The Importance of the Ordinary. Moments of Being in Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway

Emilia Flis


“A Sketch of the Past” is an essay in which Virginia Woolf recollects her childhood memories and reflects upon certain events, while trying to understand why she remembers them and forgets others. She mentions the concept “moments of being”, though without providing the reader with a clear definition. The idea refers to the bits of our lives in which we experience something beyond the ordinary daily routine – the intense feeling of being alive. The author describes it as “a sudden violent shock; something happened so violently that I have remembered it all my life” (Woolf, A Sketch of the Past 71) and contrasts such intense revelatory moments with “the cotton wool” (70) of non-being that defines most of our living. The concept “moments of being” is of great importance to the writer, as she herself states: ”And so I go on to suppose that the shock-receiving capacity is what makes me a writer” (72). The present article discusses the concept “moments of being” and attempts to capture its meaning by analysing selected passages from one of Virginia Woolf’s most famous novels, Mrs Dalloway.


modernism, time, the ordinary, stream of consciousness, identity, sexuality

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Data publikacji: 2017-03-07 11:52:20
Data złożenia artykułu: 2017-03-07 11:27:48


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