i f i c a n t l y , means e x a c t l y what i t d i d i n t h e p a r a l l e l d i a l o g u e i n "Kew G a r d e n s . " " S o l i d O b j e c t s " d e v i a t e s f r o m o t h e r s t o r i e s o f i t s t y p e i n t h e W o o l f canon i n t h a t i t does n o t u s e an o b j e c t f i r s t t o f o c u s s p e c u l a t i o n , and t h e n t o f o r m an a t t i t u d e , b u t r a t h e r t h e r e v e r s e . J o h n ' s d e c i s i o n t o q u i t t h e t a n -g i b l e w o r l d seems t o have b e e n made b e f o r e he d i s c o v e r s t h e g l a s s f r a g m e n t as r e v e a l e d b y h i s e x c l a m a t i o n " P o l i t i c s be damned!" (SO, 80) and h i s f i n g e r s a p p e a r t o be s y m b o l i c a l l y s e a r c h i n g f o r a more f u l f i l l i n g way o f l i f e i n b u r r o w i n g i n t h e s a n d b e f o r e t h e g l a s s i s e n c o u n t e r e d . The o r d e r o f o c c u r r e n c e o f t h e e v e n t s i s n o t as i m p o r t a n t , however, as t h e p o i n t o f t h e s t o r y — t h a t m a t e r i a l s u c c e s s i s n o t t h e h a l l m a r k o f a s u c c e s s f u l l i f e , and t h a t s o c i e t y s h o u l d n o t c e n s u r e t h o s e who c h o o s e t o l i v e by o t h e r t h a n c o m m e r c i a l c r i t e r i a . To V i r g i n i a W o o l f and a l l s e n s u a l i s t s l i k e h e r , l i f e i s n o t a s e r i e s o f g i g lamps s y m m e t r i c a l l y a r r a n g e d ; l i f e i s a l u m i n o u s h a l o , a s e m i - t r a n s p a r e n t e n v e l o p e s u r r o u n d i n g us f r o m t h e b e g i n n i n g o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s t o t h e end.31 L i f e i s a wondrous c o l l a g e o f s i g h t s and i m p r e s s i o n s , and t h e f u l l wonder o f i t i s t h a t so many d i s p a r a t e e l e m e n t s c a n c o h a b i t o u r t e e m i n g p l a n e t . J o h n , i n c o m p a r i n g h i s lump o f g l a s s and s t a r o f c h i n a , s h a r e s t h e a u t h o r ' s v i e w . "He a s k e d h i m s e l f how t h e two [ p i e c e s ] came t o e x i s t i n t h e same world, l e t alone to stand upon the same narrow s t r i p of marble . . . " (SO, 83) and l a t e r i s yet more amazed that a meteorite "evidently a l i e n to the earth and [having] had i t s o r i g i n i n one of the dead stars . . . [should stand] upon the same ledge with the lump of glass and the star-shaped china" (SO, 84) . I t might be argued that the objects and events chosen by V i r g i n i a Woolf are t r i v i a l , but to do so denies the fundamental premise of her w r i t i n g : everything i s the proper s t u f f of f i c t i o n , every f e e l i n g , every thought; every q u a l i t y of brain and s p i r i t i s drawn upon; no perception comes amiss. I t i s one of the facts of l i f e that some of us cannot see l i f e i n t h i s fashion. Like Charles, such people are put into a "horrible depression" [by] the disorderly appearance of [John's] room" (SO, 85), not r e a l i z i n g that what i s muddle to one may be l i f e i t s e l f to another. Charles' deficiency i n f a i l i n g to understand his friend's "defection" from the former's type of l i f e i s p r e c i s e l y the same de-f i c i e n c y exhibited by the combatants i n "The Man Who Loved His K i n d " — t h a t of a lack of tolerance. I t i s e s p e c i a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t that those who claim that "Solid Objects" i s t r i v i a l reveal exactly the prejudice towards a d i f f e r e n t view of l i f e that i s revealed i n the story, and, i n essence, prove the v a l i d i t y of the story's premise. A HAUNTED HOUSE The piece that gives the t i t l e to the c o l l e c t e d s t o r i e s of V i r g i n i a Woolf i s s i g n i f i c a n t i n more than t h i s , as Leonard Woolf's placing i t f i r s t might suggest. The story and the t i t l e summarize the author's response to l i f e and l i t e r a t u r e : Mrs. Woolf was alternately i n love with l i f e and haunted by a fear that she would never grasp i t s treasure, and the sketch seems to epitomize her own quest. In most of the s t o r i e s her s p i r i t i s abroad; the "ghostly couple" (HH, 9) of the t i t l e piece are manifested elsewhere as "mysterious figures" (UN, 26) and thoughts centered on these shades are seemingly always accompanied by extremes of mood. In "An Unwritten Novel" the mysterious figures u p l i f t the author; " i t s you, unknown figures, you I adore; i f I open my arms, i t ' s you I embrace, you I draw to me—adorable world!" (UN, 26) but the "phantoms" of "The Mark on the Wall" bring the pessimistic f e e l i n g that l i f e i s r e s t r i c t i v e i n the wist-f u l phrase " i f freedom e x i s t s " (MOW, 44). A search for an unnamed "treasure" (HH, 9) permeates "A Haunted House," and much of V i r g i n i a Woolf's short f i c t i o n . In "Monday or Tuesday" the object of the search i s stated more d e f i n i t e l y , "desiring truth, awaiting i t " (MOT, 12), and i n "An Unwritten Novel" the target i s l i f e i t s e l f , but symbolically i t i s "Drake's booty, gold and s i l v e r " b e f i t t i n g the "treasure" sought i n "A Haunted House". 52 Of c o u r s e t h e p u r s u e d a b s t r a c t i o n l u r k i n g b e h i n d e a c h o f t h e s e s t o r i e s i s t r u t h , o r more p r e c i s e l y , t h e d e -s i r e t o d i s t i l t r u t h f r o m t h e many i l l u s o r y f a c e t s o f l i f e . I t h as b e e n p o i n t e d o u t t h a t t h e s t o r y f o l l o w i n g "A H a u n t e d House," and s o s i m i l a r t o i t ("Monday o r T u e s d a y " ) r e c e i v e d b o t h i t s i n s p i r a t i o n and t i t l e f r o m t h e p a s s a g e i n "Modern F i c t i o n " i n w h i c h V i r g i n i a W o o l f answers h e r own q u e s t i o n , - : te- what i s l i f e , w i t h t h i s n e b u l o u s and o r a c u l a r p h r a s e . H e r answer i s t h e a r t i s t ' s non s e q u i t u r — t h a t l i f e i s what we a r e and what s u r r o u n d s u s , and t h a t we a r e no more a b l e t o . e s c a p e i t s p r e s e n c e t h a n we c a n f a i l t o l i v e w i t h o u t "Monday o r T u e s d a y . " "A H a u n t e d House" ha s an a u r a a b o u t i t o f " C h i n e s e b o x e s a l l o f w r o u g h t s t e e l t u r n i n g c e a s e l e s s l y one w i t h i n a n o t h e r " (KG, 3 9 ) . I t seems t o p o s s e s s , i n r i d d l e f o r m , t h e k e y t o a l l o f t h e s t o r i e s — a n d t o p o i n t t h e way t o o t h e r W o o l f i a n f i c t i o n e x p l o r i n g t h e m e aning o f l i f e , t r u t h and r e a l i t y . The s t o r y i s a s c a n t t h r e e p a g e s , y e t has a l l t h e r i c h n e s s and c o m p l e x i t y o f an e x t e n d e d ode. The p l o t i s s i m p l e : a " g h o s t l y c o u p l e " , ( p r e s u m a b l y t h e s p i r i t s o f p r e v i o u s t e n a n t s ) s e a r c h t h e house o f a s l e e p i n g c o u p l e t o f i n d a " b u r i e d t r e a s u r e " . B u t , as we have now come t o e x p e c t o f V i r g i n i a W o o l f , s p e c u l a t i o n a g a i n makes t h e s t o r y . What i s t h e t r e a s u r e t h a t i s v a r i o u s l y and a m b i g u o u s l y d e s c r i b e d as " i t * " (HH, 9) " t h e i r j o y " (HH, 10) " o u r treasure" (HH, 11) and i n the l a s t l i n e of the story "the l i g h t i n the heart"? I t would seem to be p l u r a l or intangible since i t was l e f t i n several places, upstairs, i n the garden, "here . . . but here too!" (HH, 9) The i n s p i r a t i o n for "A Haunted House" was provided by the W o o l f s Asham H o u s e — i t seemingly had a ghostly couple. The country people on the farm were convinced that i t was haunted, that there was treasure buried i n the cellar,, and no one would stay the night i n i t . It i s true that at night one often heard extraordinary noises both i n the c e l l a r s and i n the a t t i c . I t sounded as i f two people were walking from room to room, opening and shutting doors, sighing, whispering. 3 3 Since so much of the story i s therefore "factual reporting", i t i s probably pointless to rigorously explicate the symbolic meaning of the ghostly couple or the treasure, but one point about the use of treasure i n the l a s t l i n e deserves mentioning. The l a s t l i n e of the story, which has been considered the climax and e x p l i c a t i o n of the treasure, i s i n r e a l i t y l i t t l e help since i t i s ambiguous. Confirmation of what i s sought has not been affirmed. I t i s merely a question posed by the roused sleeper—"'Oh, i s t h i s your buried treasure? The l i g h t i n the heart.'" (HH, 11) The i t a l i c i z e d pronoun implies that the sleepers possess- the same treasure once owned by the ghostly couple, but i f " t h i s " i s also strongly accented the meaning changes somewhat, and implies that the awakened sleeper has i d e n t i f i e d what i s sought. The treasure imagery of Mrs. Dalloway i s so central to the whole story canon that to turn b r i e f l y to t h i s novel would seem i n order. C l a r i s s a Dalloway, l i k e the inhabitants of the haunted house has an ineffable treasure bestowed upon her with Sa l l y ' s k i s s . And she f e l t she had been given a present, wrapped up, and t o l d not to look at i t — a diamond, something/infinitely precious . . . Whether or not the sleepers' treasure i s synonymous with Clar i s s a ' s i s debatable, since "nothing [is] simply one 35 thing" but i t would seem not unlikely that "the l i g h t i n the heart" (HH, 11)—the t r e a s u r e — i s i n fact the perception of truth. Mrs. Dalloway again supports t h i s view i n asking i f Septimus Smith, "this young man who had k i l l e d h i m s e l f — 36 had . . . plunged holding his treasure?" The answer i s obviously yes; Septimus had perceived his truth and gone to jo i n Evans i n death. The treasure that i s "safe! safe! safe!" (HH, 10) in "A Haunted House"—the foundation of love and respect-under-l y i n g a l l successful human unions and providing "the pulse of the house" (HH, 1 1 ) — i s p r e c i s e l y the treasure that i s l o s t by the Thorburns i n "Lappin and Lapinova." This l a t t e r story can, indeed, be seen as the obverse side of the l i f e of the ghostly couple under d i f f e r e n t circumstances—an analysis of a house haunted by a man's f a i l u r e to respect the fa n t a s t i c world necessary to his wife. As thi s story i s of a l a t e r period and s t y l e , however, I propose to deal with i t i n Chapter Three, but i t i s worthy of note that the trend begun i n the early s t o r i e s ( f a i l u r e to comprehend another's necessities) continues throughout the s t o r i e s . Thus "Solid Objects" ends with the parting "for ever" of John and Charles due to the l a t t e r 1 s f a i l u r e to comprehend John's "pretty stones" (SO, 85) just as Ernest Thorburn's k i l l i n g of the imaginary Lapinova causes "the end of that marriage." (LL, 78). MONDAY OR TUESDAY Only rarely w i l l V i r g i n i a Woolf begin a story by fo-cusing d i r e c t l y upon a human being, though the truth of human existence i s always "understood" to be at the heart of the story, and "Monday or Tuesday" i s no exception. In i t the author uses her favorite device—and one increasingly popular i n motion p i c t u r e s — o f beginning with a v i s u a l l y arresting ob-jec t and moving through a series of natural t r a n s i t i o n s to a human being, i n thi s case, "Miss Thingummy . . . at her desk." (MOT, 12) The terminus a quo of "Monday or Tuesday" i s a white heron, but the writer's camera does not dwell here long be-fore the image has melded into sky. The technique of the opening i s p a r t i c u l a r l y delicate i n that the reader assumes that V i r g i n i a Woolf i s describing the heron, when i n fact she has moved on to the sky, yet the writing i s pe r f e c t l y c o n s i s t e n t — i t i s the reader's momentum that carries him on with the heron image. L a z y and i n d i f f e r e n t , s h a k i n g s p a c e e a s i l y f r o m h i s w i n g s , k n o w i n g h i s way, t h e h e r o n p a s s e s o v e r t h e c h u r c h b e n e a t h t h e s k y . W h i t e and d i s t a n t , a b s o r b e d i n i t s e l f , e n d l e s s l y t h e s k y c o v e r s and u n c o v e r s , moves and r e m a i n s . (MOT, 12) Two t h i n g s seem a p p a r e n t h e r e . F i r s t , t h e w r i t e r i n d e -c e i v i n g h e r r e a d e r s i n t o c a r r y i n g t h e h e r o n ' s image i n t o t h e s e n t e n c e d e s c r i b i n g s k y , i s m a k i n g a by now f a m i l i a r p o i n t , t h a t " n o t h i n g i s s i m p l y one t h i n g . " ' Mrs. W o o l f c o n t i n u a l l y r e a s s e r t s t h i s theme. We remember O r l a n d o ' s two t h o u s a n d s e l v e s ; V i r g i n i a W o o l f s D i a r y s t a t e m e n t , 3ff "I'm 20 p e o p l e " and t h e m u l t i f a c e t t e d l i f e o f C l a r i s s a D a l l o w a y e a r l i e r r e f e r r e d t o . The s e c o n d p o i n t i s r e l a t e d , b u t d i f f e r e n t : t h a t t h e t h i n g s c o m p r i s i n g what we c a l l l i f e (Monday o r T u e s d a y ) a r e f l u i d and d y n amic ( l i k e t h e h e r o n atd t h e sky) b u t i n t e r l o c k i n g and s t a t i c i n t h e s e n s e t h a t t h e y " e n d l e s s l y . . . r e m a i n . " Mrs. W o o l f s s t o r i e s s o o n e r o r l a t e r make us aware o f t h e m e c h a n i c a l f o r c e s so much a p a r t o f u r b a n l i f e . I n t h i s s t o r y t h e v o i c e s o f t h e c i t y b r e a k i n one t h e n a r r a t o r ' s r e v e r i e s , and a p p e a r as p a r e n t h e t i c a l r e m a r k s "between t h e a c t s " o f t h e random m u s i n g s o f t h e w r i t e r ' s m i n d , w h i c h i s i t s e l f " l a z y and i n d i f f e r e n t " t o r e g i m e n t i n g t h e t h o u g h t p r o c e s s . The c i t y sounds a r e t h e i n s i s t e n t a g e n t s o f t h i s r e g i m e n t a t i o n , e v e n t h o u g h t h e s o u r c e s o f t h e sounds a r e as d i s o r d e r e d as t h e t h o u g h t p a t t e r n s t h e y i n t r u d e u pon: "wheels s t r i k e d i v e r g e n t l y . Omnibuses c o n g l o m e r a t e i n c o n f l i c t " (MOT, 12). 57 The one-page sketch reaches a sort of summing up when the narrator appears to muster her images and take stock: "now to r e c o l l e c t by the f i r e s i d e on the white square of marble." (MOT, 12) The marble reminds us of another repository of b i t s of l i f e — J o h n ' s mantlepiece i n "So l i d Objects" — a n d serves the same function of a reassuring "plank i n the sea" (MOW, 47) on which to anchor oneself. With the warmth and security of the f i r e comes (presumably) that dreamy state a n t i c i p a t i n g s l e e p — a s the s o l i d marble begins to f l o a t , "the marble square pendant, minarets beneath and the Indian seas" (MOT, 13) and the writer considers a lazy compromise: "truth? or now, content with closeness?" (MOT, 13) As always", the quest for truth has been abortive, but the mind has been active i n the pursuit—which perhaps i s what l i f e i s a l l about. In the clo s i n g l i n e s the heron returns, s t i l l "lazy and i n d i f f e r e n t , " suggesting that the search for truth has likewise been relaxed—as the very loose-knit texture of t h i s sketch would support. BLUE AND GREEN "Blue" and "Green" are two independent variations on the same theme, each a single paragraph exploring the nuances of a single color. In t h i s respect the "sketches" (and th i s word at l a s t seems r i g h t for these p a r t i c u l a r word pictures) are more d i s c i p l i n e d than any of V i r g i n i a Woolf's work, since 58 she sets up an arb i t r a r y but, r i g i d parameter—that of a •monochromatic' paragraph. "Green" and "Blue" were printed on facing pages i n Monday or Tuesday with "green" f i r s t , though the composite t i t l e "Blue and Green" suggests that "Blue" was i n fact the e a r l i e r twin. The style and content would tend to support t h i s hypothesis, as "Blue" i s more te c h n i c a l l y bald than "Green", adhering to the simple and r i g i d rule of using "blue" once and only once, i n each sentence. Bearing i n mind that early e f f o r t s of the Hogarth Press frequently contained compositional e r r o r s — a s Leonard Woolf records i n Beginning  A g a i n — I w i l l adopt*the ;order of the composite t i t l e , which I f e e l probably indicates the order of composition. Neither "Blue" nor "Green" i s p a r t i c u l a r l y noteworthy, and i t i s not surprising that Leonard Woolf decided to de-lete them from A Haunted House. They are simply experiments i n a r t i s t i c austerity—how to create a u n i f i e d scene with a p a l l e t of only one colour while avoiding blandness. Neither sketch i s successful, though "Green" has moments of greatness. The p r i n c i p a l defect of "Blue", i t seems to me, i s the i n a b i l i t y of the a r t i s t to remain true to her o r i g i n a l viewpoint. The sketch purports to be a sea-scape, but the temptation to use "blue" i n a d i f f e r e n t sense lures Mrs. Woolf away from her leviathan and into a cathedral which i s 3 "cold, incense laden, f a i n t blue with the v e i l s of madonnas". This l a s t sentence seems fraudulent, a gimmick ending without even the compensating shock of the " l a s t - l i n e r " story, since "leviathan" as "something huge and formidable" (seemingly the only associative link) i s rather weak. We are f o r c i b l y dragged from the beach to church. It i s useful to see these sentences together to understand the t r a n s i t i o n the author has unsuc-c e s s f u l l y attempted. A wave r o l l s beneath the blue b e l l s . But the cathedral's d i f f e r e n t , cold, incense laden, f a i n t blue and the v e i l s of madonnas. "The blue b e l l s " have suddenly appeared on the beach, or they are flowers above and beyond the immediate v i c i n i t y . If the l a t t e r i nterpretation i s true the scene i s rather forced, though i t would " s h i f t scenes" enough to allow a cathedral to be placed i n our f i e l d of v i s i o n . I f the former i s the intention we are simply not prepared to f i t another beach sight into our composite picture of "boat-whale." Possibly an a l l u s i o n to Debussy's "La Cathedrale Engloutie" (the drowned cathedral) i s being made. Since the fable underlying t h i s musical composition (a v i l l a g e i s flooded and the cathe-d r a l b e l l s s t i l l t o l l beneath the waves) p a r a l l e l s the story s i t u a t i o n , and since Debussy was part of the impressionistic movement that so importantly influenced V i r g i n i a Woolf and Roger Fry, the a l l u s i o n i s highly l i k e l y . 60 "Green" i s a better piece for a very obvious reason. The technique i s a f a m i l i a r one—using the r e f l e c t i o n s from a glass chandelier to suggest analogues having "green" as a common denominator, i n the same way as the s n a i l functions i n "The Mark on the Wall." Of course "Green" i s not "free" association as i t must develop according to a r i g i d c r i t e r i o n — but i t i s more f l u i d than "Blue" i n that the writer has aban-doned the a r t i f i c i a l requirement to use color e x p l i c i t l y i n every sentence. "Green" i s at once more coherent and cohesive than i t s fellow, and can be explicated as follows. The glass c r y s t a l s s p i l l green l i g h t onto a marble surface; the white marble be-comes a white beach, and the green l i g h t the wings of parakeets and the "blades of palm trees." The patches of l i g h t on the marble next suggest pools on desert sands, and such oases a t t r a c t camels to "lurch through them." Since the glass fingers are s t i l l , the " l i g h t pools" remain motionless, and rushes, weeds and frogs encroach the brackish water (most a r r i v a l s being green of course). The f i n a l phase of the sketch i s a natural r e s u l t of the sun's se t t i n g . No sun l i g h t i s received on the glass fingers, hence no green l i g h t i s dropped on the marble, hence no ships come, and the scene i s over. In short, "the green's out." 61 I t i s p e r h a p s w o r t h m e n t i o n i n g t h a t t h e s e c o n d l a s t s e n t e n c e o f " G r e e n " c o n t a i n s " b l u e " , b u t s i n c e t h e s t o r y a l s o has a " w h i t e " b l o s s o m i t i s n o t c o n s i d e r e d s i g n i f i c a n t enough t o l i n k t h e s k e t c h e s . C e r t a i n l y " G reen" c o n c l u d e s w i t h a s e a image and " b l u e " commences w i t h one, b u t t h i s i s a r a t h e r t e n u o u s c o n n e c t i o n f o r p i e c e s h a v i n g l i t t l e i n common e x c e p t t h e n e e d t o c o n c e r n t h e m s e l v e s w i t h one hue. THE STRING QUARTET I have c h o s e n t o e n d t h i s c h a p t e r w i t h an e x p l i c a t i o n o f "The S t r i n g Q u a r t e t " s i n c e I f e e l i t i s t h e p i v o t p o i n t a t w h i c h t h e e a r l y s k e t c h e s e n d , and t h e s e c o n d p h a s e — t h a t i n w h i c h t h e s k e t c h e s o f " C h a r a c t e r , " b e g i n s . The o p e n i n g " e x e r c i s e s " by and l a r g e r e c o r d t h e w a n d e r i n g s o f a b r i l l i a n t , b u t q u i x o t i c and as y e t u n d i s c i p l i n e d m i nd. The s t o r i e s f o l l o w i n g "The S t r i n g Q u a r t e t " a r e g e n e r a l l y more s t r u c -t u r a l l y d e v e l o p e d and i n v o l v e human p r o t a g o n i s t s , r a t h e r t h a n u s i n g them as s t a g e p r o p s , i f a t a l l . "The S t r i n g Q u a r t e t " i t s e l f i s t h e h a l f - w a y h o u s e — o n one h a n d l i t t l e d i f f e r e n t f r o m t h e c h a o t i c c o l l e c t i o n o f i m p r e s s i o n s c o m p r i s i n g t h e e a r l y s t o r i e s , b u t on::the o t h e r , an e x p e r i -ment i n u s i n g t h e c l i c h e s o f human c o m m u n i c a t i o n p r e p a r a t o r y t o s u c h s t o r i e s as "The New D r e s s " and "The Man Who L o v e d H i s K i n d . " I f t h e r e a d e r d o u b t s t h a t t h e e a r l y s t o r i e s , t h a t i s t h o s e p r i o r t o and i n c l u d i n g 1921, l a c k e d " c h a r a c t e r s , " he i s challenged to f i n d one person i n any of the sketches pre-viously explicated with any degree of i n d i v i d u a l i t y . "The Mark on the Wall" has passing references to h i s t o r i c a l and l i t e r a r y personages—Charles the F i r s t and Shakespeare for example—but the story i t s e l f has no dramatis personae. "Kew Gardens" has a montage of couples, seen only i n passing and serving lar g e l y as garden ornaments. "A Haunted House" has two "couples, one ghostly and one somnambulant, but neither has an objective existence. "Monday or Tuesday" has "Miss Thingummy," but t h i s off-hand appellation makes i t obvious that she i s a transient image—and the seven words devoted to her i n the story preclude development. "Blue and Green", of course, are to the writer what two monochrome sketches are to a -painter—and the human element simply does not enter into e i t h e r of these two word paintings. This i s not to say, of course, that these early pieces are therefore f a i l u r e s — b u t rather that they are concerned with understanding the nature of truth, on an abstract l e v e l , rather than on the human l e v e l that li n k s the second group. The f i r s t phase was a search for the r i g h t technique mentioned i n the 40 Diary as much as i t was a search for the truth at the heart of l i f e — t h e continuing (and principal) premise of a l l Woolf s t o r i e s . In other words, the early s t o r i e s are to the second phase of character development, as the single handed framing of a piano melody i s to the same piece with the chording and rhythm developed. The tentative and w i s t f u l strains of "A Haunted House" and "Monday or Tuesday" are replayed with added assurance and fullness i n "The String Quartet," and with even greater fluency and grace i n the l a t e r pieces. The "chording" that has been added i s of course "people"—as af t e r 1921 a l l of V i r g i n i a W o o l f s stories concerned themselves with revealing truths about various characters. Before that date, most had been experiments i n lay psychology—perception and association tests for a f l e d g l i n g writer, from common sights and objects. The suspicious reader w i l l possibly have noticed that " S o l i d Objects" i s not among my suggested "characterless" s t o r i e s , but even here where there i s apparent grounds for d i s s e n t — I f e e l my point i s v a l i d . Mrs. Woolf does name her "characters" i n t h i s story, but they are not separately de-scribed nor i n d i v i d u a l i z e d . Charles i s delineated only by "the walking s t i c k on the right hand side" (SO, 79) while John i s the possessor of "the body on the left-hand side." C o l l e c t i v e l y , the two men are the sum of "mouths, noses, chins, l i t t l e moustaches, tweed caps, rough boots, shooting coats and check stockings" (SO, 79). John and Charles might as well be Tweedledum and Tweedledee—they are simply two peas who chose d i f f e r e n t pods at the end of t h e i r story. But to return to "The String Quartet," l e t me i l l u s -trate what I mean when I say i t has "something old, something new." The story begins with a note of assurance, the hearty aside to a reader who by now i s a trusted companion. "We'll, here we are . . . " (SQ, 27) says Mrs. Woolf as i f pointing out one's seat at a concert, and immediately takes charge of the reader (". . . and i f you cast your eye over the room you w i l l see . . .") i n a f o r c e f u l , but gracious manner. This i s the mature Mrs. Woolf, but at the end of the opening paragraph a note of hesitancy has returned. Perhaps th i s i s not going to be the story, as one had so o p t i m i s t i c a l l y en-visioned at the outset, but another attempt to synthesize l i f e that w i l l f a i l : "yet I begin to have my doubts" (SQ, 27). The question that Leon Edel asks i n The Modern Psy-chological Novel seems to provide the impetus for the story, as a classmate once pointed out to me. Edel asks: How record, word by word . . . symphonic material, i n which certain instruments often speak out but i n which, around them, the voices of others are constantly breaking in? How keep the core of thought disengaged from the haloes and fringes?