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Preferred Citation: Caramagno, Thomas C. The Flight of the Mind: Virginia Woolf's Art and Manic-Depressive Illness.

Berkeley: University of California Press, c1992 1992. http: ark.cdli!.org ark: 1"#"# ft9c$##99%

The Flight of the Mind


Virginia Woolf's Art and Manic-Depressive Illness Thomas C. Caramagno
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA RESS

Berkeley Los Angeles Oxford

! "##$ The Regents of the Uni%ersit& of California

This !ook is dedicated to my &ife and colleag'e (r. )'san *a'ra +ing and to the memory of my father ,oseph Caramagno -191./19910

Preferred Citation: Caramagno, Thomas C. The Flight of the Mind: Virginia Woolf's Art and Manic-Depressive Illness. Berkeley: University of California Press, c1992 1992. http: ark.cdli!.org ark: 1"#"# ft9c$##99%

This !ook is dedicated to my &ife and colleag'e (r. )'san *a'ra +ing and to the memory of my father ,oseph Caramagno -191./19910 111

Introd'(tion
2n this interdisciplinary st'dy of 3irginia +oolf 2 ree4amine her madness and her fiction in the light of recent discoveries a!o't the !iological !asis of manic5depressive illness6findings allied &ith dr'g therapies that today help nearly one million 7merican manic5depressives to live happier, more prod'ctive lives. 2n the real &orld of the clinic, the 'se of lithi'm, antidepressants, and antipsychotics has revol'tioni8ed psychiatric care for !ipolar disorder and prod'ced remissions in cases that thirty years ago &o'ld have !een considered hopeless. 2n the rarefied atmosphere of academia, ho&ever,

many psychoanalytically inclined literary critics cling to the o'tmoded, simplistic 9re'dian model of this disorder as a ne'rotic conflict that the patient is, either conscio'sly or 'nconscio'sly, 'n&illing to resolve. By integrating ne'roscience, psycho!iography, and literary theory, 2 challenge these critics: often disparaging eval'ations of +oolf:s life and art and arg'e against the ar!itrary and s'!;ective practice of reading all symptoms or te4ts as ne'rotic disg'ises s'pposedly o!sc'ring a ca'sative origin. 9re'd &as a great pioneer in the st'dy of the h'man psyche, !'t he himself, given today:s kno&ledge a!o't the !rain, &o'ld have moved on, incorporating his most end'ring insights &ith ongoing research in ne'roscience. +e literary scholars can no longer afford to remain comforta!ly ignorant of the mechanisms of the !rain or to pretend that, in any partic'lar !iographical case -and especially that one in &hich &e have invested so m'ch of o'r self5esteem and academic destiny0, !iology did not affect the mind. 7s academics, &e are in the !'siness of proving o'r mastery over o'r material and o'rselves< perhaps that is &hy &e are 'ngenero's to&ard those artists &ho sho& less control. B't &hen &e 'nthinkingly !lame the victim for his or her illness, &e simplify o'r &ork !y ignoring the mind !rain ne4's from &hich everything most h'man a!o't literat're arises. =e'roscience at the least teaches literat're to soften its foc's on the infantile, the co&ardly, and the regressive in its s'!;ects. 121 The science literat're model 2 'se silences, not +oolf:s o&n voice, !'t the voices of those 9re'dians &ho pontificate 'pon matters that cross the line !et&een !rain and mind &itho't first investigating &here the line is dra&n or &hat it might mean for their concl'sions. The !iological realities of manic5 depressive illness limit the critic:s freedom to tie events in +oolf:s life to symptoms that seem metaphorically similar. Biology lifts from +oolf:s sho'lders the derogatory &eight of responsi!ility for her illness. 2t allo&s 's to see that her fiction &as not necessarily prod'ced !y hypothetical 'nconscio's conflicts, her s'pposed flight from se4, or her mor!id preocc'pation &ith death6all the favorite 9re'dian themes &hich, not coincidentally, s'stain se4ist ass'mptions a!o't the nat're of the creative &oman. 2 arg'e that +oolf:s novels &ere prod'ced !y a sane, responsive, insightf'l &oman6hardly a s'rprise, since, like >normal> individ'als, most !ipolars are tho'ghtf'l, deli!erate, perceptive, and responsi!le &hen they are not ill.?1@ Aanic5depressive illness is periodic; it comes and goes, and &hen it is gone, individ'als are not sick or insane -'nlike ne'rotics, &hose 'nconscio's conflicts seep into and determine even >normal> !ehavior0. By remem!ering this, &e can hear &hat +oolf &ants to say, or remem!er, or feel, &itho't thinking it m'st someho& !e implicated in a t&isted desire to remain ill. B't can a ne'ro!iography !e &ritten to present the psychological conseB'ences of genetic make'p, or !iological dysf'nction, infection, or in;'ry, and still hold meaning for literary readersC A'st ego find only its o&n glittering image interestingC The !iological !ase 'pon &hich modern psychiatric theory !'ilds has m'ch to teach 's. )'!;ectivity seems so selfevident to 's that &e do not stop to consider ho& m'ch o'r percept'al apparat's mediates reality and limits introspection. =e'roscience tells 's some very dist'r!ing things a!o't ho& complicated and pro!lematic it is to ascri!e meaning to events. 2ts &arnings are &orth hearing. 2 do not mean to arg'e that mind -or free &ill or s'!;ectivity or character0 is a negligi!le !y5prod'ct of a series of chemical and electrical s&itches. Dn the contrary, a comple4 and creative mind seems to !e the primary p'rpose of ne'rological str'ct're, !'t !eca'se this is so, st'dying the mind reB'ires a m'ch more detailed kno&ledge of the !rain than the literary psycho!iographer has heretofore tho'ght necessary. 3irginia +oolf:s symptoms f'lfill the manic5depressive paradigm. Taking this premise as my !asis, 2 apply contemporary psychiatric theory to o'r kno&ledge of her life. This approach alters o'r reading of +oolf, e4plains the therape'tic val'e of her !old e4periments in fiction, and points

1"1 to the so'rce of her profo'nd insights into s'!;ect5o!;ect transactions and the pitfalls of literary interpretation. Chapter 1 places +oolf:s disorder in a historical conte4t, e4plicating the changes that have occ'rred since +oolf:s time in !iological and psychological models for the illness and demonstrating ho& o'tmoded attit'des have infected !iographical approaches to +oolf. Chapters 2 and E present c'rrent kno&ledge a!o't manic5depressive illness -also kno&n as !ipolar affective disorder0 6its genetic transmission, symptoms, and cognitive distortions6!oth in general terms and in relation to 3irginia +oolf. Chapter " disc'sses the implications of !iology for psychoanalytic criticism, the f'nction of !ipolar cognitive style in creativity, and reader5response theory. 2n Chapters . and $ 2 arg'e that +oolf learned important o!;ect5relations lessons from her psychotic !reakdo&ns and from her family:s related symptoms< she 'sed this kno&ledge creatively in her theories a!o't fiction, mental f'nctioning, and self5str'ct're. )t'dies of her life and &ork !y psychoanalytically inclined literary critics have often res'lted in a red'ction of the s'rface m'ltiplicity of her fiction. 2n the service of a psychological model that is no longer relevant to her illness, they have attempted to impose coherence 'pon &hat seems deli!erate incoherence or dis;ointedness. 2 contend that her &ork is not a ne'rotic evasion or a loss of control, !'t an intelligent and sensitive e4ploration of certain components other mood s&ings that 'ndermines o'r traditional approach to reading a te4t and invites 's to B'estion ho& &e constr'ct meaning from a te4t. Chapters F thro'gh 11 deal &ith the epistemological diffic'lties of interpretation. Thro'gh analyses of five of +oolf:s novels, 2 attempt to sho& ho& these diffic'lties are intimately !o'nd 'p &ith +oolf:s manic5depressive illness, &ith an inner &orld that oscillated 'npredicta!ly !et&een moments &hen the self seemed magically enhanced and empo&ered, imposing meaning and val'e indiscriminately on the o'tside &orld, and other moments &hen the emptiness and !adness of the &orld lay revealed, corr'pting -or corr'pted !y0 the sickening self. +oolf:s inconstant percept'al relationships &ith o!;ects and self !ecame one of the models !y &hich she shaped and 'nderstood am!ig'o's and dist'r!ing fictions. Ger novels dramati8e her str'ggle to read her perceptions correctly and to esta!lish a !ipolar sense of identity. Ger 'nderstanding of her disorder, tho'gh f'ndamentally !ased on her personal e4perience of symptoms, &as also infl'enced !y her parents: maladaptive responses to loss and !y her o&n childhood tra'mas, not as >9re'dian> ca'se !'t as a so'rce for cognitive model !'ilding. +oolf:s lifelong B'est for a >moment of !eing> aimed 1E1 not only to resolve iss'es of s'!;ective and o!;ective kno&ledge !'t also to reconcile the conflicting psychological patterns rife in her family that resem!led elements of manic5depressive illness. 2n ass'ming the role of mediator !et&een fictionali8ed representatives of her family and of her seemingly !if'rcated self, +oolf discovered the po&er and self5confidence that insight and creativity !ring to the artist. By imagining and mastering psychic fragmentation in fiction, she restored form and val'e to her self. Today:s research into interhemispheric processing s'ggests that the same !enefits may !e achieved !y readers &ho respond to a te4t !y s'ccessf'lly entertaining other selves and vario's reading strategies in order to e4plore and en;oy the !rain:s potential for m'ltiple domains of conscio'sness. 2 &ish to take this opport'nity to e4press my gratit'de to certain mem!ers of the Hnglish department at the University of California, *os 7ngeles, for their g'idance and s'pport d'ring the early stages of this pro;ect: I&in ,. Jol!, ,r., Bar!ara *. Packer, Aichael Cohen, 9ran Gorn, Ko!ert Jinsman, )'san (. Brien8a, Komey T. Jeys, Ieraldine Aoyle, Jathy )pencer, Koss )hideler, and ,ohn Hspey. Gelp on

general iss'es in psychiatry and on a'tism derived from conversations &ith (rs. Aichael AcI'ire and )'san )malley at UC*7:s =e'ropsychiatric 2nstit'te. 2 am personally most !eholden to my mentor and dissertation director, 7l!ert (. G'tter. Gis sharp B'estioning and e4ploration of ne& and rich areas of psychoanalytic criticism provided me &ith a model of academic &riting that &as !oth scholarly and e4citing. Ay thanks go also to Jay Kedfield ,amison, former director of the UC*7 7ffective (isorders Clinic and no& associate professor in the department of psychiatry at ,ohns Gopkins University, and to (r. +illiam Cody, chief of psychiatry at Jaiser Gospital in Gonol'l', for sharing their e4pertise in manic5depressive illness. 2 thank my former colleag'es in the department of Hnglish at the University of Ga&aii, partic'larly Ieorge )imson, editor of Biograph ! Cristina Bacchilega, 7rnie Hdelstein, Hiton 9'k'moto, Ko!ert Aartin -no& at D4ford0, ,oseph Ja', 7lan *eander AacIregor, ,ames Caron, Bar!ara Iottfried -no& at Bentley0, 3al +ayne, and )tephen Canham for their interest and enco'ragement. Thanks also go to the ind'strio's mem!ers of the department:s )econd Critical Theory Iro'p, especially Aarc Aanganaro -no& at K'tgers0, K'ssell ('rst -no& at Dhio )tate0, and 7nne )impson -no& at California )tate University at Pomona0. Considera!le research s'pport for this pro;ect came from Garvard University in several forms: the a&ard of a very timely 19%9/199# 7ndre& +. Aellon postdoctoral fello&ship in the h'manities< 'se of their e4tensive 1.1 li!raries -+idener for literary materials, the Go'ghton for 'np'!lished letters, and Co'nt&ay, the Garvard Aedical )chool *i!rary, for psychiatric holdings0< and the criticism and enco'ragement of the director of the Aellon Program, Kichard G'nt, the chairman of the Hnglish department, Ko!ert Jiely, )'san *e&is, and Jathryne 3. *ind!erg. )'pport also came from a =ational Hndo&ment for the G'manities s'mmer stipend in 19%% for travel a!road to e4amine *eonard +oolf:s diaries in the Aonk:s Go'se Papers collection at the University of )'sse4 *i!rary -special thanks go to Gelen Bickerstaff, assistant li!rarian in man'scripts0. 7long the &ay 2 received insight and g'idance from mem!ers of I.7.P. -Iro'p for the 7pplication of Psychology0 and the 2nstit'te for the Psychological )t'dy of the 7rts at the University of 9lorida, Iainesville, partic'larly from its director, =orman =. Golland, and its associate director, 7ndre& Iordon, &ho provided several opport'nities for me to present my research !oth in H'rope and in 7merica. Critical help also came from 7le4 L&erdling of the University of California at Berkeley< (avid +ill!ern of the )tate University of =e& Mork at B'ffalo< ,ane Aarc's at the City College of =e& Mork< ,anice Kossen and Carol Gan!ery AacJay at the University of Te4as at 7'stin< Ko!ert )ilho' of the UniversitN de Paris 322< 7ntal Bokay of the ,an's Pannoni's University in Pecs, G'ngary< and Phyllis 9ranklin and the five mem!ers of the A*7:s +illiam Kiley Parker Pri8e )election Committee, Thomas +. Best, )tephen Booth, Aary 7nn Ca&s, (avid ,. (e*a'ra, and Blanche G. Ielfant. 2 partic'larly &ant to thank the st'dents of my +oolf seminars, !oth at the University of Ga&aii and at Garvard, for their lively disc'ssions and open affection for +oolf. 2 am most gratef'l to my parents, ,oseph and Hli8a!eth Caramagno, my a'nt, ,ean )elden, and Catherine *ord, for their love of learning and respect for tr'th. +itho't them, this !ook &o'ld never have !een &ritten. 9inally, 2 thank my &ife, )'san, for all her help and her love. University of =e!raska *incoln

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") *I O+ned to ,reat Egotism*The Ne'roti( Model in .oolf Criti(ism


7nd 2 haven:t said anything very m'ch, or given yo' any notion of the terrific high &aves, and the infernal deep g'lfs, on &hich 2 mo'nt and toss in a fe& days. -*etters ": 2"F0 2n her !iography, diaries, and letters 3irginia +oolf left ample evidence to convince psychiatric specialists that she s'ffered from a >classical case of manic5depressive illness.>?1@ *iterary5 psychoanalytic st'dies of her life and art, ho&ever, have shied a&ay from the !iological implications of s'ch a diagnosis. They have foc'sed instead on her childhood tra'mas, e4plaining her mental !reakdo&ns as ne'rotic, g'ilt5driven responses to the 'ntimely death of her mother, the patriarchy of her father, and the se4'al a!'se inflicted !y her half5!rothers. 3irginia:s nephe& O'entin Bell, for instance, regards his a'nt:s symptoms as manifestations of a profo'nd longing for virginity tied to mor!id g'ilt and repressed se4'ality. Dthers concl'de that +oolf did not gro& !eyond her preoedipal attachment to her mother, so that her lifelong sense of loss and her desperate fear of ad'lt se4'ality alternately prod'ced novels and madness instead of f'll &omanhood, or that +oolf might have !een driven mad !y a>profo'nd !'t 'nconscio's g'ilt> inspired !y oedipal ;ealo'sy and an 'nackno&ledged &ish that her mother &o'ld die. )ome, conversely, claim that +oolf:s fiction f'nctioned as a defense mechanism against grieving, against confronting 'nresolved feelings of g'ilt, defilement, anger, and loss. Iiven +oolf:s s'icide, one critic &orries that her m'ch5to'ted >moments of !eing> may not have !een epiphanies at all !'t dark dissol'tions of the self, flirtations &ith death disclosing a misg'ided desire to escape her individ'ality, her very self.?2@ Aost recently, three !ook5length psycho!iographies have consolidated these arg'ments. 2n Virginia Woolf and the "#$st of %reation": A 1F1 &s choanal tic '(ploration! )hirley Panken portrays +oolf as >self5destr'ctive, masochistic,> >deeply g'ilt5ridden> !eca'se of her early closeness to her father, h'miliated !y her se4'al inhi!itions, and victimi8ed !y a >passive aggression ?that@ masks oral rage.> 9or Panken, even +oolf:s physical symptoms m'st !e seen as psychosomatic, a >channeling of her g'ilt, grief, and anger.>?"@ 7lma G. Bond, in Who )illed Virginia Woolf* A &s cho+iograph ! ackno&ledges that >manic5 depression has an inherited, pro!a!ly meta!olic s'!str'ct're,> !'t then ine4plica!ly dismisses the implications this admission has for psychology and h'nts instead for oedipal and preoedipal origins of +oolf:s symptoms: a mother:s am!ivalence, a child:s masochistic &ish to s'rrender to an ideali8ed mother, a da'ghter:s envy of the father:s penis. Beca'se psychoanalysis privileges mentation over meta!olism, Bond concl'des that +oolf >chose> to !ecome manic or depressive as a &ay of avoiding gro&ing 'p, and !eca'se psychoanalysis gives early events etiological priority over later, Bond resorts to an 'ns'pported spec'lation that +oolf:s lifelong sense of fail're and self5hatred >pro!a!ly> res'lted from her mother:s having >deval'ed> her da'ghter:s feces. +orking !ack&ard, Bond 'ses ad'lt

!reakdo&ns to prove the e4istence of childhood tra'ma, &hich is then cited as the ca'se of psychosis. 7t a critical ;'nct're, having fo'nd n'mero's psychological similarities !et&een family mem!ers -&hich sho'ld have prompted her to grant d'e importance to genetic inheritance in mood disorder0, she contorts logic !y arg'ing: >7s a res'lt, altho'gh father and da'ghter in a genetic sense resem!led each other 'ncannily, it seems 'nnecessary to post'late a !iochemical factor as the ma;or :ca'se: of 3irginia +oolfs manic5depressive illness.>?E@ 9inally, *o'ise (e)alvo, in Virginia Woolf: The I,pact of %hildhood -e($al A+$se on .er #ife and Wor/! follo&s the old form'la of e4plaining comple4 mental states in terms of simple tra'ma !eca'se of a metaphorical similarity !et&een the t&o. (e)alvo arg'es that, since +oolf &as se4'ally a!'sed as a child and since victims of childhood a!'se often develop symptoms of depression as ad'lts, &e may therefore concl'de that her >madness> &as not really insanity !'t only e4pressed a logical reaction to victimi8ation. B't (e)alvo:s theory cannot acco'nt for f'll5!lo&n mania, for the cyclic and often seasonal form of !ipolar !reakdo&ns, or for their severity -to (e)alvo, psychotic !ehavior is merely amplified anger0, !eca'se she does not vent're !eyond a narro& theoretical conte4t: the reactive depressions of incest victims. Certainly, victims of childhood a!'se do s'ffer depressions, and (e)alvo forcef'lly presents their pain and arg'es 1%1 eloB'ently for o'r 'nderstanding. B't she oversimplifies etiology, for she fails to discriminate !et&een different types of depression: -10 those depressions &hich res'lt from psychological conflicts -e.g., those created !y the tra'ma of se4'al a!'se0, -20 those &hich are inherited genetically and or physiological in origin -s'ch as manic5depressive illness0, and -"0 those in &hich !oth psychological and physiological ca'ses interact. (e)alvo dismisses >inherent madness> as an >archaic> notion and so frees herself from the task of reading recent !iological research. Un&illing to consider an imposed mood disorder, she looks instead for e4planations of &hy +oolf &o'ld &ant to die, and incest serves as a reasona!le ca'se. +e lack specifics a!o't +oolf:s victimi8ation: +as it rape or 'n&elcome caressesC +as it freB'ent or rareC +as it long5term or shortC The evidence is scarce and am!ig'o's. )o (e)alvo 'ses the severity of +oolf:s ad'lt depressions as proof that her childhood a!'se m'st have !een rape, B'ite freB'ent, and chronic. The pro!lem here is that inherited !iochemical depression can !e very severe &itho't any preceding childhood tra'ma. )'icidal imp'lses cannot, !y themselves, serve as a relia!le indicator of the significance of early or late tra'ma, !eca'se despondency res'lts from vario's conditions, some merely !iochemical. 7nd &hen severe depression alternates &ith mania in a family &ith a history of inherited mood disorders, 'nconscio's conflict res'lting from tra'ma is the least likely origin. (e)alvo:s r'!ric for ;'dging mental states fails to differentiate !et&een the despair of a molested da'ghter and the despair of a manic5depressive. 2t ignores the inconvenient comple4ity of mind5!rain interaction.?.@ Psycho!iographers ignore psycho!iology, in part !eca'se they are afraid of having to 'ndertake a &hole ne& program of self5ed'cation6reading dense !iological te4ts, digesting 'nfamiliar ;argon, and, perhaps &orst of all, poring over psychiatric ;o'rnals for late5!reaking developments -nearly 1,2## reports on manic5depressive illness appear each year &orld&ide in medical ;o'rnals0. Psychoanalytic literat're evolves more slo&ly, is freB'ently ta'ght in grad'ate school, and has often !een adapted to literary st'dy. 2t also fortifies common c'lt'ral stereotypes a!o't artists. Underlying 9re'dian thinking is the 'nspoken -and even 'nconscio's0 ass'mption that 3irginia +oolf !ecame a great artist +eca$se she &as a ne'rotic, that her !ooks are filled &ith references to death and strange desires for a depersonali8ed 'nion &ith the cosmos !eca'se, like all ne'rotics, she &as afraid to live f'lly. Books &ere her lonely ref'ge, plaintive elegies s'ng !y a confined, poignant *ady of )halott, half mad, half

magical, more !ea'tif'l dead than alive, especially for critics. Dnce ne'rotici8ed, +oolf 191 !ecomes the target for all sorts of acc'sations. Pict'ring her as >a damaged thing, a spoilt, &ingless !ird,> one &riter has made the se4ist acc'sation that 3irginia >&o'ld take ref'ge in nervo's stress> to escape her marital pro!lems.?$@ Critics point to her s'icide as proof of a lifelong mor!idity, some even arg'ing that +oolf 'nconscio'sly chose dro&ning in the >!o'ndaryless &aters> of the D'se to sym!oli8e her repressed &ish to merge &ith her dead mother.?F@ Biographers val'e contin'ity in the inconvenient anarchy of an artist:s life, and so they tend to vie& +oolf:s death almost as if it &ere a &ork of art itself and her novels ela!orate drafts of a s'icide note. +hy sho'ld psychoanalytic criticism !e so mor!idC 9re'd:s ideas a!o't art &ere closely tied to the Komantic tradition, &hich stressed the irrational, 'nconscio's, and rep'tedly insane states of mind that artistic inspiration can ind'ce. B't 9re'd the scientist &as a thoro'ghgoing materialist &ho so'ght to red'ce mental operations to drives and defenses. Go&ever mysterio's he fo'nd the appeal of art, 9re'd foc'sed his analytic attention on instinct'al demands and infantile tra'mas, vie&ing art more as a fearf'l evasion than as a ;oyo's e4ercise of skill and perception?%@ 6an attit'de that led one ardent devotee, 9rederick Cre&s, to e4press serio's misgivings a!o't the psychoanalytic method itself: 2ndeed, !eca'se the regressiveness of art is necessarily more apparent to the analytic eye than its integrative and adaptive aspects are, psychoanalytic interpretation risks dra&ing e4cessively pathological concl'sions. +hen this risk is p't together &ith the 'ncertainties plag'ing metapsychology itself, one can see &hy 9re'dian criticism is al&ays pro!lematic and often inept.?9@ )ince Cre&s made his den'nciation, a fe& revisionists have !eg'n to offer intrig'ing approaches to patients and or te4ts in nonred'ctive &ays. B't, &ith the e4ception of feminist psychoanalytic criticism, little ne& light has fallen on +oolf st'dies, &hich still cherish &hat Cre&s aptly calls >the anaesthetic sec'rity> of the old 9re'dian !ias to&ard the model of the ne'rotic artist.?1#@ 2n ine4pert hands this paradigm invites misdiagnosis, !eca'se it reinforces the !iographer:s &ish to e4plain mentality thro'gh events, &hich are, of co'rse, the staple of life histories. =e'rosis readily provides coherence for !iographical data, !'t in past +oolf criticism it has often !een a red'ctionist order that points !ack&ard, emphasi8ing the infantile and evasive in art rather than the ad'lt and adaptive. 2nevita!ly, the critic plays the role of the ad'lt and casts the artist as the sick child. 1 1# 1 This &as certainly not the &ay +oolf:s friends felt a!o't her, as Kosamond *ehmann remem!ers: )he had her share of griefs and !ore them &ith co'rage and 'nselfishness. 2t is important to say this in vie& of the distastef'l myths &hich have risen aro'nd her death: the conception of her as a mor!id invalid, one &ho >co'ldn:t face life>, and p't an end to it o't of hysterical self5pity. =o. )he lived 'nder the shado& of the fear of madness< !'t her sanity &as e4B'isite.?11@ 7nd Clive Bell o!;ected to the tendency of !iographical postmortems to depict +oolf as >the gloomy malcontent>: >*et me say once and for all that she &as a!o't the gayest h'man !eing 2 have kno&n and one of the most lova!le.>?12@ B't psycho!iographers find &ell5ad;'sted s'!;ects d'll material and find irresisti!le the great 9re'dian temptation of e4plaining even +oolf:s happy periods as the res'lt of a defensive repression of those shamef'l horrors that &ere 'nleashed s'ddenly d'ring her !reakdo&ns.

