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Below is a link to a recording of Virginia Woolf followed by the text of a series of e-mail exchanges that help provide a sense of the dynamic of the class.

Email list: Conversations/Documents


[As you can see, the first third is dominated by the instructor: then the students take over. This is, in my opinion, how a seminar should work.--D.H.]

One day after Class #3:


Let me sum up where we are and where we are going: We have all read, suggested questions, and made insightful observations about *Room,* and we shall build on these during the next class period. If I were to sum up the key words not yet fully confronted (certainly not yet exhausted), they would be "voice," "androgyny" and "anger."


--Voice, as noted repeatedly, is tricky when the "I" asserts it is both fictive and not to be valued as such: We are so used to assuming authority on the basis of personality, we may have trouble understanding from whence she derives hers, and her ability to judge, without resorting to our conventional notion of a merely factual "I." Let us try to go with her for awhile longer, and allow that her "I" may be--as announced--exemplary of a woman who cares about fiction. Thus we can hear not only her judgments on writers, but see the fluctuating attitudes and comments of her "I" as in themselves an exemplary narrative.

--雌雄同體有時似乎指的是是男性與女性間生理的「平衡」(balance);有時討論內容則強調其融合或可穿透性,猶如製造白熱光(incandescence)般。我們先試圖研究吳爾芙對雌雄同體的立場:生理性別(sex)、社會性別(gender)、社會建構、本質論(essentialism)和隱喻,這些都是辯論的關鍵詞。目前,讓我們先思考自己對性別化身體與心智狀態(傾向)間的關係;接著,看吳爾芙陳述自己如何渴望跨越文化中堅持的男/女二元論,並辯論人與人間的差異與性別限制(即使曾出現迷人的例外與變換)。換句話說,太執著於字面上的「融合」將有變成雷同與無趣的危險;而「平衡」一詞則可能使我們受限於不成熟的「人類存在的私立學校*階段—一定要選一『邊』」。(p,106或110)(*譯註:這裡指的是私立的中小學。英國跟中國一樣,一般人念公立學校,高社經地位家庭的小孩才會去唸私立學校,尤其是住宿學校,多半歷史悠久、校譽卓著。另外有「公學」public school其實也是私立學校,其名稱由來已久故沿用至今,有名的伊頓公學Eton College即是其中之一。)

--Androgyny seems to mean at times "balance" between something conceived of as male and something conceived of as female; at other times, the discussion focuses on fusion or permeability as that which creates incandescence. Sex, gender, social construction, essentialism, metaphor: These would be key debating terms were one to try to work out Woolf's position(s) on androgyny. For the moment, let us simply consider our own assumptions as to the relationship (if any) between a sexed body and a mental state or disposition; furthermore, let us seize upon Woolf's contention that we have too few differences or sexes as expressing her desire to get beyond the male/female binary so insisted upon (still, despite fascinating exceptions and permutations) in our culture. In other words, the danger of "fusion" taken too literally would be sameness and dullness; the danger of "balance" would be locking us into the immature "private-school stage of human existence where there are 'sides'" (p.106 or 110).

--在《自己的房間》中,憤怒佔有特殊的地位。有人可能會說,如果「彌爾頓*(譯註:John Milton, 代表作是《失樂園》(Paradise Lost)創造出的「怪物」,是必須崇拜的男性對象(禁止女性接觸與想像超出某種社會秩序外更廣泛的「真相」),那麼吳爾芙所創造的怪物可能就是作家版本的「屋裡的天使」*(譯註:Coventry Patmorey在1854年出版”The Angel in the House”,以他的太太為範本描述一溫柔乖順、以夫為貴、以家庭為中心的女性形象,此女性如天使般守護家庭,因此家庭幸福得以維繫。但吳爾芙認為此形象不利女性尋求獨立自主。),描述一個永遠在養育、愛護與安慰的女性角色(以避免成為那些老被拒絕、從不聆聽別人的憤怒或「聲名狼籍的女性主義者」)。假設在吳爾芙成長的年代中,社會大眾只接受女性擔任上述天使的角色,難怪她無法忘卻這種形象與理想典範的影響力;此外,身為一位作家,她希望她的聲音能被聽見。在這樣的情境中,憤怒被視為是使人分心且削弱力量的。相對地,吳爾芙認為恰當的憤怒常是適宜的,她安排她的書中角色咒罵建築並諷刺教授,公開表示一般人隱藏或壓抑的憤怒—後者是她最強烈譴責的。我們可能會問:現今大眾是否較能夠接受個人對其社會地位的憤怒?誰的憤怒?又是被誰接受?某些書寫方式和文類是否在處理冷靜或憤怒時較其他類別更有利?我們是否希望更詳細區別吳爾芙的用字遣詞?

--Anger occupies a complex position in *Room.* One might say that, if "Milton's bogey" is the image of a man who must be worshiped (thus blocking a woman's access to and thoughts about the larger "reality" beyond a particular social order), then Woolf's bogey might be a writer's version of "the angel of the house," a woman who always nourishes and cherishes and soothes (thus avoiding charges of being an angry or "arrant feminist" who will be rejected rather than listened to by all). Given that she was raised in a world where a woman's only socially accepted role was to be such an angel, it is not surprising that she could not forget the power of such an image and ideal; moreover, as a writer, she wished to be heard. Anger, in such a context, could be seen as not only distracting but debilitating. But conversely, Woolf sees that righteous anger is often appropriate, has her speaker curses buildings and lampoon professors, and distinguishes open anger from that which is hidden or turned inside upon oneself--this last is what she most deplores. We might ask whether anger at one's social position is more openly accepted now, of whom, by whom; whether certain kinds of writing, certain genres, benefit more than others from calm or anger; and whether we wish to refine Woolf's vocabulary further.


這份資料接續喬依斯的藍襪(譯註:比喻女性學者)疑問。每位修習文學的學生都該將以下連結放到書籤中:。這是本優秀的歷史字典,—進去之後你就查詢維多利亞年代(Victorian era) (所有學術巨著都被系統化的偉大時代,如這本字典和國家傳記字典(Dictionary of National Biography),編者之一是吳爾芙的父親賴斯利.史蒂芬(Leslie Stephen)。

This is a follow-up to Joyce's bluestocking query. Here's a link every Lit student should have bookmarked:

This is THE historical dictionary par excellence--begun in, you guessed it, the Victorian era (the great time of systematization of everything in massive tomes, such as this and the Dictionary of National Biography co-edited by Virginia's dad, Leslie Stephen). It gives earliest known uses of words, and is now being updated (since folks have discovered earlier uses of some words over the past 100+ years, not to mention new coinages).