^! "The String Quartet" would seem to be one a r t i s t ' s answer. The framework of the story i s such that the voices that break i n on a spectator's reverie both interrupt and augment her thought processes, acting contrapuntally as do the separate instrumental "voices" of•the' quartet. The snatches of conversation are the t r i v i a l phrases of s o c i a l banter, but s i g n i f i c a n t i n that the underlying thought pattern i s much faster than the dialogue allows—thus one thought triggers another and the answer to a question never arrives before another more imperative thought j o s t l e s i t aside: "Seven years since we met!" "The l a s t time i n Venice." "And where are you l i v i n g now?" "Well, the late afternoon suits me best, though, i f -it weren't asking too much—" "But I knew you at once!" " S t i l l the war made a break" (SQ,27) The technique of juxtaposing snatches of speech was e a r l i e r t r i e d i n "Kew Gardens," but i t succeeds far better here. The words ring truer,and more important, they seem to function on both the s o c i a l and a r t i s t i c levels needed by the writer. For example, the f i r s t l i n e immediately explains the haste of the subsequent bursts of conversation the speakers have not met i n seven years and have only a few moments before the concert starts to "catch up" on each other's l i v e s . A few moments i s enough for the mind, but the f a b r i c of s o c i a l discourse i s not f l e x i b l e enough to cover a seven year gulf without leaving worlds u n s a i d — so the responses become more divergent. This of course i s technical variant of a f a m i l i a r theme—the inadequacy of words for most situations i n l i f e — a n d likewise r e c a l l s "Kew Gardens" i n which words were likened to bees': "words with short wings for t h e i r heavy body of meaning" (KG, 37). The metaphor has changed only s l i g h t l y i n "The String Quartet"—words here are " l i t t l e arrows" (SQ, 27), s t i l l short but capable of stinging occasionally. Another recurrent note i n the story i s the pess i -m i s t i c thought that "facts" seem to be covering and deadening human s e n s i t i v i t y , that "facts" form the impervious surface of l i f e through which we rarely penetrate. V i r g i n i a Woolf, we may remember, wished to escape such a world i n "The Mark on the Wall" i n which she wanted "to sink deeper and deeper, away from the surface with i t s hard separate facts" (MOW, 42) . In "The String Quartet" the "surface facts" are named, but the same despair at t h e i r existence i s evident. i f i t ' s a l l the facts I mean, and the hats, the fur boas, the gentlemen's swallow-tail coats, and pearl t i e - p i n s that come to the surface—what chance i s there?(SQ, 27) An echo of "A Haunted House" i s also heard i n "The String Quartet." In the former story a ghostly couple sought an unnamed treasure; i n the l a t t e r the author sus-pects we are a l l seekers: "for there are signs, i f I'm.: not mistaken, that we're a l l r e c a l l i n g something, f u r t i v e l y seeking something" (SQ, 28). Thus f a r I have dwelt upon s i m i l a r i t i e s i n "The String Quartet" to early s t o r i e s , but the story's significance i s surely that i t progresses beyond the techniques of the f i r s t phase. The most obvious departure i n format of t h i s story i s the use of music as a leavening agent for the mind, rather than using a v i s u a l stimulus. The music has 67 an infectious rhythm and strength, and the prose response to the quartet's opening i s f u l l of energy and passion, but with an a i r of desperation that the word symphony w i l l not keep pace with the music. What emerges.- surely bespeaks the power of m u s i c b u t one feels that the author i s on the verge of losing control. I t brings to mind Dryden as the sorcerer's apprentice: Flouri s h , spring, burgeon, burst! The pear tree on the top of the mountain. Fountains j e t ; drops descend. But the waters of the Rhone flow swift and deep, race under the arches, and sweep the t r a i l i n g water leaves, washing shadows over the s i l v e r f i s h , the spotted f i s h rushed down by the swift waters, now swept into an eddy where— i t ' s d i f f i c u l t this—conglomeration of f i s h a l l i n a pool; leaping, splashing, ;scraping sharp f i n s . . . .(SQ, Z8) The writer has created her required crescendo, but i s inev i t a b l y drawn into the vortex of the swirling sounds. However, the abandoning of s e l f to emotional rapids i s a joyous s a c r i f i c e , and the soul, t h r i l l e d and invigorated, forges upward, not to destruction but salvation and optimism: . . . the yellow pebbles are churned round and round, round and round—free now, rushing downwards, or even somehow ascending i n exquisite s p i r a l s into the a i r ; curled l i k e thin^shavings from under a plane; up and up . . . . How lovely goodness i s i n those who, stepping l i g h t l y go smiling through the world! (SQ, 29) Both the words and the i n s p i r i n g music invoke contrary moods i n the w r i t e r — a t once so t y p i c a l of V i r g i n i a Woolf yet 68 paradoxical. The l i s t e n e r (to an early Mozart work) says that i t "makes one d e s p a i r — I mean hope. What do I mean?" (SQ, 29) and t h i s seems to pinpoint the strange dichotomy i n so much of V i r g i n i a W o o l f s work, i n which "sorrow, sorrow, Joy, joy [are] woven together, l i k e reeds i n moonlight" (SQ, 29). For example i n "An Unwritten Novel" when the s p e l l i s broken and Minnie Marsh i s transformed into the ordinary t r a v e l l e r , V i r g i n i a W o o l f s mood remains o p t i m i s t i c : " i t ' s you, unknown figures, you I adore; i f I open my arms, i t ' s you I embrace, you I draw to me—adorable world!" (UN, 26) Yet elsewhere when the mirror of i l l u s i o n breaks, the e f f e c t on the writer i s quite d i s s i m i l a r : "supposing . . . the image disappears . . . what an a i r l e s s , shallow bald, prom-inent world i t becomes!" (MOW, 4 3) V i r g i n i a Woolf's c r i t i c i s m contains t h i s message frequently also, "that l i f e i s i n f i n i t e l y b e a u t i f u l yet repulsive; that one's fellow 42 creatures are adorable but disgusting." The w r i t e r - l i s t e n e r (for they are surely one person) answers her companion i n an interlude between musical pieces, "No, no, I noticed nothing. That's the worst of music— these s i l l y dreams. The second v i o l i n was late you say?" (SQ, 30) implying that to Mrs. Woolf, music ine v i t a b l y brings thoughts which prevent a competent assessment of the musicians. The thoughts are dismissed as " s i l l y dreams," but her imagin-69 ative apparatus immediately converts the opening bars of the next piece of music into "lovers on the grass" with a vicarious role for herself. The paragraph that follows i s one of the most d e l i g h t f u l i n the whole story canon, and reminds one of the best of Orlando; He followed me down the corridor, and, as we turned the corner, trod on the lace of my petticoat. What could I do but cry 'Ah!' and stop to finger i t ? At which he drew his sword, made passes as i f he were stabbing something to death, and c r i e d , *Jlad! Mad! Mad!' Whereupon I screamed, and the Prince, who was writing i n the large vellum book in the o r i e l window, came out i n his velvet skull-cap and furred s l i p p e r s , snatched a rapier from the w a l l — t h e King of Spain's g i f t , you know—on which I escaped . . . But l i s t e n ! the horns! (SQ, 30) This i s sheer indulgence i n romantic daydreams, but then so i s l i s t e n i n g to music (which seems to be the point). The power of music to transport the l i s t e n e r p h ysically to another world i s evident i n the l a s t l i n e of t h i s passage— "horns" are unlike l y i n a s t r i n g quartet, but eminently suitable to a passionate world of princes and rapiers. The l a s t paragraph of the story provides the only concrete analogy between words and musical notes where the lady "runs up the scale with such witty exchanges of compliment . . . that the words are indistinguishable though the meaning i s p l a i n enough" (SQ, 31), reminding us that the story i s indeed a concerto for thought and voice. The music has brought to mind the best of l i f e : "love, laughter, f l i g h t , pursuit, c e l e s t i a l b l i s s " (SQ, 31) which in fact summarises the fantasy just quoted. Once again, however, the " b l i s s " achieved i s tran-sient and the a r t i s t must return to the world of commonplaces, as a l i s t e n e r must arise with a sigh at the inevitable end of any performance. The rewards of art are always ephemeral, but compensatingly eternal i n that we can :always return to resavor the emotions produced. I f e e l that t h i s attitude i s expressed i n the following l i n e from the story, and explains i t s paradoxical content: "This c i t y to which we t r a v e l has neither stone nor marble [yet i t ] hangs enduring, stands unshakable" (SQ, 31). As i n the e a r l i e r s t o r i e s the "treasure" has been sighted, but found too f r a g i l e to be brought to earth and borne away as a mere " s o l i d object." G r a i l - l i k e i t has appeared, then faded, leaving us temporarily s a t i a t e d — which i s surely a l l we can demand of a r t i s t r y . The writer too withdraws, "back then I f a l l , eager no more, desiring only to go" (SQ, 31) and the parting between the two l i s -teners symbolically hints at V i r g i n i a W o o l f s reluctance to return to the ordinary world and l e t the muse depart: "'You go t h i s way?' 'Alas. I go that.'" Surely t h i s alludes to the closing l i n e s of Love's Labor's Lost i n which Armado expresses the inadequacy of words to compete with the power of music: "the words of Mercury are harsh aft e r the songs 43 of Apollo. You that way—we t h i s way." Then too, the actor Armado points out that as a ward of Apollo, the god of the ar t s , he must t r a v e l a d i f f e r e n t road to the earthbound audie n c e — j u s t as V i r g i n i a Woolf must reluctantly part with her muse. 72 NOTES '''(New York: Random House, 1942), Vintage Reprint, p. 3. 2 Ibid., p. 91. 3 Ibid., p. 12. 4 V i r g i n i a Woolf, The Common Reader, second series (London: Hogarth, 1932), p. 52. 5 T i l l y a r d , The Elizabethan World Picture, p. 80. ^"The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia," The Common  Reader, 2nd Series (London: Hogarth" 1932) , pT 49. 7 Ibid., p. 50. p The Common Reader (1), pp. 60-71. 9 A Writer's Diary, p. 150. "^Ibid. , p. 46. "^The Captain's Death Bed, pp. 140-165. 12 The Common Reader (1) ,".-p. 60. 13 The Captain's Death Bed, p. 147. 1 4 R e l i g i o Medici and Other Writings (London: Dent, 1965), p. 83. 15 The Common Reader (1), p. 72. 1 6 I b i d . , p. 83. 17 "Kew Gardens". A l l st o r i e s appearing i n A Haunted  House are abbreviated i n t h i s fashion according to the "Key to Symbols i n the Thesis Proper." For the source of unrefer-enced quotations, refer to the pertinent appendix." 18 V i r g i n i a Woolf, A Writer's Diary, p. 22. 19 Leonard Woolf,. Beginning Again, p. 235. 20 . . V i r g i n i a Woolf, A Writer's Diary, p. v i i . 2 1 I b i d . , p. 14. 22 Ibid., p. 23. 2 3 Jean Guiguet. V i r g i n i a Woolf and Her Works, p. 330. 2 4 T i l l y a r d , The Elizabethan World Picture, p. 71. 25 Orlando, A Biography (London: Hogarth, 1928), p. 31, 26 Tro i l u s and Cressida (I, i i i , 87-89). 2 7(London: Hogarth, 1931), p. 6. 2 8 Roger Fry, Vision and Design, new ed. (New York: Meridian Books, 1960) , pp. 19-20. 29 Jean Guiguet, V i r g i n i a Woolf and Her Works, p. 343. 30 V i r g i n i a Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway, p. 40. V i r g i n i a Woolf, The Common Reader (1), p. 154. 3 2 I b i d . , p. 158. 33 Beginning Again, p. 57. 74 34 Mrs. Dalloway, pp. 52-53. 35 V i r g i n i a Woolf, To The Lighthouse (London: Hogarth, 1927) , p. 216. 36 Mrs. Dalloway, p. 281. 37 To The Lighthouse, p. 216. 3 8 A Writer's Diary, p. 35. 39 A l l quotations not page referenced refer to Appendices I I , III and IV of t h i s thesis. 40 A Writer's Diary, p. 33. 41 (New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1964), p. 21. 42 "The Narrow Bridge of Art," Granite and Rainbow (London: Hogarth, 1958), p. 12. 43 William Shakespeare, Love's Labor's Lost (V, i i , 940-941). \ 75 CHAPTER III THE 'MACROCOSM PEOPLED Here a l l the t r a d i t i o n a l features of prose n a r r a t i v e — p l o t , charac-t e r i z a t i o n , description, e t c . — are d e l i b e rately blurred into a new unity . . . . S e n s i b i l i t y i s sent wandering to and f r o , noting t h i s , l i n g e r i n g on that, c o l l e c t i n g f a c t s , impressions, moods, ideas, uniting them a l l into that diapha-nous whole which for Mrs. Woolf i s the true symbol of l i f e . — D a v i d Daiches, The Novel and the Modern World We have thus far discussed one t h i r d of the canon— a l l published i n or before 1921. Three stories of t h i s vintage remain; each excluded from the previous chapter for d i f f e r e n t reasons. They are "An Unwritten Novel", "A Society" and "Lappin and Lapinova". "Nurse Lugton's Golden Thimble" w i l l also be discussed i n t h i s chapter for reasons l a t e r explained. The f i r s t of the s t o r i e s , as i t s t i t l e suggests, has more attributes of the novel genre than the story. Unlike i t s desk-mates i t attacks the problem of character devel-opment immediately and while the writer's mind s t i l l wanders occasionally, t h i s prose experiment develops an environ-ment, a past, and a l i f e for i t s central c h a r a c t e r — i n fact outlines, i n broad strokes, a novel. "A Society" does not f i t among the early sketches either , since i t i s far more conventional, developed, (over twice the length of every story except "An Unwritten Novel" which i t exceeds by ten pages) and, by the way, humorous. One can only deplore i t s loss to the "common reader" as "A Society" i s a t r u l y d e l i g h t f u l story, i f an a t y p i c a l one i n the Woolf canon. The t h i r d " m i s f i t " i s "Lappin and Lapinova" which, the Diary t e l l s us,'*' was conceived twenty years or more before i t s f i r s t public a i r i n g i n 1938. One can only speculate how much the o r i g i n a l was altered i n the 2 "rehashing" but the theme of the story i s obviously a l l i e d with the early period of "S o l i d O bjects"—that one person's fantasy i s another's r e a l i t y — b u t the style and precision of the piece indicate a mature mind at work. These three "orphans" then, for one reason or anothe] s i t uneasily i n the early group (1917-1921), and chronologi-c a l l y , thematically and t e c h n i c a l l y cannot be placed with the posthumous pieces (1944). I have therefore, somewhat a r b i t r a r i l y I admit, grouped them i n the "middle period" (1927rl938) the span i n which the intended market for Woolf stories was the magazines rather than the Hogarth Press. Thus "An Unwritten Novel" at least i s at home among the magazine s t o r i e s , i t f i r s t appearing i n the London Mercury. It i s important to remember that the stories of 1927-19 38 were, for the most part, intended for magazines, as t h i s surely had some bearing on the shape of the finished products. "Blue and Green" for example would never have reached the public through a large c i r c u l a t i o n j o u r n a l — i t s • appeal, even i f i t was written by an "established" writer (which V i r g i n i a Woolf was not i n 1927)f was far too li m i t e d . Then too, as every aspirant to the writer's c r a f t becomes aware, one's o f f e r i n g must f i t the format and image of the market to which i t i s submitted. For these reasons the s t o r i e s of the "middle group" are perhaps more conventional than they might otherwise have been. I am not suggesting by any means that Mrs. Woolf produced "potboilers" for the masses—in fact she prided he r s e l f on just the opposite tendency: " i t ' s an odd f e e l i n g though, writing against the current: d i f f i c u l t e n t i r e l y to 4 disregard the current. Yet of course I s h a l l . " But I do f e e l that the muse made some concessions, perhaps unconscious-l y , to mammon. .For example the Diary also records — C a b l e s asking me to write. Chambrun of f e r £500 for a 9,000 word story. And I at once begin making up adventures— ten days of adventures—a man rowing with black knitted stockings on his arms. Do I ever • write, even here, for my own eye?^ This chapter w i l l be somewhat of a potpourri therefore, since i t contains stories of two decades while ostensibly spanning 1927-1938. However, t h i s "period" i s not e s p e c i a l l y 78 s i g n i f i c a n t i n i t s e l f , since, to be precise, one should further subdivide the 1927-1938 span as no story appeared, or i s re-ferred to, between 1929 and 1938. Our eleven year group i n fact represents the f r u i t s of only four years, 1927-29 and 1938. The reader i s again referred to Appendix III since I do not intend to proceed chronologically, but f i r s t to assess pieces from opposite poles i n time, but with i d e n t i c a l situations ("An Unwritten Novel" (1920) and "The Shooting Party" (1938)). "A Society" (1921) "Lappin and Lapinova" (1938) and "Nurse Lugton's Golden Thimble" (1965) 6 w i l l f o l -low. The remaining four stories w i l l revert to chronological order as they have l i t t l e i n common with other pieces, and hence nothing i s to be gained by reordering. AN UNWRITTEN NOVEL "An Unwritten Novel" and "The Shooting Party" are re-markably s i m i l a r i n so many ways that one wonders i f the same incident inspired both. Both stories are V i r g i n i a W o o l f s musings about the l i v e s of " women observed i n a t r a i n , both women have i n i t i a l s M.M., and both women refute the con-jectures made about them by proving to l i v e uncomplicated l i v e s . M i l l y Masters emerges as "quite an ordinary, rather e l d e r l y , woman, t r a v e l l i n g to London on some ordinary piece of business" (SP, 6 8) while Minnie Marsh proves to be just somebody's mother, and the writer can only conclude i n d i s -gust that " l i f e ' s bare as bone" (UN, 26). 79 I have devoted more time to an explication of these st o r i e s than I have any other two, as I f e e l i t i s rewarding to compare the mind of Mrs. Woolf at work on two variants of, to a l l intents and purposes, the same incident. M i l l y Masters and Minnie Marsh might have been two separate women on d i f f e r e n t t r a i n s , but to V i r g i n i a Woolf the cr y p t i c code l e t t e r s "M.M.—those were the i n i t i a l s on the s u i t case" (SP, 59) stand for any middle-aged, middle-class woman—be she - -mother (UN, 26) or mistress (SP, 66). Like many of Mrs. Wo o l f s s t o r i e s , "An Unwritten Novel" i s an a r t i s t i c game. Rather than creating a world from a mark on a wall, the a r t i s t creates an hypothetical l i f e for a person observed on a t r a i n . The t r a i n i s an important prop since i t ensures that the object of speculation i s captive and stationary s u f f i c i e n t time for the sketch to be taken. The story represents an a r t i s t i c progression from the e a r l i e r s t o r i e s i n that the f i r s t models were simple and geometrical—"a small round mark" (MOW, 40) or "one small black spot" (SO, 79), occasionally s t i l l - l i f e "the oval-shaped flower bed" (KG, 32), but never, u n t i l t h i s story, human. The p a r t i c u l a r f o c a l point chosen for th i s verbal canvas i s the human face, or more s p e c i f i c a l l y the eyes, for 80 l i f e ' s what you see i n people's eyes; l i f e ' s what they learn, and, having learnt i t , never, though they seek to hide i t , cease to be aware of (UN, 14). This suggests that a writer i s a sort of f a c i a l palmist—one who interprets the lines and emotions of a face rather than a hand. The implication i s that V i r g i n i a Woolf can trans-late the implications of a glance as e a s i l y as she can as-certain the truth about a r a i l r o a d from "the map of the [ r a i l -road] l i n e framed opposite [her carriage seat]" (UN, 14). In "An Unwritten Novel," as i n many of the s t o r i e s , a subtle technique i s employed. The central character never actually speaks, but we tend to forget t h i s fact because of the s i l e n t dialogue V i r g i n i a Woolf exchanges with her s i l e n t protagonist. Notice i n the following how the reader i s co-erced into thinking Minnie speaks, though i t i s c l e a r l y stated that the speech i s pure conjecture. "She seemed to apologize and at the same time to say to me, 'If only you knew!'" The writer answers i n kind, and another l i f e begins to u n f u r l . "'But I do know,' I answered' s i l e n t l y . . . ." (UN, 14) This story i s p a r t i c u l a r l y r i c h i n associative patterns. The newspapers wielded by the passengers, for instance, f u l f i l many functions. The s i l e n t narrator "talks" of the Times, as the "great reservoir of l i f e " (UN, 14) and proceeds to use thi s paper i n various ways. I t becomes a s h i e l d to hide behind, "a perfect square, c r i s p , thick, impervious even to l i f e " (UN, 15), then evolves into that part of l i f e dispensed with and over ( l i k e a snake's cast-o f f s k i n ) : "the man who read . . . roused himself, crumpled his paper contemptuously, l i k e a thing done with, burst open the door, and l e f t us alone" (UN,"15). The " t r a i n " of association i n many sections of "An Unwritten Novel" p a r a l l e l s that of "The Shooting Party" (and "Nurse Lugton's Golden Thimble"). Compare the following passages, and the mental processes behind them: ". . . you lay across your knees a pocket-handkerchief into which drop l i t t l e angular fragments of eggshell—fragments of a map—a puzzle . . . . She's moved her knees—the map's in b i t s again. Down the slopes of the Andes the white blocks of marble go bounding and h u r t l i n g , crushing to death a whole troop of Spanish muleteers with t h e i r convoy—Drake's booty, gold and s i l v e r " (UN, 21). Vast lands, so they said, the old people had owned--her f o r e f a t h e r s — t h e Rashleighs. Over there. Up the Amazons. Freebooter. Voyagers. Sacks of emeralds. (SP, 60) Both are exercises i n association. In both, the mind wanders where i t w i l l , but invariably swings to a state of childhood innocence and c h i l d i s h delight i n adventure and plunder. I t i s a tribute to Mrs. Woolf's s k i l l as a writer (and to the c l a r i t y of her mental processes) that the li g h t n i n g ' t r a n s i t i o n to "booty" from, i n the f i r s t case, "egg-shell" and, i n the second, "vast lands" i s not only c l e a r , but amazingly l o g i c a l . Let us, then, at the r i s k of stating the obvious, examine the thought processes i n the f i r s t quotation. The fragments of s h e l l , being i r r e g u l a r yet f i t t i n g into a whole, remind one of a jig-saw puzzle, or a map torn into fragments. Who would tear up a map? Pirates. What do pirates connote? Booty. This pattern i s reinforced by another—the creation of a macrocosm of the miniscule pieces on a woman's s k i r t . Minnie's knees under her dress become mountains, the drapery v a l l e y s , and the f a l l i n g b i t s of white s h e l l " . . . white blocks of marble . . . hur t l i n g and bound-ing." This avalanche suggests victims, " . . . a whole troop of Spanish muleteers" (UN, 21) and the only i n t e r e s t i n g cargo they could have?"Drake's booty, gold and s i l v e r . " The mind thus arrives at i t s destination through diverse ways, but the fact that each by-road of the mind leads to treasure i s not accidental. V i r g i n i a W o o l f s stories usually unearth a treasure of some sort. "A Haunted House" has i t s "buried treasure", while in "Kew Gardens" the kiss of an old woman with a wart on her nose i s treasured as "precious . . . the mother of a l l my kisses" (KG, 34). The plunder i n "The Mark on the Wall" i s "jewels . . . opals and emeralds" (MOW, 41) and of course i n "The Shooting Party" i t i s "sacks of emeralds." Mrs. Woolf seems to equate these physical riches with the store of l i f e within each of us. Every soul , l a i d bare, gives up i t s treasure—and there i s no l i f e so shallow or uninteresting as to be dubbed base metal. It i s in t e r e s t i n g that the characters V i r g i n i a Woolf uses to reveal the riches of l i f e are usually unaware of th e i r appeal. Minnie of thi s story for example i s i n t r o -verted, t e r r i b l y s e n s i t i v e , and (while wishing most of a l l to communicate) uncommunicative. She possesses "the entombed soul, the s p i r i t driven i n " (UN, 24) l i k e many of V i r g i n i a W o o l f s creations. We think of Sasha Latham, "by some malice of fate . . . unable to jo i n . . . / a widow b i r d " (ASU, 139-140) and Mabel Waring, "wrapped round and round and round" (ND, 58) and shielded from the world by her cloak. I t i s indeed possible that Minnie i n an "old cloak she had l a s t year" (UN, 17) served as a pattern i n "The New Dress" seven years l a t e r for Mabel i n her "Chinese Cloak she had worn these twenty years." The characters of the two women are si m i l a r and both suffer agonies i n s o c i a l intercourse. Mabel feels l i k e a f l y i n a saucer of milk at a Dalloway party, while the ordeal of asking for assistance i s equally agonizing for Minnie: Niagara's ahead. Here's the c r i s i s ! . . . . Down she goes. Courage, courage! Face i t , be i t ! 'Oh, I beg your pardon! Yes, t h i s i s Eastbourne.' (UN, 25) The previous quotation contains a s l i g h t , but s i g n i f i c a n t piece of evidence that l i f e and the l i v e r of l i f e are synonymous, which would support my contention that the early s t o r i e s equated l i f e with the myriad experiences of the observer, and therefore was that observer since body and experience are inseparable. Minnie i s urged to "face i t , be i t ! " (where " i t " i s obviously " l i f e " as i n "Kew Gardens" and " S o l i d Objects"). This i s es p e c i a l l y revealing, as we here have s p e c i f i c evidence that V i r g i n i a Woolf at t h i s phase of her story t e l l i n g demanded a character to be_ l i f e i t s e l f , whereas the early phase limited " l i f e " to various impressions, sights and senses. The world that Mrs. Woolf creates for Minnie i s a meagre but meaningful one. The author selects her f i c t i o n a l materials with the care of a Jane Austen, with "twigs and 7 straws . . . placed . . . neatly- together." We see the writer pondering each thought, try i n g the sound of names to assess t h e i r s u i t a b i l i t y : "Hilda's the sister-in-law. Hilda? Hilda? Hilda Marsh." (UN, 16) One imagines the nod of s a t i s f a c t i o n . The character i s right and Mrs. Woolf can move on to the children who, as inc i d e n t a l background, deserve less d e l i b e r a t i o n : "down they get (Bob and Barbara) . " So f a r , so good, but the story lacks i n t r i g u e . Therefore a crime and a commercial t r a v e l l e r are brought into Minnie's l i f e to give i t texture. However, once Moggridge the t r a v e l l e r i s congured up, the story becomes independent, and begins to run away from i t s creator. For example, V i r g i n i a Woolf knows that to develop d e t a i l s of Moggridge's sales commodity at th i s point i s digressive, yet his buttons assert themselves despite the author's protests: "but the time's not come for bringing them i n . . . but I say the time's not come" (UN, 22). This seems on the surface to be merely author's c a p r i c e — s e l f indulgence i n the pleasure of unrelated dabbling. But on r e f l e c t i o n one r e a l i z e s that two ends are here achieved. V i r g i n i a Woolf has jotted down a d e t a i l redundant to a story (Moggridge's buttons) but possibly useful i n a novel, and she has reinforced her oft-expressed view that l i f e i s not an orderly progression of events (the symmetrical gig-lamps of "Modern Fiction") but a series of q u i c k s i l v e r t r a n s i t i o n s and departures from the expected. Surely V i r g i n i a Woolf i s affirming that "to go on gathering richness and rotundity, destiny and tragedy, as stories should" (UN, 21) one must allow the "unborn children of the mind" (UN, 22) freedom of scope and d i r e c t i o n . THE SHOOTING PARTY The previous section made clear, I hope, the con-nection between "An Unwritten Novel" and "The Shooting 86 Party", but one l a s t point i s t e l l i n g . V i r g i n i a Woolf saw "The Shooting Party" as an unwritten novel also, as her Diary att e s t s . I t came over me suddenly l a s t night as I was reading The  Shooting P a r t y — t h e story that I'm to send to America, H. [arper' s] B~7[aazar]—that I saw the form of a new novel. It's to be f i r s t the statement of the theme: then the restatement: and so on: repeating the same story: si n g l i n g out t h i s and then that, u n t i l the central idea i s st a t e d . 