The pro!lem of pathology is compo'nded !y +oolf:s o&n misdiagnosis, &hich &as affected !y !oth her e4perience of the disorder and the alternative e4planations availa!le to her. 2n her letters she sometimes fell into a description of her illness in terms of the prevalent model of her time6the ne'rotic artist. +hen +alter *am! confronted +oolf &ith >dreadf'l stories> of !ad !ehavior, she B'ickly confessed g'ilt as &ell as madness: *am! >&as p'88led !y parts of my character. Ge said 2 made things into &e!s, P might t'rn fiercely 'pon him for his fa'lts. 2 o&ned to great egoism P a!sorption P vanity P all my vices,> the same self5acc'sation she made to *eonard d'ring their co'rtship.?1"@ 2n a letter to 3ita )ackville5+est, she again !lamed herself for s'ffering mood s&ings: 7nd 2 haven:t said anything very m'ch, or given yo' any notion of the terrific high &aves, and the infernal deep g'lfs, on &hich 2 mo'nt and toss in a fe& days. . . . 7nd 2:m half ashamed, no& 2 try to &rite it, to see &hat pigmy egotisms are at the root of it, &ith me anyho&6-#etters ": 2"F0 Aanic5depressives typically conf'se mood s&ings &ith egotism, !eca'se the initial -and 's'ally mild0 symptoms often mimic egotistic !ehavior< patients may !ecome overly concerned &ith themselves -e.g., e4hi!it hypochondria0, dra& attention to themselves thro'gh !oistero's !ehavior, or misinterpret events solely in relation to themselves -e.g., e4perience 1 11 1 feelings of persec'tion0. )'ch an impression &as evidently shared !y some of the specialists of the time: in 19"1 a psychologist, Gelge *'ndholm of ('ke University, arg'ed that egotism &as an integral component of manic5depressive illness and that it &as a prec$rsor! marking the loss of psychic inhi!ition and an increased v'lnera!ility to a ma;or !reakdo&n6;'st as +oolf herself tho'ght. 7nd +oolf had a m'ch nearer >nervo's> model on &hich to !ase her diagnosis: the style and even the content of her self5analyses resem!le the self5descriptions other >hypochondriacal> and >egotistical> father, *eslie )tephen, &ith &hom she identified not only as a &riter !'t as the so'rce of her disorder: B't6oh damn these medical detailsQ6this infl'en8a has a special poison for &hat is called the nervo's system< and mine !eing a second hand one, 'sed !y my father and his father to dictate dispatches and &rite !ooks &ith6ho& 2 &ish they had h'nted and fished insteadQ6 2 have to treat it like a pampered p'g dog, and lie still directly my head aches. -#etters E: 1EE/E.0 2n *eslie:s >violent rages and despairs> -#etters E: "."0, his feelings of fail're and his self5a!asements alternating &ith e4citement and satisfaction, 3irginia sa& milder forms other o&n symptoms and co'ld have reasoned that the ca'se of !oth &as >an egoism proper to all )tephens> -Diar 1: 2210. Aanic5 depressive children do tend to over5identify &ith any close family mem!er, and partic'larly a parent, &ho they think also has the disorder.?1E@ The old family doctor, Ieorge )avage -1%E2/19210, reinforced the ne'rotic5geni's model in 3irginia:s mind !y diagnosing her illness as >ne'rasthenia,> the same la!el he had earlier p't on *eslie:s complaints. 7ltho'gh 3irginia e4perienced m'ch more severe manias and depressions than her father had, *eslie:s nervo's !reakdo&ns from 1%%% to 1%91 &ere accompanied !y >fits of the horrors> and >hideo's mor!id fancies> of despair and death6feelings his da'ghter certainly co'ld have recogni8ed.?1.@ 7scertaining ;'st &hat +oolf did think other illness is complicated !y her doctor:s inconsistent e4planations of nervo's disorders. =e'rasthenia ->nerve &eakness>0 &as a 3ictorian e'phemism that covered a variety of vag'ely recogni8a!le symptoms, ;'st as the term ne$rosis l'mped together vario's disorders for m'ch of this cent'ry -today, in psychiatry, ne'rosis is considered an o'tmoded category, no longer listed in the statistical man'al of the 7merican Psychiatric 7ssociation as the !asis for

esta!lishing 1 12 1 a diagnosis0.?1$@ Certainly the theory of ne'rasthenia &as thoro'ghly materialistic. The essential elements of the )ilas +eir Aitchell -1%29/191E0 rest c're that )avage prescri!ed for +oolf:s !reakdo&ns &ere e4tended sleep and >deli!erate overfeeding to sta!ili8e the irreg'lar !rain cells s'pposedly responsi!le for the illness.>?1F@ *ater nineteenth5cent'ry ne'rologists s'ch as )avage &ere >deeply antagonistic, not merely to psychological e(planations of insanity, !'t to any s'stained or systematic attention to mental therape'tics.>?1%@ )avage himself !elieved that patients &ho came from >ne'rotic stock,> especially those families that prod'ced geni'ses or am!itio's intellect'als -an apt description of the )tephen family0, &ere more likely to go o't of their minds periodically for p'rely !iological reasons. Ge &as partic'larly convinced that patients &ho e4perienced a'ditory hall'cinations -3irginia heard !irds speaking Ireek and Jing Hd&ard sho'ting o!scenities in the garden !'shes0 had inherited their madness. Beca'se he !elieved in the somatic !asis of insanity, )avage sa& a connection !et&een mental !reakdo&ns and physical stress, especially that ca'sed !y infl'en8a, fatig'e, fever, alcoholism, and irreg'lar temperat're,?19@ an association !oth *eonard and 3irginia disc'ssed: 2f 3irginia lived a B'iet, vegetative life, eating &ell, going to !ed early, and not tiring herself mentally or physically, she remained perfectly &ell. B't if she tired herself in any &ay, if she &as s'!;ected to any severe physical, mental, or emotional strain, symptoms at once appeared &hich in the ordinary person are negligi!le and transient, !'t &ith her &ere serio's danger signals. The first symptoms &ere a pec'liar >headache> lo& do&n at the !ack of the head, insomnia, and a tendency for the tho'ghts to race. 2f she &ent to !ed and lay doing nothing in a darkened room, drinking large B'antities of milk and eating &ell, the symptoms &o'ld slo&ly disappear and in a &eek or ten days she &o'ld !e &ell again. -*. +oolf, Beginning Again F$0 2 pass from hot to cold in an instant, &itho't any reason< e4cept that 2 !elieve sheer physical effort and e4ha'stion infl'ence me. -#etters 1: E9$0 2 had the fl' again6!'t a slight attack, and 2 feel none the &orse and in my vie& the &hole thing is merely a mi4 'p of infl'en8a &ith my o&n remarka!le nervo's system, &hich, as every!ody tells me, can:t !e !eaten for e4treme eccentricity, !'t &orks all right in the long r'n. -#etters 2: .$#0 Ay so'l diminished, alas, as the evening &ore on< P the contraction is almost physically depression. 2 reflect tho'gh that 2:m the sink of 1 1" 1 .# million pne'monia germs &ith a temperat're &ell !elo& normal. 7nd so these contractions are largely physical, 2:ve no do'!t. -Diar 2: 2"$0 )ignificantly, recent medical research s'ggests that infl'en8a, fevers, and a variety of other infections and physically stressf'l disorders may indeed !e associated &ith the timing of manic5depressive episodes, and even in 1921 Hmil Jraepelin reported that headaches &ere >e4traordinarily freB'ent> among his patients.?2#@ Aanic5depressive illness, perhaps more than any other psychiatric disorder, e4emplifies the close connection !et&een !rain and mind. 2t is a kind of !iological rhythm. Hpisodes of mania and depression remit and relapse

spontaneo'sly, and rec'r in a B'asi5periodic manner. 7lso, the occ'rrence and severity of affective symptoms ?a person:s emotional coloring and responsivity to&ard the &orld@ sometimes seem to !e strongly infl'enced !y normal !iological rhythms. 9or e4ample, the classical feat're of di'rnal variation in mood in endogeno's ?!iochemical@ depression s'ggests that some daily physiological rhythm aggravates or mitigates the depressive process. The association of e4acer!ations of affective symptoms &ith phases of the menstr'al cycle and seasons of the year has !een repeatedly o!served !y physicians treating individ'al patients and !y epidemiologists s'rveying pop'lations of patients. 2n recent years e4perimental evidence has acc'm'lated that sho&s that rhythms in the !ody, especially the daily sleep5&ake cycle, may !e centrally involved in the processes responsi!le for depression and mania.?21@ Aoreover, depressive symptoms can manifest themselves as physical disorders: that is, the depression can e4press itself in !odily dist'r!ances, hypochondria, and other psychosomatic illnesses !efore its distinctive psychological effects !ecome noticea!le:?22@ The initial complaint of depressed patients is B'ite often likely to !e some common physical complaint rather than one of sadness, hopelessness, or a feeling of fail're. )ome of the manifestations, s'ch as fatig'e, headache, insomnia, and gastrointestinal dist'r!ances are similar to those prod'ced !y an4iety< others are more distinctive, s'ch as anore4ia and &eight loss, !ad taste in the mo'th, chronic pain, loss of interest, inactivity, red'ced se4'al desire, and a general feeling of despondency. 2t can !e appreciated readily that an4iety5 depression can mimic many diseases or disorders.?2"@ )'ch symptoms &o'ld indeed seem like prec'rsors to a !reakdo&n, to many other doctors and patients as &ell as to )avage and +oolf. +oolf:s 1 1E 1 mood s&ings often did coincide &ith headaches, toothaches, infl'en8a, and fatig'e. +e cannot dismiss the f'rther possi!ility -as yet inconcl'sively researched0 that depression itself affects imm'ne5system f'nction, rendering its victims more s'scepti!le to infection, &hich might then e4acer!ate the mood disorder.?2E@ Panken:s statement that +oolf:s physical symptoms &ere >'nconscio'sly resorted to in hope of restoring or appeasing her mother> or &ere an >attention5getting> device to regain her father:s love is therefore most likely &rong. Panken ass'mes that +oolf:s incomplete mo'rning for her dead mother and a ne'rotic >channeling of her grief, g'ilt, and anger> prod'ced the somatic dist'r!ances of her manic5depressive !reakdo&ns, !'t a disease &ith s'ch potent meta!olic changes may very &ell affect !odily health and mental f'nctioning &itho't involving self5 destr'ctive &ishes.?2.@ )o, too, !iology sho'ld diss'ade 's of *o'ise (e)alvo:s spec'lation that +oolf feared !ecoming sick !eca'se she had once !een molested !y Ierald ('ck&orth &hile recovering from &hooping co'gh.?2$@ A'ch more than simple association is at &ork here. (espite his arg'ments for !iology and heredity, ho&ever, )avage also had >psychological> opinions of mental illness, tho'gh they are hardly more than the prod'cts of personal !ias and c'lt'rally prescri!ed 3ictorian stereotype. Ge !elieved, for instance, that spoiled children &ere likely to develop 'nso'nd minds and that too m'ch ed'cation &as mentally harmf'l for the lo&er classes and for intelligent yo'ng &omen re!elling against their nat'ral roles as &ives and mothers.?2F@ B't, &hat &as perhaps &orse, in his p'!lished essays )avage e4plained some kinds of mental disorders as a >defect> in >moral character,> and he e4pressed irritation at &hat he perceived to !e his patients: self5ind'lgence in their illnesses -especially &hen they did not get &ell 'nder his care06a reaction he may have picked 'p

from )ilas +eir Aitchell himself, &ho !elieved that >yielding too easily to the e4pression of all and any emotion> &as a predisposing ca'se of nervo's disorders. Both physicians advocated >order, control, and self5restraint> as a c're for mental illness, an attit'de not 'ncommon among 3ictorian doctors.?2%@ )avage sho'ld have had little diffic'lty in convincing +oolf that her e4cessive emotionalism fit the moral5&eakness !ill, especially since her o&n father, *eslie, adopted )avage:s line &hen he referred to the mental diffic'lties of his first da'ghter, *a'ra, as a moral deficiency ca'sed !y >&illf'l perversity,> an o!stinate &ay&ardness he tho'ght he co'ld c're !y imposing >a stronger &ill and greater self5discipline.>?29@ ConseB'ently, in the first year of their marriage, *eonard 1 1. 1 fo'nd he had to reass're 3irginia that an episode of depression &as merely >illness P nothing moral> -*. +oolf, #etters 1910. 3irginia had learned early on to attri!'te her symptoms to family genes and yet to !lame herself for losing control other emotions, as she does in the follo&ing diary entry and three apologetic letters, t&o to 3iolet (ickinson and the third to her sister 3anessa: 6a little more self control on my part, P &e might have had a !oy of 12, a girl of 1#: This al&ays ?m@akes me &retched in the early ho'rs. )o 2 said, 2 am spoiling &hat 2 have. . . . =o do'!t, this is a rationalisation of a state &hich is not really of that nat're. Pro!a!ly 2 am very l'cky. -Diar ": 1#F0 2 kno& 2 have !ehaved very la8ily and selfishly, and not cheerf'lly as D88y ?(ickinson@ &o'ld have me. 2 feel n'm! and d'm!, and 'na!le to lay hands on any &ords. -#etters 1: 2F90 +hen 2 hear of yo'r &orries and &ishes62 dont kno& if a pen is as fatal to yo' as it is to me62 feel positively fra'd'lent6like one &ho gets sympathy on false pretenses. -#etters 1: 2%#0 Dh my !eloved creat're, ho& little 'se 2 am in the &orldQ )elfish, vain, egoistical, and incompetent. +ill yo' think o't a training to make me less selfishC 2t is pathetic to see 7drian developing virt'es, as my fa'lts gro&. -#etters 1: E110 Psychoanalytic critics have only detected the o!vio's &itho't B'estioning its conte4t &hen they see her as !oth perversely resistant to self5insight and riddled &ith 'nconscio's g'ilt6convenient signposts of ne'rosis.?"#@ )avage:s d'alistic attit'de &as typical of many 3ictorian doctors. The nineteenth cent'ry developed these t&o parallel lines of psychiatric tho'ght, each having its vog'e for several decades: either insanity &as so !iologically !ased that it &as not intelligi!le at all -and so patients &ere &arned not to think a!o't their >ill> e4periences0, or madness res'lted from a &eak character and immoral decisions vol'ntarily made.?"1@ )ymptoms of madness, therefore, &ere either meaningless epiphenomena of 'nderlying mor!id states or representations of one:s sinf'l nat're. Patients co'ld feel either disconnected from their o&n illness or ashamed for failing to control themselves. +oolf, at times, felt !oth. 7s a &oman, +oolf faced an additional challenge. Ger illness and her femaleness !oth threatened her &ith a profo'nd sense of po&erlessness and depersonali8ation. 2n her o&n family her mother ,'lia and her half5sister )tella had sho&n her &hat it &as like to !e sacrificed to the 1 1$ 1

3ictorian god of feminine decor'm. )he instinctively re!elled against &hat she called >non5!eing,> that selfless emptiness enforced !y a se4ist society6and !y her depressions. B't open re!ellion &as risky. Under the *'nacy 7ct of 1%9#, F# percent of Britain:s mentally ill &ere certified and committed !y 19##, most often for s'icide attempts, leading one scholar to concl'de: 2f 3irginia +oolf had !een certified and admitted to an asyl'm in the hopeless condition in &hich &e find her in 1912, it is possi!le she co'ld have !een lost on the !ack &ards and even her private physicians &o'ld not have !een a!le to legally o!tain her release.?"2@ Dnly as long as +oolf cooperated &ith &hat &as essentially an 'nackno&ledged parody of 3ictorian stereotypes a!o't femininity co'ld she remain safe from instit'tionali8ation.?""@ 2t &as a ticklish sit'ation. Both her feminism and her manic5depressive e4periences 'rged +oolf to f'rther e4ploration of the mind, !'t overt self5assertion or preocc'pation &ith symptoms &as vie&ed either as self5ind'lgence or as evidence of madness. )avage, like Aitchell, eval'ated his patients: progress in terms of their s'!mission to his conservative vie& of reality: the patient &as told to relinB'ish control to the doctor, to follo& directions &itho't B'estion. Beca'se )avage identified sanity &ith social conformity, he denigrated the val'e of self and !r'shed aside the patient:s e4perience other illness.?"E@ 7fter +oolf:s >s'mmer madness> in 19#E, &hich incl'ded an 'ns'ccessf'l s'icide attempt -she thre& herself o't of a second5story &indo&0. )avage prono'nced her >c'red> !y ,an'ary and had no !etter advice for 3irginia than that she sho'ld disregard &hat had happened: 2 am discharged c'redQ 7int it a ;okeQ )avage &as B'ite satisfied, and said he &anted me to go !ack to my ordinary life in everything and to go o't and see people, and &ork, and to forget my illness. -#etters 1: 1F.0 2ndeed, 3ictorian physicians generally disco'nted the content of female complaints and ;'dged them !y the patriarchal mythology of the nat're of femininity: H4pressions of 'nhappiness, lo& self5esteem, helplessness, an4iety, and fear &ere not connected to the realities of &omen:s lives, &hile e4pressions of se4'al desire, anger, and aggression &ere taken as mor!id deviations from the normal female personality. The female life cycle, linked to reprod'ction, &as seen as fra'ght &ith !iological crises d'ring &hich these mor!id emotions &ere more likely to appear. 1 1F 1 . . . The menstr'al discharge in itself predisposed &omen to insanity, since it &as &idely !elieved that madness &as a disease of the !lood.>?".@ Th's, the theory of female insanity red'ced the val'e of &omen to their 'sef'lness to society, not as persons seeking self5discovery, !'t as s'!missive &ives and selfless mothers. 7n independent &ill in a &oman >co'ld !e regarded as a form of female deviance that &as dangero'sly close to mental illness,> a re!ellion &hich invited cens're and control !y the physician: The traditional !eliefs that &omen &ere more emotionally volatile, more nervo's, and more r'led !y their reprod'ctive and se4'al economy than men inspired 3ictorian psychiatric theories of femininity as a kind of mental illness in itself. 7s the ne'rologist ). +eir Aitchell remarked, >The man &ho does not kno& sick &omen does not kno& &omen.>?"$@ Kidic'lo's as these opinions appear today, at the time the threat &as B'ite real. 7s the nineteenth cent'ry progressed, more and more &omen &ere instit'tionali8ed: !y 1%F. females made 'p a ma;ority of asyl'm inmates, and some physicians p't the !lame on the gro&ing feminist movement, &hich

advocated intellect'al achievement for yo'ng &omen.?"F@ 7ltho'gh in private +oolf ridic'led )avage as >tyrannical> and >short5sighted> and rightly B'estioned his cha'vinistic definition of >coherence> -#etters 1: 1EF, 1.90, she s'!mitted to rest c'res &hen ordered. *ater the +oolfs enco'ntered psychoanalytic theory. *eonard read the first Hnglish translation of The Interpretation of Drea,s in 191", and the +oolfs: Gogarth Press p'!lished 9re'd:s >Ao'rning and Aelancholia> in the %ollected &apers in 192.. These st'dies helped him to recogni8e the significance of the !ipolarity of 3irginia:s symptoms and to diagnose her disorder correctly as manic5depressive illness: +hen 2 cross5e4amined 3irginia:s doctors, they said that she &as s'ffering from ne'rasthenia, not from manic5depressive insanity, &hich &as entirely different. B't as far as symptoms &ere concerned, 3irginia 0as s'ffering from manic5depressive insanity. 2n the first stage of the illness from 191E practically every symptom &as the e4act opposite of those in the second stage in 191.. 2n the first stage she &as in the depths of depression, &o'ld hardly eat or talk, &as s'icidal. 2n the second she &as in a state of violent e4citement and &ild e'phoria, talking incessantly for long periods of time. 2n the first stage she &as violently opposed to the n'rses and they had the greatest diffic'lty in getting her to do anything< she &anted me to !e &ith her contin'ally and for a &eek or t&o 2 &as the only person a!le to get her to eat anything. 2n the 1 1% 1 second stage of violent e4citement, she &as violently hostile to me, &o'ld not talk to me or allo& me to come into her room. )he &as occasionally violent &ith the n'rses, !'t she tolerated them in a &ay &hich &as the opposite of her !ehavior to them in the first stage. -Beginning Again 1$10 *eonard m'st also have learned a good deal of symptomatology from Jarl 7!raham, &ho p'!lished essays on manic5depressive illness in 1912, 191$, and 192E, incorporating all three in a 192F edition of his papers p't o't !y the Gogarth Press. 7nd there &ere other so'rces: !et&een 1919 and 192. the British press p'!lished E## articles, editorials, ne&s items, and revie&s on 9re'd and his follo&ers. Psychoanalysis had !ecome a fad, a s'!;ect for dinner conversation: >every moderately &ell5informed person,> one revie&er in 192# claimed, >no& kno&s something a!o't ,'ng and 9re'd,>?"%@ and *eonard himself said that 3irginia made one of that n'm!er -*. +oolf, #etters .220. +ith all this disc'ssion of mental illness, then, &hy did +oolf not seek psychotherapyC +as it a kind of ne'rotic co&ardice, as at least five 9re'dian critics have already s'ggestedC?"9@ +as she afraid of discovering the tr'th a!o't her illness !eca'se that tr'th &as connected to deeply repressed conflictsC (id she prefer to !e ill !eca'se it !ro'ght her attention and loveC (oes the fact that she avoided psychoanalysis prove that she &as hiding something ne'rotic or for!iddenC Dr &as her re;ection of 9re'd merely childish, vindictive, and small5minded, res'lting from her childhood hostility to her !rother 7drian, &ho gre& 'p to !ecome a practicing psychoanalystC?E#@ 2 do not !elieve +oolf co'ld have held m'ch hope of finding a c're in 9re'd. *ike )avage, he sa& a!normality in social nonconformity. 7nd, as feminist psychoanalytic critics have cogently arg'ed, 9re'd:s o&n case history of (ora, &hich &as p'!hshed !y the Gogarth Press, displays his rigid, patriarchal attit'de to&ard the organi8ation of a patient:s symptoms, at least &hen that patient happened to !e a &oman. Ge completely failed to 'nderstand &hy the adolescent (ora had not !een se4'ally e4cited !y the cl'msy attentions of an older married man -&hose &ife &as having an ad'ltero's affair &ith (ora:s father0 &hen he had gra!!ed her s'ddenly and kissed her, pressing his !ody to hers. 9re'd