Just reading this OED entry on "bluestocking" is enough to make one feel sympathetic to Woolf, as she tries to reconstruct a history of women's writing and confronts gendered deprecation at every turn. Who but a saint would be able to read it and read it without on occasion making a little dig in the other direction, to avoid being drained or angered beyond productivity? Notice the attempt at a corrective under entry 2. Notice also how a class/religious insult turns into a gendered one--not unusual in English. The word "shrew," for example, was a late medieval term for peasant.

1. 限定詞。穿著藍色劣質(非黑色絲質)長襪的;因此,表示衣衫不整、著家居服。(輕蔑用語)
1. Attrib. Wearing blue worsted (instead of black silk) stockings; hence, not in full dress, in homely dress. (contemptuous.)

(a.)指1653年的「小議會」(Little Parliament),因為其成員穿著如清教徒般地樸素衣服或態度。
(a.) Applied to the 'Little Parliament' of 1653, with reference to the puritanically plain or mean attire of its members.

1683, 布蘭斯登爵士(Sir J. Bramston)的自傳 (1845) 89 克倫威爾稱呼這幫人為藍襪議會(皮包骨議會),此團體兼議會因此引為特色。
1683 Autobiog. Sir J. Bramston (1845) 89 That Blew-stocking Parliament, Barebone Parliament, a companie of fellowes called togeather by Cromwell, the armie and councell thereof pickt out for the purpose.

(b.) 貶意,指在Montagu House聚集的人,以及經常拜訪或模仿他們的人。
(b.) Applied depreciatively to the assemblies that met at Montagu House, and those who frequented them or imitated them.

(1757 MRS. MONTAGUE Let. 在 Doran Lady of Last C. (1873) 他(Mr. Stillingfleet)不再與他的老友及藍襪那幫人往來。1780 F. BURNEY Diary (1842) I,326 再這樣下去,哪個人不變成藍襪幫的?1791 BOSWELL Johnson viii,86 這些社團主導藍襪俱樂部。1885 F. CUSS E. Barnet 113 藍襪幫的一員。
[1757 MRS. MONTAGUE Let. In Doran Lady of Last C. (1873) He [Mr. Stillingfleet] has left off his old friends and his blue stockings. 1780 F. BURNEY Diary (1842) I. 326 Who would not be a blue stockinger at this rate?] 1791 BOSWELL Johnson viii. 86 These societies were denominated Blue-stocking Clubs. 1885 F. CUSS E. Barnet 113 A member of the..Blue Stocking coterie.

(c.) Hence, of women: Having or affecting literary tastes; literary, learned.

1804 Edin. Rev. IV. 219 聆聽喜愛文學的女士們吟詩。1824 MACAULAY Misc. Writ. (1860) I. 127那些經常旅遊的貴族與富文學品味的羅馬婦人。
1804 Edin. Rev. IV. 219 To hear blue-stocking ladies jingle their rhymes. 1824 MACAULAY Misc. Writ. (1860) I. 127 The travelled nobles and the blue stocking matrons of Rome.

2. = 藍襪女士:原指經常拜訪Montague夫人的「藍襪」成員;之後用以嘲笑那些有學習慾望的女性,文藝女性。(19世紀前期的評論家經常使用,但因為現在對女性接受教育的觀念改變,現在幾乎不用。
2. = Blue Stocking lady: Orig. one who frequented Mrs. Montague's 'Blue Stocking' assemblies; thence transferred sneeringly to any woman showing a taste for learning, a literary lady. (Much used by reviewers of the first quarter of the 19th c.; but now, from the general change of opinion on the education of women, nearly abandoned.)

1790 WOLCOTT (P. Pindar) 給Apollo Wks. 1812 II. 277, 「我看到藍襪幫勢力的興起,這些歷史學者、評論家與愛好詩歌的女爵士。」 1807 Edin. Rev. X. 192「 即使對Montague家中的藍襪一幫人而言…這種現象也幾乎不會減緩。」 1822 HAZLITT Table-t. II. vii. 168, 「我十分厭惡藍襪那幫人。我完全不在乎哪個女人會知道作者是什麼意思。」1858 DE QUINCEY Autobiog. Sk. Wks. 1862 I. xiii. 353 note,「 因為遭指摘的關係,那群被稱為藍襪幫的女士已經完全消失。」
1790 WOLCOTT (P. Pindar) To Apollo Wks. 1812 II. 277, I see the band of Blue Stockings arise, Historic, critic, and poetic Dames. 1807 Edin. Rev. X. 192 This would scarcely go down..even among the blue stockings of Montagu house. 1822 HAZLITT Table-t. II. vii. 168, I have an utter aversion to blue-stockings. I do not care a fig for any woman that knows even what an author means. 1858 DE QUINCEY Autobiog. Sk. Wks. 1862 I. xiii. 353 note, The order of ladies called Bluestockings, by way of reproach, has become totally extinct amongst us.

One day after Class #4:


Nate had a query about feminism, its motivations and goals, and its applicability to men (and/or analogous movements or goals for men). Quite big and important questions to think about. I gave a preliminary response of my own [see next posting], but would be happy to hear what background, ideas, and general thoughts you bring to this topic--a good way to get a better sense of where we are coming from, in terms of the familiarity with gender stuff generally. Comments welcome.


For those uncomfortable or overwhelmed by Shakespeare generally, this play in particular, or simply feeling at sea (with Cleopatra?), a few ideas to help:

--One, of course, Laurence mentioned: read through quickly, get the "gist", and then go back to footnotes and such on the next go.

--Second, try using structure: as in Woolf, where the 6 chapters do allow you to locate some "shape" undergirding her stream, the acts (and, dare I say it, all those scenes) also help structure one's thinking about this most fluid of Shakespeare's plays: Fluid in imagery, in diction, in location, and fluid in our perspectives on the characters. Consider making an outline, with just a phrase about each scene's gist (if you can figure one out).

