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“Inevitably, it becomes all too clear that the painful vision (of Virginia Woolf) is but the extension of a fragile and suffering mind unable to transcend the confines of its being and so free its imagination except as the vision of ambivalence.’
This was the concluding sentence of Moira Heffez’ 1978 Master’s thesis "Vision of Ambivalence: on the art of Virginia Woolf’s writing…"
What is Woolf's 'Vision of Ambivalence" and why speak of here and now? It is, of course, the understanding of that narrow world of upper middle class England of which Woolf was a charter member. It is there in her style, which is invariably self-referencing, that twists back upon itself; a style which magnifies its limitations, but in so doing validates its own achievements; demanding the sacrifice of others also to the austerity on which her upper class lifestyle depends; demanding that the world carry on, that there exists a greater belonging to which we must strive and that eventually something will come along so that it all makes sense.
Rest in peace, Virginia.
The first sentence is the gold. The rest? Glitter.