8 "The Shooting Party" i t s e l f does not adopt the method of "repeating the same story" from d i f f e r e n t viewpoints as does, say, Browning's The Ring and The Book, but one can see in the story a pattern that would suggest such a novel form. The person that i s M i l l y Masters i s f i r s t viewed from the standpoint of a fellow t r a i n passenger. Then, with a peculiar " l i t t l e c l i c k at the back of her throat... 'chk,'" (SP, 59) M i l l y dissolves and we are i n the decaying mansion of the Rashleigh's, and before us i s Miss A n t o n i a — not the woman that was M i l l y Masters, but one with the same p e c u l i a r i t y . Since " M i l l y " smiles as she makes a sound " l i k e somebody imitating the noise that someone else makes" (SP, 59) we can assume that the "chk" i s the physical man-i f e s t a t i o n of a private reminiscence which i s immediately made public through the writer's omniscience. I t i s hard to keep the characters straight i n i t i a l l y , since M i l l y parodies 87 Miss Antonia's "chk" (which precipitates the scene s h i f t to the Rashleigh Edwardian manor) while Miss Antonia's. "scar on her cheek" (SP, 62) i s shared by M i l l y , her housekeeper, who i s "scarred on the jaw." (SP, 59) The point seems to be not that the women are synonymous—but that they have suffered a s i m i l a r d e b i l i t a t i o n and internment i n Rashleigh house .(Hence t h e i r b a t t l e scars) . The t r a n s i t i o n s i n "The Shooting Party" are esp e c i a l l y rapid, and the sight of an object or objects may tr i g g e r a related, but very d i f f e r e n t scene i n a l a t e r passage. For example, the passenger M.M. carries a brace of pheasants, which reappear l a t e r "out i n the King's Ride [where] the pheasants were being driven across the noses of the guns" (SP, 60). However, the bodies of Miss Antonia and old Miss Rashleigh while serving t h i s game also become pheasant-like "as i f t h e i r bodies were warm and languid underneath t h e i r feathers as they drank." (SP, 64) In fact, these two bid birds are continually likened to the pheasants accumulated by the liunters, presumably to emphasize the fact that the two women, l i k e the birds outside, are close to death and subject to the whims of the squire. The connecting l i n k s between the birds and the women are quite e x p l i c i t . The pheasants have "lustrous eyes" (SP, 60) so the women's "bec[o]me lustrous" (SP, 64) likewise. In death, the pheasants' "claws gripped t i g h t , though they gripped nothing" (SP, 62) as do the ageing women's': " t h e i r hands gripped t h e i r hands l i k e the claws of dead birds gripping nothing" (SP, 66). The atmosphere of the "inner" s t o r y — t h a t i s , t h a t portion away from the " r e a l i t i e s " of the t r a i n c a r r i a g e — i s one of decayed magnificance, of decadence almost Faulknerian i n mood. The house i s shabbily genteel, but near collapse: "the doors did not f i t . . . the sun . . . pointed . . . at a hole i n the carpet," (SP, 60) but the residents r e t a i n t h e i r pride i n t h e i r coat of arms and the rather shopworn memory of having once hosted King Edward. Just as the mysterious Miss Antonia grows i n V i r g i n i a W o o l f s mind from a simple mannerism observed i n a woman, so too grows the story's setting i n a manner re-miniscent of "The Mark on the Wall." Mrs. Woolf speculates that M i l l y must have wormed her way into the room that [the author] was seeing through the s t u f f i n g of the carriage, and the man' bald head, and the picture of York Minster. (SP, 59) The picture that the author "sees" (Rashleigh House) i s made of the ingredients actually viewed i n the carriage. The worn and faded plush seats of a B r i t i s h railways coach suggest the moth-eaten furnishings of the Rashleighs, just 89 as the "bald head" and "York Minster" evoke "a photograph . . . an egg-shaped baldish head . . . and the name Edward written with a f l o u r i s h beneath" (SP, 60). When we r e c a l l that York Minster was the seat of Edward IV and successive h e i r s , the t r a n s i t i o n a l thought becomes e x p l i c i t . Mrs. Woolf i s fond of these associative leaps of the mind, and has Miss- Antonia, for instance, feeling " a l l scales from the t a i l to the waist" (SP, 60) i n viewing the family sh i e l d which contains a mermaid. "The Shooting Party" i s much l i k e a cross-word puzzle in r e v e r s e — t h e words are given, and one must create the clues and background. The two l a s t Rashleigh females l i s t e n to the l a s t of the male heirs shooting outside, while rem-i n i s c i n g about the deaths of the other men i n the family. We are t o l d nothing s p e c i f i c a l l y about the family, but are i n v i t e d to create the necessary background by the same i n t u i t i v e process that the author uses. The family has had a t r a g i c h i s t o r y — e a c h male seem-ingly destroyed by a woman. The f i r s t victim shoots himself, ostensibly i n a hunting accident ("tripped. Caught his foot.") (SP, 64) but old Mrs. Rashleigh's chuckle betrays a family s k e l e t o n — s u i c i d e over a woman. Another h e i r , John, i s trampled by his mare but a human female accomplice i s implied. Another son, very l i k e P e r c i v a l of The Waves,had "charged at 90 the head o f h i s men . . . as i f he had twenty d e v i l s i n h i m " (SP, 65) b u t met h i s W a t e r l o o a t the hand o f "one whi te d e v i l " ( s u r e l y , b u t we must say so o u r s e l v e s , another woman). The h e i r s o f R a s h l e i g h change, b u t each succumbs t o a s i m i l a r f a t e , r u i n w i t h a wench beneath h i s s t a t i o n : " p i n k and w h i t e Lucy at the M i l l . . . E l l e n ' s daughter a t the Goat and S i c k l e . . . and the g i r l at the t a i l o r ' s . . . . (SP, 65 ) . I t i s here t h a t the c a r r i a g e occupant i s r e - u t i l i z e d , as she becomes M i l l y the h o u s e k e e p e r , and the l a t e s t nemesis o f the R a s h l e i g h h e i r s : " M i l l y M a s t e r ^ . . . . S h e ' s o u r b r o t h e r ' s . . . " (SP, 66 ) . The r e a d e r i s c o m p e l l e d t o do the d e t e c t i v e work to f i l l the e l l i p s i s w i t h the r e q u i r e d " m i s t r e s s " — w h i c h he can do from the c l u e s t h a t M i l l y ' s son i s " t h e boy who c l e a n e d the C h u r c h " (SP, 62) and the l a t e r " i t ' s h i s [Hugh R a s h l e i g h ' s ] boy . . . t h a t c l e a n s the C h u r c h . " (SP, 65) The c l u e s t h a t M r s . Woolf p r o v i d e s are b r i e f , but s u f -f i c i e n t from which t o c o m p i l e the f a m i l y s i t u a t i o n . Miss A n t o n i a and M i s s R a s h l e i g h are s i s t e r s , s i n c e they r e f e r t o " the s q u i r e " as " o u r b r o t h e r . " T h a t Hugh R a s h l e i g h i s the c u r r e n t h e i r i s s u g g e s t e d by M i l l y ' s presence i n the h o u s e , s i n c e she i s i m p l i e d t o be h i s m i s t r e s s . That the o l d women r e s e n t t h e i r own l o n e l i n e s s and t h e i r m e n f o l k ' s profligacy i s implied i n the tone of t h e i r conversation, and that the end of t h e i r crumbling dynasty i s near i s suggested by the f a l l of the family coat of arms and Edward's photograph. The history and future of a family i s sketched i n a few words, and the concision and coherence suggests that "A Shooting Party" has come a long way te c h n i c a l l y from the mental marginalia comprising "An Unwritten Novel." Symbolic c a l l y too, the l a t e r story has intere s t i n g overtones i f one associates M i l l y Masters with "mother Mary", and Christ who cleansed the church (John 2:14, Matthew 21:12, Mark 11:15 and Luke 19:45) with M i l l y ' s unnamed son. Or, M i l l y Masters as Mary Magdalene has some merit, when one remembers the prostit u t e condemned by the self-righteous, and compares her to the "ruined" maid despised by the virtuous Rashleigh s i s t e r s . "The Shooting Party", since so l i t t l e i s stated e x p l i c -i t l y , yet so much i s implied, affords perhaps the ric h e s t ore for e x p l i c a t i o n of any of the s t o r i e s . As Miss Antonia s i t s and s t i t c h e s , the f i r e log burns away—forshadowing her demise. Before the pheasants r i s e from the brake for the l a s t time in the innocent a i r , as i f straying alone l i k e a cherub, a b e l l from a far hidden steeple f r o l i c k e d , gambolled then faded. Then again up shot the rockets . . . [and] again the guns barked. (SP, 62) 92 This passage suggests the voice of the church attempting to reassert i t s e l f over the noise of the guns, which further suggests M i l l y ' s son "who cleaned the church" vainly seeking recognition by his errant father. A few other scenes are remarkably pregnant with implications. Both M i l l y and Miss Antonia answer "coming" to an unheard summons, M i l l y laughing (SP, 62) but Miss Antonia croaking (SP, 66). I t i s as i f the summoner i s a fresh wind, progress, that w i l l r i ght the wrongs done to the M i l l y s of the world, and blow away the decadent Rash-leigh bourgeoisie. Miss Antonia reacts, i n f a c t , as i f she had heard her death-knell struck as she salutes the mermaid on the family crest (the siren who has ruined the Rashleigh house by l u r i n g i t s males to t h e i r deaths?), drinks o f f the l a s t of her wine (her l i f e ) and prepares to meet d e a t h — as "'coming!' she croaked" (SP, 66) suggests. She appears to welcome the end that i s forthcoming i n the f i n a l scene: "'closer! closer!' grinned Miss Rashleigh." The concluding scene i n the Rashleigh house i s perhaps the richest i n implications, and combines the force of Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles and Poe's The F a l l of the House of Usher. The squire, whose "voice was weak" (SP, 66) enters with his hounds, and a symbolic sequence of events takes place. A spaniel has been eating the carcass of the pheasant served for lunch, and i s set upon by the squire's hounds. In attempting to separate the dogs the squire inadvertently strikes "old Miss Rash-leigh . . . [who f a l l s ] against the mantlepiece . . . s t r i k -ing . . . the sh i e l d above the f i r e p l a c e " (SP, 6 7). She f a l l s into the ashes, as does the sTiie'ld, and the picture of King Edward. This cycle of events i s surely a symbolic encapsulation of the Rashleigh story. The pheasant (whose association with the Rashleigh s i s t e r s i s by now e x p l i c i t ) f a l l s to the spaniel (a weak hunter—hence the squire). This p a r a l l e l s the role of the women who are subjugated to t h e i r brother's whims. The spaniel i n turn i s attacked by "the great dogs" who seem to be avenging s p i r i t s bent on the destruction of the decadent household. Since women, house and monarch f a l l together, one assumes that a way of l i f e has passed, and that Edwardians have given way to t h e i r progressive h e i r s — M i l l y and the mill i o n s of women freed from drawing rooms and tyrannical f a m i l i e s , and able to t r a v e l abroad alone. This i s reinforced i n the f i n a l paragraph i n which we return to the " r e a l " world—by now far less r e a l than the f a n t a s t i c realm of the Rashleighs. M i l l y ' s eyes i n the r a i l r o a d carriage suggest "the ghost of a family, of an age, of a c i v i l i z a t i o n dancing over the grave" (SP, 67). 94 I n r e t u r n i n g t o t h e p r e s e n t t o c o n c l u d e h e r s t o r y , V i r g i n i a W o o l f p o i n t s o u t t h a t t h i s o r d i n a r y woman i s t h e new a r i s t o c r a t . The M i l l y M a s t e r s o f t h e t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y a r e t h e meek who h a v e f i n a l l y i n h e r i t e d t h e e a r t h and o u s t e d t h e R a s h l e i g h ' s who were " r o t t e n a t t h e h e a r t " (SP, 65) and crum-b l i n g l i k e "an o l d mushroom, a l l wormy i n s i d e , and h o l l o w 9 u n d e r a smooth s k i n . " The s q u i r e o f "The S h o o t i n g P a r t y " i s L a w r e n c e ' s b o u r g e o i s p e r s o n i f i e d , " t r a m p i n g h i s t h i r t y m i l e s a day a f t e r p a r t r i d g e s , " 1 ^ b u t where Lawrence i s v i t -r i o l i c , V i r g i n i a W o o l f i s c o o l , a l m o s t c l i n i c a l i n h e r t r e a t -ment o f t h e s e "mushrooms." U n l i k e h e r c o n t e m p o r a r y , Mrs. W o o l f s e e s t h e R a s h l e i g h s as a d y i n g b r e e d u n d e r an e v e r -c h a n g i n g , b u t e v e r i n t e r e s t i n g s o c i a l p a n o p l y . F o r Mrs. W o o l f t h e r e a r e no c a u s e s t o be f o u g h t f o r — o n l y p e o p l e and e v e n t s w h i c h become s t o r i e s , "moments o f b e i n g " t o be a r r e s t e d i f p o s s i b l e and t h e n r e l e a s e d . V i r g i n i a W o o l f s s t o r i e s have been l i k e n e d t o s p i d e r webs, and "The S h o o t i n g P a r t y " seems t o f i t t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n e x a c t l y . The c h a r a c t e r s a r e t r a p p e d and a r r e s t e d i n s p e c i f i c p o s e s and moments o f t i m e . B u t t h e o b j e c t o f t h e s p i d e r i s . n o t t o d e v o u r , b u t t o e x p l o r e t h e n u a n c e s o f t h e moment and t o plumb, a l w a y s , t h e m e a n i n g o f t h i s l i f e i n t h i s s i t u a t i o n . NURSE LUGTON'S GOLDEN THIMBLE T h i s s t o r y , w r i t t e n f o r V i r g i n i a W o o l f s n i e c e , i s so l i k e "An U n w r i t t e n N o v e l " i n i t s t e c h n i q u e t h a t i t i s a u s e -f u l piece of evidence that both stories were commenced before 1925. "Nurse Lugton" was found " i n the middle of the text of [Mrs. Dalloway1 . . . but has nothing to do with i t " (See Appendix IV), confirming that her writing habits were q u i x o t i c — a n d that she would take up a new idea wherever and whenever i t presented i t s e l f . In the section dealing with "An Unwritten Novel" I ventured to explain the t r a i n of thought whereby Minnie Marsh's knees become mountains, and the egg-shell fragments on her lap "white blocks of marble . . . bounding and hur t l i n g " (UN, 21). In "Nurse Lugton's Golden Thimble" ex-actly the same setting and mental processes are employed: a woman's lap i s expanded to the dimensions of a country, and the printed gingham on her lap comes to life—becoming the magic kingdom of "Millamarchmontopolis." The name i s f u l l of associations: " M i l l a " r e c a l l s " M i l l y Masters" of "The Shooting Party"; "March" r e c a l l s "Minnie Marsh" of "An Unwritten Novel1!; "montopolis" suggests "mounts" (Minnie and Nurse Lugton's knees), and " p o l i s " a c a p i t a l c i t y — i n t h i s case of the animal kingdom. The whole a l l i t e r a t i v e mouthful would delight a child, vyet an adult reader acquainted with Mrs. Woolf can associate t h i s "mount" with the other i n "An Unwritten Novel". Leonard Woolf s foreword to "Nurse Lugton" implies that the fragment found i n Mrs. Dalloway was u n t i t l e d , since " i t i s here published under the t i t l e . . . " would otherwise suggest a t i t l e change, which i s u n l i k e l y . This heading i s not p a r t i c u l a r l y appropriate since a "golden thimble" appears only once i n the s t o r y — " o v e r [the animals] burnt Nurse Lugton's golden thimble l i k e a sun"—and Mrs. Dalloway reveals that a thimble i s merely one of those domestic objects that one can never remember the name of. "She would take her s i l k s , her s c i s s o r s , her—what was i t ? — her thimble of course, down into the drawing room . . . ."^^ "The Ogress" would seem a better t i t l e — a n d one more t h r i l l i n g to children t i r e d of t h e i r nannies and nurses, and seeking adventure. For Nurse Lugton awake i s an "ogress [who] . . . caught the animals, and froze them, and they stood s t i l l on her knee a l l day, t i l l she f e l l asleep . . . But more important, the word would remind adults (who can also enjoy the story) that the author i s an ogress too, one who forever i s arresting l i f e i n s p e c i f i c postures—women in t r a i n s , garden flowers, a s n a i l on the w a l l — t o assess t h e i r meaning i n r e l a t i o n to l i f e i t s e l f . "Nurse Lugton" l i k e many of the s t o r i e s , resulted from an associative game, an amusing game, es p e c i a l l y for a dark winter's morning. One says to the eye Athens; Segesta; Queen V i c t o r i a and one waits, as submissively as possible, to see what w i l l happen next. And perhaps nothing happens, and perhaps a great many things happen, but not the things one might expect . . . . Sights marry", incongruously, morganatically (li k e the Queen and the Camel), and so keep each other alive.- 1- 2 Just as "Nurse Lugton" suddenly appears i n the Mrs. Dalloway manuscript, so too does a revealing plan in the 13 Jacob's Room holograph, Part I, p. 131: Oct. 6th, 1922 Thoughts upon beginning a book to be ca l l e d perhaps, At Home or The Party: This i s to be a short book consisting of six or seven chapters each complete separately, yet there must be some sort of fusion. And a l l must converge upon the party at the end. My idea i s to have [. . . ]^ characters l i k e Mrs. Dalloway much i n r e l i e f : then to have interludes of thought, or r e f l e c t i o n , or short digressions (which must be related, l o g i c a l l y , to the rest) a l l compact, yet not jerked. The chapters might be 1 Mrs. Dalloway on Bond Street 2 The Prime Minister 3 Ancestors 4 A Dialogue 5 The old ladies 6 Country House? 7 Cut Flowers 8 The Party Since the holograph i s dated A p r i l 15th 1920—March 12 1922 (probably c o r r e c t l y , since i t presages Mrs. Dalloway) the above ins e r t i o n would seem to be dated i n c o r r e c t l y , especia since the f i r s t Diary reference to Mrs. Dalloway ("I s h a l l produce Mrs. Dalloway i n Bond Street") i s June 23, 1922. The story "The Prime Minister", a seven page unsigned holo-graph (also dated Oct 6th, 1922) i s in the Berg C o l l e c t i o n as well, the Diary mentioning t h i s project on August 2 8th, 1922, and saying, (on Oct 14th) "I s h a l l f i n i s h The Prime  Minister i n another week." What does t h i s suggest, and how i s i t relevant to t h i s study? . F i r s t , i t suggests that Mrs. Dalloway as we know i t i s very close to the short stories of the post-1921 era. I t also would indicate that Mrs. Dalloway evolved into a separate project, the novel having no chapter di v i s i o n s and l i t t l e to do with "ancestors" or''"the old ladies." In fact there seems to have evolved two "Mrs. Dalloways": one, the novel, the other a c o l l e c t i o n of short stories involving "Mrs. Dalloway . . . interludes of thought, or r e f l e c t i o n , or short digressions." For what i t i s worth, I suggest that the d i v i s i o n s suggested by V i r g i n i a Woolfs "chapters" might ref e r both to the stories and to sections i n the novel. The opening of Mrs. Dalloway seemingly has "Mrs. 15 Dalloway on Bond Street" i n "the middle of June" the time she was working on i t i n her Diary reference. "The Prime Minister" i s referred to ("She would marry a Prime M i n i s t e r " ) 1 i n t h i s chapter and again i n "The Party" at the end of the 17 book, where he i s the guest of honour. This would imply that the "separate chapters" have melted into b r i e f scenes throughout" the novel, as would be l i k e l y to happen i n a stream of consciousness work. Mrs. Woolf could hardly have kept the chapters separate and s t i l l strung her thoughts together i n the order she wished. Without a rigorous examination of the Berg holographs the following i s merely speculative, but i t would seem con-s i s t e n t with the s t o r i e s . "Chapters" 1 and 2 of Mrs. Woolfs plan seem to have been u t i l i z e d i n the novel, and "Ancestors" (3)—which i s also i n the Berg Collection—dropped from the novel but suggestive of a story sequence. "Ancestors" pos-s i b l y evolved into "The Shooting Party" since an ancestral home dominates the story, and the characters are Edwardian. Perhaps "Country House?" became amalgamated with t h i s theme, as did "The Old Ladies" which describes the two Rashleigh "old birds." "A dialogue" describes "Together and Apart." "Cut Flowers" reminds us that Isabella Tyson of "The Lady in the Looking Glass" cuts garden flowers while being observed and that once she i s "picked" (by the observer) she too wi l t s and sheds her former glory. "A Summing Up" obviously takes place at "The Party", and the subsequent name suggests that a l l did "converge upon the party at the end"—as does Mrs. Dalloway of course. This a l l suggests that i t i s a mistake to i n s i s t that any of the stories were of a p a r t i c u l a r year, since even the posthumous stories (in the l i g h t of the holo-100 graphs) seem to have been in V i r g i n i a Woolf s mind before 1923. A SOCIETY In the introduction to t h i s thesis I questioned the Woolfs' decision to omit "A Society" from A Haunted House, but i n some respects the omission i s understandable. The story i s unlike any other i n the canon i n i t s evangelistic fervour for feminism, and i t s undisciplined g i r l i s h n e s s . There i s , for example, implied s e l f - p r a i s e i n the young Mrs. W o o l f s "there i s no reason to suppose that any woman ever has been able to write or ever w i l l be able to write" since one can detect the author's i r o n i c undertone—"but of course I_ s h a l l prove to the contrary." The decision to delete the story was unfortunate i n a way though, since i t has a verve and freshness lacking i n other, more experimental pieces. For example Judith's "measures for dispensing with prostitutes and f e r t i l i z i n g v i r g i n s by Act of Parliament" has a d e l i g h t f u l l y racy r i n g , even though the measures are only implied: an invention . . . to be erected at Tube stations and other public resorts, which, upon payment of a small fee would safeguard the nation's health, accommodate i t s sons, and r e l i e v e i t s daughters. Very l i t t l e i s known, or has been said, about "A Society." V i r g i n i a Woolf makes no reference to i t i n the 101 Diary (or her husband has not seen f i t to include references to the story i f they exist) and since the only public a i r i n g 18 of "A Society" was the 1000 copy ed i t i o n of Monday or Tuesday, few c r i t i c a l assessments are available to us. One c r i t i c suggests that "one might c a l l the sketch a parable, with a core of narrative more luminous and less definable 19 than most parables" but t h i s i s hardly very enlightening. Let us turn to the story then and see what i t might y i e l d to a careful reading. The s t y l e of "A Society" i s quite conventional, but the story d i f f e r s from The Voyage Out or Night and Day i n i t s pace and humor. I t was written i n 1921, the same year that "A String Quartet" was written, and both stories seem to a l -lude to Love's Labor's Lost. The connection between "A String Quartet" and the play have already been noted, and i t i s int e r e s t i n g that "A Society" and Love's Labor's Lost both concern s o c i e t i e s (one of women, the other of men) who i s o l a t e themselves and devote themselves to study. A society of young women met together to assess the a b i l i t y of men "to produce good people and good books" i s i n i t s e l f an amusing, i f presumptuous theme, and the method whereby these l a t t e r -day suffragettes attack t h e i r quest i s occasionally h i l a r i o u s . One abortive attempt to discover how well the Royal Navy has accomplished the ends of the society results i n a disguised 102 member's being arraigned before the ship's captain, who de-mands s a t i s f a c t i o n as a gentleman, since his "honour" pre-sumably has been s u l l i e d . The humowr l i e s i n the captain's discomfort—he i s per f e c t l y at ease i n dealing with men, but how to punish a woman i s beyond his experience or c a p a b i l i t y : the captain . . . demanded that honour should be s a t i s f i e d . "But how?" she asked. "How?" he bellowed. "With the cane of course!" Seeing that he was beside himself with rage and expecting that her l a s t moment had come, she bent over and received, to her amazement, six l i g h t taps upon the behind. "The honour of the B r i t i s h Navy i s avenged!" he cr i e d . . . . The s a t i s f a c t i o n of the miscreant's honour proves a knottier problem—since the gentleman i s a lady—and i t i s only a f t e r much deliberation ( d e l i g h t f u l l y comic and i r o n i c to the reader but not to the sweating captain) that "four strokes and a half . . . (the h a l f conceded . . . i n recognition of the fact that her great grandmother's uncle was k i l l e d at Tra f a l g a r ) " should assuage the trespasser's honour. In t h i s and other scenes V i r g i n i a Woolf takes delight in showing men to be nonplussed at the very thought of women in roles beyond that of the t r a d i t i o n a l f i r e s i d e f i x t u r e . She i s more cyni c a l i n l a t e r passages when she implies that men i n s i s t upon monopolizing a l l important roles i n l i f e , yet re-fuse to accept r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for any dis t r e s s i n g r e s u l t s : " t h e i r wives wished [for whatever i s di s t a s t e f u l ] . . . or perhaps i t was the B r i t i s h Empire." 