--I am asking the film office to make available to you videos of a few productions so you can hear some of the language at least--I won't say these are great productions, nor that they are great "theater" or film (one is the BBC-TV series, known for fidelity and a lack of imagination and sufficient fun). But they do let you look at some facial expressions and particular actors' choices on line readings, so this is another route towards deciding what you think the tone is. At the same time, this is a good reminder of why drama is different from other literary genres, in that it asks to be interpreted variously, by different actors and viewers at different moments. Kind of like life. These tapes should be available by Tuesday p.m., with any luck at all, so that might provide a nice way to "review." But entirely optional.

--最後,改變你的某些問題,並讚美你自己的洞察力非凡:在這齣劇中,最悲傷但也最好笑(因個人觀點而有所不同)的台詞之一,是Cleopatra跟Antony說:「你還不認識我嗎?」(Not know me yet?)你終於會瞭解為什麼這齣戲難以理解:我們對這些被建構與堆砌出來的角色並沒有完整的「知識」,因而感到不自在,並看著這些角色隨著時間、不同角度和觀者的眼光而不斷改變,就像是虛幻、難以捉摸的「主體」謎題。如果時間允許,我們會逐漸瞭解這些角色,如果時間不允許—那他們只是個「主題」而已。這也是很有趣的。
--Finally, turn some of your questions around and pat yourself on the back for discernment: in one of the most plaintive but also downright funny lines of the play (depending on perspective), Cleopatra says to Antony, "Not know me yet?" That's exactly what you've realized makes this play difficult: we don't have the comfort of solid 'knowledge' about these characters established and sustained, but instead see them changing over time, from different angles and eyes, as illusory and elusive "objects" of inquiry. But in time, we also come to understand them better in each moment, if not over time--they become "subjects." And that's fun.


我先試著回答Nate的問題:大多數人認為女性主義的目標是在爭取性別平等,但從歷史的事實來看,主要指的是企圖提升女性的地位,而隨著世代的不同,特別針對那些視女性為二等公民的領域,女性主義的目標也有不同的調整。所以,在十八世紀,女性主義的目標是希望女性被當作是言之有物的理性生物;在十九世紀,則是在取得受教權與投票權;到了二十世紀初期,仍然在爭取投票權與影響關乎女性的立法,例如生育控制的合法化;在七0年代,更廣義的「文化女性主義」(cultural feminism)爭取平等權利修正案,墮胎合法化、增加女性在政府與專業上的人數,並更重視女性的意見表達與經驗;到了八0年代,嗯,一言難盡,因為當時的女性主義面貌多元,發展出不同—有時甚至是相對立—的目標。照顧孩童、可比較薪資* (comparable pay)(譯註*:為達兩性的薪資平等,在美加等國,一開始立法的重點在「同工同酬」equal pay for equal work,但是因為男女多被社會區隔在不同工作中,同工同酬的法令所能達到的效果有限,因此之後強調「同值同酬」equal pay for work of equal value,在美國多稱為「可比較價值」comparable worth or pay equal。以上節錄自〈她們的真正平等工作權——同工同酬到同值同酬的意義〉,嚴祥鸞著,第二屆全國婦女國是會議論文,、突破「玻璃天花板」(glass ceiling)等,都是近來關心的議題,而當今的女性主義者還關心不同文化與不同階級中的女性處境。

My first stab at a reply to Nate's query: because feminism has most generally been seen as the struggle for equality between the sexes, which (given historical realities) has meant for the most part trying to improve the status of women, its goals have shifted over the generations to match those areas where women are perceived to be second-class citizens. That is, the goal in the eighteenth century was basically to be considered a rational creature worth listening to; in the nineteenth, access to education and the right to vote; in the early twentieth century the right to vote (still) and influence on legislation concerning behaviors affecting women, such as legalizing birth control; in the 70s, a more general "cultural feminism" that wanted an equal rights amendment, legalized abortion, and more representation of women in government and the professions, but also increased respect for the opinions and experiences of women; and in the 80s, well, harder to say, as by then feminism had become quite diverse and led to many different--and sometimes even antithetical--goals. Child care, comparable pay, and breaking through the 'glass ceiling' are among recent (and current) concerns, as are the situations of women in different cultures and of different classes.

至於男性在女性主義中的地位一向是非常重要的:這些「盟友」如十九世紀的彌爾(John Stuart Mill)、十九、二十世紀之交的蕭伯納(Bernard Shaw),以及六0年代以來的許多男性—長期以來與女性並肩作戰、為女性發聲(因此,全國婦女組織(the National Organization for Women) 並沒有被命名為全國婦女「的」組織(“of” Women)。此外,以「男性研究」或「男性團體」為名所進行的各式活動也行之有年:有些由認同女性主義的男性所創立,他們希望能與生命中的女性建立更平等的伙伴關係;有些則希望能打破男性陽剛氣概的刻板印象,相對於社會對陰柔女性的刻板印象,男性也想要表達其他的感情、做出其他人生選擇等等;有些男性則希望在男性同伴的價值中找到類似女性主義者的「姊妹情誼」(sisterhood);還有些男性希望維持某種男性特權或優勢(顯然,最後這些人並不認同女性主義)。許多男性找到類似吳爾芙對雌雄同體的看法,亦即他們不把權力視為目標,或是一場非輸即贏的遊戲,相反地,他們認為如果大家都能有更多樣的社會選擇(如選擇不同的工作、扶養小孩或者尊重傳統上被性別化的活動等等),那麼男女雙方都將獲利。

As to the place of men in feminism, it has always been important: "allies"--such as John Stuart Mill in the 19th c., Bernard Shaw at the turn of the 20th, and since the 60s many many men--have campaigned with and on behalf of women (hence, the naming of the National Organization for Women, NOW--not "of" Women). And beyond that, there have been a number of very different types of activity going under the title of "men's studies" or "men's groups": some were initiated by men sympathetic to feminism who wanted to be more equal partners with the women in their lives; others by men who wanted to break out of the stereotyping of masculinity that is the counterpoint to femininity stereotypes, who wanted to be able to express other emotions, make other life choices, etc.; some who wanted to find value in male companionship as feminists did in "sisterhood"; and still others have wished to reassert forms of male privilege or superiority (obviously, these last are not sympathetic to feminism). Lots of men have found common cause in a way that fits Woolf's take on androgyny, that is, rather than seeing power as the goal and a zero-sum game, they see benefits for both men and women if all get a wider range of social choices (such as choosing various jobs or childrearing, respecting activities traditionally gendered, etc.).

