In his article "Self Enlightenment in Woolf, Joyce, and Nietzsche" Gabriel V. Rupp analyzes texts drawn from late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a critical period of change characterized by an explosive set of dramatic, historically unique, and complicated transformations in society and technology. Rupp argues that in Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, in James Joyce's Dubliners and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and in Friedrich Nietzsche's last three "strangely beautiful but mad" letters (Kaufmann), these writers' self enlightenment of a unified and discrete self is disrupted, calling into question simultaneously the constructed nature of that unity of self while also exposing certain limits inherent in such a chaotic, polyvocal, and "schizophrenic" conception of consciousness. By applying Niels Bohr's complementarity as a potential reframing of those limits, Rupp suggests that a form of ethical subjectivity, i.e., self enlightenment, can be recovered in the texts analyzed.
Rupp, Gabriel V.
"Self Enlightenment in Woolf, Joyce, and Nietzsche."
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
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