103 The p r i n t i n g of Monday or Tuesday i s execrable (as 20 Leonard Woolf acknowledges) and i t i s d i f f i c u l t to deter-mine whether Mrs. Woolf or McDermott, her compositor, i s responsible for such unusual structures as "instead of re-j o i c i n g our eyes we have to shut them i f we are to take him in our arms" The number of times i t became necessary to i n s e r t [sic] i n appendix II attests to the sloppiness of the composition, and a rigorous explication of unusual l i n e s i s not considered u s e f u l — a s complexities are more probably the r e s u l t of chance than design. The space would perhaps be better f i l l e d by an analysis of the story's intention, and an assessment of i t s success i n terms of such intent. "A Society" i s b a s i c a l l y a feminist story which asks, with tongue i n cheek, whether men are competent to be en-trusted with preserving " c i v i l i s a t i o n " . The findings of the society are inconclusive since the declaration of war i n t e r -rupts the f i n a l meeting before the reports are a l l heard, but the opinion of the majority would seem to be c y n i c a l l y voiced by C a s t a l i a (who, i r o n i c a l l y , i s the society's f i r s t mother)': for Heaven's sake l e t us devise a method by which men may bear children! For unless we provide them with some innocent occu-pation we s h a l l get neither good people nor good books. There i s a suggestion of s o c i a l protest i n the story i n that the women have a l l but decided i n favour of men when 104 the news of the outbreak of World War I interrupts, and the scene s h i f t s to that i n which C a s t a l i a sums up the general f e e l i n g . I t i s implied that man i s indeed marvellous—"man f l i e s i n the a i r , talks across space, penetrates to the heart of an atom, and embraces the universe i n his s p e c u l a t i o n s " — but i s seemingly incapable of peacefully cohabiting the planet with his fellows. The story i n other ways i s a c o l l e c t i o n of odd styles and incidents. The scheme for " f e r t i l i z i n g v i r g i n s " pre-viously referred to reminds us of G u l l i v e r and the impractical s c i e n t i f i c schemes of the Academy of Lagado—Mrs. Woolf i r o n -i c a l l y proposing a method by which the sexes might be complete-ly independent—since they are obviously worlds apart in a l l respects. The question " i s Kensington a nice place to l i v e in?" i s not answered i n t h i s story, but i s twice affirmed i n a l a t e r one: "much the nicest part of London . . . i s Ken-sington" (MoB, 104 & 105). Other b i t s of "A Society" reappear elsewhere i n Mrs. W o o l f s work. Elizabeth's report that "Mr. Wells i s the most popular l i v i n g writer; then comes Mr. Arnold Bennett" i s i r o n i c i n that these are the two authors most often c r i t i c i z e d by V i r g i n i a Woolf i n "Modern F i c t i o n , " "Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown" and elsewhere. Each of the female a r t i s t s dealt with i n "A Society" (Sappho, Jane Austen, the 105 Brontes and George E l i o t ) i s discussed i n "Women and F i c t i o n , " and i t i s i n thi s essay that the best argument against "A Society" can be found: [ i f ] we are conscious of a woman's presence/—of someone resenting the treatment of her sex and pleading for i t s rights . . . i t introduces a d i s t o r t i o n and i s frequently the cause of weakness. The desire to plead some personal cause or to make a character the mouthpiece of some personal discontent or grievance always has a dist r e s s i n g e f f e c t 21 • • • • Perhaps V i r g i n i a Woolf recognized t h i s defect i n her story and withdrew i t , preferring to snuff out a piece of her early c r e a t i v i t y rather than run counter to her c r i t i c a l ten-ets. For i n the end "A Society," with a l l i t s whimsey and sparkling repartee, i s a tub-thumping story. The f i n a l scene in which Castalia's daughter f a l l s h e i r to the society's notes unsheaths the feminist blade hitherto subtly concealed i n the humorous dialogue. The tears of the distressed c h i l d v i c a r i -ously stand for the sorrows of a l l subjugated women—for a l l who have been given the g i f t of education, but who have been refused the ri g h t to use i t . Cassandra's advice to Ca s t a l i a "there's only one thing you can teach her to believe i n — a n d that i s herself" denies the p o s s i b i l i t y that men have anything worth believing i n . Seemingly V i r g i n i a Woolf recognized that she h e r s e l f had played Cassandra i n t h i s story, and with matu-r i t y came wisdom. Women, she l a t e r r e a l i z e d , were what they 106 t h e m s e l v e s d e c r e e d , and V i r g i n i a W o o l f f o r s w o r e t h e r o l e o f f e m i n i s t p r o p h e t o f doom. LAPPIN AND LAPINOVA T h i s s t o r y i s , as G u i g u e t c a l l s i t , an " a b r i d g e d drama 22 o f m a r r i e d l i f e " b u t more i m p o r t a n t , i t i s a s t u d y o f t h e d a n g e r s o f i n t o l e r a n c e . A man, by r e f u s i n g t o r e c o g n i z e h i s w i f e ' s n e e d f o r "a p r i v a t e w o r l d , i n h a b i t e d . . . e n t i r e l y by r a b b i t s " ( L a L , 72) d e s t r o y s h i s m a r r i a g e . The s i m i l a r i t y o f t h i s s t o r y t o " S o l i d O b j e c t s " — i n w h i c h a n o t h e r r e l a t i o n -s h i p i s e n d e d f o r e v e r by t h e f a i l u r e o f one o f t h e p a r t i e s t o c r e d i t an u n c o n v e n t i o n a l n e e d i n t h e o t h e r — h a s e a r l i e r b e e n n o t e d . I t i s p e r h a p s w o r t h m e n t i o n i n g h e r e - a t t h e h a l f w a y p o i n t i n t h e c a n o n — t h a t t h e law o f d i m i n i s h i n g r e t u r n s w i l l make i t s e l f i n c r e a s i n g l y f e l t . S i n c e I have r e f e r r e d t o p a s s a g e s f r o m t h e l a t e r s t o r i e s d u r i n g t h e e x p l i c a t i o n s o f t h e f i r s t h a l f o f t h e c a n o n , r e d u n d a n c y w i l l i n e v i t a b l y r e s u l t i f t h e same p r o c e d u r e i s f o l l o w e d f o r t h e l a t e r e x p l i c a t i o n s . I t w i l l be e x p e d i e n t t o m e n t i o n some c o n n e c -t i o n s between s t o r i e s t h a t m i g h t have been e a r l i e r a l l u d e d t o , b u t i n g e n e r a l , c o m p a r i s o n s (and w i t h them t h e l e n g t h s o f e x p l i c a t i o n s ) w i l l be r e d u c e d . 107 The Thorburns of "Lappin and Lapinova" t y p i f y so many co u p l e s — l o v e r s who are so d i f f e r e n t by temperament that when the honeymoon i s over, l i f e together becomes unlivable. "Ernest," unfortunately takes his name seriously, and his wife has reason to regret that her man does not prove to be the mad-cap "Jack" o£ the Wilde comedy. On the honeymoon Rosalind fortunately discovers a means whereby she i s able to preserve her sanity through the next two years. She notes that her muscular young man, so upright and commendable, has one (to her) redeeming feature: "when he was eating toast he looked l i k e a rabbit . . . his nose twitched." (LaL, 6 9) This suggests an imaginary private world to Rosalind i n which, i f she can lure her husband hither, they can escape the establishment represented by Ernest's st u f f y parents, and be " i n league together against the rest of the worldV (LaL, 72). The game that the Thorburns adopt, that of King and Queen Rabbit, anticipates the game of s q u i r r e l s and bears played by the Porters in Osborne's Look Back i n Anger, and of course the marital r i t u a l that keeps the combatants a l i v e i n Albee's Who's Afra i d of V i r g i n i a Woolf. One i s tempted to explore the many connections between Albee's play and Mrs. Woolf's story, but, r e g r e t f u l l y , i t would be digressive here i n terms of the scope of this thesis. It i s i n t e r e s t i n g , however, that V i r g i n i a Woolf's examination of the need within people for surrogate existences spurred 108 so many works of f i c t i o n , and perhaps the recent f u l l - s c a l e inquiry into t h i s f i e l d by p s y c h i a t r i s t s . Mrs. Woolf recog-nized i n 1920 what has just recently been formalized: people tend to l i v e t h e i r l i v e s by consistently playing out certain "games" i n t h e i r interpersonal relationships. They play these games for a variety of reasons: to avoid con-fronting r e a l i t y [or] . . . to avoid actual participation.23 Surely these are exactly Rosalind's motivations': to avoid the r e a l i t y of l i f e as the Thorburn family sees i t , and under whose influence she feels that "her i c i c l e ["cool" i n c o l l o -q u i a l parlance] i s being melted; dispersed; dissolved into nothingness," (LaL, 74) and to avoid p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the Thorburn world by metamorphosing i t : rabbits! . . . and at that a mysterious catastrophe b e f e l l the Thorburns. The golden table became a moor with the gorse i n f u l l bloom; the din of voices turned to one peal of lark's laughter ringing down from the sky (LaL, 74). The Thorburn world i s a d i s t a s t e f u l one to Mrs. Woolf, and "the decayed family mansion, the plaster peeling o f f the walls" (LaL, 75) reminds us of the crumbled Rashleigh manor and i t s occupants. I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t that Rosalind sees "her-mother-in-law—whom they dubbed The Squire" (LaL, 75) in the same way that the reader sees Hugh Rashleigh-^as an anachronism i n "a world that had ceased to e x i s t " (LaL, 75) . 109 Another rather curious feature connects "Lappin and Lapinova" with "S o l i d Objects." John's "downfall," (as f a r as Charles i s concerned) i s his mania for c o l l e c t i n g materially worthless bric-a-brac. Rosalind's father' -in-lawjs"foible i s c o l l e c t i n g things" also, and the implication i s that he too wishes to l i v e a l i f e very d i f f e r e n t to that demanded by "The Squire", hi>s mannish wife. V i r g i n i a Woolf reinforces t h i s contention, I f e e l , i n her parenthetical remark that "The Squire's" children also would defect from her world i f they could: "her children (who hated her). . . ." (LaL, 75) Like most husbands, Ernest Thorburn gradually re-neges on the l i t t l e lunacies required by his wife u n t i l he i s "completely blank" when Rosalind attempts to t e l l him of Lapinova's day. At t h i s point, Lappin's twitch has become exceedingly rare, and something within Rosalind has started to die: "she f e l t a load on the back of her neck, as i f some-one were about to ring i t . . . she was s t i f f and cold'.' (LaL, 76). The Thorburn dynasty has won, and Rosalind begun to f e e l the encroachment of the a r t h r i t i s concomitant with Thorburn existence. It only remains for Ernest to f i n i s h her off i n the trap to accomplish the i n e v i t a b l e : "so that was the end of that marriage" (LaL, 7 8 ) . THE NEW DRESS "The New Dress" i s doubtless V i r g i n i a W o olfs best known story. It i s the piece that anthologists i n s i s t t y p i f i e s Mrs. Woolfs s t o r i e s — a n d they invar i a b l y associate O A a " t e r r i b l y sensitive mind" with Mabel Waring and her creator. The general f e e l i n g seems to be that here i s a s e l f - p o r t r a i t : Mabel Waring reads "Borrow or Scott" l i k e V i r g i n i a Woolf, Mabel has a husband with a "safe, permanent . . . job" l i k e her creator, and Mabel and Mrs. Woolf both seem to v a c i l l a t e through the same pendulous arc, between opt i m i s t i c confidence—"she would become a new person; She would be absolutely transformed" (TND, 57)—and utter despair at the hopelessness of communicating: " a l l [of her l i f e ] had been absolutely destroyed, shown up, exploded, the/ moment she came into Mrs. Dalloway* s drawing room1.1 M (TND, 49-50) . Whether or not Mabel i s a vicarious V i r g i n i a i s debatable, but c r i t i c s p e r s i s t i n accusing Mrs. Woolf of possessing the same q u a l i t i e s as Mrs. Waring. Mabel, "puffed up with vanity" and saying "'How d u l l ! * to show o f f " (TND, 49) exhibits the same f r e n e t i c desire to be s o c i a l l y adept that Donald H a l l sees i n V i r g i n i a Woolf; always there i s a breathless anxiety to be b r i l l i a n t ; a sentence must never be boring . . . i t i s showing-off, ahd i t e f f e c t i v e l y undercuts the seriousness of her emotion.-25 I l l Most readers, I f e e l , w i l l disagree with the above assessment of Mrs. Woolf, and say that Mr. H a l l i s mistaken in his review of the c r i t i c a l canon (now col l e c t e d i n four 2 g volumes). His i s a common opinion, however, and the casual reader of "The New Dress" might be as readily induced to re-peat Mr. H a l l , applying the c r i t i c i s m to Mabel Waring. To do so means that one interprets Mabel's early departure from the party as defeat—she has not been " b r i l l i a n t " and "never boring"—hence she withdraws, as would Mrs. Woolf i n the same si t u a t i o n . This i s to miss a few subtle hints i n the story that Mabel (and v i c a r i o u s l y Mrs. Woolf) i s not heartbroken at the story's ending, but rather has accepted her l o t , a l b e i t a pa i n f u l one. This i s cl e a r i n the v e i l e d note of sarcasm i n Mrs. W o o l f s description of Rose Shaw who epitomizes "the height of fashion . . . " (TND, 50). I t i s i n the phrase that follows that the barb i s concealed. " . . . pre c i s e l y l i k e everybody e l s e , always." Surely t h i s implies that for Mabel to f i t i n with the group p e r f e c t l y she must dress, talk and be " l i k e everybody else" and hence lose her i d e n t i t y . This again suggests Mrs. Dalloway, the novel about which so many of the stories revolve. C l a r i s s a , we remember, withdraws at 27 the height of her party into "the l i t t l e room" (that sym-b o l i c a l l y seems to be her mind) i n order to face the truth of Septimus' death and her l i f e . Only by withdrawing can 112 C l a r i s s a r e a s s e r t her own i d e n t i t y and re t u r n to her g u e s t s — 28 "go back to them" (my i t a l i c s ) — b u t not j u s t as one of a crowd, one of them. Her d e c i s i o n to leave the par t y i s based not on f a i l u r e to achieve rapport, but the r e s u l t of a sudden "ep i p h a n y " — t o use Joyce's term. Her s e l f - p i t y suddenly s i c k -ens her, and she achieves the courage to l i v e her own l i f e : but t h a t [ s e l f - p i t y ] was dep l o r a b l e ! That was not t o be en-dured! That made her f e e l ashamed of h e r s e l f . . . . She would be a b s o l u t e l y transformed; she would never give a thought to c l o t h e s again . . . . I t would be always . . . as i f she was l y i n g i n the sun . . . . I t would be i t ! (TND, 57) Once again we see i n a V i r g i n i a Woolf s t o r y the nebulous " i t " without an antecedent—and once again, as i n "Kew Gardens" ("what do you mean by ' i t ' ? " ) (KG, 37), " S o l i d Objects" ("I've not given i t up,") (SO, 85), and "A Haunted House" ("here we l e f t i t " ) (HH, 9 ) , the u n s p e c i f i e d " i t " suggests " l i f e " i t s e l f . I t would seem t h a t c r i t i c s are th e r e f o r e wrong i n a s s o c i a t i n g Mabel's e a r l y departure as a f a i l u r e to come t o g r i p s w i t h l i f e : she has simply come t o terms w i t h her own l i f e and de-cided that being a t h i r d c l a s s Rose Shaw or Mrs. Dalloway i s not f o r her. The image that Mabel uses to describe h e r s e l f and the others at the party i s a b e a u t i f u l l y l o g i c a l one, and supports the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of Mabel's d e f e c t i o n from fashionable s o c i e t y j u s t g i v e n : 113 We are a l l l i k e f l i e s t rying to crawl over the edge of . . . a saucer of milk with . . . wings stuck together . . . trying to hoist [our]selves out of something, or into something, meagre, i n s i g n i f i c a n t , t o i l i n g f l i e s . (TND, 51) In departing, Mabel has resigned from the company of f l i e s . She has refused to become enmeshed i n the struggle for s o c i a l p o s i t i o n and power—not because she i s above such things but because she recognizes her i n a b i l i t y to compete. This i s , however, a redeeming weakness, since Mabel at least has the insight to see herself c l e a r l y . Those who f e e l that I c r e d i t Mabel with too much w i l l -power and understanding w i l l point to the weak-kneed Mrs. War-ing using the same s o c i a l conventions she despises as she leaves: "'I'm a f r a i d I must [go],' said Mabel Waring, 'But,' she added i n her weak, wobbly voice . . . / 'I have enjoyed myself enormously.'" (TND, 57-58) This i s true, but she recognizes her falseness, and though too weak to rebel outwardly, she recognizes that her words, and those of others at the party, are " l i e s , l i e s , l i e s ! " (TND, 58) She has achieved the p a i n f u l recognition that at parties she w i l l always be a " f l y , " and never an accepted, b e a u t i f u l "dragonfly" and her discovery i s t o t a l and immediate: she saw i n a f l a s h to the bottom of . . . everything. She saw the truth. This was true, t h i s drawing-room, t h i s s e l f , and the other f a l s e (TND, 51). 114 "Truth" has been found, unsought, i n t h i s story, and the quest of "Monday or Tuesday" r e a l i z e d : "desiring truth, awaiting : i t " (MoT, 12). In this and other stories of what Guiguet 29 c a l l s "the Mrs. Dalloway saga" we f i n d pessimism dominant. However, a note of optimism i s surely inherent i n Mabel's es-cape from the saucer to return to her d u l l but l i v e a b l e world. After a l l , the "dragonflies" of the Dalloway party may be b e a u t i f u l , but they are also callous and unfeeling, and there-fore not to be emulated. We remember another occasion that the dragonfly appeared—in "Kew Gardens"—and was associated with a callous and i n d i f f e r e n t rebuff to an ardent lover. "The dragonfly went round and round: i t never s e t t l e d any-where" (KG, 33) rand Mrs. Woolf, through Mabel, has rejected t h i s aimless d r i f t i n g of the s o c i a l i t e . L i f e to both Mabel and Mrs. Woolf i s , i n the l a s t analysis, too precious to f l i t away with s o c i a l b u t t e r f l i e s , and Mabel's "wrappting] hers e l f round and round and round, i n the Chinese cloak she had worn these, twenty years" (TND, 58) i s symbolic. She has neither the plumage nor the constitution to j o i n the "beautiful insects, dancing, f l u t t e r i n g , skimming" (TND, 51) so she encapsulates her s e l f once more i n a f a m i l i a r cocoon and returns to a less demanding, but more secure ph°ase of l i f e . Some might cry that t h i s i s the ultimate i n cowardice, an o s t r i c h act, but I doubt that V i r g i n i a Woolf would see i t so. To l i v e one's own l i f e i s more important 115 than catering to the whims of society. In December 1927, a few months after "The New Dress" was published i n The  Forum, V i r g i n i a Woolf noted i n her diary to forget one's own sharp absurd l i t t l e personality, reputation and the rest of i t , one should read . . . think more . . . and practice anonymity. Silence i n company; or the quietest statement, not the showiest; i s also "medicated" as the doctors say. I t was an empty party, rather, l a s t night. Very nice here, though. Both Mabel and Mrs. Woolf have decided that the quiet moments of l i f e , " f a r from the madding crowd", are most meaningful. Parties are "empty," but certain "Moments of bein g " — o f t e n in s o l i t a r y situations—become the essence of l i f e : she had quite unexpectedly . . . for no reason, opening a l e t t e r , coming into a room—divine moments, when she said to h e r s e l f (for she would never say th i s to anybody else) , "This i s i t . This has happened. This i s i t ! " (TND, 56) MOMENTS OF BEING The preceding section on "The New Dress" should serve to indicate my p r i n c i p a l reason for grouping that story with "Moments of Being", but the two are probably chronologically adjacent also. They have a further l i n k i n the use of dressmaker's pins—though the two stories use them i n d i f f e r e n t ways. In "The New Dress" Mabel Waring feels " l i k e a dressmaker's dummy standing there, for young people to st i c k pins i n t o , " (TND, 50) and thus the pins are objects of. torment, rather than the neutral objects used to s h i f t scenes i n "Moments of Being": The setting of that scene could be as varied as one chose, Fanny Wilmot r e f l e c t e d . (Where had that pin f a l l e n ? ) / I t might be Ravenna; or Edinburgh . . . . The scene could be changed. (MoB, 105-106) In the other occurence of pins i n "The New Dress" however, they are used much as they are i n "Moments of Being" —almost as ti n y links between humans. The love f e l t by Mabel for Miss Milan while the l a t t e r pins Mabel's dress (TND, 52) i s p a r a l l e l e d by Fanny Wilmot's rapport with J u l i a Craye as they search for a pin dropped 'from Fanny's carnation.„-(M6B', 10 8) . The date of conception of "Moments of Being" i s un-cert a i n , Leonard Woolf fee l i n g i t "possible that . . . 'Moments of Being' was published [before A Haunted House i n 31 1944]." Guiguet asserts (without documentation) that the 32 story was published i n 1929 but Kirkpatrick does not include the story among those appearing i n magazines, yet he spans 1920 to 1938. Guiguet i s probably correct as s t y l i s t i c a l l y and thematically i t seems to follow "The New Dress", but one wonders about his source of information, as neither Leonard nor V i r g i n i a Woolf seemingly provide-, i t . In one respect, "Moments of Being" i s a throwback to the apprenticeship period i n which certain objects provided f o c a l points and g r i s t for the m i l l of the author's mind. "Moments of Being" uses a single straight pin as the catalyst of a c t i o n — J u l i a ' s innocuous comment upon Fanny's dropping the pin p r e c i p i t a t i n g Fanny's speculation about her music teacher. The difference between the early prototypes ( l i k e "The Mark on the Wall" and "Solid Objects") and t h i s story however, i s that the pin i t s e l f serves so many ends. It i s not simply an arresting object, a "plank i n the sea" from which pure speculation can spring. Consider the uses of one tiny straight pin. • ' . F i r s t , the pin f a l l s from Fanny's flower, and Miss Craye responds with the s u b t i t l e of the story: "Slater's pins have no points" (KoB, 101). This reply serves three purposes: to make Fanny think of the many commonplaces of her l i f e that the regal Miss Craye must sh a r e — s i n c e Miss Craye obviously shops at the plebian "Slater's" also; to put the pupil and student on the same s o c i a l plane (since two fellow customers have presumably at least t h i s i n common) hence enabling rapport and the "epiphany" of the kiss at the story's end; and to suggest a dominant idea i n the story--that many incidents i n l i f e , l i k e searching for a l o s t pin, have "no point" yet can be memorable and ecstatic"moments of being" l i k e Mabel feels "for no reason, opening a l e t t e r , coming into a room" (TND, 56). Next, by having Fanny search for the pin while J u l i a Craye holds the unpinned flower. Mrs. Woolf i s able to separate the women, so that the reader 118 can savor a symbolic and s o l i t a r y act by J u l i a . Miss Craye, a spinster, i s cursed with a perpetual f r u s t r a t i o n . So i t was even now with the carnation. She had her hands on i t ; she pressed / i t ; but she did not possess i t , enjoy i t , not e n t i r e l y and a l t o -gether. (MoB, 104-105) It i s s i g n i f i c a n t , too, that the flower brings to J u l i a a sense of her loneliness, her "apartness" since the flower that has f a l l e n from Fanny's breast, i s also separate, unattached. When Fanny finds the pin and reattaches "the flower to her breast" she i s kissed by the reawakened J u l i a who "burnt l i k e a dead star" (MoB, 108) i n the e c s t a t i c moment of un i o n — o f flower to breast, and of woman to woman. F i n a l l y , the pin allows Mrs. Woolf to indulge i n a b i t of whimsey i n : "(where had that pin fallen?) / I t might be Ravenna; Or Edinburgh . . . ." (MoB, 105-106) implying that objects, thoughts and situations are a l l one, and a l l mutable. One's mind can readi l y f l a s h between c i t i e s , and since objects often stimulate the t r a n s i t i o n , why cannot those tiny objects one i s constantly l o s i n g , i r r e t r i e v a b l y , be s p i r i t e d abroad also? This thought echoes that i n "The Mark on the Wall" i n which Mrs. Woolf counts "a few of the things l o s t i n one li f e t i m e . . . always the most mysterious of losses. . . . " (MoW, 41). 119 "Moments of Being" hinges about a p a r t i c u l a r pinpoint of t i m e — a mental excursion takes place i n the time i t takes to drop and recover a pin. Fanny Wilmot's thoughts of the l i v i n g J u l i a , and dead J u l i u s Craye (both of whom seemppart of a glass menagerie untouched by l i f e ) comprise the story, and the emphasis on glass reminds one of the fact and re-fl e c t e d fact i n "The Lady i n the Looking-Glass." J u l i a i s thought of as l i v i n g " i n the cool glassy world of Bach fugues" (MoB, 101) and Fanny wishes to "break the . . . glass that separate [s the Crayes] from other people" (MoB, 102). The p r i n c i p a l technique of the story i s to give the thought processes of Fanny with a l l the r e p e t i t i o n and eddying one accepts i n a mind mulling over a mystery. Thus we get "was i t for that reason then . . . that she had never married?" (M6B, 104) repeated with s l i g h t variations twice more (MoB, 104 and 106) and "much the nicest part of London —Kensington" (MoB, 104 and 105) twice. Once again a story by V i r g i n i a Woolf searches for an intangible : never c l e a r l y a r t i c u l a t e d and never completely r e a l i z e d . The treasure of "A Haunted House" and other pieces i s s t i l l e l u sive, " i t ' s on the f i e l d , i t ' s on the pane, i t ' s i n the sky—beauty; and I can't get at i t " (MoB, 103). This time the " i t " of the quotation has an antecedent, "beauty", but Mrs. Woolf i s surely adapting Keats' equation, as other stories from her pen associate " i t " with "truth" and " l i f e " . For V i r g i n i a Woolf, truth i s beauty and both are synonymous with the quintessence of l i f e , but only rarely do her characters achieve any of the terms of t h i s equation. However, when truth (or "beauty") is_ r e a l i z e d , that character can be said to have known a "moment of being", and the sum of such moments constitute a l l that i s worthwhile i n l i f e . J u l i a Craye, for example, blossoms into l i f e as she kisses Fanny and returns the carnation (MoB, 108). Eleanor of "Kew Gardens" i s quickened by another k i s s , bestowed "suddenly . . . on. the back of [her] neck and [her] hand shook a l l the afternoon / . . . i t was so precious" (KG, 33-34). The kiss bestowed by Sa l l y Seton on Mrs. Dalloway can be con-sidered a s i m i l a r "moment of being" i n which "the whole r:>2 3 world might have turned upside down." Mrs. Woolf surely i s pointing out that "the semi-transparent envelope" surrounding l i f e i s only occasionally v i s i b l e , but those rare occasions on which i t i s constitute the p i t h of l i f e . Hence, J u l i a Craye s i t t i n g hunched and compact holding her flower, seemed to emerge out of the London night, seemed to f l i n g i t l i k e a cloak behind her, i t seemed, / i n i t s bareness and inten-s i t y , the effluence of her s p i r i t , something she made which surrounded her. (MoB, 107-10 8) THE LADY IN THE LOOKING-GLASS Throughout these explications of the stories I have mentioned r e p e t i t i v e techniques employed by V i r g i n i a Woolf, and these techniques seem to recur i n stories regardless of t h e i r dates of conception. One of these i s the use of mirrors, which I e a r l i e r suggested might have been due to Roger Fry's influence.