reasoned that she m'st have felt J.:s erection thro'gh their clothing, and that she &as denying she had responded in kind. This concl'sion (ora flatly re;ected< she fo'nd Gerr J.:s actions rep'lsive. 9re'd &as 'na&are of his o&n 'nconscio's identification &ith J., or that he felt (ora:s re;ection of J. &as linked 1 19 1 to a rep'diation of himself. Ge defensively concl'ded that her feelings of rep'lsion &ere evidence of ne'rosis. Go& co'ld a normal girl resist an older manC 7nd !eneath that lay another B'estion: ho& co'ld (ora resist 9re'd:s masterf'l diagnosisC The ans&er &as, she co'ldn:t< therefore, she m'st !e sick. Ge ref'sed to accept at face val'e her version of &hat had happened and ho& she had felt, t'rned her reproach against her father:s d'plicity into self5reproach, and acted as if (ora:s mother &ere of no conseB'ence -indeed, 9re'd generally minimi8ed the role of &omen, partic'larly in his eB'ation for the Dedip's comple40.?E1@ 2n the 192#s Jaren Gorney clearly discerned 9re'd:s >phallo5centric> vie& of &omen and o!;ected to his having relegated them to a passive5masochistic se4'al role.?E2@ Hven in +oolf:s lifetime it &as !ecoming evident to feminists that 9re'd imposed his o&n 'ne4amined vie&s 'pon &omen, invalidating the coherence he tho'ght he had discovered as 'nderlying the seeming incoherence of &omen:s symptoms. Aoreover, &e cannot regard )avage:s rest c're as so completely ineffective that only a ne'rotic &o'ld contin'e treatment. Kecent st'dies at the =ational 2nstit'te of Aental Gealth -=2AG0 sho&ed that restr'ct'ring a manic5depressive:s sleep cycle can effect at least a temporary remission of symptoms: in $# percent of patients, sleep deprivation ca'ses s&itches from depression to normal or manic states,?E"@ and recovery sleep after sleep deprivation can trigger s&itches o't of mania. The s'ccess achieved &ith !oth >phase5advance> sleep -going to !ed fo'r to si4 ho'rs earlier and rising earlier0 and sleep deprivation has led =2AG researchers to spec'late that manip'lating the t&enty5fo'r5ho'r sleep5&ake cycle may, in some patients, either replace or enhance dr'g therapy.?EE@ )'ch a hypothesis implies that a genetic defect in the !rain:s internal circadian -t&enty5fo'r5ho'r0 clock is involved in the etiology of manic5depressive illness. )t'dies sho& that nights of total insomnia often precede mania, acting either to trigger an episode or to e4acer!ate one already !eg'n.?E.@ ConseB'ently, clinicians &arn that patients need to !e alert to environmental changes leading to insomnia -e.g., an4iety, e4citement, grief, travel, hormonal changes0. Hven a single night:s sleeplessness >sho'ld !e taken as an early &arning of possi!le impending mania.> Patients sho'ld !e co'nseled to avoid stressf'l or stim'lating sit'ations >likely to disr'pt sleep> ro'tines, and physicians sho'ld consider prescri!ing sedatives -s'ch as clona8epam0 to prevent significant sleep loss.?E$@ Dverall, >the reg'lari8ation of circadian rhythms thro'gh the reg'lari8ation of meals, e4ercise, and other activities sho'ld also !e stressed to patients.>?EF@ *eonard ackno&ledges his !elief in this 1 2# 1 premise in his a'to!iography, and he offers details in a 1929 letter to 3ita )ackville5+est: 2t &as a perpet'al str'ggle to find the precario's !alance of health for her among the strains and stresses of &riting and society. The ro'tine of everyday life had to !e reg'lar and rather rigid. Hverything had to !e rationed, from &ork and &alking to people and parties. -Do0nhill All the Wa E90 3irginia has !een a good deal !etter the last t&o days tho'gh she is still not right P is more or less in !ed. The slightest thing is apt to !ring symptoms !ack. B't this has al&ays !een

the case &hen she has !een so near !reaking point, P 2 think, if she keeps B'ite B'iet, for another &eek, it &ill pass a&ay. )he has not really had s'ch a severe attack as this for the last " or E years. 2t &as not, of co'rse, d'e to anything like infl'en8a or sea5sickness c'res, !'t simply to her overdoing it P partic'larly not going to !ed at 11 for all those nights r'nning. 2t has !een proved over P over again in the last 1# years that even 2 late nights r'nning are definitely dangero's for her P this time it &as F or %. -*. +oolf, #etters 2"$0 )ince 3ictorian medicine !elieved that stress triggered >ne'rasthenic> episodes, )avage ordered *eonard to keep visitors, activities, and ho'sehold stress at a minim'm &hen 3irginia &as ill and to make s're she ate &ell and rested reg'larly. 9rom 191" -the !eginning of a t&o5year period of affective episodes0 to the end of 1919, *eonard kept an almost daily ;o'rnal of 3irginia:s moods -time of onset, d'ration, and intensity0, her sleeping and eating patterns, temperat're, &eight, dose of dr'g taken, and date of onset of menstr'ation. Correlations !et&een !odily rhythms and mental states helped him anticipate &hat level of care she &o'ld need. 2n later years, &henever 3irginia felt ill, *eonard ret'rned to his monitoring, 'sing his meas'rements as a predictor of impending !reakdo&n. +hen she s'ffered from intracta!le insomnia, he gave ca'tio's doses of hypnotic sedatives -listed as >chloral ?hydrate@,> >veronal,> >medinal,> >potassi'm !romide,> and >sodi'm !romide> in his personal diary in his Aonks Go'se Papers, no& ho'sed at the University of )'sse40. Chloral hydrate &as &idely prescri!ed for ind'cing sleep and calming the insane, especially manics, &hose meta!olism co'ld !e so hyperenergi8ed that neither sleep nor self5control &as possi!le. 9or any sedative, it is important to recogni8e ;'st ho& m'ch is too m'ch, as !oth *eonard and (r. )avage 'nderstood. 2n 1%F9 )avage &rote a paper entitled >Uses and 7!'ses of Chloral Gydrate,> in &hich he 1 21 1 &arned that the dr'g sho'ld not !e applied chronically and that the advantages of sedation m'st !e &eighed against the disadvantages in each case.?E%@ *eonard:s record of 3irginia:s dr'g sched'le sho&s reasona!le restraint. 3irginia took sleeping dra'ghts &hen insomnia persisted !'t stopped &hen fall sleep ret'rned. Dften *eonard noted that 3irginia needed only half a dose, regarded this as a positive sign, and !egan tapering off. Th's, in 191E, after a year of rec'rrent affective episodes, *eonard recorded in his diary that 3irginia took sedatives eight times,?E9@ ceasing in ,'ly, &hen manic symptoms remitted. Harly 191. marked the ret'rn of mood s&ings, and dose freB'ency rose accordingly, &ith seventeen dra'ghts in the month !et&een 9e!r'ary 1% and Aarch 19.?.#@ Dn Aarch 2. 3irginia !ecame so ill that *eonard decided to move her into a n'rsing home. )ince symptoms preceded medication, they co'ld not have !een ind'ced !y the dr'gs themselves, as (e)alvo spec'lates.?.1@ )edatives may indeed e4acer!ate a depressed mood already present, as +oolf herself noticed on one occasion in 19"%: >2 kne& the !reak ?a short vacation at Kodmell@ &o'ld !e a ;angle< !'t not that 2 sho'ld feel the mi4t're of h'miliation P dissol'tion &h. 2 feel today, after a sleeping dra'ght> -Diar .: 1%10. B't for manic episodes in prelithi'm days, hypnotic sedatives &ere often helpf'l and sometimes life5saving. )'ch 'se of dr'gs &as very different from that of some manic5 depressives today, &ho indiscriminately a!'se dr'gs, !oth legal and illegal, to intensify the pleasant >highs> of hypomania or as a form of self5medication.?.2@ Using >'ppers> -e.g., cocaine, amphetamines, or alcohol0 to com!at depressive lo&s and >do&ners> -e.g., !ar!it'rates, tranB'ili8ers, or alcohol0 to dampen manic flights is no s'!stit'te for lithi'm therapy, !eca'se these dr'gs are shortacting and cannot !e correlated acc'rately to 'npredicta!le mood s&ings. This &as, perhaps, &hy *eonard so caref'lly charted the timing and intensity of 3irginia:s mood s&ings. +hatever &e may think of *eonard as a person -and opinion varies &idely among critics, some of

&hom see him as a loving saint and some as a petty tyrant0, &e m'st remem!er that it is not easy to live &ith a mani5cdepressive, &ho may, &itho't self5a&areness, in one mood ;'dge a sit'ation, desire, or destiny in &ays that diverge considera!ly from a ;'dgment made in some other mood. *ove of life, of spo'se, and of self may change s&iftly and &itho't &arning to s'icidal despair, paranoid hostility, or grandiose self5ind'lgence. )'!tler shifts can !e even more alarming and destr'ctive of tr'st in personal relationships. The domestic and personal tri!'lation &reaked !y !ipolar disorder, one researcher reports, >inevita!ly 1 22 1 has po&erf'l and often painf'l effects on relationships,> partic'larly marriages, and yet these patients desperately need a sta!le relationship. Those &ho lead chaotic lives or have poor or 'npredicta!le social5s'pport systems 's'ally fare !adly. Aanic5depressives find they m'st rely on their families d'ring diffic'lt times, !'t the !enefits go !oth &ays: >The involvement of family mem!ers and friends can lessen the need for hospitali8ation and increase the family:s and patient:s sense of control over a potentially catastrophic sit'ation.> Control may !e e4erted only over seemingly minor events, !'t those events often presage ma;or episodes.?."@ 7 memory from 7ngelica Iarnett, 3irginia:s niece, testifies to this effect: *eonard and 3irginia:s relationship &as a!ove all comradely: deeply affectionate and indivisi!ly 'nited, they depended on each other. They kne& each other:s minds and therefore took each other for granted6they accepted each other:s pec'liarities and shortcomings and pretended no more than they co'ld help. . . . *eonard never failed in vigilance and never f'ssed< neither did he hide his !rief an4iety that 3irginia might drink a glass too m'ch &ine or commit some other mild e4cess< he &o'ld say B'ite simply, >3irginia, that:s eno'gh,> and that &as the end of it. Dr, &hen he noticed !y the hands of his enormo's &atch that it &as 11.## in the evening, no matter ho& m'ch she &as en;oying herself, he &o'ld say, >3irginia, &e m'st go home,> and after a fe& e4tra min'tes stolen from !eneath his nose, she &o'ld rise and, as tho'gh leaving a part of herself !ehind, follo& him and Pinka to the door.?.E@ 7nd *o'ie Aayer, &ho cooked for the +oolfs at Kodmell from 19"E 'ntil long after 3irginia:s death, remem!ers: )ometimes Ars +oolf &as B'ite ill &hile &orking on a !ook and had ac'te headaches. Ar +oolf then had to ration the n'm!er of friends &ho came to the ho'se. Dr, to those &ho did come, he had to say that she &o'ld only !e a!le to talk to them for a short time. Ge did not like doing this !'t he kne& that if she did not have eno'gh rest she &o'ld !ecome very ill. ?..@ To some readers, *eonard:s !ehavior looks petty and tyrannical. 7s &e have seen, ho&ever, alcohol, fatig'e, and changes in sleep patterns do affect a manic5depressive:s v'lnera!ility to !reakdo&ns, and 3irginia:s doctors presented *eonard &ith a similar ca'se5effect relationship in their theory that mood s&ings res'lted from &eakened nerves. Both h's!and and &ife seem to have !een !ehaving responsi!ly< !'t &hether *eonard 1 2" 1 &as acting o't of love for his &ife or for domestic peace, 2 cannot divine. 2t is 'nfort'nate that here it is the &oman depending on the man, &ho acts as the restraining a'thority, for the arrangement inflames

readers &ho are ;'stifia!ly moved !y 3irginia:s eloB'ent appeals for &omen:s li!eration. They mistakenly ass'me that s'ch a serio's psychiatric disorder as manic5depressive illness adds nothing to the dynamics of a relationship. 2t is, after all, common to find !ipolar h's!ands relying on their &ives for the same sense of order, contin'ity, and ;'dgment. +oolf kne& that >as for reason, &hen the mood:s on, as soon might one pers'ade a r'na&ay horse> -Diar 2: ."0. )he &as not happy a!o't periodically reB'iring s'pervision, !'t she had learned that she needed it at times, to shorten episodes and to avoid state5enforced instit'tionali8ation. To their credit, neither *eonard nor 3irginia let s'pervision distort aspects of their lives that had nothing to do &ith mood s&ings. They respected each other:s a'tonomy, desires, and ideas6a diffic'lt goal, since manic5depressive illness temporarily destroys the individ'al:s control over ;'st these aspects of self. Aanic5depressives and their spo'ses &o'ld all do &ell to learn so to discriminate !et&een a marital po&er play and a practical sol'tion to periodic affective episodes. 2ronically, then, )avage:s rest5c're regime may &ell have given +oolf some relief, as Bar!ara Bagenal remem!ers: 2 sa& her only once near to a mental !reakdo&n. +e &ere la'ghing and ;oking at l'nch one day &hen s'ddenly she !egan to flip the meat from her plate on to the ta!le5cloth, o!vio'sly not kno&ing &hat she &as doing. *eonard at once asked me not to comment on her action and to stop talking to her. Then he took her 'pstairs to rest and stayed &ith her 'ntil she fell asleep and the danger &as passed. 7t tea5time she &as B'ite happy and composed and did not remem!er the incident.?.$@ +oolf herself seems to have appreciated the rests: +hat a gapQ . . . $# days< P those days spent in &earisome headache, ;'mping p'lse, aching !ack, frets, fidgets, lying a&ake, sleeping dra'ghts, sedatives, digitalis, going for a little &alk, P pl'nging !ack into !ed again6all the horrors of the dark c'p!oard of illness once more displayed for my diversion. *et me make a vo& that this shall never, never, happen again< P then confess that there arc some compensations. To !e tired P a'thorised to lie in !ed is pleasant. . . . 2 feel that 2 can take stock of things in a leis'rely &ay. -Diar 2:12.0 1 2E 1 2 am taking, this is the last day6my &eeks holiday, &ith very good res'lts. Ay !rain is soft P &arm P fertile again, 2 feel fresh P free &ith energy for talk. Mes, 2 can even envisage >seeing> people &itho't a cl'tch P a sh'dder. Ddd ho& 2 drink 'p rest6ho& 2 !ecome dry P parched like a &ithered grass6ho& then 2 !ecome green P s'cc'lent. -Diar E: E20 Unless 2 &eigh 9 1 2 stones 2 hear voices and see visions and can neither &rite nor sleep. ?.F@ +oolfs association of &eight &ith hall'cinations is not 'nreasona!le. Body &eight can drop rapidly d'ring manic episodes, o't of proportion to the red'ced intake of calories. The rest c're, &ith its emphasis on overfeeding, did sometimes restore her, and even today an increase in the patient:s &eight is often regarded !y physicians as a herald of recovery.?.%@ +e can certainly critici8e )avage:s kno&ledge as a psychologist, !'t his medical concerns a!o't 3irginia:s &eight and response to stress did !enefit her. Besides the efficacy, ho&ever limited, of )avage:s rest c'res, +oolf may have dismissed psychoanalysis !eca'se !oth 9re'd and 7!raham sa& manic5depressive disorder as regressive !ehavior, as an ina!ility to cope &ith tra'matic losses in childhood. Kegression has !een defined generally as a retreat of the li!ido to an earlier period in the individ'al:s life !eca'se he is 'na!le to

f'nction at a higher level, !'t some analysts in the past have phrased it more indelicately: >Kegression means fail're.> Aanic speech6enetgi8ed, e4travagant, loosely associated, sometimes even rhyming6 &as seen as >a childish !a!yish voca!'lary,> and the e4'!erant physical !ehavior of manics6the frenetic or o'tlandish movements, gest'res, and spontaneo's dances6&as compared to >the !ehavior of primitive man.>?.9@ Aetaphorical similarity implies identity, !'t also operating here is psychoanalysis:s preocc'pation &ith the pathological, as +oolf noted in 191% in her diary after a disc'ssion of 9re'd &ith *ytton )trachey: >2t:s 'nfort'nate that civilisation al&ays lights 'p the d&arfs, cripples, P se4less people first> -Diar 1: 11#0. Harly 9re'dian theory &o'ld only have ratified +oolfs fear that her !reakdo&ns revealed a self5ind'lgent defect of character, a narcissistic &eakness e4acer!ated !y the loss of her mother, the se4'al a!'se inflicted !y her half5!rothers, and so on. By this time she &as already e4ploring her illness thro'gh her fiction, seeing provocative connections !et&een madness and modernism. )he &o'ld not have !een likely to seek o't rehashed 3ictorian reproofs of her inadeB'acies. 1 2. 1 Unfort'nately, not all !iographers and critics have like&ise advanced !eyond 9re'd:s orientation. O'entin Bell do&nplays +oolf:s li!eral politics and feminism, as &ell as her apparently passionate love affair &ith 3ita )ackville5+est. Ge prefers to portray his a'nt as childlike, ethereal, terrified, fro8en in defensive panic !y se4. The res'lt is a +oolf &ho is not a >heroine> !'t, as one of Bell:s revie&ers p't it, a >st'!!orn and sometimes B'er'lo's self5starving mad&oman.>?$#@ This !ias has serio'sly affected the literary criticism of +oolf:s novels. +hen (e)alvo and Hli8a!eth Geine, for instance, trace the manifold revisions of +oolf:s first novel. The Vo age 1$t! they see not evol$tion of method !'t dil$tion of a deeply fantasi8ed self5annihilation that kept seeping into her &riting: they regard the novel:s p'88ling eB'ivocations and s'!terf'ges as an ela!orate masB'erade to disg'ise for!idden desires.?$1@ )ometimes critics m'st directly contradict +oolf in order to fit her life and her fiction into their psychodynamic theories. +hen Aark )pilka p'88les over Kachel 3inrace:s >odd,> >mysterio's,> and >senseless> death, he looks to +oolf:s o&n s'icide -&hich occ'rred t&enty5si4 years after the p'!lication of The Vo age 1$t2 for an ans&er, concl'ding that !oth a'thor and character m'st die !eca'se they co'ld not face >painf'lly !locked emotions>< he arg'es that +oolf:s intense, se4'al, and apparently 'n!locked feelings for 3iolet (ickinson and Hthel )myth sho'ld !e deval'ed as >ne'rotic attachments to older &omen,> poor s'!stit'tes for her dead mother.?$2@ Behind this reasoning lie 'ne4amined and 'nenlightened attit'des a!o't &omen, older &omen, gay &omen, and se4'al love that seem strikingly opposed to +oolfs professed !eliefs.?$"@ B't ne'rotics are not e4pected to !e consistent, and so her passion for &omen is renamed frigidity. 7s the archetypal ne'rotic female, +oolf has !ecome in literary ;o'rnals &hat ,ane Aarc's rightly calls >a case st'dy of female fail're,> a !ogey&oman 'sed to frighten little girls &ho flirt &ith the idea of !ecoming artists. Go& can &e cele!rate the life of a &oman &hose vision is disparaged as >deadly> and >disem!odied> !eca'se she decided &hen to die, &hose passion is ne'rotid8ed !eca'se it is given to &omen, and &hose veracity is contin'ally B'estioned !eca'se it is ass'med that s'ch a defective person co'ld not, or &o'ld not, discover the tr'th a!o't herselfC?$E@ Dnce again &e have (r. Ieorge )avage:s vie& of the patient as a kind of moral lesson on ho& not to !ehave. =ot only does ne'rosis, more than manic5depressive illness, provide a s'ita!le e4planation for a &oman:s art and !ehavior, !'t formida!le diffic'lties stand in the &ay of a diagnosis of manic5 depressive illness. +oolf:s

1 2$ 1 vario's doctors failed !eca'se, 'ntil 19#E, no one had even !een a!le to catalog the often !e&ildering array of symptoms &hich, in many &ays, seem to mimic those of ne'rosis. 7ltho'gh some of the symptoms of mood disorders have !een o!served and disc'ssed ever since Gippocrates first coined the term ,elancholia in the fo'rth cent'ry B.C., !y the end of the nineteenth cent'ry psychiatric &orkers >&ere flo'ndering helplessly aro'nd in a morass of symptoms for &hich they &ere 'na!le to find any common denominators.>?$.@ The great Ierman psychiatrist Hmil Jraepelin -1%.$/192$0, head of the department of psychiatry at the University of A'nich, st'died E.9 manic5depressive patients and &as the first to recogni8e a pattern in the manic5depressive illness that disting'ished it from schi8ophrenia and melancholia, !'t as a clinical tool his diagnosis &as slo& to spread< it &as not 'ntil 1921 that an Hnglish translation of his !ook, Manic-Depress,Insanit and &aranoia! &as availa!le. Jraepelin:s model enco'ntered stiff opposition from the 9re'dians !eca'se it descri!ed manic5depressive illness not as an 'nconscio's conflict !'t as a familial disorder resistant to psychoanalysis. Jraepelin, a metic'lo's and o!;ective o!server of !ehavior, limited himself to phenomenological descriptions of clinical data and B'estioned the validity of int'itive h'nches a!o't mental events. 7ltho'gh he did not e4cl'de psychological or social stresses as triggers of mood s&ings, and altho'gh his diagnostic system event'ally prevailed -and is still 'sed today largely intact0, his >disease model> of manic5depressive illness str'ck 9re'dians as too conservative !eca'se he took symptoms at face val'e, categori8ing them according to o!serva!le data. Ge did not disc'ss them as encoded em!lems of pathological >meaning,> nor did he consider >the talking c're> an effective treatment for a disorder that clearly co'ld r'n thro'gh family lines.?$$@ The early t&entieth cent'ry thrilled instead at 9re'd:s provocative >psychological> model, &hich promised to e4plain !ehavior in terms of a patient:s 'nconscio's tho'ghts, feelings, and reactions to life events. 7ccording to 9re'dian theory, a ne'rotic tries to forget the past !y repressing it, !'t then is condemned to repeat these old patterns of !ehavior -the >repetition comp'lsion>0 in the form of symptoms that reassert the tra'matic scene in a cleverly disg'ised form6so clever, in fact, that the patient is !lind to the meaning of the symptoms. 9re'd felt that an illness that seemed meaningless co'ld nevertheless !e read for its 'nconscio's message, and that once the patient reali8ed &hat it meant to the s'fferer personally, he or she &o'ld !e c'red. Keading an illness involved deciphering 1 2F 1 the symptom:s sym!olic component. Hveryone th's !ecame a te4t a&aiting an a'thoritative reading6a &elcome respite from the age of the machine, &hich darkly hinted that people &ere also mere !iological mechanisms. 9re'd:s c're !ro'ght art !ack into life and reass'red people that >mind> held creative primacy over !ody. Dften 9re'd:s therapy &orked: one of his patients, for instance, s'ffered from facial ne'ralgia and felt &hat seemed to !e tr'e organic pain, !'t 9re'd co'ld find no organic !asis for it. ('ring analysis, &hile e4ploring a remem!ered arg'ment &ith her h's!and, the patient s'ddenly reali8ed that something he had said had !itterly ins'lted her, had felt >like a slap in the face,> &here'pon she p't her hand to her check and made the psychic connection: her facial pain &as a metaphor for her psychological pain. The ins'lt had !ecome >inscri!ed> in facial ne'ralgia, displacing affect from psyche to soma.?$F@ The >talking c're> offered &hat initially seemed to !e the primary key to 'nderstanding and c'ring all a!normal !ehavior. The promise, ho&ever, led to misapplication. 9re'd himself co'ld not resist seeing a >psychological> meaning in symptoms that &e kno& today are p'rely or largely ne'rologically !ased. 7nd his follo&ers contin'ed that tradition. Harlier in this cent'ry, illnesses s'ch as schi8ophrenia,

a'tism, Iilles de la To'rette syndrome, rhe'matoid arthritis, t'!erc'losis, tertiary syphilis, parkinsonism, ne'rodermaritis, 'lcerative colitis, essential hypertension, temporal lo!e and petit mal epilepsy, and premenstr'al syndrome &ere tho'ght !y some to !e psychological in origin and therefore s'ita!le s'!;ects for psychoanalysis.?$%@ Psychoanalysis contains no mechanism for correcting this kind of >overreading,> the almost literary activity of vie&ing physical symptoms as metaphors for mental states6a kind of pathological transcendentalism. 9re'd hoped that event'ally ne'rology and psychology &o'ld converge, !'t !iotechnology &as so primitive then that he had little data on &hich to propose a model that might incorporate the t&o. Aetapsychology, ho&ever, did not need to &ait. Perhaps the !est e4ample of 9re'd:s overreading is his 192% spec'lation that (ostoevsky:s epilepsy &as ne'rotic, an hysterical e4pression of a &ish too terri!le to !e !ro'ght to conscio'sness. Beca'se 9re'd sa& sym!olic meaning in the violent conv'lsions and m'sc'lar rigidity of an epileptic sei8're, he concl'ded that the &riter:s physical symptoms served as a metaphorical self5p'nishment for having &ished his father &ere dead< falling helplessly ill, therefore, &as a sym!olic form of self5castration, &hich in t'rn s'ggested se4'al am!ivalencc and a desire for a homose4'al 'nion &ith the father.?$9@ 2n this sense (ostoevsky, and indeed every patient, 1 2% 1 desired to !e ill. 9re'd arrived at this concl'sion !y tying symptoms together, for he ass'med that the same desire inspired all of them. )ymptoms that seemed meaningless individ'ally co'ld !e deciphered if they co'ld !e related to other symptoms or aspects of the patient:s life. B'ilding a case history, then, is essentially an e4ercise in fiction: fitting disparate phenomena into some organi8ed and comprehensi!le &hole &ith a !eginning, middle, and ending -and a satisfying ending at that0 reB'ires the analyst to call 'pon narrative a!ilities as &ell as scientific kno&ledge. )ince the patient:s ver!al report is ass'med to !e itself symptomatic of his illness, and therefore ins'fficient d'e to distortion or amnesia, it is 'p to the analyst to find the !'ried or missing threads to the story and &eave them into a >compelling> e4planation.?F#@ 9re'd:s handling of (ostoevsky:s life follo&ed this method e4actly. Ge tied together epileptic symptoms &ith &hat he kne& a!o't (ostoevsky:s relations &ith his cr'el father and his s'!seB'ent hostility to&ard father5fig'res -incl'ding the tsar0, &hich vanished mysterio'sly after he &as imprisoned. Unconscio's conflict does seem to e4plain his 'ne4pected s'!mission to a'thority as sym!olic of his having accepted g'ilt for his parricidal &ishes, and so psycho!iographers since 9re'd have generally depicted (ostoevsky as a man &ith strongly repressed, violent drives &hich er'pted spasmodically and elicited vario's self5destr'ctive reactions, incl'ding his nearly fatal sei8'res. =o&, 2 do not arg'e against the psychoanalytic vie& that (ostoevsky &as parricidal or that his gam!ling implies self5hatred: the !iographical evidence seems to s'pport these interpretations. B't 9re'd conf'sed this >psychological> e4planation &ith (ostoevsky:s ne'rological symptoms. )ei8'res are not sym!olic: they involve a paro4ysm of 'ncontrolled electrical discharges in !rain cells that typically prod'ces the symptoms 9re'd o!served !'t misinterpreted. Today &e no longer consider the epileptic patient to !e g'ilty of having &ished his disorder into e4istence< rather, &e regard him as a victim of a ne'rological disease that can prod'ce psychological dist'r!ances as &ell6dist'r!ances &e have learned to separate from the physical.?F1@ This ne& kno&ledge has led psycho!iographers to reeval'ate (ostoevsky:s illness in terms of ho& medical history and literary history have intert&ined.?F2@ The 9re'dian interpretation of manic5depressive illness mirrored its eval'ation of epilepsy. +hile Jraepelin patiently st'died family histories, the 9re'dians em!arked on the more colorf'l h'nt for the el'sive latent meanings or 'nconscio's conflicts &hich pres'ma!ly >ca'sed> mania and depression, conflicts the disorder:s a!'ndant and varied symptoms seemed

