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Hieroglyphic ModernismsWriting and New Media in the Twentieth Century$
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Jesse Schotter

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474424776

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474424776.001.0001

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The Hieroglyphics of Character

The Hieroglyphics of Character

(p.62) 2 The Hieroglyphics of Character
Hieroglyphic Modernisms

Jesse Schotter

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter examines how hybrid conceptions of language and media come to challenge representations of literary character and narrative in the modernist period. Understanding Virginia Woolf as a film theorist situated within the ferment of avant-garde film culture in London in the mid-1920s—a period which saw the formation of the journal Close-Up and the London Film Society—the chapter argues that Woolf’s engagement with film and its ‘hieroglyphs’ in her essay ‘The Cinema’ transforms her understanding of language and character in To the Lighthouse. Throughout the late 1920s, Woolf imagines writing as emulating the material and visual form of hieroglyphs, revealing the inscriptions graven upon the ‘sacred tablets’ of the minds and hearts of her characters.

Keywords:   Virginia Woolf, Character, Hieroglyphs, Narrative, Film, Modernism

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