- In "The Lady i n the Looking-Glass," or i n "A R e f l e c t i o n " — ( t h e purposely ambiguous s u b t i t l e ) — w e have perhaps the most s t r i k i n g u t i l i z a t i o n of glass to re-f l e c t the truth so often missed by d i r e c t scrutiny, since "things . . . never happen, so i t seems, i f someone i s looking" (LiLG, 86). Mrs. Woolf, i n the opening to "The Lady i n the Looking-Glass" u t i l i z e s much the same technique as i n "Green"—men-t a l l y transposing r e f l e c t e d l i g h t into a room f u l l of "shy creatures" (LiLG, 86) that would be far too elusive to ob-serve without the magic of a mirror. For only i n a mirror can sights be arrested "so accurately and so fixedly that they seem . . . held there i n t h e i r r e a l i t y unescapably." (LiLG, 87). Also, as in "Green", objects have become f l u i d i n "The Lady i n the Looking-Glass", l i k e the l e t t e r s which are " a l l dripping with l i g h t and colour" (LiLG, 89). This brings to mind Salvador D a l i , since i n this and other stories Mrs. Woolf i s doing i n prose what Dali does in o i l — m a k i n g the universe, and time i t s e l f , f l u i d and e x c i t i n g : "nothing stayed the same for two seconds together" (LiLG, 87). 122 As i n most of Mrs. W o o l f s s t o r i e s , the plot of t h i s story i s almost nonexistent. A" s i l e n t and unnoticed observer examines a quite ordinary woman as she works i n her garden— but the observer does so., completely by images r e f l e c t e d into the house by the h a l l mirror. Thus the narrator i s lim i t e d by the frame of the looking-glass since a l l outside th i s frame of reference i s blank. Of course, the observer could e a s i l y change position and thus widen her f i e l d of v i s i o n immensely, but she does not do s o — f o r the same reason that the observer of "The Mark on the Wall".does not r i s e and v i s u a l l y v e r i f y the object of speculation. It i s not laziness that causes the fixed point of view—rather the opposite. The a r t i s t desires to exercise her imagination to the f u l l e s t , and savouns the challenge of working with the bare minimum of facts . Of course, by now, we know V i r g i n i a W o o l f s attitude to fa c t s ; . • "The Mark on the Wall," "The String Quartet," "An Unwritten Novel" and particularly the essay "Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown" a l l reveal ••. her disdain. This story i s no d i f f e r e n t i n t h i s respect, and the reader who requires facts must "snatch what l i t t l e there [is] greedily" (TND, 54) l i k e Mrs. Holman. "For i t was another f a c t — i f facts were what one wanted . . . " (LiLG, 88) makes Mrs. Woolf s po s i t i o n clear. 123 The o b j e c t o f the p a r t i c u l a r game b e h i n d "The Lady i n the L o o k i n g - G l a s s " (and most o f V i r g i n i a W o o l f s s k e t c h e s are a r t i s t i c games) i s the g u e s s i n g o f the t r u t h b e h i n d I s a b e l l a T y s o n ' s e x t e r i o r . S i n c e "she c o n c e a l e d so much and knew so much one must p r i s e h e r open w i t h the f i r s t t o o l t h a t came t o h a n d — t h e i m a g i n a t i o n . " ( L i L G , 89) Of course t h i s c r e a t i o n o f a s u r r o g a t e l i f e f o r a woman o b s e r v e d i s p r e c i s e l y what i s done i n "An U n w r i t t e n N o v e l " , "Moments o f B e i n g " and "The S h o o t i n g P a r t y " -doca, as G u i g u e t - h a s n o t e d i n g r o u p i n g the f o u r s t o r i e s as " the w r i t e r i n q u e s t o f M r s . •34 " B r o w n . " There i s o n l y one m o d i f i c a t i o n i n the f u l e s o f the o b s e r v a t i o n game. S i n c e the a u t h o r has had p r a c t i c e on t h r e e former o c c a s i o n s i n d i r e c t t r a n s m o g r i f i c a t i o n , she now w i l l p e r f o r m the t r i c k u s i n g a m i r r o r . A n o t h e r by now f a m i l i a r t e c h n i q u e r e c u r s i n "The Lady i n the L o o k i n g - G l a s s " . "Kew Gardens" f i r s t e x p l o r e s the p a r a l l e l s between p e o p l e and l i f e i n a g a r d e n , and I s a b e l l a , p i c k i n g garden f l o w e r s assumes the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f the " t r e m u l o u s c o n v o l v u l u s " ( L i L G , 87) i n a r e l a t e d metamorphosis . In the l a t e r s t o r y . t h o u g h ^ M r s . Woolf does not a l l o w h e r mind to pursue t h i s t r a i n o f t h o u g h t , s i n c e such comparisons are worse t h a n i d l e and s u p e r f i c i a l — t h e y are c r u e i e v e n , f o r they come l i k e the c o n v o l v u l u s i t s e l f t r e m b l i n g between o n e ' s eyes and the t r u t h . There must be t r u t h . . . . ( L i L G , 87) 124 Thus, even though the same concerns are evident i n t h i s story of 1929 as were found i n "Kew Gardens" written ten years pre-viously, concision and precision have replaced undisciplined "butterfly-hunting"—leaping o f f i n pursuit of every colour-f u l image. "The Lady i n the Looking-Glass" has a kinship with i t s chronological predecessor, i n i t s desire to catch a "moment of being" i n Isabella—though no such moment occurs. The observer rejects the tri v i a l facts of Isabella's l i f e "the things that she talked about at dinner [since] i t was her profounder state of being that one wanted to catch and turn to words" (LiLG, 90). "The Lady i n the Looking-Glass," though, i s markedly d i f f e r e n t from "Moments of Being" i n i t s conclusion. I t has no e c s t a t i c moment—in fact the moment of truth i s b i t t e r and pessimistic. The mirror does i t s work, stri p p i n g o f f "the unessential and s u p e r f i c i a l . . . to leave only the truth [but] . . . Isabella was p e r f e c t l y empty. She had no thoughts. She had no friends" (LiLG, 92). Guiguet makes an i n t e r e s t i n g comparison of t h i s scene with the t e r -minal one of V i r g i n i a Woolf's l a s t novel, i n which the pessimism presaging her suicide i s evident. He notes that the same emptiness, the same s t e r i l i t y i n s o c i a l relations are s i m i l a r l y conveyed i n the f i n a l pages of Between the Acts, where the heroine, another Isabella, again has "only b i l l s " by the evening post. 125 Mrs. Woolf, here, i s i n a grey mood, and i s not far from the blackness of 1941. In that year she determinedly wrote "this 36 trough of despair s h a l l not, I swear, engulf me" though we know, alas, i t did. THE DUCHESS AND THE JEWELLER We seem to know more "facts" about t h i s story than any other of the canon, as various sources provide Us with the 37 approximate completion date (August 1937), the firm request-3 8 ing the story ("Chambrun, N[ew] Y[ork]") the published date (March 1938) 3 9 and the outlet (Harper's Bazaar). 4 0 Mrs. Woolf would probably smile at t h i s j o y f u l seizure of pertinent data, but i t i s reassuring to have something s p e c i f i c at l a s t to support what, unfortunately, must otherwise be c r i t i c a l shadow-boxing. "The Duchess and the Jeweller" i s one of two Woolf stories we could c a l l conventional ("The Legacy" being the other). The characters i n both these stories are revealed almost e n t i r e l y by actions and d e s c r i p t i o n s — a n d the inner workings of the mind are peripheral. In "The Duchess and the Jeweller" we have another rare occurrence for V i r g i n i a Woolf but a common one among conventional w r i t e r s — t h a t i s the exp l o i t a t i o n of a character's name as a vehicle for meaning. "Oliver" seems reminiscent of Oliver Twist—and "Bacon" suggests the greedy, rooting animal that the jeweller 126 has become. The story i s not so much one of mental anguish as a study i n motivation—an appraisal of how a man i s w i l l i n g to s a c r i f i c e his native Jewish shrewdness (and £20,000) for the chance to win a duchess's daughter. As a member of the nouveau riche Oliver' yearns for the only thing his money has not been able to b u y — s o c i a l acceptance. The duchess obviously provides an avenue to t h i s end—and the plot scarcely needs resume; Oliver has won his bet with his mother and become "the richest jeweller i n England" (DaJ, 94) but he i s " s t i l l a sad man, a d i s s a t i s f i e d man, a man who seeks something that i s hidden" (DaJ, 95). Like many of his cl a s s , O l i v e r uses his wealth as a club, and sees i n his diamonds "gunpowder enough to blow Mayfair—sky high, high, high!" (DaJ, 96) He takes s a d i s t i c pleasure i n having the duchess await his convenience, and r e a l i z e s his power over the impecunious woman. But the enemies are well matched—she knows his weakness— his love for her daughter. The story i s rather t r i v i a l when compared to most of the others. One knows the duchess w i l l cheat the supposedly shrewd Oliver since she has done so before, and r e a l i z e s her power: "was she l y i n g again? Did she dare?" (DaJ, 98) The reader also can .guess that the thought of "the l i g h t of the eyes of Diana" w i l l hold sway over "the eyes of the 127 old woman i n the picture . . . his mother" (DaJ, 99) and that his infatuation for the younger woman w i l l necessitate his ignoring the s i l e n t disapproval of the o l d e r — s y m b o l i c a l l y his Jewish shrewdness. He takes the proferred paste pearls in exchange for £20,000 and the i n v i t a t i o n to "come for a long week end" and i s not r e a l l y surprised when the jewels prove to be "rotten at the c e n t r e — r o t t e n at the core" (DaJ, 100). What i s s i g n i f i c a n t i n t h i s story as: i t s ; connections with "The Shooting Party" and "Lappin and Lapinova." The " t r u f f l e " that Oliver wishes most of a l l to "rout out of the earth" (DaJ, 100) i s prec i s e l y the way of l i f e that V i r -g i n i a Woolf reveals so mercilessly i n these other s t o r i e s . The two "Squires" of the two e a r l i e r stories both t y p i f y a way of l i f e outmoded, "a world that had ceased to e x i s t " (LaL, 75). The same phrase used by Oliver as he r e a l i z e s his deception—"rotten at the core"—occurs i n "The Shooting P a r t y " — " r o t t e n at the heart" (SP, 65)—and the irony on both occasions l i e s i n the fact that the speakers apply the term to innocent sources while f a i l i n g to recognize the canker in themselves. Oliver's desires are rotten, but then so i s he, and herein l i e s the story's weakness. We don't r e a l l y care about Oliver's duping, since he gets what he deserves. This i s a story of bare "facts of l i f e " and we are rel i e v e d when Mrs. Woolf moves on to stories pursuing that "profounder 128 state of being" (LiLG, 90) with which she i s both more concerned, and more p r o f i c i e n t . 129 NOTES W r i t e r ' s D i a r y , p . 308. 2 I b i d . 3 M r s . Dal loway and O r l a n d o were M r s . W o o l f s most m a r k e t a b l e n o v e l s (with To The L i g h t h o u s e they earned h e r £ 2 , 0 0 0 ) and e s t a b l i s h e d h e r r e p u t a t i o n i n 1927-1928. 4 A W r i t e r ' s D i a r y , p . 308. 5 I b i d . , p . 286. ^ T h i s s t o r y , p a r t o f the M r s . Dal loway M S . , i s obvious -l y p r e - 1 9 2 5 , though p u b l i s h e d i n 1965. 7 The Common Reader (1 ) , p . 143. o A W r i t e r ' s D i a r y , p . 287. g D . H . Lawrence , "How B e a s t l y the B o u r g e o i s e I s " , In A L i t t l e T r e a s u r y o f Modern V e r s e , e d . 0 . W i l l i a m s (New York"! H a r c o u r t Brace & Company, 194 8) , p . 983. 10 T , . , I b i d . 1 ^ M r s . D a l l o w a y , p . 56. p . 193. 13 12 "The Sun and the F i s h , " The C a p t a i n ' s Death B e d , The B e r g C o l l e c t i o n , New York P u b l i c L i b r a r y . 14 I l l e g i b l e . 15 M r s . D a l l o w a y , p . 5. 130 1 6 I b i d . , p. 9. 1 7 I b i d . , p. 264. 18 Leonard Woolf, Beginning Again, p. 240. 19 David Daiches, V i r g i n i a Woolf (Norfolk: New Directions Books, 1942), p. 45. 20 Beginning Again, pp. 239-240. 21 V i r g i n i a Woolf, Granite and Rainbow, pp. 79-80. 22 V i r g i n i a Woolf and Her Works, p. 338. 2 3 E r i c Berne, Games People Play (New York: Grove Press, 1964) dustcover. 24 A phrase used by Mrs. Woolf to describe Katherine Mansfield, but usually associated with V i r g i n i a Woolf herself. 2 5Donald H a l l , "Who Else i s Af r a i d of V i r g i n i a Woolf?" New York Times Book Review, 24 December 1967, Section 7, 2 6 V i r g i n i a Woolf, Collected Essays (New York: Harcourt Brace and World, 1966). This e d i t i o n , by f a r the most con-venient source of the complete c r i t i c a l canon, was, not available at the time t h i s thesis was commenced. 2 7 Mrs. Dalloway, p. 279. 2 8 I b i d . , p. 283. 2 9 V i r g i n i a Woolf and Her Works, p. 336. 3 0 A Writer's Diary, p. 121. 31 A Haunted House and Other Short Stories, p. 8. 131 32 V i r g i n i a Woolf and Her Works, p. 330 n. 33 Mrs. Dalloway, p. 40. 34 V i r g i n i a Woolf and Her Works, p. 332. 35 Ibid., p. 335. 3 6 A Writer's Diary, p. 354. 3 7 I b i d . , p. 286. Ibid. 39 A Bibliography of V i r g i n i a Woolf, p. 106 4 0 - , . , Ibid. 132 CHAPTER IV POSTHUMOUS PIECES The mind i s f u l l of monstrous, un-manageable emotions. That the age of the earth i s 3,000,000,000 years; that human l i f e l a s t s but a second; that the capacity of the human mind i s nevertheless boundless; that l i f e i s i n f i n i t e l y b e a u t i f u l yet repulsive; that one's fellow creatures are adorable but disgust-ing; . . . yet some control must e x i s t . — V i r g i n i a Woolf, "The Narrow Bridge of Art" The l a s t f i v e s t o r i e s of A Haunted House share an aura of mystery. None are referred to i n the Diary or elsewhere by Mrs. Woolf, and her husband presents them with the tersest of preambles. The reader must take the stories as V i r g i n i a Woolf l e f t them, "only just i n the stage beyond that of her f i r s t sketch""1" which i s unfortunate, as one feels that a synthesis of l i f e i s sought and almost r e a l i z e d in these l a s t pieces. They contain echoes of most of t h e i r predecessors, and i f they f a i l (as Guiguet suggests of 2 "The Searchlight" at least ) i t i s i n the attempt to sum up too much. Four of the f i v e s t o r i e s have party settings (three at the home of the gregarious Dalloways) suggesting that the f i n a l phase of V i r g i n i a Woolf*s story writing was. an attempt 133 to come to grips with what s o c i a l contacts mean, and whether communication i s i n fact possible. The three stories com-3 p r i s i n g Guiguet's "Mrs. Dalloway Saga" would seem to imply a pessimistic c o n c l u s i o n — t h a t the human animal i s incapable of meaningful communion i n that each of the conversing couples f a i l s to achieve rapport. P r i c k e t t E l l i s and Miss O'Keefe end up "hating each other, hating the whole houseful of people who had given them t h i s p a i n f u l , t h i s d i s i l l u s i o n i n g evening." (TMWL, 115) Richard Serle and Miss Anning fare l i t t l e better, l e f t with "that paralysing blankness of f e e l i n g , when nothing bursts from the mind," (TaA, 136); while Sasha Latham, afte r an apparently successful encounter with Mr. Bertram Prichard, s t i l l feels her soul to be "unmated, a widow b i r d " (ASU, 140). »"The Legacy" i s s i m i l a r l y pessimistic i n that G i l b e r t Clandon, a widower, finds that even while his wife l i v e d he too was unmated--since she loved another man. Only "The Searchlight" reveals the early spark of optimism and contains the s i g n i f i c a n t k i s s — t h e catalyst of so many Woolfian epiphanies. But even here one detects a note of f a i l u r e , as Guiguet implies i n his suggestion that "The Searchlight" i s "the least successful of a l l the 4 s t o r i e s and the most profoundly t y p i c a l of V i r g i n i a Woolf." Because "The Searchlight" i s the l a s t of the stories that might be considered o p t i m i s t i c i n tone, and because i t incorporates no less than seven techniques e s s e n t i a l to 1 e a r l i e r s t o r i e s , I have chosen to explicate i t f i r s t . "The Legacy" which follows earned another superlative from Guiguet 5 who sees i t as " V i r g i n i a W o o l f s most dramatic story." This leaves three stories that can be seen as a t r i l o g y leading to and including "The Summing Up"—each story of which assesses the p o s s i b i l i t y of communication, each of which has a Dalloway setting, and each of which (as one t i t l e suggests) reveals how a couple placed "together" i n a s o c i a l context invariably and inev i t a b l y draws "apart." THE SEARCHLIGHT "The Searchlight" i s reminiscent of so much of V i r g i n i a W o o l f s early short f i c t i o n that one i s tempted to suggest that i t , and not the l a s t story in A Haunted House should bear the t i t l e "A Summing Up." The opening sentence immediately r e c a l l s the Rashleigh house of "A Shooting Party" an impression reinforced by the setting of the "inner story," a "place gone to rack and ruin [but with] . . . a coat of arms over the door" (TS, 117). The fact that there i s an inner story prompted by a s l i g h t motivating incident suggests the technique of "An Unwritten Novel"—and the motivating incident (the Searchlight passing over the party) i n turn r e c a l l s "The Mark on the Wall" and i t s fellows. Of course, the party brings to mind the s o c i a l setting of "The New Dress," and the mind revolves l i k e the Chinese boxes of 135 "Kew Gardens"—one thought turning within another and each thought mobilizing a deeper layer of meaning. The story i s not successful i n i t s attempt to l i n k the themes and techniques of the early stories for the same reason that the e a r l i e s t s t o r i e s f a i l e d . Mrs. Woolf has apparently regressed to b u t t e r f l y - h u n t i n g — c r e a t i n g and shepherding too many "unborn children of the mind" to evolve a believable story. However, since we cannot know the date of conception of t h i s story we are perhaps u n j u s t i -f i e d i n c a l l i n g i t regressive. The motivating incident that triggers Mrs. Ivimey's memories (and the author's narrative) i s the bathing of an after-dinner gathering i n the l i g h t of an errant searchlight beam. This stimulus invokes "y o u ' l l never guess what that made me see!" (TS, 116) from the blue-capped narrator of the story within a s t o r y , — t h a t evolving into her great-grand-father's telescope though which another g i r l "wearing blue upon her head" (TS, 119) was "spotted." The searchlight and the telescope of the story serve p r e c i s e l y the same ends that the looking-glass does i n e a r l i e r p ieces—each i s a mechanical lens system used by the author to momentarily reveal a woman i n a s p e c i f i c posture of transcendental s i g n i f i c a n c e . But i n t h i s story one feels that Mrs. Woolf (l i k e Mrs. Ivimey's grandfather "covered with dust, steaming with sweat") has gone too f a r — t h e sight of a couple kissing 136 "miles and miles across the moors" (TS, 120) trigg e r i n g a compulsive desire i n the beholder to win the g i r l himself. The fact that t h i s ardent swain has had a wife, now has a woman he has "taken to l i v e with" (TS, 117) and i s r a i s i n g a son i s immaterial, as i s his age (elderly) and station (impoverished). He somehow wins the g i r l , s p i r i t s o f f his r i v a l , and begets a second l i n e — a l l of which the dumbfounded reader must accept without explanation, for "the l i g h t . . . only f a l l s here and there." (TS, 120) Dramatically, t h i s i s of course i n c r e d i b l e , but Mrs. Woolf never claims, to be a purveyor of realism. Through-out the stories she i s more concerned with uncovering the meaning of l i f e — a n d i n the l a t e r s t o r i e s , i n discovering the s p e c i f i c meaning of human existence—than i n creating credible i n t r i g u e s . Yet, s i g n i f i c a n t l y , t h i s story has much i n common with "The Legacy", the most dramatic story of the twenty-one. Both are concerned with escape from a s t u l t i f y i n g e x i s t e n c e — in the l a t t e r story through suicide—which would c l e a r l y support the case for these being late sketches, had we no other knowledge of t h i s f a c t . V i r g i n i a W o o l f s fondness for associative patterns led her to develop "doubles" i n at least two of the s t o r i e s . By t h i s term I mean two separate characters, but with s u f f i c i e n t s i m i l a r i t y to suggest that i n some respects the two are one— 137 as i n the way the separate characters react to l i f e . For example, M i l l y Masters and M i l l y the housekeeper i n "A Shooting Party" are not necessarily the same person—and M i l l y and Miss Antonia c e r t a i n l y are n o t — y e t each has the same peculiar "chk" and f a c i a l scar. In "The Searchlight" the -narrator unconsciously acts out the role of her ancestor, (and both women we are t o l d wear blue) and by the story's end i s not sure herself whether the kiss was her's or her great-grandmother's: "Oh that g i r l . . . She was my—" she hesitated, as i f she were about to say "myself." But she remembered; and corrected h e r s e l f . "She was my great-grandmother," she said. (TS, 120) "The Searchlight" also has a great deal i n common with "Moments of Being" i n that a simple kiss (and one be-tween e s s e n t i a l l y disinterested parties since the great-grandfather's r i v a l q u i e t l y "vanished" (TS, 120)) provides the impetus to charge a mediocre l i f e with meaning—as does J u l i a Craye's kiss i n the e a r l i e r story. A further s i m i l a r -i t y i s obvious i n the closing lines of "The Searchlight" i n which i t i s clear that Mrs. Ivimey too ( l i k e her great-grandfather and presumably his wife) only assumes significance while the l i g h t i s on her. Once the searchlight beam has passed on, the narrator-actor resumes the ordinary attributes of a M i l l y Masters or Minnie Marsh. Mrs. Ivimey then 138 reaches for a reassuring s o l i d object to reaffirm her return to earth as the l i g h t passes: "Mrs. Ivimey murmured, stooping to fumble with her cloak (the searchlight had l e f t : t h e balcony) . . ."(TS, 120). It i s easy to see th i s story as a t r i a l run for V i r g i n i a Woolf*s l a s t novel, Between the Acts. Mrs. Ivimey becomes her great-grandmother as she narrates the drama where-by she came to be, and t h i s vicarious l i f e seems a welcome interlude from the tedious business of everyday l i f e . In the same way Miss LaTrobe i n the novel unfurls a pageant between the acts of l i f e , and t h i s dramatic interlude becomes her moment of being. The concluding l i n e s of both the story and the novel suggest that l i f e i s a never-ending series of plays within plays. The actors of the novel are qu i e t l y awaiting the next inevitable cycle and the r a i s i n g of the curtain; those of the story, a f t e r witnessing a dramatic monologue prepare to depart, for " i t was time they went on to the play" (TS, 120). THE LEGACY If any of V i r g i n i a Woolf's short f i c t i o n can be said to be " i n the French rather than the Russian manner",6 "The Legacy" i s that story. I t i s the only whodunit Mrs. Woolf has written, and i t i s c e r t a i n l y true that i n t h i s story 139 the l a s t sentence of the l a s t page f l a r e s up . . . [and] we see by i t s l i g h t the whole circumference and significance of the story revealed,' whereas most of Mrs. Wo o l f s stories are decidedly Russian: Everything i s cloudy and vague, loosely t r a i l i n g rather than t i g h t l y f u r l e d . The sto r i e s move slowly out of sight l i k e clouds i n the summer a i r , leaving a wake of meaning in our minds which gradually fades away.^ Perhaps the reason that V i r g i n i a Woolf chose to fashion t h i s story alone as a mystery, was to disguise the fact that she v i c a r i o u s l y was Angela Clandon. A l l of the "clues" l e f t scattered through the story suggest that the suicide of Angela anticipated V i r g i n i a W o o l f s . The diary entry "have I the courage to do i t too?" (TL, 12 8) i s V i r g i n i a Woolf s own query, and "The legacy" bequeathed to G i l b e r t i s prec i s e l y that l e f t to Leonard Woolf—"her diary . . . behind him on her writing table" (TL, 121). Angela Clandon's habits match those of her creator: "ever since they were married, [Angela] . . . had kept a diary" (TL, 121) while Mrs. Woolf, married i n 1912, "began regularly to write a diary . . . 9 in 1915." Angela, l i k e the narrator of "Kew Gardens" has "a passion for l i t t l e [Chinese] boxes" (TL, 121) and one suspects that V i r g i n i a Woolf did too—Mabel Waring i n her Chinese cloak reminds one very much of the V i r g i n i a Woolf p o r t r a i t 140 fronting Eileen Pippett's work. 1^ Leonard Woolf lends support to these i m p l i c a t i o n s — t h a t certain stories are autobiograph-i c a l , i n providing a most s t r i k i n g sketch of the e f f e c t his wife's appearance had on people. We can guess that Angela with her Chinese boxes and d i a r i e s i s V i r g i n i a Woolf, but that Mabel Waring evolved from her creator i s almost cer t a i n from the following: to the crowd i n the street there was something i n [Virginia's] appearance which struck them as strange and laughable . . . nine out of ten people would stare or stop and stare at V i r g i n i a . . . there was something i n [her] . . . which they found ri d i c u l o u s . . . . I t was only p a r t l y that her dress was never quite the same as other people's. ^ The echoes of other s t o r i e s are f a i n t e r i n "The Legacy" than i n the other posthumous pieces, but they are present. Sissy M i l l e r , another middle-aged drone, joins the ranks of Minnie Marsh, M i l l y Masters and the "thousands of . . . drab l i t t l e women in black." (TL, 122) The e g o t i s t i c a l G i l b e r t , mistaking Sissy's "sympathetic yet searching" (TL, 124) look for a look of love, r e c a l l s the pompous males of the early feminist story "A Society." And, the choice of occupation f o r G i l b e r t C l a n d o n — p o l i t i c i a n — r e c a l l s John's early career i n "S o l i d Objects", and reminds us that both John and Angela choose to escape a st u f f y p o l i t i c a l environ-ment i n unconventional waysN. 