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Thread: question

  1. #1
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    Dec 2005


    Hi all. I joined this site because I was trying to help a friend figure out a literary term/technique that Virginia Woolf used. Google spit out a result ("Discuss those who paint with words and the works that they create. What's the literary term?! . by Countess. Today 01:42 PM Go to last post ...") but I can't seem to find it on here AT ALL because the only link Google gave me was the generic forum link for here. My friend's description was "woolf created stories like paintings: she used shadow, light, colors, technique in them like an artist does to create certain effects." Does anyone know what this term is? She can't remember what it's called, and I have no idea what she's referring to. So if anyone can help, that'd be terrific.

  2. #2
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    Feb 2006
    Well, in painting that would be "chiaroscuro," I suppose. The on-line OED defines it (def. 3) as:

    Used of poetic or literary treatment, criticism, mental complexion, etc., in various obvious senses, as mingled ‘clearness and obscurity’, ‘cheerfulness and gloom’, ‘praise and blame,’ etc.


  3. #3
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    Jun 2005
    Well Dana, the term is "stream of consciousness" and it was also used by Marcel Proust, James Joyce and Dorothy Richardson, and also William Faulkner in some of his works. all the best

  4. #4
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    Aug 2006
    Not sure, but maybe the term you're looking for is imagists or symbolists, though that's a specific type of poetry, specifically by Ezra Pound, H.D.

    Chiarascuro (mentioned in the first reply) comes close: it has to do with use of light and shadows, a painting technique developed by Renaissance painters. It's also been applied to literature.

    Stream-of-consciousness (mentioned in one of the previous replies) refers to a character's unedited mental process, not imagery.

    Last edited by mlundq; 08-02-2006 at 07:13 AM. Reason: typos; add more information

  5. #5
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    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Woolf - literary style or technique

    The technique with which Woolf experimented was called rayonism or rayonnism or, probably in France, rayonisme. It was the literary equivalent of a Russian art technique. Here's the Wikipedia info:

    It was a Russian offshoot of Futurism and had a big influence on the artists associated w/ the Ballets Russes -- Larionov, Goncharova.

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