1 29 1 to s'ggest. 9re'd arg'ed that depression res'lted from a self5destr'ctive imp'lse of the ego, &hich h'rt itself &ith despair in order to p'nish the lost love o!;ect -'s'ally a parent0 &ith &hom it 'nconscio'sly identified. 7!raham foc'sed on a !locked li!ido in infancy, e4pressed in the depressive:s e4cessive dependence on others for affection and consolation. Dther analysts !lamed 'nrestrained narcissism, disappointment &ith and or ideali8ation of one:s parents in infancy, a sadistic fi4ation of the ego to the state of infantile helplessness, g'ilt over 'npardona!le se4'al sins in childhood, inappropriate infantile adaptive patterns e4tending into ad'lt life, and an4iety and aggression.?F"@ These theories are all valid descriptive categories, vivid metaphors for very real !ehaviors. +hen, for instance, a depressed patient appeared to regress to the point of allo&ing himself to !e destroyed !y his o&n passivity, preocc'pied &ith his endless pain, it seemed logical to analysts that a masochistic &ish tied to ne'rotic g'ilt had ca'sed the depression and its physical symptom of a general psychomotor slo&do&n.?FE@ Co'ld not physical symptoms !e vie&ed as a kind of meta!olic s'icideC )ince the patient acted like a dependent infant starved for love and reass'rance, it seemed reasona!le to s'ppose an infantile origin for his !ehavior< it is, after all, in infancy that self5esteem !egins. 7nd &hen a depressed patient s'ddenly s&itched into a highly energi8ed, e'phoric, manic mood that appeared to free him from despair and dissolve his g'ilty tho'ghts, psychoanalysts theori8ed the o!vio's: that the patient conscio'sly or 'nconscio'sly 0ished mania into e4istence in order to escape or deny the painf'l depression. Clinicians read intent into manic5depressive symptoms, ass'ming that symptoms &ere tied to 'nconscio's &ishes or conflicts !y more or less direct, logical lines of ca'se and effect. 2t made dramatic sense that a person &ho 'nconscio'sly felt inadeB'ate, evil, or 'n&orthy &o'ld act o't this self5hatred in the form of a self5destr'ctive depression. 2t seemed far less likely that a depressed person &o'ld e4perience his mood as negative perceptions and feelings and &o'ld conseB'ently see himself as inadeB'ate, evil, and 'n&orthy6!eca'se then a nonpsychological origin for the illness &o'ld have to !e fo'nd, and that &o'ld not only postpone clos're !'t &o'ld also deval'e the psychoanalyses therapy. 9or m'ch of this cent'ry, analysts follo&ed 9re'd:s form'la, pro!ing the minds of manic5depressives for tho'ghts that co'ld ca'se mood shifts. 7 critic co'ld arg'e &ith confidence that 3irginia +oolf:s s'icidal depressions &ere ca'sed !y a self5destr'ctive desire for p'nishment, aro'sed !y >self5 dissatisfaction, self5reproach, and g'ilt.>?F.@ 7s in the case of (ostoevsky, psychological 1 "# 1 origins &ere pres'med to prod'ce physiological dist'r!ances. 7fter all, that is ho& metaphors 's'ally &ork in literary te4ts6t'r!'lent skies e4press t'r!'lent emotions in over&ro'ght protagonists. 2n the real &orld of the clinic, ho&ever, c're rates &ere disappointing. )ome manic5depressive patients never improved< others &o'ld seem to recover and then relapse periodically after repeated and seemingly a'thentic theory5compati!le insights had !een gained thro'gh months or years of psychoanalysis. The rise of !iological psychiatry changed all that &ith an 'ne4pected therape'tic discovery. 2n 19E9, an 'nkno&n 7'stralian psychiatrist named ,ohn 9. Cade, &orking alone in a small hospital, made a startling discovery: administration !y mo'th of lithi'm car!onate, not a dr'g !'t a common mineral salt, prod'ced a significant remission of symptoms in his manic patients. Dne of these patients, a fifty5one5yearold man &ho had !een hospitali8ed for five years for chronic mania and &ho &as regarded !y the staff as >the most tro'!lesome patient in the &ard,> got &ell so fast he &as discharged in three months and ret'rned to his family and his ;o!.?F$@ 7merican clinicians, at that time largely 9re'dian, at first dismissed this development, !'t Aogens )cho' &as intrig'ed and !egan tests

in (enmark in 19.E, and !y 19.% trials had !eg'n in the United )tates. +ord of s'ccess &ith lithi'm !egan to spread. 7s one psychiatrist recalls, an 'ncontrolla!ly manic Te4as professor, sim'ltaneo'sly &riting ten !ooks and forty research papers, &as sent to =e& Mork for lithi'm treatment. Ge responded astonishingly &ell. . . . Ge &as sent !ack to Te4as >c'red> on lithi'm, m'ch to the ama8ement of the Te4as psychiatrists &ho had !een 'na!le to s'!d'e his frenetic, psychotic high for the !etter part of a year. They &ere so ama8ed at his rapid recovery that e4periments in Ialveston &ere then !eg'n. . . . 9e& e4periences in psychiatry are so dramatic as &atching lithi'm car!onate in one to t&o &eeks 'tterly transform a manic5depressive personality.?FF@ 2n the 19$#s, psychologists, pharmacologists, and psychiatrists ;oined forces in the e4panding field of psychopharmacology, and !y 19$9 eno'gh genetic and pharmacological evidence had acc'm'lated to pers'ade the 7merican Psychiatric 7ssociation to recommend lithi'm to the 9ood and (r'g 7dministration for treatment of manic5depressive illness.?F%@ Today over F##,### manic5depressive 7mericans take lithi'm. 9'rther evidence of a !iological !asis for manic5depressive illness came in 19%F, &hen the first gene implicated in the transmission of the illness &as identified, a discovery predicted !y !iochemical theory.?F9@ 1 "1 1 7ltho'gh its specific actions on !rain chemistry are not yet f'lly 'nderstood, clinical evidence sho&s that lithi'm dampens severe mood s&ings, shortening attacks, lengthening remissions, and red'cing the n'm!er of relapses, th's maintaining a relatively sta!le position !et&een the >highs> of mania and the >lo&s> of depression in ro'ghly F# percent of patients. Dne st'dy sho&ed that patients &ho had relapsed once every eight months fell ill only once every si4ty months &hen taking lithi'm, and the average >psychotic time> fell from thirteen &eeks per year to one and a half &eeks. 2f a patient taking lithi'm develops depressions -for some people, lithi'm is less effective against depression than it is against mania0, antidepressants -s'ch as monoamine o4ydase inhi!itors or tricyclics0 can !e added to achieve a !alance accepta!le to the patient. Conversely, for individ'als &ith more severe mania -gross hyperactivity and psychotic feat'res0, ne'roleptics -s'ch as chlorproma8ine or haloperidol0 may !e added to lithi'm to !olster its moderating effects. 9or those &hose !odies cannot tolerate lithi'm, car!ama8epine also sho&s promise as an anti5manic agent, as do valproic add and clona8epam.?%#@

s&(hothera/& or 0r'gs1
)ince there are different types of depressions &ith different etiologies, no one type of therapy is applica!le for all patients. 9or cases that do not involve genetically imposed, !iochemically prod'ced depressions, psychotherapy is appropriate and 's'ally helpf'l, &hether it !e psychoanalysis, cognitive psychology, !ehavioral therapy, interpersonal, gro'p, or any of a n'm!er of the 2.# psychotherapies e4isting today.?%1@ B't clinicians m'st !e caref'l< a reno&ned psychiatrist in this field estimates that only 1# percent of his depressed patients co'ld acc'rately !e called ne'rotic,?%2@ so the B'estion of &hich type of therapy to 'se is important. 9'rthermore, many s'pposedly nonendogeno's depressions respond to dr'g therapy. 2n one st'dy of one h'ndred o'tpatients &ith mild depressive states la!eled ne'rotic, reactive, or sit'ational, forty developed a ma;or affective disorder &ithin fo'r years, nearly half of them !ipolar.?%"@ Psychotherapy, and partic'larly psychoanalysis, is especially inadeB'ate if applied as the sole therapy for manic5depressive illness. 9or the most part, manic5depressives do not e4hi!it secondary illnesses once their mood disorder has !een managed !y lithi'm. Conversely, in5depth psychoanalysis is not

effective in the treatment of manic5depressives< the misinterpretations and s'!tle fl'ct'ations of mood states 's'ally !e&ilder the analyst attempting to esta!lish a sta!le relationship for analy8ing transferences. 1 "2 1 2f, after having !een sta!ili8ed !y lithi'm, a !ipolar patient has lingering pro!lems, psychoanalysis can !e tried, !'t manic5depressives r'n no more risk of !eing ne'rotic than do non5manic5depressives.?%E@ 7t most &e may say that most patients need short5term psychotherapy to help them e4amine ho& the disease has affected their ;'dgments, emotions, and memories and to enco'rage them to re!'ild a coherent self5str'ct're if it has !een destroyed !y the disease. Both mind and !ody m'st !e treated to achieve a meaningf'l c're, !'t !odily intervention m'st come first, and mind intervention need not involve the 9re'dian e4h'mation of 'nconscio's conflicts. Iood prophylactic -preventive0 management -&hether it employs cognitive, interpersonal, or !ehavioral therapies0 helps patients recogni8e mood s&ings and their effect on self5esteem, cognition, interpretation, and interpersonal relations.?%.@ 7s one patient p't it: 7t this point in my life, 2 cannot imagine leading a normal life &itho't !oth taking lithi'm and !eing in psychotherapy. *ithi'm prevents my sed'ctive !'t disastro's highs, diminishes my depressions, clears o't the &ool and &e!!ing from my disordered thinking, slo&s me do&n, gentles me o't, keeps me from mining my career and relationships, keeps me o't of a hospital, alive, and makes psychotherapy possi!le. B't, ineffa!ly, psychotherapy heals. 2t makes some sense of the conf'sion, reins in the terrifying tho'ghts and feelings, ret'rns some control and hope and possi!ility of learning from it all.?%$@ 2t is 's'ally not eno'gh merely to prescri!e lithi'm or antidepressants for mood disorders< an entrenched pattern of mood5ind'ced misinterpretations &ill not !e dissolved !y dr'gs alone. Patients m'st e4plore those cognitive patterns and correct memories of previo's e4periences !efore they can reform'late other, more !eneficial o!;ect5relations.?%F@ B't, once on lithi'm, most manic5depressives are no longer >sick.> 1 "" 1

$) *Ne%er .as An&one So Tossed U/ 2 0o+n 3& the 4od& As I Am*The S&m/toms of Mani(50e/ressi%e Illness
7fflicting appro4imately 1 percent of the general pop'lation, manic5depressive illness is a mood disorder that can profo'ndly modify cognition, personality, ;'dgment, sleep patterns, and meta!olism -the chemical changes s'pplying energy to all !ody cells0. Hven d'ring relatively e'thymic -not ill0 states, some patients e4perience mild variations in the intensity of their perceptions and feelings.?1@ 7ll these changes can significantly, tho'gh temporarily, affect !ehavior6partic'larly since s'fferers often remain 'na&are of any shift in mood. Changes in affect -overall emotional state0 are diffic'lt to detect !eca'se mild mood s&ings are normal -the Aonday morning >!l'es,> the 9riday evening >highs>0< 'nless it presents disting'isha!le psychotic feat'res, a psychiatric disorder of mood differs only in degree from those normal 'ps and do&ns. 7n affective psychosis is therefore defined as >a severe

mood dist'r!ance in &hich prolonged periods of inappropriate depression alternate either &ith periods of normal mood or &ith periods of e4cessive, inappropriate e'phoria and mania.>?2@ )'ch terms as e(cessive and inappropriate sho'ld not imply that the diagnosis of an affective disorder depends on a p'rely s'!;ective reaction to a patient:s !ehavior. Dne of Konald 9ieve:s patients has descri!ed ;'st ho& f'ndamental6and yet ho& s'!tle6the changes can !e as she slips first into hypomania -a mild e'phoria0, then into frank mania, and, finally, into depression: +hen 2 start going into a high, 2 no longer feel like an ordinary ho'se&ife. 2nstead 2 feel organi8ed and accomplished and 2 !egin to feel 2 am my most creative self. 2 can &rite poetry easily. . . . Ay mind feels facile and a!sor!s everything. 2 have co'ntless ideas. . . . . . . Go&ever, &hen 2 go !eyond this stage, 2 !ecome manic, and the creativeness !ecomes so magnified 2 !egin to see things in my mind that aren:t real. . . . 2 sa& ?them@ as clearly as if &atching them in real life. . . . Ay first depression came o't of the !l'e. . . . 2 seemed to get no pleas're o't of living. 2 had no feeling to&ard the !a!ies or my other t&o children. 2 tried to do e4tra things for the children !eca'se 2 felt 1 "E 1 e4tremely g'ilty a!o't my lack of feeling. . . . Ay mind seemed to !e o!sessed &ith !lack tho'ghts.?"@ *eonard sa& the same phenomenon in 3irginia, a discerni!le shift in mood from her 's'al perceptivity to impaired reality testing: 2 am s're that, &hen she had a !reakdo&n, there &as a moment &hen she passed from &hat can !e rightly called sanity to insanity. Dn one side of this line &as a kind of mental !alance, a psychological coherence !et&een intellect and emotion, an a&areness and acceptance of the o'tside &orld and a rational reaction to it< on the other side &ere violent emotional insta!ility and oscillation, a s'dden change in a large n'm!er of intellect'al ass'mptions 'pon &hich, often 'nconscio'sly, the mental o'tlook and actions of everyone are !ased, a ref'sal to admit or accept facts in the o'tside &orld. . . . s'ddenly the headache, the sleeplessness, the racing tho'ghts &o'ld !ecome intense and it might !e several &eeks !efore she co'ld !egin again to live a normal life. B't fo'r times in her life the symptoms &o'ld not go and she passed across the !order &hich divides &hat &e call insanity from sanity. )he had a minor !reakdo&n in her childhood< she had a ma;or !reakdo&n after her mother:s death in 1%9., another in 191E, and a fo'rth in 19E#. 2n all these cases of !reakdo&n there &ere t&o distinct stages &hich are technically called manic5depressive. 2n the manic stage she &as e4tremely e4cited< the mind raced< she talked vol'!ly and, at the height of the attack, incoherently< she had del'sions and heard voices, for instance she told me that in her second attack she heard the !irds in the garden o'tside her &indo& talking Ireek< she &as violent &ith the n'rses. 2n her third attack, &hich !egan in 191E, this stage lasted for several months and ended !y her falling into a coma for t&o days. ('ring the depressive stage all her tho'ghts and emotions &ere the e4act opposite of &hat they had !een in the manic stage. )he &as in the depths of melancholia and despair< she scarcely spoke< ref'sed to eat< ref'sed to !elieve that she &as ill and insisted that her condition &as d'e to her o&n g'ilt< at the height of this stage she tried to commit s'icide, in the 1%9. attack !y ;'mping o't of a &indo&, in 191. !y taking an overdose of veronal< in 19E1 she dro&ned herself in the river D'se. -Beginning Again F$/F90

*eonard:s o!servations fit B'ite closely the typical profile of manicdepressive mood s&ings. Ge follo&s the Jraepelinean model: &itho't attempting to ascri!e meaning to her del'sions, her violent o't!'rsts, or her ref'sal to eat, he foc'ses on her symptoms themselves. 1 ". 1 +hen manic5depressives fall ill, they may e4hi!it a m'ltiplicity and variety of symptoms that can mystify and fr'strate not only their families !'t their doctors as &ell. The variations in individ'al manifestations of this illness Jraepelin himself descri!ed as >a!sol'tely ine4ha'sti!le.>?E@ Unipolar patients sho& signs only of depression< !ipolar, or >circ'lar,> individ'als alternate either !et&een manic episodes and >&ell> periods or !et&een mania and depression &ith intermittent &ell periods. Dne 'sef'l descriptive system for e4pressing the varia!le intensity of !oth poles employs fo'r categories: A( -for !ipolars &ho s'ffer !oth mania and depression at moderate or severe levels or &ith psychotic feat'res0, Ad -for frank manias !'t mild depressions0, m( -for mild manias !'t prono'nced depressions0, and md -for cyclothymia0.?.@ -A( and Ad are also kno&n as Bipolar 2 and m( as Bipolar 22.0 ('ring her serio's !reakdo&ns 3irginia e4perienced A( levels, !'t often she had milder !ipolar episodes, as she noted in her diary and letters: 2 m'st note the symptoms of the disease, so as to kno& it ne4t time. The first day one:s misera!le: the second happy. 3Diar 2: 1#%0 7lso my o&n psychology interests me. 2 intend to keep f'll notes of my 'ps P do&ns, for my private information. 7nd th's o!;ectified, the pain P shame !ecome at once m'ch less. 3Diar .: $E0 . . . 2:ve !een rather !ad again6the res'lt 2 s'ppose of those E days in *ondon. )leep this time6seems to have gone: and as yo' kno& this leaves me very melancholy and restless !y day. . . . The (r. said 2 m'st e4pect 'ps and do&ns for at least 2 months more. This is a do&n< !'t an 'p &ill come. 9orgive me for !eing so egotistic. -#etters $: E"0 7ltho'gh most !ipolars e4perience !oth mania and depression -freB'ently in cycles0, the speed, d'ration, and intensity of the mood s&ings may vary greatly from individ'al to individ'al and from episode to episode in a given individ'al. Dn the average, manic episodes !egin more a!r'ptly -over a fe& days or ho'rs0 than depressive ones -&hich can take &eeks to develop f'lly0.?$@ )ome individ'als s'ffer episodes of mania or depression that last for months, even years. Dthers make a complete !ipolar circ'it in a matter of min'tes ->micropsychosis>0.?F@ )till others s'ffer from >mi4ed mania,> in &hich mania and depression are e4perienced conc'rrently< these patients report feeling !oth e'phoric and despairing, lethargic and energi8ed,?%@ &hich s'ggests that mania and depression are not merely chemical alterations in one system of ne'rons !'t involve at least t&o 1 "$ 1 systems that can malf'nction sim'ltaneo'sly and prod'ce opposite effects. 7s O'entin Bell notes of an interval in 191# !et&een rest c'res: ?3irginia@ seemed very self5confident, she &as elated and e4cited a!o't the f't're, looked for&ard to fame and marriage< at the same time she &as irritated !y trifles, e4aggerated their importance and &as 'na!le to shake off her e4cessive concern &ith them.?9@ *eonard noted that 3irginia e4perienced vario's d'rations and intensities of mood shifts, altho'gh, for the most part, she &as e'thymic -see also 7ppendi4, !elo&0:

