I have been planning to write at length about my PhD project for quite a while, but researching has (ironically?) got in the way of my doing so. I can only apologise that the content has been a little slow to be uploaded up until now; I’m hoping that it will improve in the very near future.
My chosen topic is to look at the links between ‘madness’ and Modernism. This sounds like it has the scope to be incredibly broad, I know, but I am focusing upon four women writers who were publishing work between (around) 1910 and 1920 – Virginia Woolf, Katherine Mansfield, May Sinclair, and Dorothy Richardson. I am looking at several female characters in a selection of their publications (the first five volumes of Richardson’s Pilgrimage and Woolf’s two earliest novels, The Voyage Out and Night and Day have been settled upon for definite), and will do so through the developing discourses of psychiatry and neuroscience of the period.
My main focus is the female mind, and how the inner and outer representations of a woman are demonstrated in my chosen texts. Of course, I will be looking mainly at stream-of-consciousness narratives, a groundbreaking technique which allowed the authors to break with Victorian tradition and really examine their female subjects.
As my project is in its early stages, I am currently reading as much as I possibly can in terms of May Sinclair’s back catalogue, and up-to-date criticism of the authors. So far it feels like a rather slow process (as in, I have mountains of quotes to type up, but no real writing has begun yet), but I am thoroughly enjoying it thus far.