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Vivid Spaces: The Settings of Virginia Woolf and Edith Wharton

Sinclair, Rebecca & Taylor, Mark (2000) Vivid Spaces: The Settings of Virginia Woolf and Edith Wharton. In Stephens, J. R. (Ed.) Habitus: a sense of place, 5-9 September 2000, Perth.

Abstract

This paper is an investigation of architectural settings that are evoked through description, occupation and transformation by the narrative structure of the novel. It begins by exploring the notion of vividness as an authentic presence of that which is narrated, and the presence of a pictorial representation in the reader. Invoked in the imagination these narrative spaces are discussed through fragments, settings and places for conversations.

Two case studies are used to discuss the various ways in which spaces are made vivid by their incompleteness, and consequently exist in the imagination of the reader. The first is a novel by Virginia Woolf, the second a novel by Edith Wharton. In each text episodes and themes are used to explore the interconnectedness between aspect, room and encounter. It further discusses how in engaging vividness architectural descriptions are transposed into metaphors for character descriptions in a fluid manner. Particular examples from the case studies highlight gendered constructions of a setting, furnishing and decorating; and how rooms have spatial attachment to an occasion, and how conversely revisiting a setting in the narrative engages the temporal.

The paper concludes by proposing another way of seeing architecture that is outside the traditional canon.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 12965
Item Type: Conference Paper
Keywords: interior design, aesthetic theory, gender theory
ISBN: 183429085
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING (120500) > History and Theory of the Built Environment (excl. Architecture) (120502)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > ARCHITECTURE (120100) > Architectural Design (120101)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > ARCHITECTURE (120100) > Interior Design (120106)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2000 Rebecca Sinclair and Mark Taylor
Deposited On: 11 Mar 2008
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2011 15:44

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