>normally> my &ife &as no more depressed or elated than the normal, sane person. That is to say that for 2E ho'rs of, say, ".# days in the year she &as not more depressed or elated than 2 &as or the >ordinary person.> =ormally therefore she seemed to !e happy, eB'a!le, and often gay. B't -10 &hen she &as &hat 2 called &ell, she &as e4tremely sensitive to certain things, e.g. noise of vario's kinds, and &o'ld !e m'ch more 'pset !y them than the ordinary person. These 'psets and depressions &ere temporary and lasted only at the most a fe& ho'rs. -20 +henever she !ecame overtired and the symptoms of headache, sleeplessness, and racing tho'ghts !egan, the symptoms of depression and elation !egan. -"0 2n -10 and -20 2 do not think that anyone &o'ld have tho'ght the nat're or depth of the depression or elation &as irrational or insane, !'t in the t&o cases in &hich, in my e4perience, the symptoms of headache, sleeplessness, and racing tho'ghts persisted and ended in &hat to me seemed insanity, the depression and elation, in nat're, content, depth, seemed to !ecome irrational and insane. -*. +oolf, #etters .E%/E90 Aood s&ings can !egin in adolescence6some even in childhood, tho'gh in m'ted form.?1#@ (iagnosis !efore ad'lthood is diffic'lt. Harly manifestations of !ipolar disorder can !e masked !y the 'ps and do&ns of adolescence< mild mania can easily !e misdiagnosed as hyperactivity, and mi4t'res of mania and depressions may look like cond'ct disorder or schi8ophrenia.?11@ 9'll5!lo&n manic psychosis does not appear !efore p'!erty. Dne hypothesis, that an immat're nervo's system is incapa!le of e4pressing frank mania, seems to !e s'pported !y the fact that prep'!ertal children do not e4hi!it a marked e'phoric response to amphetamines, &hereas ad'lts do.?12@ Aanic5depressive illness is a rec'rrent illness.?1"@ 9rom %. to 9. percent of patients &ho have an initial manic episode s'ffer rec'rrences of either depression or mania< .# percent to %. percent of patients &ho e4perience 1 "F 1 one ma;or depression &ill 'ndergo s'!seB'ent depressions.?1E@ These later episodes need not occ'r freB'ently. Clifford +. Beers, a famo's 7merican manic5depressive &ho &rote a !ook in 19#F a!o't his e4periences, &as instit'tionali8ed only t&ice in his lifetime: once in his t&enties and again in his si4ties. 2n the forty5year interval, he lived a happy and prod'ctive life.?1.@ )ome !ipolars, ho&ever, especially &omen, fall ill more often as they gro& older, and those &ho, like 3irginia, are classed as >mi4ed> or >cycling> r'n a risk for chronic illness fo'r times that of the other gro'ps.?1$@ Karely does a !reakdo&n res'lt in an important personality defect or psychological deficit, tho'gh the e4perience itself can !e B'ite 'psetting. The >madness> is temporary and seems not to !e related in any meaningf'l &ay to the individ'al:s normal personality.?1F@ *eonard:s o!servations of 3irginia !ear o't this assertion: +hen 3irginia &as B'ite &ell, she &o'ld disc'ss her illness< she &o'ld recogni8e that she had !een mad, that she had had del'sions, heard voices &hich did not e4ist, lived for &eeks or months in a nightmare &orld of fren8y, despair, violence. +hen she &as like that, she &as o!vio'sly &ell and sane. -Beginning Again F90 3irginia recogni8ed that she e4perienced drastic alterations in perspective, ;'dgment, and self5esteem as she dropped from a mild mania into a mild depression: one night &e had a long long arg'ment. 3ita started it, !y coming over &ith ?Ieorge@ Plank, P *. -2 say0 spoilt the visit !y glooming !eca'se 2 said he had !een angry. Ge sh't 'p, P &as ca'stic. Ge denied this, !'t admitted that my ha!its of descri!ing him, P others, had this effect often. 2 sa& myself, my !rilliancy, geni's, charm, !ea'ty -Pc. Pc.6the

attendants &ho float me thro'gh so many years0 diminish P disappear. Dne is in tr'th rather an elderly do&dy f'ssy 'gly incompetent &oman vain, chattering P f'tile. 2 sa& this vividly, impressively. -Diar ": 1110 9or +oolf, this pro!lem of relatedness6the connection !et&een the >sane> 3irginia and the >insane> 3irginia, the !rilliant one and the incompetent one6&as cr'cial. )he &as B'ite a&are of her insta!ility: >Mo' kno& ho& cameleon 2 am in my changes6leopard one day, all violet spots< mo'se today> -#etters .: 2#90. 7nd, like other manic5depressives, she needed to kno& that some&here !eneath the !e&ildering panoply of symptoms -the >,ekyll and Gyde syndrome,> as one patient p't it0?1%@ lay a real 3irginia, that central, &edge5shaped core *ily Briscoe feels int'itively is 1 "% 1 the hidden essence of Ars. Kamsay, that s'!terranean self Ars. (allo&ay sinks into &hen personality has !ecome mere chatter, vanity, and invention. +oolf so'ght the p're !eing that she hoped lay !elo& her everchanging -and, as she called it, >egotistical>0 conscio'sness. This iss'e of ho& identity is tied to mood and perception &as especially cr'cial for a &oman &ho str'ggled to thro& off 3ictorian dogma that limited &ho and &hat a &oman co'ld !e. 2t &as a challenging task. 2n a diary entry in 192", +oolf disc'sses the pro!lems of s'ch a search for p're !eing. )he meditates on a s'dden depression that had spr'ng 'p after a short holiday. )'ch depressions make my life seem a little !are sometimes< P then my inveterate romanticism s'ggests an image of forging ahead, alone, thro'gh the night: of s'ffering in&ardly, stoically< of !la8ing my &ay thro'gh to the end6P so forth. The tr'th is that the sails flap a!o't me for a day or t&o on coming !ack< P not !eing at f'll stretch 2 ponder P loiter. 7nd it is all temporary: yet. . . . Dne m'st thro& that aside< P vent're on to the things that e4ist independently of oneself. =o& this is very hard for yo'ng &omen to do. Met 2 got satisfaction from it. . . . 2 &ill leave it here, 'nfinished, a note of interrogation6signifying some mood that rec'rs, !'t is not often e4pressed. Dne:s life is made 'p, s'perficially, of s'ch moods< !'t they cross a solid s'!stance, &hich too 2 am not going to hack my &ay into no&. -Diar 4: 221/ 220 9ifteen years later she again faced the same a!yss of depression -this time &orrying a!o't critical attacks 'pon Three 5$ineas2! and she 'sed the same reasoning to overcome her fear that she &as merely a &alking shado&, not a &hole h'man !eing: =o& the thing to remem!er is that 2:m an independent P perfectly esta!lished h'man !eing: no one can !'lly me: P at the same time nothing shall make me shrivel into a martyr or a !itter persec'tion maniac. . . . 2 mean to stand on my o&n feet. -Diar .: 1$"0 7re these the &ords of a repressed ne'rotic afraid to face 'gly tr'ths a!o't herselfC 2 arg'e that +oolf had no&here to go for help !'t !ack into her o&n mind, calling 'pon her o&n reserves to assay the meaning of a perple4ing disorder, to esta!lish a sense of self that resem!led neither )avage:s s'!missive dr'dge nor 9re'd:s emasc'lated male. To esta!lish an identifia!le sense of self is especially diffic'lt for manic5depressives, for changes in mood and perception can !e drastic or mild, !rief or dra&n5o't, &ith vario's symptoms, each posing a pro!lem in perception and interpretation. 1 "9 1

Mania
The manic phase is characteri8ed !y an elevated and e4pansive mood -patients descri!e it as >going high>0, !'t, !eca'se vario's !iologic components -endocrine glands, electrolyte meta!olism, peptidergic hormones to >fine5t'ne> !rain activities, and electrical and chemical systems in !rain cells, among others0 are involved, mania can !e mild, moderate, or severe, &ith or &itho't psychotic feat'res -hall'cinations and del'sions, marked formal tho'ght disorder, or grossly disorgani8ed !ehavior0.?19@ Aoreover, psychosis is not necessarily related to the depth of the mood. The manic mood may range from dreamy or infectio's cheerf'lness to ecstasy and e4altation. Dr ;oy and love of mankind may change &itho't &arning to vitriolic hatred marked !y ver!al a!'se. Aanics often evidence lo& tolerance for fr'stration co'pled &ith e4plosive anger, >affective storms> that resem!le temper tantr'ms or e4treme to'chiness, &hat O'entin Bell has called 3irginia +oolf:s a!ility to t'rn >p'rple &ith rage> and create >an atmosphere of th'ndero's and oppressive gloom.>?2#@ 7s !ipolars fall in and o't of moods, their tempers fl'ct'ate. ('ncan Irant remem!ered that, altho'gh 3irginia &as sometimes >very shy> and B'iet in company, there &as also >the danger of s'dden o't!'rsts of scathing criticism,> and Hli8a!eth Bo&en descri!ed +oolf:s flashes of temper as >fleetingly malicio's, rather than o'tright cr'el> or prolonged.?21@ The manic:s irrita!ility lies at the center of a critical de!ate in +oolf st'dies. 9re'dians typically read intent in +oolf:s manic rage, as if it revealed the real feelings of the real +oolf, not the ill one. )'san A. Jenney, for instance, arg'es that >s'rely her violent aversion to *eonard +oolf d'ring other attacks &as a reaction against the silent reproach she felt in his actions,> that is to say, his s'pposed moral disapproval of her having fallen ill.?22@ B't *eonard himself said he !elieved that there &as >nothing moral> a!o't her !reakdo&ns -#etters 1910 and that manic5depressive illness >really is a disease> that &as >not really 'nder ?3irginia:s@ control.>?2"@ 9'rthermore, modern medicine &arns 's that, since &e cannot kno& &hether statements made !y a manic in the throes of an affective episode represent attit'des held !y the individ'al &hen normal, &e sho'ld amend Jenney:s >s'rely> to read >perhaps> and look for more convincing corro!orating evidence than *eonard:s silence. Aanic rage is 's'ally 'nrelated to the patient:s long5term feelings< it seems to !e a component of the manic:s potential for paranoia. 2n an apologetic letter to Hthel )myth, +oolf specifically connects an o't!'rst of temper to madness: 1 E# 1 This no do'!t seems to yo' &antonly e4aggerated to e4c'se a fit of temper. B't it is not. 2 see of co'rse that it is mor!id, that it is thro'gh this even to me ine4plica!le s'scepti!ility to some impressions s'ddenly that 2 approach madness and that end of a drainpipe &ith a gi!!ering old man. -#etters E: 29%0 =ot all manic o't!'rsts end so peacef'lly. 2n rare cases, patients feel )o fearf'l and persec'ted that they attempt s'icide to escape, thinking that their loved ones intend to m'rder them.?2E@ Both manic del'sions6either that the &orld is f'll of magical people and things, or that it is f'll of demons and tyrants6res'lt from the distortion prod'ced &hen elevated mood and dysreg'lated !rain chemistry mediate perceptions in 'ncharacteristic &ays over &hich the individ'al has no control. +hen reality testing fails completely, in severe mania, hall'cinations res'lt. Aild mania -hypomania0, ho&ever, can !e fairly pleasant, especially in social sit'ations. Aanics are >people seekers>: they love attention. 2n ret'rn, they can !e socia!le, &itty, and inventive, the life of the party, the >!'!!ly, and elastic individ'al &ho !o'nds into a room vigoro'sly inB'iring a!o't every!ody and everything,> prod'cing a torrent of ideas and &ords connected !y comple4 &e!s of associations,

rhymes, p'ns, and am'sing irrelevancies.?2.@ The manic:s entertaining social !ehavior can escalate into the startling or a!s'rd. Aanic speech may !ecome theatrical, ela!orated !y dramatic mannerisms and even singing.?2$@ Uninhi!ited imp'lsivity can lead to accidents. Ger mishaps earned 3irginia the family nickname of >The Ioat,> and Bar!ara Bagenal remem!ers that 3irginia >had a strange, rather cl'msy &ay of moving,> !'t friends &ho sa& her in other moods commented on her grace, elegance, and fl'idity of movement.?2F@ Aanics may also em!arrass their companions !y ignoring social protocol, !ehaving rashly, or dressing in colorf'l or strange clothes. *yndall Iordon opines that +oolf acted >the cracked Hnglish&oman> !y dressing in e4tremes: either in dra!, do&dy o'tfits or in o'trageo's creations of her o&n, one of &hich made her look >like a yo'ng elephant,> and Aadge Iarland remem!ers that >there &as a presence a!o't ?3irginia@ that made her instantly noticea!le. B't &hat also attracted my attention &as that she appeared to !e &earing an 'pt'rned &astepaper !asket on her head,> a !asket that t'rned o't to !e a hat.?2%@ Hven &itho't egocentric clothing, +oolf attracted attention &hen she drifted thro'gh the streets >staring, entranced.> Bystanders reacted predicta!ly to her >'naffected strangeness>: they >tended to la'gh> at her or feel >'neasy.>?29@ 1 E1 1 Aany manic5depressives, +oolf incl'ded, feel h'miliated !y their invol'ntary effect on other people. Aanics freB'ently !ecome p'!lic spectacles !eca'se they are energi8ed, 'na!ashedly self5confident and e4'!erant, e4hi!iting a noisy hilarity and spo'ting high5flo&n ideas. Tho'gh mania sed'ces them into mistaking the ridic'lo's for the s'!lime, later, &hen they have shifted o't of mania, they may remem!er their eccentric !ehavior &ith shame at its 'ndil'ted vanity. Dver time, they come to fear the smile that mocks, the ga8e that condemns, the friend &ho forgives &ith lingering s'spicion, and they may decide to avoid intimacy, p'!lic display, even photographers, to spare themselves f'rther em!arrassment. B't s'ch resol'tions 's'ally last only 'ntil the ne4t manic episode. =inety5nine percent feel the >press're of speech.> +ith or &itho't an a'dience, they talk rapidly, tying together myriad ideas and leaping from topic to topic -kno&n as a >loosening of associations>0.?"#@ Aanic tho'ght disorder strings ideas together, >e4travagantly com!ined and ela!orated,> &ith many irrelevant intr'sions that appear either inappropriately flippant or desperate.?"1@ 7s one patient remem!ered: Ay tho'ghts &ere so fast that 2 co'ldn:t remem!er the !eginning of a sentence half&ay thro'gh. 9ragments of ideas, images, sentences raced aro'nd and aro'nd in my mind like the tigers in *ittle Black )am!o. 9inally, like those tigers, they !ecame meaningless melted pools. =othing once familiar to me &as familiar. 2 &anted desperately to slo& do&n !'t co'ld not. =othing helped6not r'nning aro'nd a parking lot for ho'rs on end or s&imming for miles.?"2@ Aanics generally feel 'na!le to control their racing tho'ghts, as if they have !een inspired !y a divine A'se. )ome do !ecome highly prod'ctive, !'t others find that the com!ination of overstim'lation and insomnia merely spins their &heels. 2n a letter to Hthel )myth, +oolf e4plains that, tho'gh her !rain is >teeming &ith !ooks 2 &ant to &rite,> none of these visions translates into action. Kather, she feels frightened: =ever tr'st a letter of mine not to e4aggerate thats &ritten after a night lying a&ake looking at a !ottle of chloral ?a common prescription for mania and insomnia at that time@ and saying no, no, no, yo' shall not take it. 2ts odd &hy sleeplessness, even of a modified kind ?,@ has this po&er to frighten me. 2ts connected 2 think &ith those a&f'l other times &hen 2

co'ldn:t control myself. -#etters $: EE0 2n mania the imagination seems to go into overdrive, finding great significance in ordinary events. The individ'al e4periences seemingly 1 E2 1 profo'nd !'t ine4pressi!le insights -e.g., the meaning of life0, del'sions, or vivid hall'cinations. Gyperalert, patients may misinterpret actions !y doctors and n'rses as evidence of a sinister plot against them. +hen family or e4perience contradicts these misreadings, manics may &ithdra& into their o&n &orld or engage in even more desperate attempts to >read> their environment, to discover the el'sive >tr'th> that &ill e4plain all, imposing meaning and a sometimes highly idiosyncratic order 'pon a &orld spinning o't of their control: D'r patients &ere la!ile and freB'ently angry. Their >&orld> &as not sta!le and rosy !'t changing &itho't reason and fr'strating. . . . ?The typical patient@ freB'ently had insight into the fact that he &as ill, often at the same time he &as e4pressing del'sional or grandiose ideas . . . . 9or the most part, the patients remem!ered !eing &o'nd 'p and 'na!le to stop, not feeling tired !'t a&are that something &as &rong, 'psetting their families, and not !eing a!le to stop.?""@ Aanics:often e4perience e4tremely vivid hall'cinations, and even &hen they are not hall'cinatory, their accelerated psychomotor activity and intensified sensory perceptions make their perceptions or visions seem profo'ndly meaningf'l: o!;ects loo/ significant.?"E@ ,ohn C'stance, a British manic5depressive &ho, like Clifford Beers, achieved notoriety !y &riting a !ook a!o't his illness, &hen manic had >a rather c'rio's feeling !ehind the eye!alls, rather as tho'gh a vast electric motor &ere p'lsing a&ay there,> &ith the res'lt that electric lights looked >deeper, more intense> and &ere s'rro'nded !y a >!right starlike> effect &hich reminded him of the 7'rora Borealis. The faces of hospital staff seemed >to glo& &ith a sort of inner light.> Gis senses of to'ch, smell, and taste heightened: >even common grass tastes e4cellent, &hile real delicacies like stra&!erries or rasp!erries give ecstatic sensations appropriate to a verita!le food of the gods.> Geightened perceptions inspired >animistic conceptions,> in &hich o!;ects literally !ecame s'ch entities as time, love, Iod, peace: >2 cannot avoid seeing spirits in everything.>?".@ Colors &ere so intense that they seemed to signify real threats or !lessings, messages from the devil or Christ, hints &hich C'stance felt o!liged to decipher as if he &ere e4plicating a literary te4t: There &as a time &hen 2 &as terrified of green, !eca'se it &as the signal to go, and the only place 2 tho'ght 2 co'ld !e going to &as Gell. Go&ever 2 event'ally got o't of Gell ?&hen he recovered from 1 E" 1 his depression@ and at present green has no terrors for me. . . . ?2@t stands for grass and gro&th. . . . Ked is the (evil:s colo'r, and perhaps 2 am not B'ite safe from him yet. Ked also means stop, and 2 don:t in the least &ant to stop here for ever. Go&ever, &ith a certain amo'nt of effort, concentration and prayer, 2 conB'ered the red &ith the help of the green and felt safe. The ne4t day the colo'rs had s'ffered a kaleidoscopic change. Ione &ere the reds and the greens< there &as nothing !'t !l'es, !lacks and greys, &ith an occasional p'rple. The sky,

&hich had !een !right and clear, &as overcast< it &as raining. This ne& com!ination of colo'rs constit'ted a ne& threat, &ith &hich 2 had to deal.?"$@ (el'sional !eliefs occ'r in a &ide range of clinical conditions -seventyfive, !y one co'nt0. They are freB'ently seen in schi8ophrenia, affective disorders, s'!stance a!'se disorders, and organic psychoses, in all of &hich sensory e4periences can !e so p'88ling that even impossi!le del'sions serve an e4planatory f'nction. 2n a sense, del'sions are necessarily 'n's'al &ays of coping &ith 'n's'al circ'mstances.?"F@ Beca'se perception is so greatly altered !y mania, the patient:s !eliefs a!o't his sit'ation may !ecome B'ite !i8arre. +hen his often inappropriate or impossi!le, tho'gh to him reasona!le, reB'ests are not carried o't, he may feel fr'strated and angry, and &ithdra& even f'rther into himself. 7s the mania !ecomes more severe, the &orld o'tside matters less and less, &hereas attempts to e4plain it !ecome increasingly important in themselves. The manic self feels dominant, creative, f'll of incipient meaning that is imposed &illy5nilly 'pon perceptions of the &orld.?"%@ Ge may feel mystically >at one> &ith the 'niverse, !'t in fact self has divorced the &orld. Aanics rarely speak of mood spontaneo'sly or e4amine it critically6rather, they live o't their moods. ?"9@ 9illed &ith great plans and designs, manics may appear s'percilio's and ha'ghty, claiming to have profo'nd visions of life:s meaning &hich they plan to codify in some f't're &ork. Dne patient, a s'ccessf'l artist, &as e4tremely prod'ctive d'ring mild manias, !'t &hen his moods soared higher his &ork s'ffered from impaired reality testing: Ge &o'ld think he had done something original only to discover later that his >inspiration> &as ridic'lo's. Gis political and religio's theories s'ffered from the same lack of critical perspective d'ring his psychotic highs. Ge &o'ld conceive them in a flash of enth'siasm only to discover later that they &ere a!s'rd.?E#@ 1 EE 1 Geightened mood and a stim'lated imagination give rise to del'sional !elief in the self:s po&er and importance. +oolf herself noted that mania intensifies !oth confidence and creativity: C'rio's ho& all ones fi!res seem to e4pand P fill &ith air &hen an4iety is taken off< c'rio's also to me the intensity of my o&n feelings: 2 think imagination, the pict're making po&er, decks 'p feelings &ith all kinds of scenes< so that one goes on thinking, instead of localising the event. 7ll very mysterio's. -Diar E: 1F$0 B't she &as &ary of 'nrestrained elations and their do'!tf'l prod'cts, as, in a dreamy, hypomanic mood, she considered ho& to &rite To the #ightho$se: The thing is 2 vacillate !et&een a single P intense character of father< P a far &ider slo&er !ook6Bo! T?revelyan@. telling me that my speed is terrific, P destr'ctive. Ay s'mmer:s &anderings &ith the pen have 2 think sho&n me one or t&o ne& dodges for catching my flies. 2 have sat here, like an improviser &ith his hands ram!ling over the piano. The res'lt is perfectly inconcl'sive, P almost illiterate. 2 &ant to learn greater B'iet, P force. B't if 2 set myself that task, don:t 2 r'n the risk of falling into the flatness of =?ight@. P (?ay@.C -Diar ": "F0 Understanda!ly, manics can !ecome intr'sive, irritating, or violent if !alked in their p'rs'it of the marvelo's. H'phoria can B'ickly change to irrita!ility and even anger, especially if the mania is mi4ed or alternates &ith microdepressions. Beneath the s'rface elation may lie deep pools of !lack despair: 2f one allo&s a manic patient to talk, one &ill note that he sho&s fleeting episodes of depression em!edded &ithin the mania ->microdepressions>0. Ge may !e talking in a

grandiose and e4travagant fashion and then s'ddenly for thirty seconds !reaks do&n to give an acco'nt of something he feels g'ilty a!o't. 9or instance, he may !e talking vigoro'sly and in the midst of his loB'acity he may s'ddenly talk a!o't the death of his father for &hich he has felt g'ilty for some time. Gis eyes &ill fill &ith tears !'t in 1. to "# seconds he &ill !e !ack talking in his e4pansive fashion.?E1@ 2n one st'dy, half of the manic patients displayed pervasive depression.?E2@ )'ch manics can !e, as +oolf herself &as, >very v'lnera!le and childishly sensitive to criticism,> for the !ase of their inflated confidence is hollo&.?E"@ Criticism strikes deep !eca'se the manic5depressive:s &orst fear is that at any moment he may permanently and 'nkno&ingly lose his ;'dgment, his sanity. 1 E. 1 Beca'se manic del'sions and hall'cinations create and or accompany ideas of sometimes cosmic proportions, they are freB'ently interpreted as religio's e4periences, especially !y those &ho have !een raised in a religion. The patient may !elieve that she has !een chosen !y Iod6&hy else &o'ld she s'ddenly feel so captivatedC +hen e'thymic -not ill0, ,ohn C'stance recogni8ed that his religio's del'sions and visions &ere similar to the pse'do5revelations ind'ced !y nitro's o4ide and other dr'gs, !'t &hen manic, he fervently !elieved that >depth !eyond depth of tr'th> had !een revealed to him, that the mystery of the 'niverse had !een >'nveiled> and !ecome >certain !eyond the possi!ility of a do'!t.>?EE@ )'ch mystical e4periences of 'niversal comm'nion can also !e ind'ced !y mescaline, *)(, and other hall'cinogenic s'!stances that alter the !iochemistry of the !rain.?E.@ Perhaps !eca'se a!normal !rain chemistry is inherently 'nsta!le, religio's del'sions tend to !e short5 lived and varia!le. They seem to !e 'sed !y patients as e4planations for the &ay they feel: a mystical theory e4plains the elevated mood, and as moods change, e4planations m'st change too. +illiam Co&per -a favorite of 3irginia +oolf:s0 e4plained his shifts !et&een mania and depression in terms of Calvinist theology. +hen manic, he attri!'ted his e'phoria to Iod:s saving grace< &hen depressed, he reasoned that he m'st have 'nkno&ingly re;ected Iod and committed the sin of apostasy.?E$@ The manic typically engages in immoderate pro;ection, reading as real emotions and ideas that e4ist only in his mind. )trong emotion ske&s perception, creating an o!sc're sym!olism, solipsistic and misleading, that convinces !eca'se it is congr'ent &ith the e4perienced emotion. Th's, a s'dden vision of life:s tr'e meaning or Iod:s intentions or the hearing of voices seems to e4plain &hat the manic is feeling at that moment. These e4planations are !oth tr'e, !eca'se they !ring coherence to e4perience, and false, !eca'se they are merely mental constr'cts. They are pieces of fiction that, like all fiction, are meaningf'l only if &e 'nderstand their o!;ective and s'!;ective components< they are neither empirically real nor irrelevant and false, !'t prod'cts of the self that incorporate and reveal an inner tr'th. B't in manic5depressive illness this inner tr'th is not 'nder the individ'al:s integrative control. +hen &e read or &rite fiction, &e try to !alance &hat &e kno& is o!;ectively tr'e -that &e are not the !ook:s hero or heroine, that this rendition is not a history0 and &hat &e feel is s'!;ectively tr'e -&e identify &ith the protagonist and are moved emotionally !y the advent'res as if they &ere real0. B't manics live in a room of mirrors and do not see the inconvenient 1 E$ 1 discrepancies !et&een &hat they pro;ect and &hat they perceive. They re5create the &orld. To o'tsiders they appear self5ind'lgent, vain, egotistical, !'t it is an ego that no longer o&ns its identity, !eca'se it is incapa!le of insightf'l introspection and the self5control that insight !rings.?EF@

