In this essay, I traced the trajectory of the shift from Victorian literature to the beginning of modern literary forms. Through Virginia Woolf’s essays ‘Modern Fiction’ and ‘Mr Bennett and Mrs Brown’, I highlighted the implicit conflict coming through in the two contrasting modes of representing identity. I talked about the emergence of a ‘Georgian literature’, which Woolf defended and the Edwardians whom Mr Bennett represents. The radical changes in society reflected the conception of their characters and their writings in a way that was lulling. Woolf termed this Edwardian void between these representations of the self and the modern self itself as ‘materialism’. The purgatory that marked this shift also allowed to me to argue that the ‘self’ is essentially a contested concept across and within disciplines.
Reflection on the First Session:
In the first session we got to know each other, talked about our major disciplines and discussed out semester one essay summaries. Coming from the departments of Classics, Geography, Politics and Literature we all had extremely different essay questions. We pointed out that discrimination was a common topic amidst all our writings and that we were interested in exploring something contemporary and relevant in our project this term. George gave an outline of how this module would function on a weekly basis asked us to come up with ideas for the next session so we could narrow down on our final topic.