One day after Class #7:

提醒大家,在開始討論*Mrs. D*(譯註:指Mrs. Dalloway)前,我們將先快速但深入地看過*A&C*(譯註:指As You Like It與Cymbeline)。為了複習(尤其如果你沒有看影片,也沒有時間重讀這個劇本),我建議你精讀下列幾幕/段落,尤其是標有星號的段落。

A reminder that tomorrow, we'll start with a swift but focused look at *A&C* before beginning to discuss *Mrs. D*. For purposes of review (especially if you aren't watching the video and don't have time to re-read the play) let me suggest you focus on the following scenes/passages, with special emphasis on the starred passages:

*III.xiii.1-12, 152-194頁.
*III.xiii.1-12, 152-194.
*IV.xv.50-end especially
*V.ii.1-8, 71-100, 191頁-最後
*V.ii.1-8, 71-100, 191-end

Think poetry.

One day after Class #10:


I hope you are all carrying some enjoyable images in your minds from the film of Mrs. Dalloway and that, while we emphasized places where simplification was either chosen or necessary, you also hang on to the sources of pleasure for you in this version...after all, as you have noted, it was hardly an easy thing to attempt, given the sheer scope and the importance of subjective perceptions and meditations (and nuance, and change) in the novel.

談到喜悅,我得稍微提一下麥可•康寧漢(Michael Cunningham)贏得普立茲獎的近作,小說《時時刻刻》(The Hours)*(這是吳爾芙在寫作《戴洛維夫人》時暫訂的題目)(*譯註:繁體中文本由蔡憫生譯,希代出版),你該把這本書加到你的夏日閱讀書單中,畢竟你是閱讀本書的理想人選。這本書的內容包括正在撰寫《時時刻刻》這本小說的吳爾芙、一群1990年代的紐約人:克勞麗莎、莎莉、理查等(他們與這本小說的關係可以說相關,也可以說不相關),還有第三個女性角色「布朗夫人」,一名第二次大戰後的家庭主婦,她的名字源自於吳爾芙的著名論文〈貝內特先生與伯朗夫人〉[貝內特先生指的是Arnold Bennett,與吳爾芙同時期但較為年長,其寫作較符合寫實主義傳統,而布朗夫人則是虛構的人物,吳爾芙認為由貝氏及她自己所描繪出來的布朗夫人非常不同]。

While on the topic of pleasure, I'll just mention Michael Cunningham's recent Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Hours (VW's working title for Dalloway), which you might want to put on your summer reading list now that you are among its ideal readership. It mixes VW writing the novel with a 1990s New York group of characters named Clarissa, Sally, Richard, etc. (who are and are not correlated to the novel), and a third woman "Mrs. Brown," a housewife after WW2 whose name derives from a famous critical essay of Woolf's, "Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown" [Mr. Bennett being Arnold Bennett, an older contemporary of VW's who wrote in a more realistic tradition, and Mrs. Brown being an imagined character whom VW considers as portrayed by Mr. B. and herself, very differently].


In the more immediate future, there's Cymbeline. In addition to applauding Abby's idea of a dramatic reading, if possible, let me suggest a few "ins" to this play:


Yes, there's a princess with an evil stepmother...which tells you something already: we aren't in realism land. This is "late Shakespeare," and he relishes artifice and dense poetry. But/and there's "serious" psychological and social stuff being expressed through myth, story, and in some cases near-ludicrous action. And there's an historical dimension for Shakespeare, which we might easily miss--especially since, as in his comedies, he'll go back and forth between a plausibly distant setting and a more contemporary one (think about the craftspeople in the "ancient" Athens of A Midsummer Night's Dream). The history comes from Holinshed, same source as for many of WS's more "realistic" history plays; here, it has to do with a king of the Britons at about the time of Christ, during Roman imperial control. Thus, the play is set in England's semi-mythic past, and does involve England's emerging sense of its own nationhood during Shakespeare's time, while also recognizing (or struggling with) European continental culture, influence, and corruption (When Posthumous goes to Rome, it looks a lot more like Renaissance Italy than Caesar's land; yet when the Roman legions invade via Wales, they are Romans again...). In other words, we're bouncing back and forth between history and fairy tale, ancient and (their) modern world.

牛津版本的導讀為劇場歷史學者所寫,優點是紀錄某些劇場的作品(在第14頁可以看到一個比較年輕迷人、令人銷魂的凡妮莎.瑞德葛瑞(Vanessa Redgrave)(編著:英國著名的電影、劇場女演員),扮演我們的女英雄Imogen)。我建議你先讀這個劇本、看看圖片、翻翻導讀,會非常有幫助;照慣例,雖然作者可能提供有用的事實和背景介紹,但儘可能反駁其詮釋和想法,。

The intro. to the Oxford edition is written by a theater historian, and has the advantage of recording what has been done in some theatrical productions (see p.14 for a much younger ravishing--and in danger of being ravished--Vanessa Redgrave, playing our heroine Imogen). I'd say read the play first, look at the pictures, and look at the intro. as is useful to you; as always, feel free to disagree with the scholar's interpretations though, even as he may be giving you useful facts and contexts.

Class #11:
Posting by a student:


an excerpt from the screenplay to 'dalloway', with a link to (presumably) order a copy of the complete text, in 'scenario' magazine.

One day before Class #14:
Posting from student leader of that day's discussion:


I looked up the plant I tried to convince everyone during class just must look phallic:
[later moved to]

這是(沙漠中的)Plantago lanceolata,出現在第4幕第2景的葬禮。

It's Plantago lanceolata (found in the desert) from the Act 4 Scene 2 burial.


Possible discussion questions for Orlando (chapters 1-3):


Woolf tells the story of Orlando in a biographical format. Why does she choose to do this? Does it work well?

