The Fold of Kashmir Shawl: Imperial Modernity and Impersonal Aesthetics in Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse
|Keywords:||縐摺;喀什米爾披肩;帝國現代性;非人稱美學;新物質主義;德勒茲;吳爾芙;《燈塔行》;fold;Kashmir shawl;imperial modernity;impersonal aesthetics;new materialisms;Gilles Deleuze;Virginia Woolf;To the Lighthouse||Issue Date:||2015||Abstract:||
就現代主義「內在轉向」的批評典範而言，吳爾芙通常被視為探討意識流動與心理深度的代表作家，對此本論文提出異議，援引近期重心從語言轉向物質的「新物質主義」論述，透過閱讀吳爾芙現代主義的代表著作《燈塔行》，試圖重新思考何謂吳爾芙筆下的「生命」。本文聚焦於小說中拉姆齊夫人的喀什米爾披肩，過往對此物件的詮釋通常只停留在修辭的層次，本文透過以物為中心的批評角度，強調披肩本身不可化約的物質能動性，試問此種詮釋策略如何有別於傳統「隱喻式」的閱讀。 相較於後結構理論的語言轉向或文化轉向，新物質主義關注的是物質本身的能動性，而法國當代哲學家德勒茲強調物質流變的在己差異哲學正是此新興論述的啟發之一。第一章首先勾勒目前學界對吳爾芙的詮釋，並爬梳新物質主義論述的發展現況。為了開展小說中披肩本身的物質性與織品想像，本章節將闡述德勒茲哲學中的核心操作概念「巴洛克縐摺」，作為本文「開摺」、「合摺」、「重摺」的主要架構，並帶入另外兩組對照概念：「形式」與「形勢」、「克分子」與「分子」，分別提出開摺與合摺喀什米爾披肩的閱讀方法。 第一種「克分子形式」的閱讀將在第二章以「開摺歷史」的方式進行，依循以物為中心的「轉喻式」批評，本文將小說中的披肩視為一個歷史物件，並在真正進入小說的意義結構之前，追溯喀什米爾披肩之製作、流通與消費的帝國主義物質史。以此歷史檔案重新審視小說中的披肩，本文質疑任何拒絕承認此帝國主義歷史的形式主義閱讀，並發現喀什米爾披肩在東方主義與帝國現代性的論述之間形成一個悖論，體現現代主義美學中不得不面對的內在矛盾。 第二種「分子形勢」的閱讀在第三章中從開摺歷史轉而「合摺時間」，以便處理此悖論帶來的問題。在此披肩既不是隱喻或是轉喻，而是根本地從修辭的意義邏輯中逃逸，成為在差異微分關係中合摺非人稱時間的「物質縐摺」。作為非人稱回憶的「事件」，披肩的物質縐摺透過坎姆的流變孩童，表現童年的「情動力」。本文以此將美學重新理解為感受學，並主張莉莉最後畫作的基進性，不在於對布盧姆茨伯里美學理論的呼應，也不在其反再現式的帝國主義批判，而是如同吳爾芙的小說書寫，在於一種以情動體的差異微分，取代主客體差異區分的「非人稱美學—感受學」。 將披肩的物質縐摺重摺回生命之共的織品當中，本文強調非人稱美學的特異性，並以吳爾芙對於文學本身的信念作結。如同吳爾芙所言：「文學不是任何人的私有地，而是所有人的共享之地」。如果吳爾芙的非人稱書寫體現了一種美學的政治，那麼此美學政治不在他方，就在吳爾芙所謂的「生命」本身。
Within the paradigm of modernist “inward turn,” Virginia Woolf has often been regarded as a writer of consciousness and psychological depths par excellence. The overarching aim of this thesis is to contest this common understanding of Woolf and to reconsider Woolf’s famous plea to “look within life.” Following a renewed critical interest in issues of materiality evidenced by recent discourses called “new materialisms,” this thesis zeroes in on Mrs. Ramsay’s cashmere shawl in Virginia Woolf’s high modernist novel To the Lighthouse to engage with the irreducible vibrant materiality in her writing. While Mrs. Ramsay’s cashmere shawl has been recognized as an essential trope in the novel, I ask how a thing-centered reading that attends to its materiality can expand and complicate a traditional metaphorical interpretation of the shawl. As a counteraction against the linguistic turn or the cultural turn in poststructuralist theory, new materialisms draw attention to the agential forces of the matter itself. One of the major inspirations of this material turn is Gilles Deleuze’s philosophy of difference-in-itself that foregrounds the continuous modulation of material forces. To illuminate the materiality of the shawl and its textile imagination, after delineating the development of Woolf studies and new materialisms, Chapter One draws on Deleuze’s operative concept of the Baroque fold as an organizing refrain of folding, unfolding, and refolding throughout this thesis. Bringing the Deleuzian fold into play with other two conceptual pairs of form and force, molar and molecular, I formulate two different kinds of approaches to the flowing materiality of Mrs. Ramsay’s cashmere shawl. Chapter Two performs what I call a molar-form reading that aims to unfold the history of Kashmir shawl. Building upon a thing-centered literary criticism that foregrounds the instability of metonymy and the concrete materiality of novelistic objects, this chapter takes the shawl literally as a historical object and attempts to unfold its imperialist history of production, circulation and consumption. In this way I argue that any formalist reading that disavows this imperialist history is questionable. Delving into the historical archive before returning to the textual figuration of the novel, I further suggest that a paradox of Kashmir shawl can be located between the discourses of Orientalism and the British imperial modernity, entailing an inner conflict at the heart of modernist aesthetics. To deal with this paradox of Kashmir shawl, Chapter Three as a molecular-force reading does not take this novelistic shawl as a metaphor, nor a metonymy, but a “matter-fold” that implicates the forces of impersonal duree in a differential relation. Taking the shawl as a matter-fold, this chapter suggests how it becomes an “event” of impersonal Memory and reveals the affect of childhood in Cam’s “becoming-child.” By reconsidering the questions of aesthetics in terms of affectivity and sensate perception, I argue that the radicality of Lily’s vision at the end does not lie in its correspondence to the Bloomsbury aesthetics, nor in its anti-representational critique of imperialism, but in an “aesthetics of impersonality” that replaces the molar distinction between subject and object with a molecular differentiation between “bodies of affectivity,” as in Woolf’s impersonal art of fiction. By refolding the matter-fold of cashmere shawl into the fabric of common life, this thesis affirms the singularity of Woolf’s impersonal aesthetics and evokes her conviction in literature as conclusion. As Woolf asserts, “Literature is no one’s private ground; literature is common ground.” If Woolf’s writing embodies a “politics of aesthetics,” then it does not lie elsewhere but in this fabric of the essential thing that Woolf calls “life.”
|Appears in Collections:||外國語文學系|
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