141 "The Legacy" has an extremely simple structure very a t y p i c a l of Mrs. Woolf. The l i t t l e mystery surrounding Angela Clandon's death i s set up f a r too neatly, which perhaps accounts for the f e e l i n g of d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n with which i t leaves the reader. A l l the "clues" point immedi-ately to suicide—we are not even treated to an occasional red herring. At the opening G i l b e r t thinks how strange i t was . . . that [Angela] . . . had l e f t very-thing i n such o r d e r — a l i t t l e g i f t of some sort for every one of her friends . . . as i f she had foreseen her death. (TL, 121) This surely anticipates the antlciimacticdiscovery of suicide, just as "she had l e f t him nothing i n p a r t i c u l a r , unless i t were her diary" (TL, 121) presages Gi l b e r t ' s legacy—the knowledge that his wife had nothing to leave him but the clues to her defection from his conservatism--: and i n d i f f e r -ence, to the a l i e n , but v i t a l world of "B.M." The old story of a husband's growing immersion i n his own selfishness i s revealed i n the scattered diary references and Gi l b e r t ' s thoughts, and the inevitable pattern emerges: he had become more and more absorbed i n his work. And she, of course, was more often alone . . ./ she f e l t so i d l e , so useless. She wished to have some work of her own . . . . So i t seemed that every Wednesday she went to Whitechapel [where she meets B.M.] (TL, 125-126) One might protest from t h i s that Angela i s surely not V i r g i n i a Woolf; the l a t t e r could scarcely be imagined to have had an i d l e hour—as her more than a score of books att e s t s . But while I would agree that the motivation for the two womens' suicides was d i f f e r e n t , t h e i r need for es-cape was equally strong. Angela "had stepped o f f the kerb to escape . . . " (TL, 129) while V i r g i n i a Woolf chose to step into the River Ouse to fl e e the voices that tormented her: I have the f e e l i n g that I s h a l l go mad . . . . I hear voices and cannot concentrate on my work^ 2 I have fought against i t , but cannot f i g h t any longer. The Diary also records, on June 11, 1936: I can only, after two months, make t h i s b r i e f note, to say at l a s t a f t e r two months dismal and worse, almost catastrophic i l l n e s s — n e v e r been so near the precipice to/my own fe e l i n g since 1913 . . . . 3 Between 1933 and 1936 V i r g i n i a Woolf was writing The Years, and there i s reason to believe that "The Legacy" belongs to th i s period also (several p a r a l l e l s betv/een the two works w i l l l a t e r be pointed out) . Angela Clandon flees to escape her husband, Mrs. Woolf to spare hers further suffering (as " 14 her farewell l e t t e r to Leonard records) ; and the reader, at the close of "The Legacy" feels an acute sorrow that t h i s story, no more than a melancholy musing preparatory to death, should have been necessary. 143 THE MAN WHO LOVED HIS KIND The f i r s t of what I have taken to be Mrs. Woolf's f i n a l three stories establishes a framework that w i l l be continued through "Together and Apart" and "A Summing Up"— the bringing together of mixed couples at Dalloway parties to explore, once more, "Kew Garden's" thought: "What pre-ci p i c e s aren't concealed i n [ i n s i g n i f i c a n t words]" (KG, 37). Each of the couples brought together by the Dalloways reveal conversational c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s analogous to r e p e l l i n g magnetic p o l e s — t h e closer they get to an issue v i t a l to them both, the farther apart they are thrust—which perhaps i s the point of the t i t l e "Together and Apart." "The Man Who Loved His Kind" brings an old school fri e n d of Richard Dalloway's (Prickett E l l i s ) into contact with a Miss O'Keefe—and the re s u l t i n g conversation—and what i s l e f t unsaid—forms the c o n f l i c t . E l l i s i s a s e l f -s a t i s f i e d lawyer who prides himself on his humanity—and looks with p i t y upon the wretches at the party (and i n his world) who contribute nothing—who do not "love t h e i r kind." His pompous account of his one charitable act, and Miss O'Keefe's p a r a l l e l evangelistic fervour for Shakespeare and poetry, show how people of d i f f e r e n t words are completely ignorant of the workings of a l i e n realms. This of course i s not a new theme; rather i t suggests "Solid Objects" or "Lappin and Lapinova" r e v i s i t e d . I t has been suggested 144 that Mrs. Dalloway i s the novel most pertinent to the s t o r i e s , and "The Man Who Loved His Kind" c e r t a i n l y has overtones of that work. P r i c k e t t E l l i s reminds one of the over-stuffed T T Hugh Whitbread, "the perfect specimen of the public school 15 type [whom] no country but England could have produced." S i m i l a r l y , Miss O'Keefe r e c a l l s Miss Isabel Pole, "lecturing i n the Waterloo Road about Shakespeare", 1^ which makes one wonder i f "The Man Who Loved His Kind" was i n V i r g i n i a Woolf's mind as part of the "Mrs. Dalloway" project referred to i n the Jacob's Room holograph quoted e a r l i e r . P r i c k e t t E l l i s i s described by Richard Dalloway as a man "with predjudices s t i c k i n g out a l l over him" (TMWL, 109) while E l l i s sees his host as a man who "was married, gave parti e s ; wasn't his sort at a l l , [understanding immediately that] . . . they had nothing to say to each other" (TMWL, 109). And from t h i s unpromising s t a r t things degenerate further, as Pri c k e t t E l l i s and Miss O'Keefe are reluc t a n t l y coupled by the e b u l l i e n t Richard Dalloway—who at least had school days i n common with E l l i s , whereas Miss O'Keefe seems completely beyond E l l i s ' ken. The irony i n the situ a t i o n i s the s i m i l a r i t y between the two, while each associates the other with an i n f e r i o r and a l i e n way of l i f e . E l l i s sees Miss O'Keefe as "this pale, abrupt, arrogant woman", and she him as "ill-kempt, a l l moustache, chin and s i l v e r watch chain" (TMWL, 114) yet each reacts i n precisely the same way to the i n j u s t i c e s they see i n the world. E l l i s , a lawyer who has just defended a couple without fee, thinks of himself as "an ordinary human being, p i t t e d against the e v i l , the cor-ruption, the heartlessness of society" (TMWL, 111) and Miss O'Keefe feels the same indignation that "a woman and two children, very poor, very t i r e d " (TMWL, 112) cannot be l e t into the comfortable world of the Dalloways. The difference between the two, and the root of t h e i r estrangement, i s that Miss O'Keefe i s a r e a l i s t who knows that "the/whole force of the world can't [reform i n j u s t i c e ] " (TMWL, 112-113) whereas E l l i s , a crusader, feels he cannot waste an hour at the National Gallery "with the world i n the state i t was i n " (TMWL, 111). The concluding remarks "I am a f r a i d I am one of those very ordinary people . . . who love t h e i r kind" and the stinging r e t o r t "so do I". (TMWL, 115) freveal how two people who profess so much love reveal so l i t t l e : "hating each other, hating the whole houseful of people . . . these two lovers of t h e i r kind . . . parted for ever." (TMWL, 115) It might be noted at t h i s point that nearly a l l of Mrs.- Woolf's s t o r i e s — w h i c h attempt to achieve a synthesis of l i f e — e n d with a separation (and a corresponding sense of f a i l u r e ) . Recall the concluding l i n e s of several s t o r i e s and note the fe e l i n g of f i n a l i t y i n them, the fe e l i n g that l i f e and Mrs. Woolf were committed to opposite poles: 146 '"You go t h i s way?' 'Alas. I go that.'" (SQ, 31) "So that was the end of that marriage." (LaL, 78) ". . .he l e f t J o h n — f o r ever." (SO, 85) ". . . these two lovers . . . parted for ever." (TMWL, 115) "She had stepped o f f the kerb to escape from him." (TL, 129) "And they could separate." (TaA, 136) ". . . b y nature unmated, a widow b i r d / . . . her soul . . . [was] s t a r t l e d up into the a i r by a stone thrown at i t . " (ASU, 140-141) An i n d i c a t i o n that the voices i n i t i a t i n g V i r g i n i a W o o l f s suicide were being heard at the time "The Man Who Loved His Kind" was being written i s suggested by the equating of the half-heard conversation from a distant room, to the music accompanying a dance of death: you could hear a buzz and hum and a chatter and a j i n g l e , l i k e the mad accompaniment of some phantom orchestra to a cat or two s l i n k i n g across the grass . . . the talk seemed l i k e a f r a n t i c skeleton dance music set to something very r e a l , and f u l l of suffering. (TMWL, 113) TOGETHER AND APART Both the t i t l e and the second sentence of "Together and Apart" reveal the story to be a continuation of the study in non-communication seen i n "The Man Who Loved His Kind," Mrs. Woolf making i t clear that t h i s conversation w i l l produce the same n i h i l i s t i c f e e l i n g — " t h e conversation began some minutes before anything was said" (TaA, 130). This meeting, of Mr. Serle and Miss Anning, p i t s a new set of combatants against each other, but l i t t l e else i s changed—the setting might be the same Dalloway party. 147 Mr. Serle and Miss Anning again explore the by now f a m i l i a r world of the " u n s a i d " — i n a n i t i e s of p o l i t e conver-sation shroud the r e a l medium of communication, the sensing probes used by each s e n s i t i v e , questing i n d i v i d u a l i n Mrs. W o o l f s world. Her f i r s t novel, we remember, had Terence Hewet wishing "to write a novel about the things people 17 don't say." Miss Anning o r i g i n a l l y does not l i k e her partner, but when the fact that they both love Canterbury kindles t h e i r i n t e r e s t i n each other, "her tentacles sen[t] back the message that Roderick Serle was nice" (TaA, 134). In t h i s story we are f o r c i b l y reminded of how t e r r i b l y s ensitive and questing V i r g i n i a W o o lfs characters are. Those who are lonely (and t h i s includes the married l i k e Mabel Waring) invariably speculate on the joys of togetherness: "sometimes she wished she had married" (Miss Anning, TaA, 135); "for a l l her dreams . . . married to some hero" (Mabel Waring, TND, 55); "she had never married, and yet . . . she had gone through twenty times more . . . passion" (Isabella Tyson, LiLG, 88); "to be them would be marvellous" (Sasha Latham, ASU, 139). Of course, among those who have achieved a successful re l a t i o n s h i p many f a i l to retain i t — l i k e the Thorburns of "Lappin and Lapinova"cor the Clandons of "The Legacy". The world of V i r g i n i a Woolf, es p e c i a l l y i n the darkening years, i s a tortured introspective one—a world i n 148 which the green grass on the other side i s either unattainable, or found to be brown i f i t i s r e a l i z e d . "Together and Apart," l i k e "The New Dress" and "The Legacy" has autobiographical snatches, but the author i s not s p e c i f i c a l l y associated with one character as before. Mrs. Woolf seems to be indulging i n self-recrimination about what she might have achieved when Roderick Serle t h i n k s — "half b i t t e r l y , for he had never done a tenth part of what he could have done" (TaA, 132); but she becomes Miss Anning at another point i n the story: "hers being a deplorable t i m i d i t y " (TaA, 131). Leonard Woolf v e r i f i e s the l a t t e r tendency i n his wife i n st a t i n g : she had a curious shyness with strangers which often made them uncomfortably shy . . . some intangible aura, which made her very often seem strange to the 'ordinary' person.1° V i r g i n i a Woolf also seems to become Ruth Anning where the l a t t e r " s e t t l e [ s ] i n to d i s i n t e r the true man who was buried under the f a l s e , saying to h e r s e l f : 'On, Stanley, on'" (TaA, 131). I t i s as i f Mrs. Woolf considered her s e l f and her work as exploring the untouched jungles of the human mind, and that at times her courage f a i l e d at the magnitude of her self-imposed undertaking. That she undoubtably f e l t she had f a i l e d to uncover the truth at the heart of l i f e i s revealed i n the guise of Mr. Serle who f e l t "he had f a i l e d . . . be-149 cause he could not cut himself o f f u t t e r l y from society . . . and write. He had involved himself too deeply i n l i f e " (TaA, 133). This introspective thought i s surely the author's own. It i s found repeatedly i n her c r i t i c i s m , and can best be seen i n " L i f e and the Novelist." Mrs. Woolf argues that the n o v e l i s t — i t i s his d i s t i n c t i o n and his d a n g e r — i s t e r r i b l y exposed to l i f e . Other a r t i s t s , p a r t i a l l y at l e a s t , withdraw . . . but the no v e l i s t never forgets and i s seldom distracted . . . . He can no more cease to receive impressions than a f i s h i n mid-ocean can cease to l e t the water rush through his g i l l s . 19 The writer would l i k e to be able to step outside the cage of society and study i t s teeming l i f e with c l i n i c a l detachment, but she can't, as Mr. Serle also discovers.. However, even here, near her darkest hour, the old love of l i f e r e t u r n s — a moment of being occurs i n spite of, rather than because of, a s o c i a l encounter. Mrs. Woolf, through Miss Anning, feels the o l d ecstasy of l i f e ; i t s i n v i n c i b l e assault; for i t was unpleasant, at the same time that i t rejoiced and r e j u -venated and f i l l e d the veins and nerves with threads of ice and f i r e . (TaA, 135) This incident i s one of the l a s t s t o r i e s i n which l i g h t returns to a world s t e a d i l y growing darker. I t i s int e r e s t i n g that Miss Anning's attempt to look objectively at her e c s t a t i c moment i s likened to "lay[ing] a shade over an intense l i g h t , or cover[ing] some burning peach with a green le a f " (TaA, 135) 150 since t h i s analogy reveals that Mrs. Woolfs thought pro-cesses did not change s i g n i f i c a n t l y i n t h i r t y years. Her husband records an incident before t h e i r marriage where V i r g i n i a , i n reply to Rupert Brooke's " ' V i r g i n i a , what i s the brightest thing you can think of?'" responded—"'a 20 leaf with the l i g h t on i t ' " and the same basic image be-comes the brightest moment of "Together and Apart". In t h i s story, unlike the other two of the concluding t r i l o g y , a moment of fusion i s reached, and one i s reminded once again that "sorrow, sorrow, Joy, joy [are] woven to-gether" (SQ, 29) i n a l l of V i r g i n i a W o o l f s work. Mr. Serle and Miss Anning do achieve a sense of communion through t h e i r mutual feelings for Canterbury, but the reader i s aware that the t r a n s i t o r y moment i s neither j o y f u l nor sorrow-laden, but has "alternations of pain and pleasure" (TaA, 135-136) as always. But there i s a new t e r r o r i n t h i s story, a fe e l i n g that the well-springs of the mind are drying up, and that the writer's muse can no more be summoned at w i l l . The sight of a simple spot i n "The Mark on the Wall" had produced myriad thoughts—too many i n fact to be marshalled e f f e c t i v e l y , but now the same stimulus provokes nothing: the eyes p e t r i f i e d and fixed see the same s p o t — a pattern, a coal s c u t t l e — w i t h an exactness which i s t e r r i f y i n g , since no emotion, no idea, no impression of any kind comes to change i t , to modify i t , to embellish i t , since the foun-tains of f e e l i n g seem sealed and . . . the mind . . . r i g i d . (TaA, 136) 151 "Facts" are looming before the t e r r i f i e d writer whose fancy i s fast f a i l i n g , and "exactness" to Mrs. Woolf i s the writer's curse. Perhaps i n t h i s next to l a s t story she saw her fate i f she chose to l i v e (as she would c e r t a i n l y continue to w r i t e ) — t h e hardening of the arteries of her mind u n t i l she became, l i k e Wells and Bennett whose styles she had rebelled against, merely a fact-monger. A SUMMING UP It would be presumptuous to suggest that t h i s story i s a conscious attempt by V i r g i n i a Woolf to p u l l together the thematic threads of the story canon (though i n some ways the story does this) since the use of an i n d e f i n i t e a r t i c l e i n the t i t l e suggests that t h i s i s only one summing-up of l i f e , rather than the synthesis that so often eluded the author. I f anything, the story i s a summing-up of what happened i n "The Man Who Loved His Kind" and "Together and Apart" since these l a s t three stories seem d i f f e r e n t drafts of the same incident. The "yellow and red f r u i t l i k e Chinese lanterns wobbling t h i s way and that" (TMWL, 113) of "The Man Who Loved His Kind" are back: "the Chinese lanterns seemed hung red and green i n the depths of an enchanted fo r e s t " , (ASU, 137) as i s the affable male conversationalist of "Together and Apart." Mr. Serle, we may remember had c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s — " his laugh, his melancholy and his humour [that] made people l i k e him" (TaA, 132)—and Mr. Pritchard of the c i v i l service i s s i m i l a r l y 152 "almost invariable l i k e d . " (ASU, 137) Mrs. W o o l f s own "de-plorable t i m i d i t y " (TaA, 131) emerged i n Miss Anning, while Sasha Latham has her creator's stature and f e e l i n g s : the t a l l , handsome, rather idolent looking lady, whose majesty of presence was so great that people never credited her with f e e l i n g inadequate and gauche. (ASU, 137) The Years provides a s t r i k i n g p a r a l l e l to these l a s t s t o r i e s a lso—suggesting that they might belong to the 1933-36 period ^ of V i r g i n i a W o o lfs c r e a t i v i t y . In the 1907 section we f i n d Sara Pargiter reading while the people across the street are having a party i n a garden marked with blue and yellow lamps. The episode ends with a b r i e f conversation between a man and a woman i n the garden at the party, and though the s i m i l a r l y t i e s between The Years and the l a s t sketches are g e n e r a l — they are frequent enough to suggest the same period of conception. Bertram Pritchard and Sasha Latham seem to represent the many shades who have passed through the Dalloway's garden, and t h e i r conversation can be thought of as the quintessence of a l l who have gone before. They o f f e r the extremes of human conversation—one a garrulous t a l k i n g machine, "one night of [whose] . . . talk would have f i l l e d a whole book" (ASU, 137); the other, a conversational sponge "by some malice of fate . . . unable to j o i n " (ASU, 139). The fact that the flow of talk i s disproportionate i s unimportant— the reader by now r e a l i z e s that words do not constitute a V i r g i n i a Woolf co n v e r s a t i o n — f o r "tentacles" (TaA, 135) convey a l l that i s necessary by a sixth sense of mental-touch. In t h i s concluding story, the old question i s again raised—"which view [of l i f e ] i s the true one:" (ASU, 140) Is i t the misty, ephemeral world of the Russian story t e l l e r s (and Mrs. Woolf)—"men i n coracles, oysters, and wild ducks and mists" (ASU, 140)—or the " l o g i c a l a f f a i r of drains and carpenters" of the French School (and Wells and Bennett). The answer, as always, i s non-committal but the only one possible to the writer who, i n To the Lighthouse, had 21 affirmed that "nothing was simply one thing." There i s no true view of l i f e , for the human soul w i l l not t i e i t s e l f to any one f a c t : "the soul . . . i s by nature unmated, a widow b i r d ; a b i r d perched aloof on that tree" (ASU, 140). One i s always tempted upon reaching the l a s t story or l a s t segment of any e x p l i c a t i o n , to dwell upon i t , reluctant to close, since i n retrospect any attempt to "sum-up" a writer seems inadequate and so much of s i g n i f i c a n c e , one f e e l s , i s hidden i n the l a s t work of an author. To say more about "A Summing Up", however, would be to c r e d i t the story with too much weight i n the t o t a l canon—since i t i s doubtful that Mrs. Woolf saw i t as her l a s t story, or an e s p e c i a l l y 154 s i g n i f i c a n t one. "A Summing-Up" spans four pages, and much of t h i s b r i e f composition simply r e i t e r a t e s the theme and technique of i t s two predecessors. However, much has been said i n the twenty-one pieces we have traversed, and a summing-up of V i r g i n i a Woolf's t o t a l achievement i n her stories remains to be done. 155 NOTES "''Introduction to A Haunted House, p. 8. 2 V i r g i n i a Woolf and Her Works, p. 34. 3 Ibid., p. 336. 4 I b i d . , p. 341. 5 I b i d . , p. 340. 6 V i r g i n i a Woolf, "An Essay i n C r i t i c i s m , " Granite  and Rainbow, p. 90. 7 I b i d . 8 I b i d . 9 . . . Leonard Woolf, Beginning Again\ p. v i i . ^°The Moth and the Star: A Biography of V i r g i n i a Woolf (Boston: L i t t l e Brown and Co., 1953) fro n t i s p i e c e . ^Beginning Again, p. 29. 1 2The Moth and the Star, p. 368. 1 3 A Writer's Diary, pp. 268-269. 14T. ., Ibid. *""*Mrs. Dalloway, p. 110. 1 6 I b i d . , p. 128. 17 The Voyage Out (London: Duckworth, 1915) , p. 26 3. 156 Granite and Rainbow, p. 41. 'ibid. , p. 19. To the' Lighthouse, p. 216. 157 CHAPTER V THE SUM RETOTALED He who goes d a i l y into the world of aesthetic emotion returns to the world of human a f f a i r s equipped to face i t courageously and even a l i t t l e contemptuously. And i f by comparison with aesthetic rapture he finds most human passion t r i v i a l , he need not on that account become unsympathetic or inhuman. — C l i v e B e l l , Art Most c r i t i c s would agree, I think, that V i r g i n i a Woolf was one who went "daily into the world of aesthetic emotion" 1 but there are many who f e e l that she f a i l e d as an a r t i s t and as a human being i n never c l e a r l y defining her position as a writer, and i n abandoning a l i f e she could never catch the meaning of. C.B. Cox represents a f a i r number of readers i n saying that the weakness of V i r g i n i a W o o l f s art i s that she understood so l i t t l e of human character. Like G.E. Moore i n P r i n c i p i a  Ethica, she takes too l i t t l e account of the l i f e of action and of the s a t i s f a c t i o n derived from the creation of s o c i a l order and justice. 2 David Daiches feels the problem i n Mrs. W o o l f s art i s not so much a thematic f a i l i n g (as Cox suggests) but a technical one, V i r g i n i a W o o l f s writing having a kind of r a r i f i c a t i o n which i s something between l y r i c a l poetry and f i c t i o n . . . yet too f l e e t i n g , too in s u b s t a n t i a l , unballasted; something which vanishes when one t r i e s to grasp i t . 3 158 Between the two, Cox and Daiches suggest that Mrs. Woolf was doomed to a r t i s t i c f a i l u r e from the outset, since ( i f we are to believe Cox) she did not understand the characters she created and ( i f we take Daiches'words as truth) these creations were too insubstantial even had t h e i r author understood the s o c i a l animal with whom she worked. A glance at a few recent t i t l e s of work about V i r g i n i a Woolf suggests that even those c r i t i c s who admire her work f e e l obliged to q u a l i f y at the o u t s e t — l e s t the world should mock t h e i r i n t e r e s t . "Insub-s t a n t i a l Pageant" and "The Quest for Identity i n the Wtiting of V i r g i n i a Woolf" t y p i f y the trend, the former implying a f r a g i l i t y about the work of Mrs. Woolf and the l a t t e r that her f i c t i o n i s completely introspective and obsessed with "who am I?" I can only hope that the foregoing explications have pointed out that Mrs. Woolf had something to say to us i n her f i c t i o n , and i f these f l e e t i n g fragments achieve a s i g n i f -icant form.(as I f e e l , i n most cases, they do) surely i t i s time for a reassessment of V i r g i n i a Woolf's whole f i c t i o n a l canon i n r e l a t i o n to the period i n which she wrote. For i t i s s i g n i f i c a n t that the c r i t i c s who f e e l Mrs. Woolf's achieve-ment to be s l i g h t are usually those who f e e l the movement of which she was an innovator (stream of consciousness) to be of no great s i g n i f i c a n c e . To do t h i s , however, i s to deny the tremendous impact such f i c t i o n has had, not only upon modern writers, but upon the graphic arts and psycholog-i c a l studies as w e l l — s i n c e a r t i s t s such as V i r g i n i a Woolf, Dorothy Richardson, Marcel Proust, Henry James and James Joyce were instrumental i n introducing the complexities of the human mind to the common reader i n the early 1920's. A t e l l i n g point often forgotten by those who condemn Mrs. Woolf as a purveyor of t r i v i a i s that the mind, not the author, i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y concerned with minutiae. The in d i v i d u a l thoughts of any mind on most occasions are unim-portant and f l e e t i n g , but the quest to present the larger pattern behind these thoughts, a pattern that the thinker i s often unconscious of, i s of great inter e s t and s i g n i f i c a n c e — both to the writer who seeks to uncover the truth at the heart of the people, and to the s c i e n t i s t who wants to know what thought e n t a i l s . I t i s thus a great mistake to demand physical action and movement i n f i c t i o n (as did the early dictators of short story methodology)—for the mind i s of far more intere s t than the body i n f i c t i o n — u n l e s s one's goal i s eroticism and then a v i s u a l stimulus would be more e f f e c t i v e . For example, Marcel Proust's concerns were the most t r i v i a l imaginable, yet because of his a b i l i t y to enchant his ti n y building blocks he has been ceded a place of l i t e r a r y d i s t i n c t i o n . Like V i r g i n i a Woolf, his " s t u f f of f i c t i o n " comprised 160 the most diverse materials, the corner of my pillow, the top of my blankets, a piece of shawl, the edge of my bed, and a copy of an evening paper, a l l of which things I would con-t r i v e , with the i n f i n i t e patience of birds building t h e i r nests, to cement into one whole. The image Proust uses, that of equating f i c t i o n to the careful nesting of bi r d s , was one used by Mrs. Woolf i n de-scr i b i n g Jane Austen (which I have e a r l i e r alluded to) and the image i s no less f i t t i n g to V i r g i n i a Woolf he r s e l f . The section of "An Unwritten Novel," so t y p i c a l of the author and of the story canon, i n which Mrs. Woolf t r i e s out the names of characters before making the irrevocable decision, reminds one of nothing so much as a fastidious b i r d selecting materials with which to b u i l d . That Mrs. Woolf did i n fact see l i f e as a sort of nest or s h e l l for the soul that can occasionally be broken into i s suggested i n a few li n e s penned i n 1927. The s h e l l - l i k e covering which our souls have excreted to house themselves, to make for themselves a shape d i s t i n c t from others, i s broken, and there i s l e f t of a l l these wrinkles and roughnesses a central oyster of percept-tiveness, an enormous eye. 5 Mrs. Woolf continues a few l i n e s farther on with the thought that "the eye i s not' a miner, not a diver, not a seeker a f t e r buried treasure" but she implies that the a r t i s t c e r t a i n l y i s — a n d that his function i s to "prise open" l i f e , and to try to understand the "oyster of per-ception" hidden behind the craggy exterior we a l l present 161 to the world. The twenty-one stories we have b r i e f l y examined are symbolically twenty-one b i v a l v e s — a n d i f only a few were capable of being cracked, and even less revealed t h e i r t r e a s u r e — we should not complain. For l i f e i s not an easy quarry. A few c r i t i c s have seen V i r g i n i a W o o l f s stories as deserving attention, but they invariably praise for the wrong reasons. Carl Woodring feels Mrs. W o o l f s contribution to f i c t i o n to be that she went inside sensitive minds and slackened the brake of the super ego . . . . / Above a l l , the stories helped e s t a b l i s h a new set of conventions for f i c t i o n . 