Nick Greene受邀拜訪歐蘭朵的莊園時,結果卻成為意外的夢魘。為什麼即使Greene嘲笑歐蘭朵,歐蘭朵還是一直付錢給他?

Nick Greene comes as a disturbing surprise when invited to visit Orlando's estate. Why does Orlando continue to pay Nick Greene even after he has ridiculed him?


Is Orlando's change in sex gradual? When is any change in sex first noticed?


Considering the following passage (from Harcourt version on page 139):


"Many people, taking [Orlando's transformation] into account, and holding that such a change of sex is against nature, have been at great pains to prove (1) that Orlando had always been a woman, (2) that Orlando is at this moment a man. Let biologists and psychologists determine. It is enough for us to state the simple fact; Orlando was a man till the age of thirty; when he became a woman and ahs remain so ever since."


Is it possible that Orlando was always a woman? Is she inviting biologists and psychologists to find out through her "historical" account the truth in the same way that she invites readers to criticize the book in the introduction?


How does Woolf show the passage of time (look at page 98 in same version of text as above)?

One day after Class #13:
Posting from a student:

Here's a 12 second snippet of virginia woolf speaking...
slightly eerie, huh?

Class #14:
From the next student discussion leader:

Hey everyone,

Joyce--thanks for the cool link

So Orlando-- Yep this book is pretty much loaded. I'm not quite sure where to start with the questions, so these are in no particular order of importance:

What is the significance of the color green (and the other colors red, purple, orange)? I know I asked this in class, but it continually showed up throughout the last three chapters as well.

Does Orlando ever fully become a woman? What does it mean to become a woman? Does the clothes argument hold up or does Orlando exhibit qualities of both males and females at times regardless of clothing?

On pg 180 in the Harcourt edition gives one example of how men and women do not preceive the truth about the other sex. "Men cry as frequently and as unreasonably as women, Orlando knew from her own experience as a man; but she was beginning to be aware that women should be shocked when men display emotion in their presence, and so, shocked she was". Are there qualities that are preceived as male or female that are really neither? How do these misperceptions play out in this novel?

What is the significance that Orlando was declared "female" by the courts?

小說中如何加入「扮演」(acting)或假裝(playing a role)這個概念?
How does the idea of acting or playing a role add to the novel?

A couple examples of this are:

第165頁 「想到變成女人需要解尿,她就讓[淚水]流下了」
Pg 165 "remembering that it is becoming in a woman to wee, she let [tears] flow"

第222頁 「沒看過這麼有趣的表演。她想要高喊棒極了!棒極了!因為這真的是很精彩的戲劇—真是人類歷史精華中的一頁。」
Pg 222 "Never was any play so absorbing. She wanted to cry Bravo! Bravo! For, to be sure, what a fine drama it was--what a page torn from the thickest volume of human life."

What does "life" mean to Orlando and how does that differ from what the narrator portrays as "life" ?

How does Society affect Orlando? How does this change as she exhibits more male qualities? more female qualities?

There is a move from the notion of Orlando having bisexual relationships with "Lovers" to that of having a husband as time moves into the Victorian Era. Why does the Husband concept win out over time?

What is the meaning behind the (as I read it) "Immaculate conception" of the child?

In ch. 6, the idea if having multiple "selves" comes through. This is also briefly eluded to when Shelmerdine's name is shifted to Bonthrop on pg 261. Does this adequately explain how each character changes throughout the novel? Are these changes effected by other things such as nature?

小說結束時,Sir Nicholas的角色為何?時間的更移,如何影響他的角色及他對詩的認知?
What is Sir Nicholas' role at the end of the novel? How has time changed his role and perceptions of poetry?

Okay I know these are lots of random questions but I had about a million more. I hope some of these will be useful tomorrow.

Link provided by another student, providing all the New York Times' book reviews of Woolf:

Class #16:
From student leader for first segment of To The Lighthouse:

First things first:

"The Fisherman and his Wife"

"The Charge of the Light Brigade"

Second things second:

The relationship between Mr. and Mrs. Ramsay is rather an interesting one. they seem almost opposites. and yet, they seem to work after all. okay, i guess this isn't really a question, but definitely deserves attention.

What is the importance of Time? (and of Beauty?)

書中的女性和男性角色分別為何?細想Lily Briscoe和Ramsay夫人,以及Tansley和Ramsay先生的關係,閱讀第6、48頁和晚餐那一景。
What is the role of women here? of men? consider Lily Briscoe and Mrs. Ramsay, how they're linked. and also, Tansley and Mr. Ramsay. see pgs 6 & 48. and the dinner scene.

Waves, waves, waves (5, 15, 20, 28, 39, 47,). they're everywhere. what do they mean?

What does the lighthouse signify?

Alright. This is just to get us started. more to be addressed in class, i promise.
same bat time, same bat place...

One day after Class #17:
From student leader for latter parts of To the Lighthouse:

Discussion Questions for "Time Passes" and "The Lighthouse":

  1. 在〈燈塔行〉中,方括號的使用情形為何?圓括號的使用情形?括號中的文本與括號外的有何不同?兩種括號內的文本和非括號內的文本間有何不同?兩種括號間的差異為何?說話的是誰?
    How are brackets used in "To the Lighthouse"? How are parentheses used? How is the text they contain different from the non-partitioned text and from each other? Who is speaking?

  2. 〈時光流逝〉中首先發言的是誰?時間的特色為何?讀者如何意識到時間的流逝?感覺起來像是十年,還是更長或更短?
    Who is speaking in the first part of "Time Passes"? How is Time characterized? How is the reader made aware of time passing? Does it seem like ten years, or does it seem longer/shorter?

  3. 在〈燈塔行〉中,戰爭扮演什麼角色?
    What role does the war play in "To the Lighthouse"?

  4. 在Mrs. Ramsay身故之後,她的責任如何轉移到她的小孩與丈夫身上?此轉移對他們有何影響?
    How are Mrs. Ramsay's responsibilities transferred to her children and her husband after her death? What does this do to them?