+oolf:s manic episodes ran the gam't from lively socia!leness to &ild and incoherent gi!!erish, from p're ecstasy to mi4ed mania. +hen merely hypomanic, +oolf felt energi8ed and creative, and fiction came easily to her6>my !ody &as flooded &ith rapt're and my !rain &ith ideas. 2 &rote rapidly 'ntil 12> -#etters ": E2%0< >P these c'rio's intervals in life62:ve had many6are the most fr'itf'l artistically 6one !ecomes fertilised6think of my madness at Gogarth6P all the little illnesses> -Diar ": 2.E0. )he seems to have detected the connection !et&een the hall'cinations, the heightened perceptions, and the ecstasy of more severe manic moods: 2:ve had some very c'rio's visions in this room too, lying in !ed, mad, P seeing the s'nlight B'ivering like gold &ater, on the &all. 2:ve heard the voices of the dead here. 7nd felt, thro'gh it all, e4B'isitely happy. -Diar 2: 2%"0 +hen severely manic, she &as 'na!le to disting'ish !et&een fact and fiction, as *eonard remem!ers: B't one morning she &as having !reakfast in !ed and 2 &as talking to her &hen &itho't &arning she !ecame violently e4cited and distressed. )he tho'ght her mother &as in the room and !egan to talk to her. . . . she talked almost &itho't stopping for t&o or three days, paying no attention to anyone in the room or anything said to her. 9or a!o't a day &hat she said &as coherent< the sentences meant something, tho'gh it &as nearly all &ildly insane. Then grad'ally it !ecame completely incoherent, a mere ;'m!le of dissociated &ords. 7fter another day the stream of &ords diminished and finally she fell into a coma. -Beginning Again 1F2/F"0 C'stance, too, connected mild mania &ith pleasant hall'cinations of the dead, a >sense of comm'nion ?that@ e4tends to all mankind, dead, living and to !e !orn. That is perhaps &hy mania al&ays !rings me an inner certainty that the dead are really alive and that 2 can comm'ne &ith them at &ill.>?E%@ B't in severe mania, the same sense of cons'ming comm'nion !et&een self and o!;ect frightened him. Ge sa& demons and &ere&olves, strange faces of forgotten gods, and devils, &hile my mind played 'nceasingly on everything it remem!ered of myths and magic. 9olds of the !edclothes s'ddenly !ecame the carven 1 EF 1 image of Baal< a cr'mpled pillo& appeared as the horri!le visage of Gecate. 2 &as transported into an atmosphere of miracle and &itchcraft, of all5pervading occ'lt forces, altho'gh 2 had taken no interest &hatever in these s'!;ects prior to my illness.?E9@ +oolf, too, as her mania intensified lost the !eneficial, n'rt'ring images and entered a paranoid &orld in &hich *eonard and her n'rses had formed a conspiracy against her.?.#@ Ger racing mind imposed the ill'sion of coherence on !ird songs -they seemed to sing in Ireek0 and on noises from the garden -they so'nded like Jing Hd&ard 322 'ttering m'ffled profanities0, and it vividly pro;ected memories other dead mother -conversing &ith one:s past is a &ay of thinking a!o't it, !'t it is a diminished kind of thinking that cannot res'lt in a concl'sion that !enefits the patient0. Paranoia e4plained &hy sickroom attendants &hispered to each other and &hy she &as !eing restrained. 7ltho'gh her interpretations &ere 'ncorrceted !y reality testing -so that neither a royal visit nor !irds that spoke seemed 'nlikely0, they follo&ed a logical process shared !y 's all. B't &hat of the interpretations themselvesC Can &e decode themC (o they evidence an 'nspoken hostility to&ard menC 9rigidityC 7n 'nhealthy o!session &ith se4, or &ith her mother, or !othC +hen psychoanalyst )hirley Panken tries to make sense of +oolf:s hall'cinations -in order to >demystify> them0, she reads them for sym!olic

significance. Ger premises incl'de: Jing Hd&ard, &ho is a father5fig're, stands for *eslie:s >incest'o's> invasiveness< !irds have hard !eaks, so they might refer to the phall's< the Ireek songs -!y a tangled &e! of literary all'sions to a Ireek myth a!o't t&o sisters &ho are t'rned into !irds0 sym!oli8e +oolf:s dead mother< !ird imagery appears in Mrs. Dallo0a ; )eptim's +arren )mith commits s'icide in that novel. Panken reaches a concl'sion !y simple arithmetic: !ird R phall's R death. 7 n'm!er of e4planatory interpretations no& present themselves: >(oes the ?!ird@ myth evoke +oolf:s g'ilt regarding her mother:s deathC +oolf:s silence regarding her half5!rothers: lovemakingC Ger fr'strated longing to find a voice to e4press her repressed rageC> The list goes on: !irds are resilient and passionate, Panken decides, &hereas +oolf feels fragile and frigid< !irds are small and victims of h'nters, and so 3irginia may !e identifying &ith them< in a letter, 3anessa once compared 3irginia to a !ird, and, as children, the )tephens had !ird nicknames, often ascri!ed !y *eslie. Panken !rings 's !ack to the father !eca'se repetition implies repression: *eslie m'st !e the organi8ing center of the hall'cination. Theory demands it.?.1@ 1 E% 1 B't in &hom does the repetition comp'lsion lie, +oolf or PankenC )ince her patient is dead and cannot ackno&ledge, deny, or correct these sym!olic connections s'pplied !y the analyst, Panken spec'lates &itho't hindrance or adeB'ate information, 'sing +oolf:s conscio's associations -!ird imagery 'sed deli!erately in her novels and essays0 as if they &ere identical to 'nconscio's connections. B't it is Panken:s associations, not +oolf:s, that dominate here. 2n a sense, the psychoanalyst is !ehaving like the manic5depressive, the ill C'stance &ho does not have privileged access to &hy he is hall'cinating and therefore m'st free5associate &ith !its and pieces of remem!ered lore, hoping that he &ill hit 'pon the meaningf'l connection. The tro'!le is that too many seemingly meaningf'l connections can !e fo'nd too easily. (o'!tless, !oth C'stance and Panken constr'ct ingenio's e4planations, !'t ingen'ity is no proof of insight. To apply s'ch ingen'ity to hall'cinations seems misg'ided, since ne'rotics, &ho might !e s'pposed to make s'ch associations, rarely hall'cinate, and manics, &ho often do, are driven !y !iochemistry, not !y mental tra'ma. Complete hall'cinatory and del'sional manic !reakdo&ns &ere, fort'nately, relatively rare for 3irginia +oolf. 9or the most part, she e4perienced hypomania, !est e4emplified !y &hat O'entin Bell la!els her >conversational e4travagances>: This &as one of the diffic'lties of living &ith 3irginia< her imagination &as f'rnished &ith an accelerator and no !rakes< it fle& rapidly ahead, parting company &ith reality, and, &hen reality happened to !e a h'man !eing, the res'lt co'ld !e appalling for the person &ho fo'nd himself e4pected to live 'p to the character that 3irginia had invented. . . . she m'st have red'ced many poor shop assistants to the verge of !lasphemy or of tears, and not only they !'t her companions s'ffered intensely &hen she fo'nd herself !ro'ght to a standstill !y the difference !et&een that &hich she had imagined and that &hich in fact &as offered for sale.?.2@ Bell:s ill'stration is negatively charged< hypomanics can also !e great f'n. 3irginia &o'ld 'se >a prosaic incident or statement to create a !aroB'e mo'ntain of fantasy,> a childlike >freedom from !anality> &hich her friends loved.?."@ 2n a letter to *eonard, Bar!ara Kothschild asked him to >tell 3irginia that &e long to see her too and to !e led again into the tort'o's and tort'ring ma8es of indiscretions into &hich she l'res the carrot follo&ers.>?.E@ *yndall Iordon descri!es 3irginia:s >merc'rial p'!lic manner> at Blooms!'ry parties:

1 E9 1 +ith a little enco'ragement she thre& off &ords like a m'sician improvising. Ger voice seemed to preen itself &ith self5confidence in its ver!al facility as she leant side&ays, a little stiffly in her chair, to address her visitor in a !antering manner. )he confo'nded strangers &ith &ildly fictitio's acco'nts of their lives or shot malicio's darts at friends, &ho, the night !efore, she might have flattered o'trageo'sly.?..@ Aost of 3irginia:s friends considered her fantastic stories >a splendid game,> >da88ling performances,> >!'rlesB'e, a love of e4aggeration for its o&n sake.> They sa& that she ind'lged in >&ild generali8ations !ased on the flimsiest premises and em!roidered &ith ela!orate fantasy . . . sent 'p like rockets.>?.$@ =igel =icolson val'ed them for precisely that reason: 3irginia had this &ay of magnifying one:s simple &ords and e4periences. Dne &o'ld hand her a !it of information as d'll as a l'mp of lead. )he &o'ld hand it !ack glittering like diamonds. 2 al&ays felt on leaving her that 2 had dr'nk t&o glasses of an e4cellent champagne. )he &as a life5enhancer. That &as one of her o&n favorite phrases.?.F@ Christopher 2sher&ood, noting the Tennysonian impression of 'nhappy fragility in 3irginia:s physical appearance, contrasts her >fairy5story princess 'nder a spell> look &ith her liveliness: +e are at the tea ta!le. 3irginia is sparkling &ith gaiety, delicate malice and gossip6the gossip &hich is the style of her !ooks and &hich made her the !est hostess in *ondon< listening to her, &e missed appointments, forgot love5affairs, stayed on and on into the small ho'rs, &hen &e had to !e hinted, gently, !'t firmly, o't of the ho'se.?.%@ (avid Iarnett reported that 3irginia >had the gift for s'dden intimacy> -also a common manic trait0, &hich !oth >flattered and dist'r!ed> people, for her interest in details6central or irrelevant6&as intense. Go&ever m'ch her gaiety charmed and entertained, it also s'ggested depths. Aadge Iarland noted that >3irginia co'ld !e a very enchanting person,> !'t >there &ere times &hen 2 felt . . . that she &as more nearly enchanted. This &as &hen she seemed removed from the people she &as talking to6 almost dreamlike.> 7nother friend -and a psychoanalyst0, 7li4 )trachey, o!served that +oolf:s need to kno& every detail of other people:s lives &as connected to her e4perience of estrangement, of !eing >different>: >it seemed to me that her &ish to kno& all a!o't them sprang 'ltimately from a feeling of alienation from reality6an alienation &hich she &as trying to overcome.>?.9@ 1 .# 1 Aania has trade5offs< one ascends to visionary heights !y distancing ordinary things. )till, &e m'st not 'nderestimate the assets of hypomania. *ike most !ipolar patients, +oolf en;oyed her flights, and her pleas're is !y no means s're evidence of a ne'rotic attachment to !eing ill. >+ho &o'ld not &ant an illness,> J. K. ,amison asks rhetorically, >that n'm!ers among its symptoms elevated and e4pansive mood, inflated self5esteem, more energy than 's'al . . . :sharpened and 'n's'ally creative thinking,: and :increased prod'ctivityC:>?$#@ +oolf sa& B'ite clearly the creative advantages of her mood s&ings, even tho'gh she also kne& -as is s'ggested !y Iarland and )trachey:s o!servations0 that their 'sef'lness &o'ld !e 'nderc't !y lopsided o!;ect5relations 'ntil her e'thymic periods, &hen she co'ld reconnect mind and &orld, !alanced the 'nrestrained imagination &ith an e4ternal coherence. The res'lt then &as a >moment of !eing>: The &ay to rock oneself !ack into &riting is this. . . . ?o@ne m'st !ecome e4ternalised< very, very concentrated, all at one point, not having to dra& 'pon the scattered parts of one:s character, living in the !rain. )ydney comes P 2:m 3irginia< &hen 2 &rite 2:m merely a

sensi!ility. )ometimes 2 like !eing 3irginia, !'t only &hen 2:m scattered P vario's P gregario's. -Diar 2: 19"0 +oolf recogni8ed that the manic state stim'lated her already rich imagination to create and pro;ect fictions that had little !asis in reality !'t that e4plained -or at least em!odied, if o!sc'rely0 her e4perienced moods. 2n mania, she mistook her s'!;ective &orld for the o!;ective, imposed &hat &as inside her mind 'pon &hat &as o'tside, and learned later thro'gh disappointment that perception &as neither relia!le nor simple, as she sho&s in t&o penitent letters to *eonard after one of her a!'sive scenes: (earest, 2 have !een disgracef'l6to yo', 2 mean. . . . Mo':ve !een a!sol'tely perfect to me. 2ts all my fa'lt. . . . 2 do &ant yo' and 2 !elieve in spite of my vile imaginations the other day that 2 love yo' and that yo' love me. -#etters 2: "E0 ,ohn C'stance felt m'ch the same &ay a!o't his religio's vision: Dnly no& and then, &hen 2 am in an e4cited state !ordering on ac'te mania, &ill it emerge from its el'sive retirement and allo& me to get it do&n. Unfort'nately, &hen 2 come to read &hat 2 have &ritten in cold !lood, after the manic e4citement has passed, 2 can !arely make head or tail of it and very often its appalling egocentricity nearly makes me sick.?$1@ 1 .1 1 )hame and self5do'!t freB'ently visit the morning after a night of magical vision, !o'ndless ;oy -or paranoia0, and a!sol'te certainty that one has seen the >tr'th,> if not a!o't the 'niverse, then at least a!o't oneself. 2mpr'dent marriages, rash p'rchases or career changes, and ad'ltero's flings may seem romantic and >fated> in mania, only to !ecome ta&dry and empty and 'ndesired after mania has passed. +hat co'ld +oolf have learned from episodes that seem e4travagant and meaninglessC The reconnection !et&een mind and &orld threatened her &ith a s'dden, dispiriting deflation of self. The shock of falling o't of solipsistic mania ta'ght +oolf the integrity of o!;ects, their intracta!le solidity, their >otherness,> independent of the ill'sions her >'nreal> self co'ld foster a!o't them. +hen &ell, she co'ld invite the e4ternal, o!;ective &orld into her internal, s'!;ective &orld, &hile still maintaining the po&er to create fiction< it &as then that she felt she co'ld find an all5em!racing coherence that &as neither self5destr'ctive nor solipsistic. )he recogni8ed that she co'ld not control a >moment of !eing>< s'ch a moment co'ld !e frightening, !'t it offered a >representative> and >arranged> lesson a!o't the nat're of o!;ect5relations: >&e are sealed vessels afloat 'pon &hat it is convenient to call reality< at some moments, &itho't a reason, &itho't an effort, the sealing matter cracks< in floods reality> -Mo,ents of Being 1E20. The image here of incipient dro&ning is frightening !eca'se ho& she responded to this flood of reality &as cr'cial: she had to !e caref'l neither to disregard it, as she did in mania, nor to !e over&helmed and destroyed !y it, as she &as in depression. 7nd yet !oth mania and depression, as 2 &ill arg'e in Chapter $, ta'ght her val'a!le lessons a!o't &hat this moment of !eing &as. Dften characters in her fiction e4perience similar disill'sionment and deflation of &ishf'l thinking &hile still remem!ering the val'e, the tr'th, of ill'sion. ,ames Kamsay, for instance, &ho finally sees the lightho'se !'ilding as it really is, &hite and stark on the !lack rock, !lends this fact &ith his ideali8ation of his childhood and his self5serving hatred of his father 'ntil all vie&s !ecome facets of tr'th: >)o that &as the *ightho'se, &as itC =o, the other &as also the *ightho'se. 9or nothing &as simply one thing. The other *ightho'se &as tr'e too> -To the #ightho$se 466 0. 2nevita!ly, s'ch insights into ho& meaning is made and 'nmade, never finished, yet satisfying, are life5affirming.

0e/ression
The manic pro;ections of !ipolar patients, ho&ever enlightening, are event'ally 'ndermined !y mood s&ings in the other direction. (epressive 1 .2 1 symptoms range from sadness to despair, from an 'ncontrolla!le tearf'lness to a despondency !eyond tears. The &ord depression cannot convey the nightmarish pain involved. 2t is, as +illiam )tyron has recently p't it, >a tr'e &imp of a &ord for s'ch a ma;or illness,> &ith its >!land tonality.> )tyron prefers +rainstor, to denote the >verita!le ho&ling tempest in the !rain> impossi!le for those &ho have not e4perienced depression to imagine.?$2@ 2n contrast to manics: e4'!erance and inflated self5esteem, depressives can feel hopeless, lethargic, or s'icidal. )elf5deprecatory comments reflect the lo& self5esteem that accompanies the general loss of energy, and no o'tside stim'li are capa!le of ameliorating the helpless sadness: neither the family nor the patient has any control over the depression, and this lo&ers spirits f'rther on !oth sides. The depressed patient feels chronically misera!le, &orried, disco'raged, irrita!le, and fearf'l.?$"@ Aany e4perience great fatig'e, insomnia, or repeated early morning &aking -descri!ed !y +oolf as >starts of terrified a!o't nothing &aking> ?#etters $: "F$@0, slo&ness in thinking or in motor skills,?$E@ loss of interest or pleas're in 's'al activities, and, in three5B'arters of these patients, decreased se4 drive6 symptoms &hich 's'ally strike the patient as evidence not of depression !'t of something else. Dne patient, a prominent la&yer, shared +oolf:s private conviction of damnation. Ge denied !eing depressed. Kather, he complained of having >no feelings of any sort. . . . 2 have no so'l, 2 am dead inside.> +hen pressed, he confided that he !elieved he s'ffered from a case of >moral decay of the so'l6sin sickness,> as he termed it d'ring a flash of his old co'rtroom eloB'ence. >The sentence sho'ld !e electroc'tion rather than shock treatments.> Go&ever, after receiving the latter, he no longer !elieved he deserved to !e electroc'ted< indeed, in si4 &eeks, he &as a!le to ret'rn to the practice of la&.?$.@ ,'st as the elated manic may !e either socia!le or assa'ltive, so too the depressive may !e either passive or aggressive, sad or angry. )ome lie in !ed, immo!ile, despondent, completely helpless in the face of despair and g'ilt. Dthers !ecome e4tremely agitated !y their !lack tho'ghts, fidgeting restlessly, &ringing their hands, feeling shaky inside, e4periencing heart palpitations !'t denying despair. These contradictory syndromes led clinicians to define t&o a'tonomo's states of depression, a retarded anhedonic type -&ith a pathologically decreased capacity to anticipate and en;oy e4perience, especially on a sensory level0 and an agitated del'sional type -&ith increased an4iety and hostility0.?$$@ The t&o states can !oth !e 1 ." 1 seen in the same patient.?$F@ J. K. ,amison notes that the cyclothymia s'ffered !y Gector Berlio8 com!ined agitated and retarded depressions: >an active, painf'l, t'm'lt'o's, and ca'ldrono's one -almost certainly a mi4ed state0, and another type, characteri8ed !y enn'i, isolation, lethargy, and a dearth of feeling.>?$%@ The agitated depressive is so 'pset that he looks as if he is fighting !ack against total despair, and he may resem!le irrita!le manics in nervo's energy and paranoia. O'entin Bell records that +oolf s'ffered one s'ch episode of agitated del'sional depression in an 1%9$ !reakdo&n: ?3irginia@ !ecame painf'lly e4cita!le and nervo's and then intolera!ly depressed. . . . )he

&ent thro'gh a period of mor!id self5criticism, !lamed herself for !eing vain and egotistical, compared herself 'nfavo'ra!ly to 3anessa and &as at the same time intensely irrita!le.?$9@ 7nhedonia, !y contrast, over&helms patients &ith &hat appears to !e >p're> depression, a de!ilitating sorro& &hich incl'des >vegetative> symptoms characteri8ed !y a general psychomotor retardation: they have little to say, interact poorly &ith others, and tire easily, complaining of e4ha'stion, >tight> headaches, or m'scle aches. Constipation is very common and sometimes severe< even nail gro&th may stop.?F#@ +illiam )tyron remem!ers that his voice seemed to >disappear> as his depression deepened: >2t 'nder&ent a strange transformation, !ecoming at times B'ite faint, &hee8y, and spasmodic6a friend o!served later that it &as the voice of a ninety5year5old.>?F1@ )leep is dist'r!ed. Aost depressives e4perience insomnia and early morning &aking, !'t some !ecome hypersomnolent, sleeping longer at night, sleeping d'ring the day, or taking e4cessive naps.?F2@ *oss of appetite is typical of a general slo&do&n in !odily processes. )ome patients complain of a !ad taste, a dryness of the mo'th, heart palpitations, or >the feeling of a ?tight@ !and ro'nd the forehead,>?F"@ as did +oolf: 2 &as &alking do&n the path &ith *ydia. 2f this dont stop, 2 said, referring to the !itter taste in my mo'th P the press're like a &ire cage of so'nd over my head, then 2 am ill: yes, very likely 2 am destroyed, diseased, dead. (amn itQ Gere 2 fell do&n. -Diar ": "1.0 The galloping horses got &ild in my head last Th'rsday night. . . . Then my heart leapt< P stopped< P leapt again< P 2 tasted that B'eer !itterness at the !ack of my throat< P the p'lse leapt into my head P !eat P !eat, more savagely, more B'ickly. -Diar E: 1210 )ensory perceptions also change. +here mania e4aggerates, depression d'lls, leaving physical and mental &orlds monochromatic.?FE@ 7s ,ohn 1 .E 1 C'stance noted, any o!;ect6food, clothes, one:s o&n !ody6inspired >rep'lsion,> >intense disg'st,> and >'npleas're> in depression, &hereas in mania these same o!;ects elicited >intense ;oy,> >attraction,> and >pleas're.>?F.@ Beca'se meta!olic changes in manic5depression can !e so profo'nd, physiological symptoms often coincide &ith psychological ones, and so many patients: reports &ill associate the t&o, 'sing one to !ring significance to the other. 2n other &ords, patients 's'ally seek to e4plain their loss of desire !y associating it &ith some other depressive symptom, s'ch as lo&ered self5esteem6reasoning, to cite only one e4ample, that they no longer &ant to eat !eca'se they are 'n&orthy of taking food from others. )elf and &orld !oth appear manifestly degraded, evil, rep'lsive, and to perpet'ate s'ch a dismal sit'ation !y incorporating even more of the &orld into oneself &o'ld !e 'nend'ra!le.?F$@ 7s a psychological theory, the depressive:s e4planation f'lfills the 9re'dian paradigm: it prod'ces meaning !y filling the gap that occ'rs !et&een t&o symptoms ->2 have no appetite> and >2 feel so !ad>0, and it ass'mes that the physical symptom e4presses a psychological state, &hich is its ca'se. To 's, anorectic conscience appears del'sional, or at !est a rationali8ation, and &e may dismiss it as a!s'rd6!'t del'sions, like scientific theories, have an e4planatory po&er that seems as compelling to the psychotic as o!;ective physical evidence does to the individ'al &hose pain res'lts from visi!ly lacerated skin or a !roken !one. +e all need to provide a contin'o's narrative for o'r e4periences< this is the !asis of conscio'sness, and anomalo's or !i8arre e4periences call for 'n's'al e4planations to connect the dots, to acco'nt for fragmented or incomplete events. The symptomatic form manic5depressive illness takes, ho&ever, 's'ally reflects the individ'al:s e4perience.?FF@ Gere !iology and psychology com!ine. 2n depression there is often some reference to the patient:s life -for e4ample, a normally confident pharmacist may &orry o!sessively a!o't

