Diminishment of Consciousness: a Paradox in the Art of Virginia Woolf
Two small pictures — landscapes — hang in a public room in Somerville College, Oxford. Approaching for a closer look the visitor almost immediately concludes they are better seen from a distance and withdraws accordingly. There is something sad about those pictures, which are by Roger Fry.1 All the dynamism of an epoch, all its life-giving enthusiasms, seem to have drained out, and left them bleak and lonely in this arid academic setting. To see them is to think of a time past, not of an art all-suffusing and continuously present. No story still animates them, no secrecy glows out of them. As he looks and leaves the spectator may be struck by the thought that they are both very like, and very unlike, the novels of Virginia Woolf.
KeywordsCentenary Perspective Common Reader Small Picture Real Helplessness Passive Side
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