  5. Lily的繪畫代表什麼?她的繪畫在書中的角色為何?
    What does Lily's painting represent? What is its role in the book?

  6. 當Lily評論Mr. Ramsay的靴子時,兩人之間發生了什麼事?你覺得就他們的社會關係而言,這樣的互動是合宜的嗎?他們如何互動?
    What happens between Lily and Mr. Ramsay when she comments on his boots? Did you feel that this interaction was appropriate to their social relationship? How do each of them react to the other?

  7. 《燈塔行》的第二部分Mr. Ramsay如何尋求他人的注意?這與他之前的表現相符或衝突?在過去十年間他到底有沒有改變?
    How does Mr. Ramsay seek attention in the second half of "To the Lighthouse"? Does this correspond with or contradict his earlier ploys? Has he changed at all over the past ten years?

  8. Mr. Ramsay、Cam與James間的關係為何?在前往燈塔的旅程中,他們的關係如何改變?
    What is the relationship between Mr. Ramsay, Cam, and James? How does it shift during the trip to the lighthouse?

  9. Minta的命運如何?Paul說了些什麼有關Mrs. Ramsay的事?說了那些有關社會的事?Lily如何將自己與他們比較?Mrs. Ramsay的「婚姻狂熱」(mania for marriage)是什麼?(見175頁)
    What does the fate of Minta and Paul say about Mrs. Ramsay? About society? How does Lily compare herself to them? What was Mrs. Ramsay's "mania for marriage"? (look at page 175)

  10. Lily為什麼哭?為何而哭?
    Why does Lily cry? What is she crying for?

  11. 為什麼吳爾芙把〈燈塔〉的結構設計地如此分明?為什麼她不斷在Lily、James和Cam之間轉換?為什麼她用那麼多「注視著那個島嶼」或「注視著那艘船」的技巧來轉換情境?
    Why does Woolf structure the section "The Lighthouse" in such a defined manner? Why does she keep switching between Lily and James and Cam, and why does she use the technique of "looking at the island" or "looking at the boat" so much in order to switch between the two?

  12. Mr. Carmichael和Andrew的關係為何?
    What is the relationship between Mr. Carmichael and Andrew?


Mrs. Ramsay與Mr.s Dalloway有何相似的地方?維吉尼亞•吳爾芙似乎對牽動其他角色命運的女性家長十分著迷,但不知為何,似乎沒有意識到或不願意去接受她們的力量。這些女性角色的想法有何相似處?她們的家人與朋友的想法為何?為什麼Mrs. Ramsay死了,而Mrs. Dalloway卻存活下來?

And, of course, because it was inevitable...

How are Mrs. Ramsay and Mrs. Dalloway similar? Virginia Woolf seems to have a fascination with matriarchs who are pivotal to the fates of all of the other characters, but seem somehow unaware of or unwilling to accept their power. How are their personal thoughts similar? What about their family and friends? Why does Mrs. Ramsay die and Mrs. Dalloway live?

Compare, "There she sat" on pg. 202 to "There she was" at the end of Mrs. Dalloway. What happens in both scenes?

維吉尼亞•吳爾芙似乎喜歡具有「中國眼睛」(Chinese eyes)的角色。這樣的特色與人格特質有關嗎?(想想Elizabeth Dalloway 與 Lily Briscoe。)
Virginia Woolf also seems to like characters with "Chinese eyes". Does this trait seem to have any connection to personality? (Think about Elizabeth Dalloway and Lily Briscoe.)

Specific passages to think about:

On page 149: Lily observes that, "tragedy [is] not palls, dust, and the shroud; but children coerced, their spirits subdued."

第164頁,關於Mr. Ramsay:
On page 164, pertaining to Mr. Ramsay:

"He liked that men should labour and sweat on the windy beach at night; pitting muscle and brain against the waves and the wind; he liked men to work like that, and women to keep house, and sit beside sleeping children
indoors, while men were drowned, out there in a storm."

On page 166, the paragraph beginning with "But I beneath a rougher sea..."

第177頁(在括號內),關於William Bankes:「沒有女兒—這是他很大的遺憾。」
On page 177 (in parentheses), pertaining to William Bankes: "It was his great grief - he had no daughter."

On page 178: "The urgency of the moment always missed its mark. Words fluttered sideways and struck the object inches too low. Then one gave it up; then the idea sunk back again; then one became like most middle-aged people, cautious, furtive, with wrinkles between the eyes and a look of perpetual apprehension."

On page 186: Starting from "The Lighthouse was then a silvery, misty-looking tower with a yellow eye..."

第196頁:「Charles Tansley也是這樣:這也是別人討厭他的原因之一。他攪亂他人世界的平衡。她想,他到底怎麼了?一邊閒來無事用刷子撥動大蕉。他已得到他的研究員薪津、他已婚,還住在Golder’s Green。」
On page 196: "Charles Tansley did that too: It was part of the reason why one disliked him. He upset the proportions of one's world. And what had happened to him, she wondered, idly stirring the plantains with her brush. He had got his fellowship. He had married; he lived at Golder's Green."

Class #20:
Posting by student leader for The Winter's Tale:

  1. 討論有關花的那段對話有何意義? IV.iv.80 Perdita和Polixenes
    What is the meaning of the conversation about flowers between Perdita and Polixenes? IV.iv.80

  2. Paulina、Hermione和Leontes間的關係為何?
    How do the relationships between Paulina, Hermione, and Leontes work?

  3. Paulina/Hermione/Leontes和Ramseys/Lily Briscoe間有無平行關係?
    Are there any parallels between Paulina/Hermione/Leontes and the Ramseys/Lily Briscoe?

  4. Mamillius為什麼被殺死?
    Why is Mamillius killed off?

  5. 同上,請問Antigonus之死因?III.iii.58
    Ditto for Antigonus. III.iii.58

  6. 在《冬天的故事》中,有一齣悲劇、一段時間(Time)的演說和一齣田園式的喜劇。可怕的事情發生在悲劇中,比如說有人死掉(之類的)。孩子們在田園詩歌中適切地結婚以解決父母的問題。在燈塔一書中,真正可怕的事情,比如說有人死掉,卻發生在時光飛逝的中段。吳爾芙為什麼要改變冬天的故事的結構?
    In Winter's Tale, there's a tragedy, a speech by Time, and then a pastoral sort of comedy. Terrible things, like people dying (sort of), happen in the tragedy. Then the kids fix up their parents' problems in the pastoral by marrying appropriately.
    For Lighthouse, the really terrible things, like people dying, happen in the middle section Time Passes. What is Woolf saying by shifting the Winter's Tale structure?