accidentally poisoning her c'stomers0, !'t in severe mania the individ'al may lose all contact &ith his e'thymic state -a loving h's!and may !e 'nfaithf'l to his &ife and 'nconcerned a!o't his children0. *ike anyone else, the individ'al tries to form'late an e4planation for his e4periences< the more anomalo's the e4periences, the more !i8arre may !e the e4planation, especially since a mood disorder f'lfills its o&n prophecies !y affecting &hat evidence the s'!;ect attends to and ho& he interprets it. Hnvironmental and social factors often com!ine &ith !iochemically ind'ced del'sional !eliefs &hen the patient attempts to acco'nt for himself: 1 .. 1 9or e4ample, s'ppose yo' are having mood s&ings that seem 'nconnected &ith events in yo'r life. 2f yo' have read something s'ggesting that hormones -or !lood s'gar, or magnesi'm0 affect mood, and yo' have social s'pport for this idea, yo' may !e less likely to concl'de that some a!stract force is controlling yo'. )imilarly, if yo' are skeptical of miracles -or magic0 to !egin &ith, yo' sho'ld !e less likely to concl'de that a vis'al e4perience is the !lood of Christ, and more inclined to look for other possi!ilities. (el'sions sho'ld !e affected !y patients: c'lt'ral and social e4perience, partic'larly &hen the del'sions are not s'fficiently driven !y percept'al e4perience to determine their character and are not constrained !y alternative possi!ilities that are salient !eca'se of prior e4perience. Hspecially important may !e the availa!ility of alternative e4planations for people:s o&n feelings .?F%@ 2n &orld&ide s'rveys of del'sional themes, researchers have fo'nd that J'&aiti patients have significantly more del'sions centered aro'nd s'pernat'ral phenomena s'ch as sorcery or the devil< lo&er5class Hgyptians are more apt to have religio's del'sions s'ch as a conviction of !eing Aohammed or a great prophet< 'pper5class Hgyptians display more sec'lari8ed del'sions s'ch as !eing affected !y comp'ters, S5rays, electricity, or government spies< and 2rish57mericans develop se4, sin, and g'ilt preocc'pations.?F9@ (el'sional patients not only prod'ce odd acco'nts for themselves< they also try to read them to discover &hat they might mean. Clifford Beers, for instance, com!ined paranoid and anorectic ideas in his ref'sal to eat. Ge theori8ed that the mental hospital in &hich he had !een placed had !een secretly infiltrated !y ingenio's, JafkaesB'e police detectives &ho &ere seeking a confession from him for an 'nspecified crime -tho'gh he remained ignorant of the acc'sation, Beers nevertheless felt it &as deserved0: They no& intended !y each article of food to s'ggest a certain idea, and 2 &as e4pected to recogni8e the idea th's s'ggested. Conviction or acB'ittal depended 'pon my correct interpretation of their sym!ols, and my interpretation &as to !e signified !y my eating, or not eating, the several kinds of food placed !efore me. To have eaten a !'rnt cr'st of !read &o'ld have !een a confession of arson. +hyC )imply !eca'se the charred cr'st s'ggested fire< and, as !read is the staff of life, &o'ld it not !e an inevita!le ded'ction that life had !een destroyed6destroyed !y fire6and that 2 &as the destroyerC?%#@ )'ch ded'ctive ingen'ity &o'ld !e &orthy of a 9re'dian, !'t for all this theori8ing, Beers co'ld not discover &hy he felt so despondent and 1 .$ 1 g'ilty in the first place. =othing he had done had ca'sed him to !e manic5depressive. 9or all its

pla'si!ility, food proved to !e neither the ans&er nor the significant, therape'tic sym!ol. 3irginia +oolf also had pro!lems &ith the association of food and g'ilt, as O'entin Bell notes: she tho'ght people &ere la'ghing at her< she &as the ca'se of everyone:s tro'!les< she felt over&helmed &ith a sense of g'ilt for &hich she sho'ld !e p'nished. )he !ecame convinced that her !ody &as in some &ay monstro's, the sordid mo'th and sordid !elly demanding food6rep'lsive matter &hich m'st then !e e4creted in a disg'sting fashion< the only co'rse &as to ref'se to eat. Aaterial things ass'med sinister and 'npredicta!le aspects, !eastly and terrifying or6sometimes6of fearf'l !ea'ty.?%1@ 3irginia makes the same connection &hen descri!ing a passing depression !'t notes that it does not hold 'p once she is e'thymic: 2 think the !lood has really !een getting into my !rain at last. 2t is the oddest feeling, as tho'gh a dead part of me &ere coming to life. 2 cant tell yo' ho& delightf'l it is6and 2 dont mind ho& m'ch 2 eat to keep it going. 7ll the voices 2 'sed to hear telling me to do all kinds of &ild things have gone6and =essa says they &ere al&ays only my imagination. They 'sed to drive me nearly mad at +el&yn, and 2 tho'ght they came from overeating6 !'t they cant, as 2 still st'ff and they are gone. -#etters 1: 1E20 7ttit'de to&ard eating clearly differentiates 9re'dian and psycho!iological approaches to manic5 depressive illness. Critic *o'ise (e)alvo takes the p'rely psychological vie& &hen she decodes +oolf:s loss of appetite: 7s ?psychotherapist@ 7lice Ailler has learned, symptoms are a form of comm'nication. To starve yo'rself means that someone has starved yo'. 3irginia:s feelings &ere also fro8en6 she kne& that if she sho&ed rage, anger, nervo'sness, she &o'ld !e medicated into s'!mission. Aoreover, c'tting off feeling is one &ay of handling se4'al a!'se< the res'lts, ho&ever, are deadening.?%2@ 2ronically, (e)alvo engages in the same kind of spec'lation that e4presses Beers:s paranoia, for she ass'mes that meaning 'nderlies symptoms in a more or less direct line of logic. Beca'se she ass'mes that +oolf:s depression is a coping mechanism chosen, conscio'sly or 'nconscio'sly, !y a victim of incest, (e)alvo feels she has arrived at the symptom:s origin and 1 .F 1 meaning sim'ltaneo'sly, !y merely reversing the definition of &ho is starving &hom. )'ch a scenario might !e tr'e of a non5manic5depressive: childhood deprivation and se4'al a!'se may !e the >message> of p'rely psychological symptoms created !y an ego 'na!le to cope &ith h'rtf'l feelings in any other &ay. B't ho&, then, do &e disting'ish this form of comm'nication from a symptom the ego has not invented, the deadening of appetite and feelings and love of life prod'ced !y a!normal !rain chemistryC The >message> of anorectic conscience in this case &o'ld not !e >2 &as se4'ally a!'sed> !'t >2 feel as !ad as if 2 had !een se4'ally a!'sed,> or, in +oolf:s case -as 2 &ill arg'e in Chapter $0, >2 feel !ad &hen depressed, ;'st as 2 did &hen 2 &as se4'ally a!'sed: depression is like that, a victimi8ation, an inescapa!le emptiness and h'nger &here even food is tasteless, rep'lsive, poison.> Psychoanalytic critics need to familiari8e themselves &ith modern ne'ropsychiatry in order to !e a&are that o'r s'!;ective lives are complicated mi4t'res of mind and !rain, the freely chosen and the !r'tally imposed, the meaningf'l and the 'nintelligi!le. Gypochondriacal preocc'pation &ith !odily f'nctions and the !elief in some physical ca'se for their psychological pain occ'r in a third of depressed patients6not s'rprisingly, since mood disorders are so

closely linked to meta!olism. )tyron sensed a direct connection !et&een !rain and mind: >+hat 2 had !eg'n to discover is that, mysterio'sly and in &ays that are totally remote from normal e4perience, the gray dri88le of horror ind'ced !y depression takes on the B'ality of physical pain.>?%"@ Aany patients partic'lari8e vag'e depressive fears !y &orrying a!o't disease, commonly foc'sing on heart disease, cancer, and, most recently, 72(), !eca'se in +estern c'lt're these most forcef'lly sym!oli8e a personal doom. The general loss of physical energy can also affect their ;'dgment: they consider their &ork and activities as trivial and their past life as a fail're. 7ny evidence to the contrary is dismissed or misinterpreted to fit their despondent mood. )ince depression interferes &ith memory and the !rain:s a!ility to concentrate and eval'ate -Clifford Beers remem!ers !eing 'na!le to read a ne&spaper, for it >appeared an 'nintelligi!le ;'m!le of type>0, the patient:s &ork 's'ally does s'ffer, adding to his conviction of inadeB'acy.?%E@ )t'dies sho& that &hen depressives are e4posed to ne& material, they are less likely than controls to link novel information to pree4isting kno&ledge, a res'lt that indicates some hindrance to the f'ndamental h'man capacity for recogni8ing significance consistently over time. ?%.@ (epressives: memory of events !ecomes ;'m!led, and 'nintegrative ha!it !egins to dominate tho'ght. They fall !ack on 'ncreative and infle4i!le 1 .% 1 ro'tines, &hich feeds their developing nihilism and pessimism< life indeed !ecomes empty and fragmented.?%$@ +hile hypomanic, an employee may o'tperform every competitor, creatively solving pro!lems !y discovering hidden connections or correlations and !y energetically e4ploiting opport'nities. B't the same individ'al &ill lose all that talent and stamina &hen depressed, as !oth ,ohn C'stance and 3irginia +oolf noted: 2nstead of the light of ineffa!le revelation 2 seem to !e in perpet'al fog and darkness. 2 cannot get my mind to &ork< instead of associations >clicking into place> everything is an ine4trica!le ;'m!le< instead of seeming to grasp a &hole, it seems to remain tied to the act'al conscio'sness of the moment. The &hole &orld of my tho'ght is hopelessly divided into incomprehensi!le &atertight compartments. 2 co'ld not feel more ignorant, 'ndecided, or inefficient. 2t is appallingly diffic'lt to concentrate, and &riting is pain and grief to me. ?%F@ This is the &orst time of all. 2t makes me s'icidal. =othing seems left to do. 7ll seems insipid P &orthless. -Diar ": 1%$0 (epressives ha!it'ally look on the gloomy side of any B'estion. They come to !elieve that their very e4istence !odes ill for themselves and their families. The f't're is perceived as grim, empty, hellish, and death seems the only escape. (eeply depressed patients are 'na!le to feel emotions at all< the !rain is 'na!le to process even pain. Dften, as if to e4plain to themselves &hy they feel so lo&, they acc'se themselves of terri!le sins, or of !eing responsi!le for family tragedies. )ometimes they hear voices &hich make these acc'sations for them, and e4periencing these hall'cinations f'rther convinces them that they are deservedly losing their minds.?%%@ The messages of these voices are 's'ally related to the content of their partic'lar del'sion concerning -or e4planation of0 their e4periences. 2f a patient e4plains his depressive fears as feelings of persec'tion ->2 feel so scared, someone m'st &ant to kill me>0, the voices are 's'ally !erating or derogatory. 2f he finds thematic 'nity in a general nihilism ->*ife is terri!le, &orthless< total n'clear annihilation is 'navoida!le>0, the voices may threaten doom and destr'ction. Beca'se any theory 'sed to e4plain o'r personal e4perience affects ho& &e make decisions, the decision to die is th's a freB'ent feat're of the depressive state. 7t least 1. percent of manic5

depressives, if left 'ntreated, commit s'icide< this is thirty times the rate fo'nd in the general pop'lation and is higher than for any other psychiatric or medical risk gro'p.?%9@ B't +inok'r fo'nd that an over&helming %2 percent of his depressed 1 .9 1 !ipolar patients had s'icidal r'minations.?9#@ Th's, it is diffic'lt to tell &ho &ill attempt s'icide and &ho &ill not: even seemingly strong people &ith a &ide range of personal assets may, &hen depressed, reinterpret those assets as lia!ilities -e.g., am!ition is no longer seen as a positive sign of s'ccess !'t as an empty gest're or r'de p'shiness or an 'nforgiva!le crime at the e4pense of others0. )'icide itself is not a relia!le indicator of strength of character or ne'roticism, or the B'ality of the s'icide:s previo's life, or the amo'nt of s'pport and love given !y family and friends.?91@ 9or some patients, it is the memory of happiness once kno&n, or even the potential for f't're happiness that no& seems !eyond reach, that makes their despair seem 'nend'ra!le.?92@ Pointing o't a depressive:s availa!le reso'rces or opport'nities for satisfaction -the love of his family, his potential for s'ccess, etc.0 may only e4acer!ate his sense of the internal a!yss that separates him from &hat he feels he needs most. )ome s'icidal patients are very adept at disg'ising their hopelessness, especially if a resol'tion to end their misery offers them their only hope, in &hich case they can appear calm and in !etter spirits shortly !efore they kill themselves.?9"@ Aoreover, s'icidal tendencies are often masked< they can occ'r in the a!sence of del'sions, hall'cinations, or psychomotor retardation, and the patient may not voice self5destr'ctive &ishes.?9E@ Clinicians and family mem!ers m'st look for other, s'!tler symptoms: alcoholism, insomnia, loss of &eight and appetite, irreg'lar heart rhythm, recklessness, social &ithdra&al. +hy did +oolf kill herselfC Psychoanalyst 7lma Bond devotes an entire !ook to the B'estion of Who )illed Virginia Woolf* and finds, predicta!ly eno'gh, too many readily availa!le ans&ers: the threat of a Ierman invasion, 3irginia:s fear of !ecoming an inescapa!le !'rden to her ,e&ish h's!and, her !elief that her sister, 3anessa, &as &ithholding her love, her kno&ledge that her les!ian lover &as 'nfaithf'l, her anger that *eonard &as domineering, her despair at the tho'ght that she might lose the po&er to &rite. +ith so many reasons for s'icide, &o'ldn:t an emotionally &eak &oman !e over&helmed and offer 's a compelling, dramatic clima4 to a life of ne'rotic conflictC Bond:s spec'lation !egins &ell eno'gh: she &onders &hy +oolf killed herself &hen so many other people at the time end'red similar trials. Beca'se she is a 9re'dian, Bond e4plains +oolf:s v'lnera!ilities !y privileging -first hypothesi8ing the e4istence of0 'nconscio's conflicts. 2nvasion, infidelity, loss, self5deval'ation6all !ecome more than 3irginia can !ear, not !eca'se they are in themselves 'n!eara!le !'t !eca'se they replicated her 'ntimely &eaning as a si45&eek5old !a!y, her mother:s emotional distance, the infant 3irginia:s masochistic &ish to 1 $# 1 s'rrender to a defensively ideali8ed mother, the da'ghter 3irginia:s envy of her father:s penis, and the sister 3irginia:s se4'al a!'se at the hands of her half5!rothers. 7s 's'al in a 9re'dian landscape, family life is hell< &hy else &o'ld anyone fall illC Bond still relies on 9re'd:s si4ty5five5year5old description of psychosis as an 'nreconciled conflict !et&een the ego and an intolera!le reality and on ,aco!son:s thirty5three5year5old idea that manic5depressives e4perience prono'nced shifts in mood and self5esteem !eca'se an immat're s'perego has failed to mod'late psychic energy -primarily anger to&ard parents, in mania, and anger to&ard self, in depression0.?9.@ 7sserting, &ith confidence, that "all del$sions reflect the central conflict of a tormented psyche,> Bond &orks !ack&ard to reconcile &hat &o'ld appear to her -indeed, to any!ody &ho en;oys a reasona!le sense of reality granted !y sanity and sta!le

!rain chemistry0 to !e the only >meaningf'l> conflict.?9$@ >=o!ody has e4plained to my satisfaction &hat !ro'ght on that last attack> of 19E1, Bond states. 2f personal satisfaction is the prime reB'isite, the clos're of death reB'ires an artf'l, even melodramatic e4planation: 3irginia +oolf &as not an integrated individ'al. )he la!ored all her life to consolidate her personality, &ith only temporary s'ccess. . . 2n my opinion, there &as one means left to 3irginia to 'nite her discordant selves: 2n her death she discovered the &ay to integrate the >orts, scraps, and fragments> -+oolf, 19E1, p. 21.0 of her splintered so'l. Then at last the important strains of her life6incl'ding the 'ntimely disr'ption of the sym!iosis &ith her mother and her early loss again thro'gh death, the highly am!ivalent relationship &ith her father, the sadomasochistic interaction &ith her sister 3anessa, the loss of 3ita as her lover, 3irginia:s disill'sionment &ith *eonard and the >p'nct'ring> of the family myth, the frightf'l e4perience of the &ar in the light of her ina!ility to deal &ith aggression, and the death of Tho!y and many of her friends, &hich reenacted the early tra'matic deaths of her adolescence6all intermingled to c'lminate in her final act at the river D'se.?9F@ *ike the concl'sion of a melodramatic 3ictorian novel, Bond:s version of +oolf:s death threads disparate strands together in an aesthetically satisfying ending. (o manic5depressives think a!o't s'icide in s'ch pathetic termsC )ometimes, !'t only &hen depressed. Hla!orated reasons for a tragically appropriate end fill in the !lank nothingness of depression, e4pressing its corrosive po&er of shaping perception and cognition so that past events seem omino'sly prophetic. +hen the patient is e'thymic or manic, these same memories take on entirely different connotations: >Ay 1 $1 1

9ig're 1. Peak Dcc'rrence of )'icide !y Aonth -Based on revie& of $1 st'dies. ,amison ?MDI 2E"@0 mother:s death !lighted my life forever> then !ecomes >Ay mother:s death h'rt, !'t it ta'ght me to appreciate life more.> Unfort'nately, psychoanalysts are compelled !y 9re'dian theory to vie& a patient:s e'thymic disavo&al of 'nhappiness or despondency as a manic defense, or at least a ne'rotic repression. This theoretical position ass'mes, ar!itrarily and destr'ctively -for the patient0, that the depressed vie& is the "tr$e" e4pression of the patient:s deepest, most a'thentic feelings. By foc'sing on depression, 9re'dians red'ce the three states of !ipolar disorder -manic, e'thymic, depressive0 to one state and inadvertently enco'rage the patient to think of his depressed self and its sad history fiction of fated disappointments as most central to his identity. This clinical e4aggeration of the significance of the patient:s ill tho'ghts over his &ell tho'ghts can lead, tragically, to even more s'icides. +hy did +oolf dieC +e m'st relinB'ish the demand for an ans&er that satisfies o$r need for narrative 'nity. )t'dies s'ggest that the freB'ency of manic5depressive relapses increases &ith age,?9%@ so perhaps +oolf died for nothing more meaningf'l than the fact that the !iochemistry of aging !odies changes and intensifies depression. Dr perhaps it &as the season. There is a striking peak incidence of s'icide in Aay, a rise that !egins in Aarch -see 9ig're 10, as do the rates of hospital admissions for

depression< 1 $2 1 affective disorders are intimately connected to the !ody:s circadian and seasonal rhythms. )o perhaps +oolf died !eca'se age and &inter com!ined to e4acer!ate depression. 7 third possi!ility e4ists: +oolf:s last physician, Dctavia +il!erforce, s'spected in 19E# that her patient might !e an alcoholic. 2f +oolf, like ". percent of other manic5depressives, medicated herself &ith alcohol in the last year of her life, the res'lting ne'rochemical changes co'ld have contri!'ted to the severity of her last depression and increased the risk of s'icide.?99@ 2n the end, &e cannot hope f'lly to e4plain +oolf:s s'icide !y means of tra'matic events in her life. (epression alters the patient:s perception of the story line of those events, and it &o'ld !e a matter of !lind l'ck -or an e4pression of mood disorder in o'rselves0 if &e co'ld empathi8e so completely as to see her death &ith her eyes. 2t is tempting to approach psychotic thinking as if it &ere ;'st a matter of conflicted thinking resolva!le !y therape'tic insight, to ass'me that del'sions relia!ly provide the c'rative cl'e. B't s'ch a perspective o!literates the tro'!ling diff7rance of insanity -the depressive lives in the same &orld of !l'e skies, comforta!le ho'ses, clean parks, !o'ntif'l malls, and loving families that yo' and 2 do !'t, perversely, feels tort'red and damned !y it all0. D'r s'perior attit'de to&ard people &ho resort to s'icide tells more of o'r needs and &ishes than of those of the deceased. 2ronically, altho'gh s'icide can seem the most personal of all o'r life decisions, it can also !e the most impersonal, for the !iology of o'r !rains operates in &ays that may seem most inh'man. To e4plain &hy +oolf died &e m'st e4plain &hy anyone dies6of disease, of in;'ry, of !irth defects. . . . D'r free &ill is only one element in a comple4 config'ration of forces interacting in &ays that are often !eyond o'r 'nderstanding. To dramati8e this violation of ego:s need for contin'ity in psycho!iography, my disc'ssion of +oolf:s death appears here, rather than in the last chapter of this !ook. 2t ends &itho't concl'sion, as so m'ch in life does. Biology has profo'nd personal conseB'ences that invade the most private realms of o'r so'ls, o'r character, o'r self5insight. Perhaps this is no&here more floridly depicted than in depression:s po&er to ind'ce a false sense of g'ilt. K'minations on g'ilt are seen in one5third of depressed patients.?1##@ 9irst, they feel ashamed of losing control, of !ehaving !i8arrely, of ind'lging in violent o't!'rsts against those they love the most. 2f they do permanently alienate their loved ones, desertion and chronic loneliness may !e taken as proving depression:s insidio's &hisper that they are 'nlova!le and 'nforgiva!le. 2f the loved one does not 'nderstand the impersonal origins of these er'ptions of rage or distortions of personality 1 $" 1 and desire, he or she may, implicitly or e4plicitly, reinforce the depressive:s nearly 'n!eara!le self5 condemnation. +e read of the s'icides of estranged spo'ses and re;ected lovers in the ne&spapers every day, !'t &e 's'ally do not think !eyond a tepid condemnation of their &eakness of character or lack of foresight. +e forget )atan:s admonition in &aradise #ost that >the mind is its o&n place, and in itself, Can make a heav:n of hell, a hell of heav:n.>?1#1@ )econd, depressives feel g'ilt for &hich they cannot find a valid ca'se. They tend to think !ack over the years and center o!sessively on some past event6an 'npardona!le sin -to e4plain their hopelessness and g'ilt0, or a tra'matic e4perience -to e4plain their helplessness and life:s emptiness0, or the loss of a significant person -to e4plain their e4traordinary sense of a!andonment and loneliness0.

