Have library access?
IP:3.236.143.154
  • Journals
  • OpenAccess

"We Are No Longer Quite Ourselves": Rethinking Vulnerability in Virginia Woolf's "Street Haunting: A London Adventure"

「我們不再全然是我們自己」:重思吳爾芙〈出沒街頭:一段倫敦歷險〉中的受弱性

Abstracts


This paper intends to inquire the slippage between writing and walking in Virginia Woolf 's "Street Haunting: A London Adventure." Reading walking as a metonymy of Woolf's aesthetics, this paper argues that Woolf 's writing, like her body, is characterized by its vulnerability to write its own passivity. Drawing from Judith Butler's conceptualization of vulnerability, this paper demonstrates that instead of embracing an invulnerable subjectivity capable of resisting the shock in the streets and taking hold of the social problems, "Street Haunting" is more concerned with the question of the subject's susceptibility and responsiveness to contingent city encounters. In the midst of street haunting in London, Woolf becomes "an enormous eye" in the face of alterity and street shocks. By problematizing the perceiving eye, this paper argues that the enormous eye does not reiterate the primacy of vision; rather, it reveals the tension between agency and passivity in bodily vulnerability and the possibilities of ethical responsiveness regarding the suffering in the streets.

Parallel abstracts


本文試圖探究吳爾芙〈出沒街頭:一段倫敦歷險〉文中關於書寫與行走之間的滑動關係。本文視行走為吳爾芙的美學轉喻,認為吳爾芙的書寫如同她的身體一般,具有書寫自身被動性的受弱能力。本文援引巴特勒的受弱性概念,論證相較於肯認有能力抵擋街頭各種驚嚇、掌握社會問題的非受弱主體性,〈出沒街頭:一段倫敦歷險〉更關切的問題是主體的易受感性,以及主體如何回應城市中的偶然遭逢。走繞倫敦街頭之際,吳爾芙在他異性與各種街頭驚嚇面前變成了「一個巨大之眼」。藉由問題化感知之眼,本文論證此巨大之眼並不重申視覺優越性,而是彰顯身體受弱性所兼具的能動性與被動性兩者之間的張力,以及關於街頭苦難的倫理回應可能性。

References


Bowlby, Rachel. Feminist Destinations and Further Essays on Virginia Woolf. Edinburgh UP, 1997.
Bowlby, Rachel. “Walking, Women, and Writing: Virginia Woolf as Flâneuse.” Still Crazy After All These Years: Women, Writing & Psychoanalysis. Routledge, 1992, pp. 1-33.
Butler, Judith, and Athena Athanasiou. Dispossession: The Performative in the Political. Polity P, 2013.
Butler, Judith. Frames of War: When Is Life Grievable?. Verso, 2009.
Butler, Judith. Notes toward a Performative Theory of Assembly. Harvard UP, 2015.

Read-around