  7. 在《冬天的故事》中,結尾部分是關於開頭部份那些人的小孩。這點如何反映出《燈塔行》中,在燈塔章節部分Mr. Ramsey和他最小的兩個孩子的關係?Lily如何評論這個悲劇。
    The last section in Winter's Tale is about the kids of the people in the first section. How does this reflect on the relationships between Mr. Ramsey and his two youngest kids in the Lighthouse section of Lighthouse? And also Lily's comment about how it's a tragedy.

  8. 在幾個段落中,Leontes把他的懷疑跟夢境連結在一起。為什麼?他是否多少有意識到自己的偏執?
    In a couple of passages, Leontes links his suspicions with dreams. Why is this? Is he somewhat aware of the fact that he's paranoid?
    「情感!汝之意圖刺到中心/汝確使事物不再如此持續/與夢境溝通(該如何做?)……」 I.ii.139
    "Affection! thy intention stabs the centre/Thou dost make possible things not so held,/Communicat'st with dreams (how can this be?)..." I.ii.139
    "Your actions are my dreams./You had a bastard by Polizenes/And I but dream'd it." III.ii.82

  9. Antigonus在II.i.140頁提到Leontes沒有Iago。他的懷疑也似乎出現地非常突然,讓大家都嚇了一跳。Leontes的個性變化比較像是為劇情安排而非自然行為。在本劇的第二部份也有類似的情形:Autolycus一直被告知這些事件就像是「老傳說」。V.ii. 這有點像自我意識之類的技巧在劇中持續發生。或許(或許不)與之前談論花的對話有關。
    Leontes has no Iago. Antigonus mentions this at II.i.140. His suspicions also seem to appear very suddenly, catching everyone by surprise. Leontes' personality change seems to be more of a plot device than any realistic behavior.
    Similarly, in the second part of the play, Autolycus keeps being told about events that are like "an old tale." V.ii. Kind of a self-conscious artifice sort of thing going on in the play. Which maybe (or maybe not) ties back to the flower conversation.
    Why does Shakespeare do this?

  10. 為什麼Hermione假裝自己是雕像?
    Why does Hermione pretend to be a statue?

  11. Autolycus販售的民謠是什麼?
    What are these ballad things that Autolycus is selling?

Class #22:
Posting by student leader for day one on The Waves:

  1. 雙重時間框架—吳爾芙似乎對此有偏愛。在這本小說中,時間造成奇特的效果,以至少兩種速度進行。吳爾芙在玩什麼把戲?藉由不斷玩弄(文字的)時間流動,她企圖表達什麼?
    Dual timeframe -- Woolf seems fond of this. Time is doing weird things in this novel, moving at (at least) two speeds. What's VW's game? What point is she driving at with this constant play on the (literal) flow of time?

  2. (非)角色—書中的語氣幾乎是無法用語法來辨識的;只有Bernard(作家)講的話是可以辨認的。為什麼吳爾芙不乾脆吸收這個人的聲音,然後利用不同的角色?或者,更有效率地說:這六個角色具體代表著什麼不同的觀點,而共同呈現的目的為何?換句話說,本書的主旨與真正(隱晦)的主題為何?
    (Non-)Characters -- The voices in the book are almost indistinguishable from a syntactic standpoint; only Bernard (the wordsmith) stands out verbally. Why won't this woman just suck it up and right differentiable characters, with their own voices? Or, put more productively: what
    different viewpoints do the six speakers embody, and what purpose do they serve in coming together? What, in other words, is the theme of this book, its real (hidden) concern?

  3. 音樂的隱喻----在140頁Rhoda和Louis的「二重奏演出」出現在括號中,成為其他文本的另層意義;這是跟觀眾分享的悄悄話,但仍然是吳爾芙所強調的部分。為什麼說話者沒有自己的聲音,而如「二重奏」和「獨奏」的音樂的隱喻,代表的是什麼?
    Musical metaphors -- Rhoda and Louis 'perform a duet' on page 140, an interruption in parentheses that works beneath the level of the other text; it is a whispered aside to be shared with the audience, still in Woolf's elevated language. Why don't the speakers get their own
    vernacular, and how do musical metaphors like 'duet' and 'soloist' inform a reading of the book?

  4. 為什麼是海浪?----嗯,就是要問為什麼是海浪?
    Why waves? -- Well, why waves?

  5. 影像型式----我幾乎要憎恨這個用語。在書中,吳爾芙利用什麼來製造重複出現的影像(以及她的意圖為何)?這裡指的不只是海浪,還有她所描述的花朵、線的紋路、水池裡的漣漪(又是水!)、圓的形成。還有什麼其他藝術形式呈現出吳爾芙的巧思?
    Image patterns -- I almost loathe that phrase. What does VW make (and what does she intend us to make) of the recurring images in the book? Not just waves, here, but the flowers she conjures up, the spinning of thread, the ripples in a pond (more water!), the formation of a circle. What other art forms are informing her creation?

  6. 最後----Percival。這傢伙並沒有「出現」的太頻繁來壞事。他是其他人的中心,然而他卻是種缺席的「存在」,人雖然不常出現,但影響力深遠。為什麼吳爾芙要如此建構這本書?我們該如何看待這個角色,他是其他人物的典範,還是只是個花花公子?
    And finally -- Percival. The guy doesn't really 'show up' so much as cast a shadow. He's the point the others circle around, yet he's something of an Absent Presence, never really fully there except in his influence. Why has VW set the book up this way? How are we meant to see his character, as the paragon of which the voices speak, or as just some dude?

Class #23:
Leader of discussion for second half of The Waves:

Wow, Wally's questions apply all the way to the end of the novel.... :)
I'll just add some questions and points of discussions not already mentioned. The starred ones are the more important ones. The non-starred ones are more picky and interpretation oriented.

