To the Lighthouse
The Concept of Time in Virgina Woolf's To the Lighthouse
The word 'romantic' is derived from the medieval romaunt, which was a tale of chivalry, written in a romance language, that often took the form of a quest. In the 18th and 19th centuries, this idea of romance became an intellectual or artistic quest which focused strongly on the individual's personal search for the meaning and the essence of human existence. Modernism, on the other hand, is characterized by a rejection or and reaction against romantic ideas in order to establish a pure and original way of thinking. Modernists saw themselves as overthrowing traditional techniques to create revolutionary new artforms, a replacement of what they perceived to be a stale worldview with a novel, progressive social and artistic identity. Virginia Woolf, a key figure in Modernist literature, writes in her essay "Modern Novels" that modern art is "art is somehow an improvement upon the old" because it manages "to preserve more sincerely and exactly what interests and moves [people] by discarding most of the conventions which are commonly observed by the novelists." According to Woolf, "what we might venture to call life itself" is "the semi-transparent envelope, or luminous halo,...
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