Modernism in relation to Modern Fiction by Virginia Woolf
Virginia Woolf is one of the most famous writers who have started modernism. Modernism in literature means that they have gone through the boundaries of romanticism, Virginia Woolf did not write about the same old stories whose purpose is just to entertain people with its love related theme; Virginia Woolf did more than that, She wrote novels that will not only entertain a person but will also open everyone’s mind especially the women of their society to open their eyes and see that women and men are equal.
Virginia Woolf along with other modernist writer wants people to have a string of consciousness that surpasses the limitations of realist writers. Other writers tend to focus on materialistic things and not on what is important, mending and cultivating the soul of a person. Woolf said that people should still thank those writers that has well written stories and those kind of writers that might have uplifted hopes and has given out disappointments, it is because with them, modern writers now know what to write and what not to write about; and in some point, these materialistic writers would let people down because they did not write to touch the spirits but only the human body itself; modernism is just a upgraded version of the old ways, instead of writing to fulfill the materialistic instincts of human, they write to touch the human spirits or the human soul.
In Modern Fiction, Woolf also discussed that the modern writer have a lot on their shoulders, because unlike the writers before that do not choose their writings, the modern writers have to choose their own writings, they must show courage to choose what they want to write about and accept what the public’s critic about it, “to have the courage to say that what interests him is no longer ‘this’ but ‘that’: out of ‘that’ alone must he construct his work” (Woolf, “The Common Reader: Modern Fiction”).
The Modern Fiction by Virginia Woolf is trying to let the writers understand the transition of the realist to modernist. Woolf said that the transition itself for the writers maybe hard, since the writers are use to following a pattern and not expressing themselves it would be a shock to be in the transition; in order for the writer to walk on the writer’s path to modernism, he/she should have courage to express his/her feeling without following or rather thinking that they might be falling out of line. In writing a modern literature it is not important to be materialistic, what it more important is through the writer feelings being expressed, the reader’s spiritual need would be filled. Woolf also said that the modern literature is hard to categorized, because it doesn’t fit the patterns anymore.
To be a modernist writer of fiction according to Modern Writer, a person must know how to express his/her feeling and incorporate it in his/her work; they must not be influence by the works or the pattern for fiction literature. The modern writer of fiction must learn to choose his/her own focus if he/she would want to focus on something and as Woolf pointed, the modernist writer must learn to escape from the norm and try writing new things. Modern writers of fiction doesn’t have limit on writing as Woolf stated, so he/she is free to write anything he/she wants to express, if they can get pass the initial shock or getting to choose their own topics without consulting methods and the such, they will never feel as if they are limited and boxed in categories, “infinite possibilities of the art and remind us that there is no limit to the horizon, and that nothing — no ‘method’, no experiment, even of the wildest — is forbidden” (Woolf, “The Common Reader: Modern Fiction”).
Woolf, Virginia. “Modern Fiction.” The Common Reader 11 May. 2010. The University of Adelaide Library, Web. May 31, 2010.