1) 為什麼在斜體部分之後,Percival突然被判定死亡?另外一個相關的問題---為什麼那裡出現斜體的部分?如果沒有這斜體的段落,對小說會產生什麼樣的「效果」?它們是否讓讀者想起吳爾芙其他小說中的「獨特」的段落?
1) Why is Percival's death announced so abruptly after the italics section preceding it?
And a related question-- why are the italics sections there? What would be the 'effect' of the novel if they were not there? Are they reminiscent to other 'set apart' portions of Woolf's novels?

*2) 如同Wally所指出的,在思路的句法中試圖區分這些「角色」或「觀點」是很困難的。然而,我相信還是有辦法可以來區別這六個不同的性格。同意/不同意?要怎麼區分?:) 另外,這些不同的聲音如何回應Percival的死亡?
*2) As Wally points out, the 'characters' or 'views' are difficult to differentiate in the syntax of their thoughts. However, I believe it is still possible to distinguish between the six different characterizations. Agree/Disagree? How? :) And how do the different voices react to Percival's death?

3) 為什麼只有三個「說話者」---- Neville、Bernard和Rhoda---出現在宣布Percival死亡的章節?
3) Why are there only three 'speakers' --Neville, Bernard, and Rhoda--- in the section announcing Percival's death?

*4) 更多關於Wally所提的「時間」議題----在這裡時間扮演什麼角色?跟《燈塔行》裡是否相同?在非斜體的部分,吳爾芙如何表現時間的流逝?第184、190、227-228、258、271、273頁。
*4) Some more page numbers that deal with the issue of TIME that Wally brought up -- what role does time play here? Is it a similar function to To the Lighthouse or different? How does Woolf show that time passes during the non-italics portions? Pg. 184, 190, 227-228, 258, 271, 273.

*5) 從孩童時期至今,這些「角色」有何改變?有什麼是不變的?
*5) How do the 'characters' change from childhood? What doesn't change?

6) 在Rhoda和Louis之間,我們如何創造第二個「二重奏」(謝謝Wally :P )?第226頁。
6) What do we make of this second 'duet' (thanks Wally :P ) between Rhoda and Louis? Pg 226

7) Notice in the last italics section that the darkness takes on the qualities and actions of the wave (pg. 237). There has been an interplay between light and water throughout the italics sections and here they merge. Why?

*8)我們當然要問,接著該如何將結尾轉變成明顯、「自傳性的」章節?為什麼這裡出現這個部分?為什麼Bernard重講書中已經討論過的事件?例,為什麼要從他的觀點重述Hampton Court相遇一事?當Bernard說他「對故事感到厭煩」,這是什麼意思?(第238頁)
*8) Of course, what do we do with this shift to an outward, 'autobiographical' section at the end? Why is it there? Why does Bernard rehash the incidents already discussed in the book? i.e. Why is the Hampton Court meeting described twice from his perspective? What does Bernard mean that he is "tired of stories?" (pg 238)

(I'm not sure how to phrase this next question..... Is Bernard's perspective on the others, especially Rhoda, 'accurate?' Does is match what they have said? But since they may be 'views' instead of 'characters' this question might be even more complicated or irrelavent.)

*9) 「溪流」跟「海浪」之間有何不同?兩者在這六個角色的人生中發揮什麼功用?(例,第257和293頁……第279頁會很有幫助)
*9) What is the difference between "streams" and "waves" and what they do in the 6 characters' lives? (i.e. 257 vs. 293... pg 279 is helpful)

10) 什麼事驅使Rhoda自殺?在她的思想裡似乎有「Septimus式的」語言出現。令我感到困擾的是,這部分在結尾時,Bernard處理地很冷漠或簡短……根據的是他所認為的「簡化」的原因……也許大家可以協助我更瞭解這個部分。
10) What drives Rhoda to kill herself? There seems to be a recurrence of 'Septimus-like' language in her thoughts. I am bothered that it is so nonchalantly or briefly treated by Bernard in the end.....and by his seeming 'simplication' of the reasons...Maybe you all can help me understand it more.

11) Bernard的「重生」(第286頁)發生在認知的層次而非情感的層次。重要性為何?
11) Bernard's 'rebirth' (pg 286) happens in terms of perception, not emotions. Significance?

*12) 為什麼Bernard在第288-289頁宣稱他和朋友間「沒有界線」?我們是否可以追溯整部小說的內部連結以及這些觀點/聲音的融合?
*12) How can there be "no division" between Bernard and the rest of his friends, as he claims in pg. 288-289? Can we trace this internal connection and blending of these views/voices throughout the novel?

13) 當Bernard說「他[Bernard]死了。」是什麼意思(第291頁)?這個章節發生什麼事?他是怎麼和那個「多毛的老人」分開的?(譯註:應為拼字錯誤,haiy應為hairy)
13) What does Bernard mean by "he [Bernard] is dead." (pg 291)? What's going on in this section? How does he separate from the 'haiy old man?'

*14) 在書中,海浪以幾種不同的程度「升起和落下」。在297頁,特別處理到所謂「永恆的重生」,這是用Bernard的話來說。
*14) On how many different levels do the waves 'rise and fall' in the book? On page 297 it specifically deals with 'the eternal renewal' as Bernard puts it.

在這本小說中,吳爾芙再次回應到她以前的作品。前面我提到Septimus,但我們也可以找到和《奧蘭朵》及《燈塔行》相關的連結。一個尤其明顯的地方是第277頁,《燈塔行》中晚餐那一幕----提到在「龐大的黑暗」(huge blackness)中,有座在霧中閃著燈光的島嶼。
Once again, there is an echoing of previous Woolf works in this novel. I mentioned Septimus above, but we can also find connections with Orlando and To the Lighthouse . One place that stood out was pg. 277-- idea of island of light in the midst of a "huge blackness," which we saw in the dinner scene of Lighthouse.

From a student a year after the class:

Whoa. just in case you don't know about this...

我被Godard拍攝的King Lear裡,一段來自《海浪》的引言搞的暈頭轉向,而當我在找線上的文本時,我偶然發現這個:
I was floored by a quotation from _the waves_ in the godard lear, and while searching for online texts, i stumbled across this: pages/woolfv1.shtml
[later moved to ]

It contains the audio-snippet I found for the woolf class last year- but this one's about 7 minutes long. You'll need realplayer. It also contains a list of other "voices from the archive":
[later moved to]

Beautiful but creepy!

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