Dorothy Richardson is a major modernist novelist, only now beginning to attract the critical attention she deserves. In her time she was regarded as a pioneer, the originator of narrative ‘stream of consciousness’, her exploration of a woman’s consciousness comparable to Proust. In this innovative study, Carol Watts reads her extraordinary thirteen-volume novel Pilgrimage in its context, as a difficult record, a ‘screen memory’, of the impact of modern urban life on a new woman gradually emerging from the domestic constraints of Victorian tradition. The book draws on Richardson’s short fiction and for the first time assesses the significance of her contributions to the avant-garde film journal, Close Up. Richardson’s attempt to forge an adequate language for the representation of women’s experience in modernity leads her to the public space of silent cinema. This study offers an exciting challenge to common readings of literary modernism, and a powerful argument as to why Dorothy Richardson is not Virginia Woolf.
Carol Watts is Lecturer in English Literature at Birkbeck College, University of London. She has published widely on film, women’s writing and eighteenth-century fiction.
216 × 138 mm
June 1, 1995
Writers and their Work