Chapter

The Search for Form (i): Fry, Formalism and Fiction

Julia Briggs

in Reading Virginia Woolf

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print June 2006 | ISBN: 9780748624348
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651856 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748624348.003.0007
The Search for Form (i): Fry, Formalism and Fiction

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This chapter centres on Roger Fry’s concept of ‘significant form’, which can be seen as a distinct structure or shape within the novel/short story. It states that narrative was an uncertain source of aesthetic value because it was usually guilty of ‘suggesting emotion and conveying ideas’. The chapter looks at how literature employed ‘impure’ associations, as well as the challenge posed by Fry’s opinions on the unacceptable emotions often suggested by inferior works of art. It also looks at Woolf’s first attempts in modernist form.

Keywords: Roger Fry; significant form; narrative; aesthetic value; impure associations; modernist form

Chapter.  7923 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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