7 I t i s unfortunate that he uses "conventions" since "a general agreement on usages and practices" for f i c t i o n was never what V i r g i n i a Woolf attempted (or achieved). She i n fact devoted her a b i l i t i e s i n f i c t i o n to broadening i t s horizons, and her novels and s t o r i e s are, i f nothing else, unconventional. Other c r i t i c s c r e d i t the mysterious s p i r i t with which Mrs. Woolf infuses her f i c t i o n , but they seem more interested i n forcing her f i c t i o n to f i t s p e c i f i c academic lab e l s , mysteriously connected with the magical number three, than i n reading i t . One sees "subjective impressionism, stream of consciousness, and the s p a t i a l i z a t i o n of time [as the] three g c l o s e l y related experimental techniques" at the core of Mrs. W o o l f s work, while Josephine Schaefer carries the " t r i p l i f i c a t i o n " of V i r g i n i a Woolf s t i l l farther. She sees 162 the same v i s i o n of a three-fold r e a l i t y of natural phenomena, s o c i a l conventions and/individual experience^ behind a l l of V i r g i n i a Woolf's work, and t r i e s to show that th i s "three-fold r e a l i t y " i s a Bloomsbury c r i t e r i o n of art. She suggests i n a note that Lytton Strachey and Roger Fry both saw l i f e as s i m i l a r l y structured i n a t r i p a r t i t e manner. Strachey conceived of l i f e as the enormous mechanism . . . the inevitable processes of nature . . . and art [while Fry divided existence into] i n s t i n c t i v e l i f e . . . s o c i a l l i f e . . . and aesthetic vision.1° To t i e V i r g i n i a Woolf, or any a r t i s t , to the conscious r e a l i z a t i o n of three visions of l i f e i s surely r e s t r i c t i n g , and to do so implies that the a r t i s t i c process i s a mechanical one, a process completely under the writer's control. That V i r g i n i a Woolf did not achieve (or seek) such control i s evident throughout the stories--and one of her " s p e c i f i c techniques," ( i f we wish to c a l l i t such) e s p e c i a l l y in the early s t o r i e s , was to l e t her thoughts roam apparently at w i l l . In the middle phase of her s t o r y - t e l l i n g a more selective ordering of thoughts takes place but we have only to remember "An Unwritten Novel" and Moggridge's buttons to see how un-summoned thoughts a r r i v e , and become a part of the story. It would seem that V i r g i n i a Woolf i s of the old school—one s t i l l subservient to the muse i n f i c t i o n (or in conversation) as her husband records: 163 at any moment, i n a general conversation . . . [Virginia] might suddenly 'leave the ground' and give some f a n t a s t i c , entrancing,/amusing, dreamlike, almost l y r i c a l . d e s c r i p t i o n of an event, a place, or a person. It always made me think of the breaking and gushing out of the springs i n autumn aft e r the f i r s t rains. The ordinary mental processes stopped, and i n t h e i r place the waters of creativeness and imagination welled up and, almost undirected, car r i e d her and her l i s t e n e r s into another w o r l d . i l Certain techniques, styles and moods recur through-out the f i c t i o n of V i r g i n i a Woolf however, and t h e s e — undirected though they might have been—can be summarized as follows. The e a r l i e s t s t o r i e s launch perhaps the central theme, the desire to unearth buried treasure, or open the "oyster" of l i f e . This phase i s predominantly o p t i m i s t i c , but from the s t a r t the stories suggest that joy and sorrow commingle i n a l l of l i f e . S t y l i s t i c a l l y , the early period i s marked with an undisciplined enthusiasm, and the stories are thought-reservoirs more than coherent narratives. By the "middle period," V i r g i n i a Woolf had been writing twenty years, and the magazine stories of t h i s phase reveal a sophistication lacking i n the pre-1921 group. But the old bursts of l y r i c i s m regularly appear, with the con-comitant abandoning of s t r u c t u r a l cohesiveness. The thematic innovation of t h i s era i s the peopling of Mrs. Woolf's f i c t i o n a l world previously limited to those facets of l i f e impinging upon the mind through inanimate or sub-human 164 s t i m u l i . The world i n the 1930's i s s t i l l "adorable" i n many s t o r i e s , but when pessimism looms, the author's mood i s b i t t e r — a n d her world "rotten at the core" (a phrase found 12 in two sto r i e s of the middle period.) The posthumous pieces presented in A Haunted House reveal three things about Mrs. Woolf: that her art as a story-t e l l e r evolved (from early "mark as universe" sketches through "people as repositories of l i f e " ) to character analyses of specimen pairs of the s o c i a l animal; that her view of the essence of l i f e as moments of great significance i s a fixed one; and that she i s a most persistent oyster-shucker. In four of the l a s t f i v e s t o r i e s V i r g i n i a Woolf merely changes her stance s l i g h t l y before attacking the same o y s t e r — t h e ; question " i s there a true view of l i f e , and can i t be found in human discourse?" The stories do not provide an answer, but t h e i r author i s wise enough to know that the quest i t s e l f i s not i n vain--for one must continually be engrossed in the pursuit of l i f e i f one i s to recognize l i f e when i t arrives,,-for "the answer came often by accident" (ASU, 140). The stories a l l seem of thi s basic philosophy: that the meanings so long sought one day emerge, unbidden, as solutions to problems often spring from the subconscious, completely uncalled for. Before leaving the s t o r i e s , one must confess that they contain many mysterious facets that have proved im-possible to explicate. V i r g i n i a Woolf has never been credited with the desire (or a b i l i t y ) to fashion sexually symbolic passages, yet surely the following i s bluntly e r o t i c : I l i k e to think of the tree i t s e l f : f i r s t the close dry sensation of being wood; then the grinding of the storm; then the slow, del i c i o u s ooze of sap. I l i k e to think of i t , too, on winter's nights standing i n the empty f i e l d with a l l leaves c l o s e - f u r l e d , nothing tender exposed to the iron b u l l e t s of the moon, a naked mast that goes tumbling, tumbling a l l night long. (MOW, 47) Or, at the other end of the canon, and seemingly poles apart from the mood of the previous passage, one encounters "the usual t e r r i b l e sexless, i n a r t i c u l a t e voice" (ASU, 140) and wonders what voice? I t i s not that of the widow-bird, since t h i s synonym for soul i s s t a r t l e d by the cry, leaving the reader to speculate that the cry might originate from l i f e i t s e l f . The source of the cry might suggest t h i s — " some back street or public house" (ASU, 140)—but to see l i f e as " t e r r i b l e " "sexless" and " i n a r t i c u l a t e " surely presupposes the deepest melancholia. Or, i f V i r g i n i a Woolf saw herself t h i s way, the closing l i n e s of the l a s t story have a tra g i c r i n g , and "the usual . . . voice" reminds us of the voices that drove her to her death. 166 The wheel has gone f u l l c i r c l e . Our s t a r t i n g point, "The Mark on the Wall," suggests that the world could survive most catastrophes; " l i f e i s n ' t done with . . . . I t i s f u l l of peaceful thoughts, happy thoughts." (MOW, 48) But i t also prophesied the death of a writer who, l i k e the mirrors she exploited so often, has only a limited r e s i l i e n c y . Supposing the looking-glass smashes, the image disappears, and the romantic figure with the green of forest depths a l l about i t i s there no longer, but only that s h e l l of a per-son which i s seen by other people—what an a i r l e s s , shallow, bald, prominent world i t becomes! A world not to be l i v e d i n . (MOW, 43) NOTES 1 C l i v e B e l l , Art (London: Chatto and Windus, 1913) p. 190. 2 The Free S p i r i t (London: Oxford U. Press, 1963), p. 113. 3 The Novel and the Modern World (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1939), p. 159. 4 Remembrance of Things Past. Trans. C. Scott-Moncrieff (New York: Random House, 1934), p. 6. "^"Street Haunting: A London Adventure." Yale  Review, 1927. 6 I b i d . 7 V i r g i n i a Woolf. Columbia Essays on Modern Writers #18 (New York & London: Columbia U. Press, 1966), pp. 10-1 g Serena Sue Hi l s i n g e r . "Insubstantial Pageant: A Reading of V i r g i n i a W o o l f s Novels." DA XXV, 4700. 9 Josephine O'Brien Schaefer, The Three-Fold Nature  of Reality i n the Novels of V i r g i n i a Woolf (The Hague: Mouton and Co., 196 5), pp. 10-11. "^Ibid. , p. l i n . ^Beginning Again, pp. 30-31. 1 2DaJ, 100; SP, 65. 168 WORKS CITED Baker, Harry T. The Contemporary Short Story. Boston: D.C. Heath, 1966. Barnett, A.W. "Who i s Jacob? The Quest for Identity i n the Writing of V i r g i n i a Woolf." DA XXVI, 2742." Ph.D. Columbia, 1962. Bates, H.E. The Modern Short Story. London: Thomas Nelson, 19 AS. B e l l , C l i v e . Art. New Ed. London: Chatto and Windus, 1913. Bennett, Joan. V i r g i n i a Woolf, Her Art as a Novelist. Cambridge: Cambridge U. Press, 1945. Berne, E r i c . Games People Play. New York: Grove Press, 1964. Cox, C.B. The Free S p i r i t . London: Oxford U. Press, 1963. Daiches, David. The Novel and the Modern World. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1939. . V i r g i n i a Woolf. Norfolk: New Directions Books, 1942. Dostoevsky, F.M. Stavrogin's Confession. Trans. V i r g i n i a Woolf and S.S. Koteliansky. New York: Lear Publishers, 1947. Edel, Leon. The Modern Psychological Novel. New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1964. Freedman, Ralph. The L y r i c a l Novel. New Jersey: Princeton U. Press, 1963~T Friedson, Melvin J . Stream of Consciousness: A Study i n  L i t e r a r y Method. New Haven: Yale U. Press~, 1955 . 169 Fry, Roger. Vision and Design. New ed. London: Chatto and Windus, 1920. Guiguet, Jean. ' V i r g i n i a Woolf and Her Works. Trans. J . Stewart. London: Hogarth Press, 1965. H a l l , Donald. "Who-Else i s A f r a i d of V i r g i n i a Woolf." New  York Times Book Review, 24 D e c , 1967. H i l s i n g e r , Serena Sue. "Insubstantial Pageant: A Reading of V i r g i n i a W o o l f s Novels." DA XXV, 4700. Ph.D. Univ. of Connecticut, 1964. James, Henry. The House of F i c t i o n . London: Rupert Hart-Davis, 1957"! Kenner, Hugh. Studies i n Change. New Jersey: Prentice H a l l , 1965: Kirkpatrick, B.J. A Bibliography of V i r g i n i a Woolf. London: Rupert Hart-Davis, 1957. Mansfield, Katherine. Collected Stories of . . . . London: Constable and Company Ltd., 1945. " O'Connor, Frank. The Lonely Voice. New York: World Pub-l i s h i n g , 1962. Pippett, E i l e e n . The Moth and the Star: A Biography of V i r g i n i a Woolf. Boston: L i t t l e , Brown and Co., 1953. P i t k i n , Walter B. The Art and the Business of Story Writing. New York: MacMillan, 1923. Proust, Marcel. Remembrance of Things Past. Trans. C.K. Scott-Moncrieff. New York: Random House, 1934. Schaefer, Josephine O'Brien. The Three-Fold Nature of Reality i n the Novels of V i r g i n i a Woolf. The Hague: Monton and Co., 1965. T i l l y a r d , E.M.W. The Elizabethan World Picture. New ed. New York: Random House, 1942. Woodring, C a r l . V i r g i n i a Woolf. Columbia Essays on Modern Writers No. 18. New York & London: Columbia U. Press, 1966. 170 Woolf, Leonard. Beginning Again; An Autobiography of the  Years 1911 to 1918. London: Hogarth Press, 1964. Woolf, V i r g i n i a . Between the Acts. London: Hogarth Press, 1941. . The"Captain's Death Bed and Other Essays. London: Hogarth Press, 19 50. . Collected Essays-T 4 Vols. New York: Harcourt Brace and World, 1966. The Common Reader. 1st Series. London: Hogarth Press , 1925. The Common Reader. 2nd Series. London: Hogarth Press, 1932. . Granite and Rainbow. London: Hogarth Press, 195 8. . A Haunted House and Other Short Stories. London: Hogarth Press, 1944. . Jacob's Room. Richmond: Hogarth Press, 1922. . Monday or Tuesday. Richmond: Hogarth Press, 1921. . Mrs. Dalloway. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1962. . Night and Day. London: Duckworth, 1919. . Orlando: A Biography. London: Hogarth Press, 192 8. . "Street Haunting: A London Adventure." Yale Review, 1927. (Reprinted i n The Death of the Moth, 1942~n . To the Lighthouse. London: Hogarth Press, 1927. . The Voyage Out. London: Duckworth, 1915. . The Waves. London: Hogarth Press, 1931. . A Writer's Diary. London: Hogarth Press, 1965. The Years. London: Hogarth Press, 1937. 171 APPENDIX I PHASE I STORY CHRONOLOGY DATE PUBLISHED I l a l i b III The Mark on the May 1917 (W, 235) Wall Kew Gardens May 1919 ' '(W, 241) An Unwritten J u l . 1920 (K, 106) Novel S o l i d Objects Oct. 1920 (K, 106) A Haunted House Mar. 1921 (L, 7) Monday or Mar. 1921 <L, 7) Tuesday The String Mar. 1921 (L, 7) Quartet Blue and Green Mar. 1921 (L, 7) A Society Mar. 1921 (L, 7) The New Dress * May 1927 (K, 106) Moments of Being ? 1928 (G, 330) The Lady i n the Dec. 1929 (K, 106) Looking-Glass * The Shooting Mar. 1938 (K, 106) Party * F i n i shed Oct. 1937 (D, 287) The Duchess and Apr. 1938 (K, 106) The Jeweller F i n i shed . Aug. 1937 <D, 286) Lappin and Lap- Nov. 1938 (D, 308) inova F i r s t Draft 1918 (D, 308) The Man Who Jan. 1943 ^  ( D Loved His Kind The Searchlight * Jan. 1943 (L) Together and ' Jan. 1943 (L) Apart * The Summing Up * Jan. 1943 (L) FIRST APPEARANCE Two Stories (W, 235) Kew Gardens (W, 241) London Mercury (K, 106) Athenaeum (K, 106) Monday or Tuesday (D, 30) Monday or Tuesday (D, So) Monday or Tuesday (D, 30) Monday or Tuesday (D, 30) Monday or Tuesday (D, 30) The Forum (K, 106) ? (L, 8) Harper's Magazine (K, 106) Harper's Baazar (K, 106) Harper's Baazar (K, 106) A Haunted House & Other Short Stories 7L) A Haunted House & Other Short Stories TL) A Haunted House & Other Short Stories 7L) A Haunted House & Other Short Stories Try — KEY TO SYMBOLS IN THE CHRONOLOGY D. V i r g i n i a Woolf, A W r i t e r ' s Diary L. Leonard Woolf, I n t r o d u c t i o n to A Haunted House W. Jean Guiguet, V i r g i n i a Woolf and Her Works K. B.J. K i r k p a t r i c k , A B i b l i o g r a p h y  o f V i r g i n i a Woo1f NOTES : t Dates provided by the Woolf's are used wherever p o s s i b l e . * These s t o r i e s probably belong t o the p e r i o d at which V i r g i n i a Woolf was w r i t i n g Mrs. Dalloway (1922). 4 The f i r s t e d i t i o n of A Haunted House i s dated 1943, but subsequent impressions date the f i r s t e d i t i o n as January 1944, as does the appendix to A W r i t e r ' s D i a r y , p. 367. Guiguet ,supports the 1944 date (pp. 194 n, 329 , 466) . The obvious explanation f o r t h i s d i s -crepancy i s that the book was scheduled f o r r elease i n 1943, but a d i s t r i b u t i o n delay r e s u l t e d i n i t s making i t s f i r s t appearance e a r l y i n 1944. APPENDIX II A SOCIETY. This i s how i t a l l came about. Six or seven of us were s i t t i n g one day aft e r tea. Some were gazing across the street into the windows of a milliner's shop where the l i g h t s t i l l shone b r i g h t l y upon s c a r l e t feathers and golden s l i p p e r s . Others were i d l y occupied i n building l i t t l e towers of sugar upon the edge of the tea tray. After a time, so f a r as I can remember, we drew round the f i r e and began as usual to praise men—how strong, how noble, how b r i l l i a n t , how courageous how b e a u t i f u l they were—how we envied those who by hook or by crook managed to get attached to one for l i f e — w h e n P o l l , who had said nothing, burst into tears. P o l l , I must t e l l you, has always been queer. For one thing her father was a strange man. He l e f t her a fortune i n his w i l l , but on condition that she read a l l the books i n the London Library. We comforted her as best we could; but we knew i n our hearts how vain i t was. For though we l i k e her, P o l l i s no beauty; leaves her shoe laces untied; and must have been thinking, while we praised men, that not one of them would every wish to marry her. At l a s t she dried her tears. For some time we could make nothing of what she said. Strange enough i t was ih ."'.all conscience. She t o l d us that, as we knew, she spent most of her time i n the London Library, reading. She had begun, she said, with English l i t e r a t u r e on the top f l o o r ; and was ste a d i l y working her way down to the Times on the bottom. And now h a l f , or perhaps only a quarter, way through a t e r r i b l e thing had happened. She could read no more. Books were not what we thought them. "Books" she cr i e d , r i s i n g to her feet and speaking with an i n t e n s i t y of desolation which I s h a l l never forget, "are for the most part unutterably bad!" Of course we cr i e d out that Shakespeare wrote books, and Milton and Shelley. "Oh yes," she interrupted us. "You've been well taught, I can see. But you are not members of the London Library." Here her sobs broke forth anew. At length, recovering a l i t t l e , she opened one of the p i l e of books which she always car r i e d about with her—"From a Window" or "In a Garden" or some such name as that i t was c a l l e d , and i t was written by a man c a l l e d Benton or Henson or something of that kind. She read the f i r s t few pages. We list e n e d i n sile n c e . "But that's not a book," someone said. So she chose another. This time i t was a hi s t o r y , but I have forgotten the writer's name. Our trepidation i n -creased as she went on. Not a word of i t seemed to be 175 true, and the sty l e i n which i t was written was execrable. "Poetry! Poetry!" we c r i e d , impatiently. "Read us poetry!" I cannot describe the desolation which f e l l upon us as she opened the l i t t l e volume and mouthed out the verbose, sentimental foolery which i t contained. " I t must have been written by a women" one of us urged. But no. She t o l d us that i t was written by a young man, one of the most famous poets of the day. I leave you to imagine what the shock of the discovery was. Though we a l l c r i e d and begged her to read no more she persisted and read us extracts from the Lives of the Lord Chancellors. When she had finishe d , Jane, the eldest and wisest of us, rose to her feet and said that she for one was not convinced. "Why" she asked " i f men write such rubbish as t h i s , should our mothers have wasted t h e i r youth i n bringing them into the world?" We were a l l s i l e n t ; and i n the si l e n c e , poor P o l l could be heard sobbing out, "Why, why did my father teach me to read?" Clorinda was the f i r s t to come to her senses. "It's a l l our f a u l t " she said "Every one of us knows how to read. But no one, save P o l l , has ever taken the trouble to do i t . I, for one, have taken i t for granted that i t was a woman's duty to spend her youth i n bearing children. I venerated my mother for bearing ten; s t i l l more my grandmother for bearing f i f t e e n ; i t was, I confess, my own ambition to bear twenty. We have gone on a l l these ages supposing that men were equally industrious, and that t h e i r works were of equal merit. While we have borne the children, they, we supposed, have borne the books and the pictures. We have populated the world. They have c i v i l i z e d i t . But now that we can read, what prevents us from judging the results? Before we bring another c h i l d into the world we must swear that we w i l l f i n d out what the world i s l i k e . " So we made ourselves into a society for asking questions. One of us was to v i s i t a man-of-war; another was to hide herself i n a scholar's study; another was to attend a meeting of business men; while a l l were to read books, look at pictures, go to concerts, keep our eyes open i n the streets, and ask questions perpetually. We were very young. You can judge of our s i m p l i c i t y when I t e l l you that before parting that night we agreed that the objects of l i f e were to produce good people and good books. Our questions were to be directed to finding out how far these objects were now attained by men. We vowed solemnly that we would not bear a single c h i l d u n t i l we were s a t i s f i e d . Off we went then, some to the B r i t i s h Museum; others to the King's Navy; some to Oxford; others to Cambridge; we v i s i t e d the Royal Academy and the Tate; heard modern music i n concert rooms, went to the Law Courts, and saw new plays. No one dined out without asking her partner certain questions and c a r e f u l l y noting his r e p l i e s . At i n t e r v a l s we met together and compared our observations. Oh, those were merry meetings! Never have I laughed so much as I did when Rose read her notes upon "Honour" and described how she had dressed herself as an ./Ethiopian Prince and gone aboard one of His Majesty's ships. Discovering the hoax, the Captain v i s i t e d her (now disguised as a private gentleman) and demanded that honour should be s a t i s i f i e d . "But how?" she asked. "How?" he bellowed. "With the cane of course!" Seeing that he was beside himself with rage and expecting that her l a s t moment had come, she bent over and received, to her amazement, s i x l i g h t taps upon the behind. "The honour of the B r i t i s h Navy i s avenged!" he c r i e d , and, r a i s i n g h e r s e l f , she saw him with the sweat pouring down his face holding out a trembling right hand. "Away!" she exclaimed, s t r i k i n g an attitude and imitating the f e r o c i t y of his own expression, "My honour has s t i l l to be s a t i s f i e d ! " "Spoken l i k e a gentleman!" he returned, and f e l l i n t o profound thought. "If s i x strokes avenge the honour of the King's Navy" he mused, "how many avenge the honour of a private gentlman?" He said he would prefer to lay the case before his brother o f f i c e r s . She re p l i e d haughtily that she could not wait. He praised her sensi-b i l i t y . "Let me see," he c r i e d suddenly, "did your father keep a carriage?" "No" she said. "Or a r i d i n g horse?" We had a donkey," she bethought her," which drew the mowing machine." At thi s his face lightened. "My mother's name—" she added. "For God's sake, man, don't mention your mother's name!" he shrieked, trembling l i k e an aspen and flushing to the roots of his h a i r , and i t was ten minutes at least before she could induce him to proceed. At length he decreed that i f she gave him four strokes and a ha l f i n the small of the back at a spot indicated by himself (the hal f conceded, he said, i n recognition of the fact that her great grandmother's uncle was k i l l e d at Trafalgar) i t was his opinion that her honour would be as good as new. This was done; they r e t i r e d to a restaurant; drank two bottles of wine for which he i n s i s t e d upon paying; and parted with protestations of eternal friendship. Then we had Fanny's account of her v i s i t to the Law Courts. At her f i r s t v i s i t she had come to the conclusion that the Judges were either made of wood or were impersonated by large animals resembling man who had been trained to move with extreme dignity, mumble and nod t h e i r heads. To 179 t e s t her theory she had liberated a handkerchief of blue-bottles at the c r i t i c a l moment of a t r i a l , but was unable to judge whether the creatures gave signs of humanity for the buzzing of the f l i e s induced so sound a sleep that she only woke i n time to see the prisoners led into the c e l l s below. But from the evidence she brought we voted that i t i s u n f a i r to suppose that the Judges are men. Helen went to the Royal Academy, but when asked to de l i v e r her report upon the pictures she began to re c i t e from a pale blue volume "0 for the touch of a vanished hand and the sound of a voice that i s s t i l l . Home i s the hunter, home from the h i l l . He gave his b r i d l e reins a shake. Love i s sweet, love i s b r i e f . Spring, the f a i r spring, i s the year's pleasant King. 0! to be i n England now that A p r i l ' s there. Men must work and women must weep. The path of duty i s the way to g l o r y — " We could l i s t e n to no more of this gibberish. "We want no more poetry!" we cr i e d . "Daughters of England!" she began, but here we pulled her down, a vase of water getting s p i l t over her i n the s c u f f l e . "Thank God!" she exclaimed, shaking he r s e l f l i k e a dog. "Now I ' l l r o l l on the carpet and see i f I can't brush o f f what remains of the Union Jack. Then perhaps—" 180 here she r o l l e d e n e r g e t i c a l l y . Getting up she began to explain to us what modern pictures are l i k e when C a s t a l i a stopped her. "What i s the average size of a picture?" she asked. "Perhaps two feet by two and a h a l f , " she said. C a s t a l i a made notes while Helen spoke, and when she had done, and we were tryi n g not to meet each others eyes, rose and said, "At your wish I spent l a s t week at Oxbridge, disguised as a charwoman. I thus had access to the rooms of several Professors and w i l l now attempt to give you some i d e a — only," she broke o f f , "I can't think how to do i t . I t ' s a l l so queer. These Professors," she went on, " l i v e i n large houses b u i l t round grass plots each i n a kind of c e l l by himself. Yet they have every convenience and comfort. You have only to press a button or l i g h t a l i t t l e lamp. Their papers are b e a u t i f u l l y f i l e d . Books abound. There are no children or animals, save half a dozen stray cats and one aged b u l l f i n c h — a cock. I remember," she broke o f f , "an Aunt of mine who l i v e d at Dulwich and kept cactuses. You reached the conservatory through the double drawing-room, and there, on the hot pipes, were dozens of them, ugly, squat, b r i s t l y l i t t l e plants each i n a separate pot. Once i n a hundred years the Aloe flowered, so my Aunt said. But she died before that Happened—" We to l d her to keep to the point. "Well,"'she resumed, "when Professor Hobkin was out I examined his l i f e work, an edition of Sappho. Its a queer looking book, s i x or seven inches thick, not a l l by Sappho. Oh no. Most of i t i s a defence of Sappho's chastity, which some German had denied, and I can assure you the passion with which these two gentlemen argued, the learning they displayed, the prodigious ingenuity with which they disputed the use of some implement which looked to me for a l l the world l i k e a hairpin astounded me; e s p e c i a l l y when the door opened and Professor Hobkin himself appeared. A very nice, mild, old gentleman, but what could he know about chastity?" We misunderstood her. "No, no," she protested, "he's the soul of honour I'm s u r e — n o t that he resembles Rose's sea captain i n the le a s t . I was thinking rather of my Aunt's cactuses. What could they know about chastity?" Again we t o l d her not to wander from the p o i n t , — did the Oxbridge professors help to produce good people and good books?—the objects of l i f e . "There!" she exclaimed. " I t never struck me to ask. It never occurred to me that they could possibly produce anything." "I believe," said Sue, "that you made some mistake. Probably Professor Hobkin was a gynaecologist. A scholar i s a very d i f f e r e n t sort of man. A scholar i s overflowing 182 w i t h humour and i n v e n t i o n — p e r h a p s a d d i c t e d t o w i n e , but what o f t h a t ? — a d e l i g h t f u l companion, g e n e r o u s , s u b t l e , i m a g i n a t i v e — a s s tands t o r e a s o n . F o r he spends h i s l i f e i n company w i t h the f i n e s t human b e i n g s t h a t have e v e r e x i s t e d . " " H u m , " s a i d C a s t a l i a . "Perhaps I ' d b e t t e r go back and t r y a g a i n . " Some t h r e e months l a t e r i t happened t h a t I was s i t t i n g a l o n e when C a s t a l i a e n t e r e d . I d o n ' t know what i t was i n the l o o k o f h e r t h a t so moved me; but I c o u l d n o t r e s t r a i n m y s e l f , and d a s h i n g a c r o s s the room, I c l a s p e d h e r i n my arms. Not o n l y was she v e r y b e a u t i f u l ; she seemed a l s o i n the h i g h e s t s p i r i t s . "How happy you l o o k ! " I e x c l a i m e d , as she s a t down. " I ' v e been at O x b r i d g e " she s a i d . " A s k i n g q u e s t i o n s ? " " A n s w e r i n g them" she r e p l i e d . "You have n o t broken our vow?" I s a i d a n x i o u s l y , n o t i c i n g something about h e r f i g u r e . " O h , : t h e vow" she s a i d c a s u a l l y . " I ' m g o i n g t o have a baby i f t h a t ' s what you mean. You c a n ' t i m a g i n e , " she b u r s t o u t , "how e x c i t i n g , how b e a u t i f u l , how s a t i s f y i n g — " "What i s ? " I a s k e d . " T o — t o — a n s w e r q u e s t i o n s , " she r e p l i e d i n some c o n f u s i o n . Whereupon she t o l d me the whole o f h e r s t o r y . But i n the middle of an account which interested and excited me more than anything I had ever heard, she gave the strangest cry, h a l f whoop, h a l f h o l l o a — "Chastity! Chastity! Where's my chastity!" she c r i e d . "Help Ho! The scent b o t t l e ! " There was nothing i n the room but a cruet containing mustard, which I was about to administer when she recovered her composure. "You should have thought of that three months ago" I said severely. "True" she r e p l i e d . "There's not much good i n thinking of i t now. I t was unfortunate, by the way, that my mother had me c a l l e d C a s t a l i a . " "Oh C a s t a l i a , your mother—" I was beginning when she reached for the mustard pot. "No, no, no," she said, shaking her head. " I f you'd been a chaste woman yourself you would have screamed at the sight of me—instead of which you rushed across the room and took me i n your arms. No, Cassandra. We are neither of us chaste." So we went on t a l k i n g . Meanwhile the room was f i l l i n g up, for i t was the day appointed to discuss the results of our observations. Everyone, I thought, f e l t as I did about C a s t a l i a . They kissed her and said how glad they were to see her again. 184 At length, when we were a l l assembled, Jane rose and said that i t was time to begin. She began by saying that we had now asked questions f o r over f i v e years, and that though the results were bound to be in c o n c l u s i v e — h e r e C a s t a l i a nudged me and whispered that she was not so sure about that. Then she got up, and, interrupting Jane i n the middle of a sentence, said, "Before you say any more, I want to know—am I Ito stay i n the room? Because," she added "I have to confess that I am an impure woman." Everyone looked at her i n astonishment. "You are going to have a baby?" asked Jane? She nodded her head. I t was extraordinary to see the d i f f e r e n t expressions on t h e i r faces. A sort of hum went through the room, i n which I could catch the words 'impure,1 'baby,' 'Castalia,' and so-on. Jane, who was herself considerably moved, p u t ' i t to us, "Shall she go? Is she impure?" Such a roar f i l l e d the room as might have been heard in the street outside. "No! No! No! Let her stay! Impure? Fi d d l e s t i c k s ! " Yet I fancied that some of the youngest, g i r l s of nineteen or twenty, held back as i f overcome with shyness. Then we a l l came about her and began asking questions, and at l a s t 185 I saw one of the youngest, who had kept i n the background, approach shyly and say to her: "What i s chastity then? I mean i s i t good, or i s i t bad, or i s i t nothing at a l l ? " She r e p l i e d so low that I could not catch what she said. "You know I was shocked," said another, "for at least ten minutes." "In my opinion," said P o l l , who was growing crusty from always reading i n the London Library, "chastity i s nothing but ignorance—a most discreditable state of mind. We should admit only the unchaste to our society. I vote that C a s t a l i a s h a l l be our President." This was v i o l e n t l y disputed. "I t i s as unfair : to brand women with chastity as with unchastity," said Moll. "Some of us haven't the opportunity e i t h e r . Moreover, I don't believe Cassy her-s e l f maintains that she acted as she did from a pure love of knowledge." "He i s only twenty one and di v i n e l y b e a u t i f u l " said Cassy, with a ravishing gesture. "I move," said Helen, "that no one be allowed to talk of chastity or unchastity save those who are i n love." "Oh bother," said Judith, who had been enquiring into s c i e n t i f i c matters, "I'm not i n love and I'm longing to 186 explain my measures for dispensing with prostitutes and f e r t i l i s i n g v i r g i n s by Act of Parliament." She went on to t e l l us of an invention of hers to be erected at Tube stations and other public resorts, which, upon payment of a small fee would safeguard the nation's health, accommodate i t s sons, and relieve i t s daughters. Then she had contrived a method of preserving i n sealed tubes the germs of future Lord Chancellors "or poets or painters or musicians" she went on, "supposing, that i s to say, that these breeds are not extinct, and that women s t i l l wish to bear c h i l d r e n — " "Of course we wish to bear children!" c r i e d C a s t a l i a impatiently. Jane rapped the table. "That i s the very point we are met to consider," she said. "For f i v e years we have been t r y i n g to fi n d out whether we are j u s t i f i e d i n continuing the human race. C a s t a l i a has anticipated our decision. But i t remains for the rest of us to make up our minds." Here one after another of our messengers rose and delivered t h e i r reports. The marvels of c i v i l i s a t i o n f a r exceeded our expectations, and as we learnt for the f i r s t time how man f l i e s i n the a i r , talks across space, penetrates to the heart of an atom, and embraces the universe i n his speculations a murmur of admiration burst from our l i p s . "We are proud," we c r i e d , "that our mothers s a c r i -f i c e d t h e i r youth i n such a cause as t h i s ! " C a s t a l i a , who had been l i s t e n i n g i n t e n t l y , looked prouder than a l l the rest. Then Jane reminded us that we had s t i l l much to learn and C a s t a l i a begged us to make haste. On we went through a vast tangle of s t a t i s t i c s . We learnt that England has a population of so many m i l l i o n s , and that such and such a proportion of them i s constantly hungry and i n prison; that the average size of a working man's family i s such, and that so great a percentage of women die from maladies incident to c h i l d b i r t h . Reports were read of v i s i t s to fa c t o r i e s , shops, slums, and dockyards. Descriptions were given of the Stock Exchange, of a gigantic house of business i n the Ci t y , and of a Government O f f i c e . The B r i t i s h Colonies were now discussed, and some account was given of our rule i n India, A f r i c a and Ireland. I was s i t t i n g by Cas t a l i a and I noticed her uneasiness. "We s h a l l never come to any conclusion at a l l at th i s rate," she said. "As i t appears that c i v i l i s a t i o n i s so much more complex than we had any notion, would i t not be better to confine ourselves to our o r i g i n a l enquiry? We agreed that i t was the object of l i f e to produce good people and good books. A l l t h i s time we have been talking of aeroplanes, factories and money. Let us talk about men 188 themselves and t h e i r a r t s , for that i s the heart of the matter." So the diners out stepped forward with long s l i p s of paper containing answers to t h e i r questions. These had been framed after much consideration. A good man, we had agreed, must at any rate be honest, passionate, and unworldly. But whether or not a p a r t i c u l a r man possessed those q u a l i t i e s could only be discovered by asking questions, often beginning at a remote distance from the centre. Is Kensington a nice place to l i v e in? Where i s your son being educated—and your daughter? Now please t e l l me, what do you pay for your cigars? By the way, i s S i r Joseph a baronet or only a knight? Often i t seemed that we learnt more from t r i v i a l questions of t h i s kind than from more d i r e c t ones. "I accepted my peerage," said Lord Bunkum "because my wife wished i t . " I forget how many t i t l e s were accepted for the same reason. "Working f i f t e e n hours out the twenty four as I d o — " ten thousand professional men began. "No, no, of course you can neither read nor write. But why do you work so hard?" "My dear lady, with a growing f a m i l y — " "but why does your family grow?" Their wives wished that too, or perhaps i t was the B r i t i s h Empire. But more s i g n i f i c a n t than the answers were the refusals to answer. Very few would reply at a l l to questions about 189 morality and r e l i g i o n , and such answers as were given were not serious. Questions as to the value of money and power were almost inva r i a b l y brushed aside, or pressed at ex-treme ri s k to the asker. "I'm sure," said J i l l , "that i f S i r Harley Tightboots hadn't been carving the mutton when I asked him about the c a p i t a l i s t system he would have cut my throat. The only reason why we escaped with our l i v e s over and over again i s that men are at once so hungry and so chivalrous. They despise us too much to mind what we s ay." "Of course they despise us" said Eleanor. "At the same time how do you account for t h i s — I made enquiries among the a r t i s t s . Now no woman has ever been an a r t i s t , has she P o l l ? " "Jane-Austen-Charlotte-Bronte-George-Eliot," cried P o l l , l i k e a man crying muffins i n a back street. "Damn the woman!" someone exclaimed. "What a bore she i s ! " "Since Sappho there has been no female of f i r s t r a t e — " Eleanor began, quoting from a weekly newspaper. "It's now well known that Sappho was the somewhat lewd invention of Professor Hobkin," Ruth interrupted. "Anyhow, there i s no reason to suppose that any woman ever has been able to write or ever w i l l be able to 190 write" Eleanor continued. "And yet, whenever I go among authors they never cease to talk to me about t h e i r books. Masterly! I say, or Shakespeare himself! (for one must say something) and I assure you, they believe, me." "That proves nothing," said Jane. They a l l do i t . "Only," she sighed, " i t dosen't[sic] seem to help us much. Perhaps we had better examine modern l i t e r a t u r e next. L i z , i t ' s your turn." Elizabeth rose and said that i n order to prosecute her inquiry she had dressed as a man and been taken for a reviewer. "I have read new books pretty steadily for the past f i v e years, said she." "Mr. Wells i s the most popular l i v i n g writer; then comes Mr. Arnold Bennett; then Mr. Compton Makenzie [sic] ; Mr. McKenna and Mr. Walpole may be bracketed together." She sat down. "But you've t o l d us nothing!" we expostulated. "Or do you mean that these gentlemen have greatly surpassed J a n e - E l i o t [ s i c ] and that English f i c t i o n is—where's that review of yours? Oh, yes, 'safe in t h e i r hands.'" "Safe, quite safe" she said, s h i f t i n g uneasily from foot to foot. "And I'm sure that they give away even more than they receive." We were a l l sure of that. "But," we pressed her, "do they write good books?" 191 "Good books?" she said, looking at the c e i l i n g . "You must remember," she began, speaking with extreme r a p i d i t y , "that f i c t i o n i s the mirror of l i f e . And you can't deny that education i s of the highest importance, and that i t would be extremely annoying, i f you found yourself alone at Brighton late at night, not to know which was the best boarding house to stay at, and suppose i t was a dripping Sunday evening—wouldn't i t be nice to go to the Movies?" "But what has that got to do with i t ? " we asked. "Nothing—nothing—nothing whatever" she r e p l i e d . "Well, t e l l us the truth" we bade her. "The truth? But i s n ' t i t wonderful," she broke o f f — "Mr. C h i t t e r , has written a weekly a r t i c l e f or the past t h i r t y years upon love or hot buttered toast and has sent a l l h is sons to E t o n — " "The truth!" we demanded. "Oh the truth," she stammered—"the truth has nothing to do with l i t e r a t u r e , " and s i t t i n g down she re-fused to say another word. It a l l seemed to us very inconclusive. "Ladies, we must try to sum up the r e s u l t s " Jane was beginning, when a hum, which had been heard for some time through the open window, drowned her voice. "War! War! War! Declaration of War!" men were shouting i n the street below. We looked at each other i n horror. "What war?" we c r i e d . "What war?" We remembered, too l a t e , that we had never thought of sending anyone to the House of Commons. We had forgotten a l l about i t . We turned to P o l l , who had reached the history shelves i n the London Library, and asked her to enlighten us. "Why," we c r i e d "do men go to war?" "Sometimes for one reason, sometimes for another" she r e p l i e d calmly. "In 1760, for example—" The shouts outside drowned her words. "Again i n 1797—in 1804—It was the Austrians i n 1866—1870 was the Franco-Prussian—In 1900 on the other hand—" , "But i t s now 1914!" we cut her short. "Ah, I don't know what they're going to war for now," she admitted. * * * The war was over and peace was i n process of being signed when I once more found myself with C a s t a l i a i n the room where our meetings used to be held. We began i d l y turning over the pages of our old minute books. "Queer," I mused, "to see what we were thinking f i v e years ago." .'.We are agreed,' C a s t a l i a quoted, reading over my shoulder; 'that i t i s the object of l i f e to produce good people and good books. 1 We made no comment upon that. 'A good man i s at anyrate honest passionate and unworldly.' "What a woman's language" I observed. "Oh, dear," c r i e d C a s t a l i a , pushing the book away from her, "What fools we were! I t was a l l P o l l ' s father's f a u l t , " she went on. "I believe he did i t on purpose—that ridiculous w i l l , I mean, forcing P o l l to read a l l the books i n the London Library. I f we hadn't learnt to read," she said b i t t e r l y , "we might, s t i l l have been bearing children i n ignorance and that I believe was the happiest l i f e a f t e r a l l . I know what you're going to say about war," she checked me, "and the horror of bearing children to see them k i l l e d , but our mothers did i t , and t h e i r mothers, and t h e i r mothers before them. And they didn't complain. They couldn't read. I've done my best," she sighed, "to prevent my l i t t l e g i r l from learning to read, but what's the use? I caught Ann only yesterday with a newspaper i n her hand and she was beginning to ask me i f i t was 'true.' Next s h e ' l l ask me whether Mr. Lloyd George i s a good man, then whether Mr. Arnold Bennett.'is i s [sic] a good n o v e l i s t , and f i n a l l y whether I believe i n God.- How can I bring my daughter up to believe i n nothing she demanded. "Surely you could teach her to believe that a man's i n t e l l e c t i s , and always w i l l be, fundamentally superior to 194 a woman's?" I suggested. She brightened at t h i s and began to turn over our old minutes again. "Yes," she said, "think of t h e i r discoveries, t h e i r mathematics, t h e i r science, t h e i r philosophy, t h e i r s c h o l a r s h i p — " and then she began to laugh, "I s h a l l never forget old Hobkin and the hairpin," she said, and went on reading and laughing and I thought she was quite happy, when suddenly she threw the book from her and burst out, "Oh, Cassandra why do you torment me? Don't you know that our b e l i e f i n man's i n t e l l e c t i s the greatest f a l l a c y of them a l l ? " "What?" I exclaimed. "Ask any j o u r n a l i s t , schoolmaster, p o l i t i c i a n or public house keeper in the land and they w i l l a l l t e l l you that men are much cleverer than women." "As i f I doubted i t , " she said s c o r n f u l l y . "How could they help i t ? Haven't we bred them and fed and kept them i n comfort since the beginning of time so that they may be clever even i f they're nothing else? Its a l l our doing!" she c r i e d . "We i n s i s t e d upon having i n t e l l e c t and now we've got i t . And i t s i n t e l l e c t , " she continued, "that's at the bottom of i t . What could be more charming than a boy before he has begun to cul t i v a t e his i n t e l l e c t ? He i s beau t i f u l to look at; he gives himself no a i r s ; he understands the meaning of art and l i t e r a t u r e i n s t i n c t i v e l y ; he goes about enjoying his li f e " and making other people enjoy t h e i r s . Then they teach him to c u l -t i v a t e h is i n t e l l e c t . He becomes a b a r r i s t e r , a c i v i l servant, a general, an author, a professor. Every day he goes to an o f f i c e . Every year he produces a book. He maintains a whole family by the products of his b r a i n — p o o r d e v i l ! Soon he cannot come into a room without making us a l l f e e l uncom-fortable; he condescends to every woman he meets, and dares not t e l l the truth even to his own wife; instead of r e j o i c i n g our eyes we have to shut them i f we are to take him i n our arms. True, they console themselves with stars of a l l shapes, ribbons of a l l shades, and incomes of a l l s i z e s — but what i s to console us? That we s h a l l be able i n ten years time to spend a week-end at Lahore? Or that the least insect i n Japan has a name twice the length of i t s body? Oh, Cassandra, for Heaven's sake l e t us devise a method by which men may bear children! I t i s our only chance. For unless we provide them with some innocent occupation we s h a l l get neither good people nor good books; we s h a l l perish beneath the f r u i t s of t h e i r unbridled a c t i v i t y ; and not a human being w i l l survive to know that there once was Shakespeare!" "I t i s too la t e " I said. "We cannot provide even for the children that we have." "And then you ask me to believe i n i n t e l l e c t " she said. While we spoke, men were crying hoarsely and wearily i n the street, and l i s t e n i n g , we heard that the Treaty of Peace had just been signed. The voices died away. The rain was f a l l i n g and interfered no doubt with the proper explosion of the fireworks. "My cook w i l l have bought the Evening News" said C a s t a l i a "and Ann w i l l be s p e l l i n g i t out over her tea. I must go home." "It's no good—not a b i t of good" I said. "Once she knows how to read there's only one thing you can teach her to believe i n — a n d that i s herse l f . " "Well that would be a change," said C a s t a l i a . So we swept up the papers of our Society, and though Ann was playing with her d o l l very happily, we solemnly made her a present of the l o t and t o l d her we had chosen her to be President of the Society of the future—upon which she burst into tears, poor l i t t l e g i r l . APPENDIX III BLUE Se GREEN. GREEN. The pointed fingers of glass hang downwards. The l i g h t s l i d e s down the glass, and drops a pool of green. A l l day long the ten fingers of the lustre drop green upon the marble. The feathers of p a r a k e e t s — t h e i r harsh c r i e s - -sharp blades of palm t r e e s — g r e e n too; green needles g l i t t e r ing i n the sun. But the hard glass drips on to the marble; the pools hover above the desert sand; the camels lurch through them; the pools s e t t l e on the marble; rushes edge them; weeds clog them; here and there a white blossom; the frog flops over; at night the stars are set there unbroken. Evening comes, and the shadow sweeps the green over the mantelpiece; the r u f f l e d surface of ocean. No ships come; the aimless waves sway beneath the empty sky. It's night; the needles drip blots of blue. The green's out BLUE. The snub-nosed monster r i s e s to the surface and spouts through his blunt n o s t r i l s two columns of water, which, fiery-white i n the centre, spray o f f i n t o a fringe of blue beads. Strokes of blue l i n e the black tarpaulin of his hide. Slushing the water through mouth and n o s t r i l s he sinks, heavy with water, and the blue closes over him dowsing the polished pebbles of his eyes. Thrown upon the beach he l i e s , blunt, obtuse, shedding dry blue scales. Their m e t a l l i c blue stains the rusty iron on the beach. Blue are the ribs of the wrecked rowing boat. A wave r o l l s beneath the blue b e l l s . But the cathedral's d i f f e r e n t , cold, incense laden, f a i n t blue with the v e i l s of madonnas. 199 APPENDIX IV FOREWORD Mr. Wallace H i l d i c k , when examining the MS of V i r g i n i a Woolf s Mrs. Dalloway, now i n the B r i t i s h Museum, discovered the short children's story which i s here published under the t i t l e Nurse Lugton's Golden Thimble. The story appears suddenly i n the middle of the text of the novel, but has nothing to do with i t . I t was i n fact written for V i r g i n i a W o o l f s niece Ann Stephen when she, as a c h i l d , was on a v i s i t to her aunt i n the country. The story was f i r s t published, with an explanatory note by Mr. H i l d i c k , i n The  Times L i t e r a r y Supplement of June 17, 1965. Leonard Woolf NURSE LUGTON'S GOLDEN THIMBLE She had given one great snore. She had dropped her head, thrust her spectacles up her forehead, and there she sat, by the fender with her thimble on her finger, and her needle f u l l of cotton, snoring, snoring—on her knees, and covering her apron, a large piece of figured blue s t u f f . The animals had not moved u n t i l — o n e , two, three, four, f i v e — Nurse Lugton snored for the f i f t h time. Ah! the old woman was asleep. The antelope nodded to the zebra; the g i r a f f e b i t o f f a le a f of the tree. For the pattern on the s t u f f 200 was t h i s : a l l the animals i n the world were trooping down to the lake and the pagoda, and the boat and the bridge to drink. But so long as Nurse Lugton stitched, there they stood: the elephant with his trunk i n the a i r ; the zebra with his front hoof raised; the g i r a f f e smelling the leaves, and the monkey holding the nut i n his paws. The s t u f f was blue s t u f f ; a curtain for Mrs. Gingham's fine big drawing-room window. They were only patterns so long as old Nurse stitch e d . But d i r e c t l y she began to snore, the blue s t u f f turned into blue a i r , and the trees waved; you could hear the waves breaking on the lake; and see the people crossing the bridge to market. Immediately, the animals began to move. F i r s t the elephant and the zebra; next the g i r a f f e and the t i g e r ; the o s t r i c h , the mandrill, the marmot and the mongoose followed; the penguins and the petbicans waddled and waded alongside. Over them burnt Nurse Lugton's golden thimble l i k e a sun; and when Nurse Lugton snored, a l l the animals heard the wind roaring i n the trees. Down they went to drink and, as they walked, the blue curtains be-came covered with grass, and roses and d a i s i e s , white stones and red; and puddles and reeds and ditches and cart tracks with frogs hopping quickly i n and out of the grass l e s t the elephant should tread on them. 201 On they went. They stood by the lake to drink. Really i t was a b e a u t i f u l s i g h t — a n d to think of i t a l l , l y i n g across old Nurse Lugton's knees, as she snored, on her Windsor chair i n the lamplight; to think of her apron covered with roses and grass, with great wild beasts which she had only poked at through the bars with her umbrella at the zoo! For she was mortally a f r a i d of wild beasts, and could she have known that she had wild beasts a l l over her, as she s l e p t , what would she have said? Poor old woman! Even a l i t t l e beetle made Nurse" Lugton y e l l . And now her apron was covered with stags and albatrosses, e l e -phants, penguins and wild jungle leopards. But she knew nothing of i t a l l . So the elephants drank, and the g i r a f f e s ate the t u l i p trees; and the people who crossed the bridge threw apples and pineapples into the a i r for them to catch, and b e a u t i f u l l y crescent-shaped r o l l s f i l l e d with rose leaves and honey. These the monkeys loved. The old Queen of the town came by i n her palanquin; the general of the army passed; so did the Prime Minister; she Admiral; the Executioner; and other great d i g n i t a r i e s on business i n the town, which was a very b e a u t i f u l place c a l l e d Millamarchmontopolis. Nobody harmed the lovely beasts; but i t was well known that nobody could ever catch them. 202 For i t was said that a great ogress had them i n her t o i l s . Her name was Lugton. She had a face l i k e the side of a mountain, with great predipices and avalanches and chasms for eyes and h a i r , nose and teeth. And she caught the animals, and froze them, and they stood s t i l l on her knee a l l day, t i l l she f e l l asleep, and then they came i n the evening to Millamarchmontopolis to drink. Suddenly o l d Nurse Lugton gave a great gasp and a twitch and woke up. For a bluebottle was buzzing round the lamp and woke her. A l l the animals lay s t i l l on her knee once more. And Burse Lugton went on s t i t c h i n g at Mrs. Gingham's drawing-room curtain. THE END 

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