Gere emotion often serves as an informational c'e: !ipolars tend to remem!er positive e4periences &hen in a positive mood, negative e4periences in negative moods.?1#2@ 7n emotional state may infl'ence memory storage and access.?1#"@ )t'dies have fo'nd that depressed patients are !etter a!le to recall &ords &ith negative content or negative e4periences than positive &ords or e4periences.?1#E@ The tragedy that seemed to +oolf to e4plain her emptiness, despair, and lack of a sta!le self5str'ct're &as the loss of her mother in 1%9.. ,'lia:s s'dden death apparently triggered 3irginia:s first manic5 depressive !reakdo&n, !'t, more important6for +oolf and for 's6it !ecame +oolf:s metaphor for the !irth of a !ipolar identity, the stream in &hich she pict'red herself as a fish, fi4ed, >held in place> !y >invisi!le presences> -Mo,ents of Being %#0. 2t offered a coherent story line for e4periences that &o'ld other&ise seem senseless and impersonal. 2f personal history provides no s'ch em!lematic event, some depressives &ill castigate themselves for sins that are entirely imaginary or that they themselves cannot remem!er. 7fter an 'ns'ccessf'l attempt at s'icide -like +oolf, he ;'mped o't of a &indo&0, Clifford Beers interpreted everything that happened to him in terms of his despondency and g'ilt. +hen doctors applied hot po'ltices to his !roken feet, his >very active association of mad ideas convinced me that 2 &as !eing :s&eated:>6given the >third degree> !y police intent 'pon gaining a confession from him for an 'nkno&n crime< >&ith an insane ingen'ity 2 managed to connect myself &ith almost every crime of importance of &hich 2 had ever read.>?1#.@ 2t is not the sin itself that is important, not even as a hypothetical, 'nconscio's &ish. The patient sei8es 'pon sin as the only ca'se to !e fo'nd for an indefina!le despair. Dne patient 1 $E 1 admitted to having committed the 'nforgiva!le sin !'t &hen ?the psychiatrist@, very interestedly, tried to find o't the a&f'l details, he replied >That:s ;'st it, 2 don:t kno& &hat it is>. The content of these ideas and del'sions is consonant &ith the patients: personalities and activities. Th's a television ne&scaster felt that he &as involved in a recent m'rder that had evoked m'ch p'!licity. 7 conscientio's doctor &as convinced that he had poisoned a patient -act'ally alive and &ell0 &ith an overdose of a dr'g in his prescription.?1#$@ *eonard had s'spicions that 3irginia:s depressed g'ilt had no simple origin: Pervading her insanity generally there &as al&ays a sense of some g'ilt, the origin and e4act nat're of &hich 2 co'ld never discover. . . . 2n the early ac'te, s'icidal stage of the depression, she &o'ld sit for ho'rs over&helmed &ith hopeless melancholia, silent, making no response to anything said to her. 3Beginning Again 1$"0 Dther depressives fill the void !y developing fi4ed false !eliefs that sym!oli8e their present mental states: they are g'ilty of having &ished their parents dead, Iod has ref'sed to forgive them for alienating the affections of a past lover, they are !eing spied on and persec'ted, they have no intestines, their !rains are rotting, the f'rnit're in a room has !een altered simply to irritate them, they have !ecome the foc's of 'niversal a!horrence, or the &orld itself is disintegrating or pl'nging to&ard 7rmageddon !eca'se of their personal inadeB'acies and fail'res.?1#F@ 2n s'ch a moral nightmare, s'icide &o'ld seem a &elcome release or at least an appropriate concl'sion to a narrative of 'tter hopelessness. =o &onder, then, that 9re'dians descri!ed s'ch negativity as a self5ind'ced attack on the ego. )ince, as they sa& it, all matters of p'nitive conscience arose from the s'perego, depression served to convince them that the s'perego co'ld !e vicio's, even homicidal. B't since ne'roscience sho&s 's that a depressive symptom can !e elicited !y the administration of certain dr'gs, !y illness, or !y !rain in;'ry, &e m'st &onder if the attack is al&ays >motivated>:can the s'perego !e t'rned on and off !y physical changesC 7 specific depressive symptom may !e the res'lt of an 'nconscio's conflict and !e a

good candidate for psychoanalysis, !'t glo!al despair more likely has its so'rce in a ne'ronal system that mediates all perceptions, feelings, and !eliefs. Beca'se depressives are convinced they have !een singled o't for their personal shortcomings, they feel doomed, disconnected from the &orld, yet v'lnera!le to attack.?1#%@ (epressives: striking passivity led +illard Iaylin 1 $. 1 to descri!e the symptoms of depression as >non5symptoms.> =ormally, in ne'rosis, symptoms are attempts to compromise one:s &ay o't of a conflict sit'ation< they are reparative mane'vers e4ec'ted !y the threatened ego. B't in endogeno's depression, Iaylin o!served, reparative mechanisms are at a minim'm. (epressives are not victims of ill'sions: they have no ill'sions6and no protection against a dark &orld that is empty of meaning !eca'se the self has no po&er to create a satisfactory meaning. ?1#9@ This prod'ces a pro!lem for the analyst, &ho m'st rely in part on the patient for his diagnosis. (epressed patients cannot al&ays give tr'e acco'nts of themselves, for mood is diffic'lt to ga'ge< it 'ndermines the !rain:s capacity to achieve self5insight, interpret e4perience, and make ;'dgments a!o't &hether a present mental state conflicts &ith past states.?11#@ 2n the manic state the omnipotent s'!;ective &orld dominates the o!;ective, !'t the depressive state reverses these positions, rendering self po&erless, hopeless, &orthless, and 'ncreative, &itho't even the desire to defend itself against its o&n perceptions. +hen !iochemistry falters, the !rain:s a!ility to disting'ish incoming from self5generated stim'li is 'nderc't< interpretations !ecome either predominantly positive or predominantly negative, depending on mood. 2f they are negative, the self feels impotent and the &orld seems hideo'sly empty and malevolent. 7ltho'gh the patient may seem the pict're of 'ncontrolla!le tearf'lness and !itter sorro&, to him his emotions may seem >!locked> or >fro8en,> and so he may e4perience his self as 'nreal or as an open &o'nd that &ill never heal.?111@ Ge feels tr'ly depersonali8ed, self5less. )'icide looks attractive !eca'se the mind is already e4periencing a death of the so'l. +oolf:s depressions e4hi!ited most of these symptoms, and she distinctly perceived their physical dimension: 2 kno& the feeling no&, &hen 2 can:t spin a sentence, P sit m'm!ling P t'rning< P nothing flits !y my !rain &hich is as a !lank &indo&. )o 2 sh't my st'dio door, P go to !ed, st'ffing my ears &ith r'!!er< P there 2 lie a day or t&o. 7nd &hat leag'es 2 travel in the timeQ )'ch >sensations> spread over my spine P head directly 2 give them the chance< s'ch an e4aggerated tiredness< s'ch ang'ishes P despairs< P heavenly relief P rest< P then misery again. =ever &as anyone so tossed 'p P do&n !y the !ody as 2 am, 2 think. -Diar ": 1FE0 2n fact, many of her descriptions of symptoms that precede !reakdo&ns emphasi8ed physical changes: headaches or n'm!ness in the head, insomnia, nervo's irritation, a strong imp'lse to re;ect food.?112@ Aore important, she recogni8ed that s'ch physical changes had psychological conseB'ences: 1 $$ 1 This is the &orst time of all. 2t makes me s'icidal. =othing seems left to do. 7ll seems insipid P &orthless. . . . Aercif'lly, =essa is !ack. Ay earth is &atered again. 2 go !ack to &ords of one sylla!le: feel come over me the feathery change: rather tr'e that: as if my physical !ody p't on some soft comforta!le, skin. -Diar ": 1%$0

The physicality of manic5depressive illness can help 's differentiate it diagnostically, in fo'r &ays, from the 9re'dian notion of ne'rotic depression. 9irst, +oolf 's'ally connected her depressions to physical changes or ailments that accompanied or preceded mood s&ings, an association research has sho&n does e4ist in mood disorders &ith strong !iochemical components, tho'gh seldom in psychological mood disorders. )econd, she &as often a!le to state the time of onset of illness: &hereas ne'rotic5reactives find it diffic'lt to determine &hen they shift moods, manic5depressives can sometimes date onset to &ithin the ho'r: 2 &oke to a sense of fail're P hard treatment. This persisted, one &ave !reaking after another, all day long. +e &alked on the river !ank in a cold &ind, 'nder a grey sky. Both agreed that life seen &itho't ill'sion is a ghastly affair. 2ll'sions &o'ldn:t come !ack. Go&ever they ret'rned a!o't %."#, in front of the fire, P &ere going merrily till !edtime, &hen some antics ended the day. -Diar 1: F"0 Third, ne'rosis rarely interferes &ith reality testing -that is, it is not accompanied !y vis'al hall'cinations0, and it is often seen !y the patient himself to occ'r as a response to a tra'matic life event. Aanic5depressive illness, in contrast, often inhi!its reality testing and freB'ently occ'rs &itho't any discerni!le e4terior >psychological> ca'se 'nless physical stress accompanies it. 7nd, fo'rth, in endogeno's mood s&ings, symptoms tend to !e more severe and more freB'ent than in ne'rosis. The patient perceives his illness more clearly as a distinct change from his 's'al self and complains more often of a loss of pleas're in activity and a loss of reactivity to 's'ally pleas'ra!le stim'li,?11"@ as in these descriptions !y +oolf of t&o depressions and their effect on her sense of self: Gere is a &hole nervo's !reakdo&n in miniat're. +e came on T'esday. )ank into a chair, co'ld scarcely rise< everything insipid< tasteless, colo'rless. Hnormo's desire for rest. . . . ?7@voided speech< co'ld not read. Tho'ght of my o&n po&er of &riting &ith veneration, as of something incredi!le, !elonging to someone else< never again to !e en;oyed !y me. Aind a !lank. )lept in my chair. Th'rsday. =o pleas're in life &hatsoever. . . . Character P idiosyncracy as 3irginia 1 $F 1 +oolf completely s'nk o't. G'm!le P modest. (iffic'lty in thinking &hat to say. -Diar ": 1#"0 ?2t:s@ a physical feeling as if 2 &ere dr'mming slightly in the veins: very cold: impotent: P terrified. 7s if 2 &ere e4posed on a high ledge in f'll light. 3ery lonely. *?eonard@. o't to l'nch. =essa has O'entin P don:t &ant me. 3ery 'seless. =o atmosphere aro'nd me. =o &ords. 3ery apprehensive. 7s if something cold P horri!le6a roar of la'ghter at my e4pense &ere a!o't to happen. 7nd 2 am po&erless to &ard it off: 2 have no protection. 7nd this an4iety P nothingness s'rro'nd me &ith a vac''m. -Diar .: $"0 *ike Khoda in The Waves! the depressed +oolf feels naked and v'lnera!le, stripped of all ill'sions, as empty on the inside as the &orld seems to !e on the o'tside. 2t has long !een noted that depressed patients often identify the self &ith the e4ternal &orld,?11E@ and this conf'sion !et&een inner and o'ter destroys the perceiver:s sense of an a'tonomo's identity. 7ll of +oolf:s &orst fears seem validated !y &hat she perceives. 2n !oth of the episodes B'oted a!ove, self is !lank, &ith no capacity to generate meaning or fiction, &hich &o'ld at least provide evidence that self e4isted. The sit'ation is do'!ly diffic'lt for a female depressive, since society tends to deny val'e and po&er to &omen:s selves. 9iction, ho&ever, co'ld, like a mother, like the mother 3irginia had lost, validate and n'rt're. Th's ,'lia !ecame a cr'cial em!lematic part of +oolf:s fictional &orld, &hich she conscio'sly and

repeatedly 'sed to e4plore !oth her illness and her &ellness. +oolf needed to re&ork her e4periences in fiction !eca'se in depression perceptions defy synthesis: the !rain is incapa!le of integrating the f'll spectr'm of the individ'al:s feelings and desires, past or present. 7 &all of overly negative perceptions is raised that fr'strates attempts !y the therapist to cheer the patient. Gelpless and over&helmed !y despair, +oolf felt as if the >veils of ill'sion> had !een dra&n, leaving her >to face a &orld from &hich all heart, charity, kindness and &orth had vanished> -#etters ": .#0, feeling a >horror6physically like a painf'l &ave s&elling a!o't the heart6tossing me 'p . . . spreading o't over me. . . . Dne goes do&n into the &ell P nothing protects one from the assa'lt of tr'th> -Diar ": 11#/120. Met, even in the depths of despair +oolf fo'nd something of val'e to &ork &ith in her novels, a >tr'th> not glamori8ed or distorted !y h'man ill'sions and h'man vanity. This tr'th &as th's potentially inh'man, perhaps even ine4pressi!le !'t certainly felt, and it contained the essence of reality that the >egotistical> manic +oolf overlooked. ,'st as the manic:s >tr'th> reveals rampant s'!;ectivity, &ith &ishes and ill'sory 1 $% 1 theories leveling o't am!ig'ities and distinctions, the depressive:s vision seems to him to 'nveil a severely o!;ective tr'th, the &orld of stark o!;ects 'nmolested !y &ishf'l thinking or vanity, as +oolf reports: The depression ho&ever no& takes the &holesome form of feeling perfectly certain that nothing 2 can do matters, so that one is !oth content P irresponsi!le62:m not s're that this isn:t a happier state than the e4alted state of the ne&ly praised. 7t least one has nothing to fear. -Diar 1: 21E0

Identit& and 4i/olarit&


2f o'r sense of self is e4pressed in o'r &ords and actions, then +oolf:s pro!lem as a &riter &as to find a self 'nderlying her disparate e4periences, &hat she called >a core> in this 1921 letter to )ydney +aterlo&: Mo' say people drop yo', and don:t &ant to see yo'. 2 don:t agree. Df co'rse 2 'nderstand that &hen one feels, as yo' feel, &itho't a core6it 'sed to !e a very familiar feeling to me 6then all one:s e4ternal relations !ecome fe!rile and 'nreal. Dnly they aren:t to other people. 2 mean, yo'r e4istence is to 's, for e4ample, a real and very important fact. -#etters 2: E..0 +oolf 'nderstood +aterlo&:s sit'ation !eca'se mood disorders have a po&erf'l effect on a patient:s sense of self, as one psychiatrist has o!served: 2 contend that !eca'se of the nat're of this illness affective patients emerge &ith partic'lar pro!lems in organi8ing a sense of self that are specific to this illness. . . . +hen a patient has a ma;or affective episode, his or her normal self disappears. The patient !ecomes someone foreign, another self. By definition, this self has a different affective organi8ation from the normal self. There are different tho'ghts, !ehaviors, and personality traits. Physiological rhythms and drives are dramatically altered. . . . Unipolar patients have t&o personae: depressed and e'thymic, >psycho!iologese> for o't5 of5episode. Bipolars have three: depressed, manic or hypomanic, and e'thymic. . . . The spectre of a rec'rrence can !ecome a vivid phantom self, something or someone &ho might

again take them over. +ho, then, is the real self for someone &ho has !een 'p and do&n and in !et&eenC 2s the real self &ho one is &hen one is e'thymicC 2s it possi!le or even necessary to constr'ct a &hole self o't of an amalgam of the >self5in5episode> and >self5 o't5of5episode>C Can this integration ever achieve the same coherence of self5str'ct're that the patient previo'sly took for grantedC 1 $9 1 . . . To s&itch 'npredicta!ly into highs and lo&s that are not in yo'r control, &hen yo' have no clear sense of sta!le, differentiated identity to start &ith, leaves yo' &itho't a critical anchor in a very treachero's storm.?11.@ To the manic5depressive, e4perience is polari8ed, the oppositions 'nderc'tting -deconstr'cting, as it &ere0 each other. Beca'se mood s&ings interfere &ith !oth cognition and memory, patients are left &ith little consistent evidence o't of &hich to integrate disparate e4periences of self. The e'thymic self seems transparent compared to the vivid manic 'ps and depressive do&ns.?11$@ Aanic5depression sho&ed +oolf ho& s'!;ect and o!;ect interact to make meaning< it did so !y periodically revoking meaning, !y polari8ing s'!;ect5o!;ect relations. 7ltho'gh e'thymic manic5 depressives can look !ack over a mood5disordered episode and see ho& &rong they &ere to make deeply gloomy or grandiose assessments of the val'e of life, patients &ho are in the midst of an episode find it diffic'lt, if not impossi!le, to gain self5insight, since they typically over5identify &ith the &orld they see. 7 magically e4panded &orld of mirac'lo's meaning is allied &ith an e4alted e4perience of the manic self perceiving that &orld, &hile a degraded, empty self either sees the &orld as !eing as !arren as itself or, if o!;ects are ideali8ed, a &orld too good for the likes of the depressive. 9iction allo&ed +oolf to e4amine the pieces separately !efore she p't them !ack together in a pattern of her o&n choosing. B't &hat pattern &as rightC 7s they move repeatedly from ill to &ell, manic5depressives tend to >seal over> memories of episodes of ac'te illness<?11F@ 'ndesira!le or even >alien> e4periences or !ehaviors are easily denied or fitted forci!ly into an e4planatory model that filters o't the radical divergences of self and &orld that once &ere so compelling. The patient:s attempts to protect a v'lnera!le self5identity may res'lt in an intolerance for am!ig'ity or novelty?11%@ 6a temptation +oolf herself seems to have resisted s'ccessf'lly !y ackno&ledging the val'e of the divergence itself: B't it is al&ays a B'estion &hether 2 &ish to avoid these glooms. 2n part they are the res'lt of getting a&ay !y oneself, P have a psychological interest &hich the 's'al state of &orking P en;oying lacks. These 9 &eeks give one a pl'nge into deep &aters< &hich is a little alarming, !'t f'll of interest. 7ll the rest of the year one:s -2 daresay rightly0 c'r!ing P controlling this odd immeas'ra!le so'l. +hen it e4pands, tho'gh one is frightened P !ored P gloomy, it is as 2 say to myself, 1 F# 1 a&f'lly B'eer. There is an edge to it &hich 2 feel ?is@ of great importance, once in a &ay. Dne goes do&n into the &ell P nothing protects one from the assa'lt of tr'th. . . . 2 &ished to add some remarks to this, on the mystical side of this solit'de< ho& it is not oneself !'t something in the 'niverse that one:s left &ith. 2t is this that is frightening P e4citing in the midst of my profo'nd gloom, depression, !oredom, &hatever it is. . . . *ife is, so!erly P acc'rately, the oddest affair< has in it the essence of reality. 2 'sed to feel this

as a child6co'ldn:t step across a p'ddle once 2 remem!er, for thinking, ho& strange6&hat am 2C -Diar ": 112/1"0 +oolf gained her perspective on depression !y contrasting it to her manic episodes and !y comparing !oth to the process of creative &riting, &hich involves a similar alternation of creative constr'ction &ith critical revision: 2 tried to analyse my depression: ho& my !rain is ;aded &ith the conflict &ithin of t&o types of tho'ght, the critical, the creative< ho& 2 am harassed !y the strife P ;ar P 'ncertainty &itho't. This morning the inside of my head feels cool P smooth instead of strained P t'r!'lent. -Diar E: 1#"0 )he fo'nd it very diffic'lt to &rite fiction -as opposed to critical revie&s0 &hen she &as depressed: 2ts odd ho& !eing ill even like this splits one 'p into several different people. Gere:s my !rain no& B'ite !right, !'t p'rely critical. 2t can read< it can 'nderstand< !'t if 2 ask it to &rite a !ook it merely gasps. Go& does one &rite a !ookC 2 cant conceive. 2t:s infinitely modest therefore,6my !rain at this moment. -#etters ": "%%0 B't she also reali8ed that hypomania:s energi8ed and inventive fl'ency &as not eno'gh to prod'ce lasting fiction. 7nd so she noted, preparing to ret'rn to her &riting after three &eeks of headache and depression: no& 2 m'st press together< get into the mood P start again. 2 &ant to raise 'p the magic &orld all ro'nd me, P live strongly P B'ietly there for $ &eeks. The diffic'lty is the 's'al one6ho& to ad;'st the t&o &orlds. 2t is no good getting violently e4cited: one m'st com!ine. -Diar E: 2#20 (epression, the critical, co'nter!alanced hypomania, the creative. (epression concentrated and contracted the gregario's +oolf &ho had felt scattered, !'oyant, 'nheedf'l of anything o'tside of her o&n s'!;ective &orld. +hat +oolf needed, therefore, &as a s'!;ective5o!;ective vie& that 1 F1 1 integrated the critical and the creative. )he kne& that only a fle4i!le self5neither a depressive, rigid one nor a manic, scattered one6&as capa!le of artistic f'sion. Hl'cidating this vie& !ecame a central concern in her novels. =one of +oolf:s doctors co'ld satisfactorily e4plain ho& the sane and the insane 3irginias &ere related, !eca'se they did not even recogni8e clearly the symptomatic changes: in their eyes, her illness merely prod'ced an incoherence or self5ind'lgence that &as !est left 'ne4amined. 2ndeed, one of )avage:s colleag'es, Thomas Clifford 7ll!'tt, recommended against m'ch analysis or disc'ssion of mental illness &ith clients: >&e m'st !e&are of p'tting notions into the patient:s head< . . . &e m'st avoid giving the child, or the childish ad'lt, the :form'la for his defects,: lest he act 'p to the character.>?119@ +hen (r. )ains!'ry prescri!ed >HB'animity6practise eB'animity Ars +oolf> -Diar 2: 1%90, 3irginia considered the advice s'perfl'o's. 2n her diary, she contin'ed to pro!e madness: >&hat 'se is there in denying a depression &hich is irrationalC> -Diar 2: 2"20. That is a good B'estion, !'t her doctors &ere not prepared to ask it. *eonard &as c'rio's, !'t 'ntil 3irginia &as past thirty years old he &as 'na!le to see a pattern in her symptoms. By then she had !eg'n e4ploring symptoms in her fictional characters. +oolf:s kno&ledge of her illness &as nonmedical, the res'lt of an ac'te sensitivity to &hat she felt, not of scientific analysis. )he partic'lari8ed the pro!lem of her illness in terms of discovering or creating a sense of self in spite of, !'t also recogni8ing the validity of, the m'ltiplicity of her e4periences. 2n her

diaries and letters she evidenced her a&areness that mood shifts ca'sed her to act against her normal desires and perceptions. To (ora )anger she apologi8ed for previo's hostility: Mo'r letter to *eonard makes me very angry &ith myself. Go& can 2 have !een s'ch a fool as to spoil those days &ith >merciless chaff>C 2t m'st have !een some idiotic mood6 pro!a!ly nervo'sness6on my part. 2 do hope yo' &ill forgive me and !elieve in the sincerity of my affection. -#etters E: 1".0 2t &as &ith this s'!;ective e4perience of the m'ltiplicity of manic5depressive illness that she &orked. >7fter !eing ill and s'ffering every form and variety of nightmare and e4travagant intensity of perception> -#etters E: 2"10, +oolf B'estioned her >terri!le irreg'larities,> her >spasms of one emotion after another> -#etters .: 290. B't instead of disco'nting the >mad> feelings as incoherent and irrelevant -as )avage had done0, or imposing a phallocentric 9re'dian e4planation, she t'rned the iss'e aro'nd and B'estioned 1 F2 1 all mental states6normal or a!normal, in herself and in others6and the 'ne4amined ass'mptions a!o't their integrity: and then there:s the &hole B'estion, &hich interested me, again too m'ch for the !ooks 89ight and Da : sake, 2 daresay, of the things one doesn:t say< &hat effect does that haveC and ho& far do o'r feelings take their colo'r from the dive 'ndergro'ndC 2 mean, &hat is the reality of any feelingC6and all this is f'rther complicated !y the form, &hich m'st sit tight, and perhaps in =ight and (ay, sits too tight< as it &as too loose in The 3oyage D't. -#etters 2: E##0?12#@ The e4perience of mood s&ings challenges o'r f'ndamental !elief in the a'thenticity of identity and the reality of emotion, for the dividing line !et&een &ell and ill feelings is s'rprisingly ten'o's. Aany manic5depressives kno& !y e4perience that a seemingly normal depressive reaction -to !ad ne&s, the loss of a loved one, a marital sB'a!!le0 can sometimes deepen into a ma;or episode of psychotic proportions, or that a feeling of &ell5!eing, or happiness and creativity, can sometimes escalate into hypomania or mania: Aany common emotions range across several mood states, spanning e'thymia, depression, and hypomania. 9or e4ample, irrita!ility and anger can !e a part of normal h'man e4istence or alternately can !e symptoms of !oth depression and hypomania. Tiredness, sadness, and lethargy can !e d'e to normal circ'mstances, medical ca'ses, or clinical depression. 9eeling good, !eing prod'ctive and enth'siastic, and &orking hard can !e either normal or pathognomonic of hypomania. These overlapping emotions can !e conf'sing and aro'se an4iety in many patients, &ho may then B'estion their o&n ;'dgment.?121@ The relationship !et&een ill and &ell emotion &as made f'rther significant for +oolf !eca'se her father, *eslie, treated his o&n mood s&ings as if they &ere legitimate responses to real conditions. Ge demanded from his family consistent s'pport and care &hen an4ieties str'ck him, for he did not B'estion the reality of those >!ad tho'ghts,> or any of his feelings, tho'gh he kne& they &ere at variance &ith his convictions at other times. Carried a&ay !y the conviction of a mood, he angered and alienated loved ones, &hich only e4acer!ated his already shaky self5esteem &hen depressed. +hen &ell, he did not look !eyond his e4panded self5confidence to e4amine critically &hat he had previo'sly felt: he left his e4ha'sted family and vigoro'sly clim!ed alpine mo'ntains. +oolf admitted her divided feelings !y noting that >all interesting people are egoists, perhaps< !'t it is not in itself desira!le> -Diar 1: 1.20 to impose one:s s'!;ective &orld on

1 F" 1 others. )he admired her father:s mind even as she hated his seemingly infantile dependency. Clearly, she chose a different path from his: to think a!o't her mental states, to scale inner mo'ntains rather than o'ter. Hven as early as ,an'ary of 191., after t&o years of rec'rrent and severe !ipolar episodes, +oolf reali8ed that there &as a B'alitative difference !et&een >sane> feelings and >insane> ones: >2 tho'ght ho& happy 2 &as, &itho't any of the e4citements &hich, once, seemed to me to constit'te happiness> -Diar 1: 2#0. 7n essential element of >nat'ral happiness,> as opposed to >intense happiness,> she noted in 192., &as that she felt >sta!ilised once more a!o't the spinal cord> -Diar ": F", E"0. )'ch discriminations helped her reali8e that if feelings can !e fictional, then self is not a given -not given !y !irth, or !y mother, or g'aranteed !y e4aggerated s'pport from a coerced family0 !'t a creation6and, at that, not the old egocentered self of traditional novelists. 7 >modern> self, especially the self of a feminist and a manic5depressive, m'st !e contin'ally created and re5created and reeval'ated. The po&er to give !irth to herself lay solely in her o&n hands. 2n order to >a'thori8e> herself, +oolf contin'ally pro!ed this connection !et&een normal and a!normal mentality, letting each one inform the other, B'estioning not only emotion !'t the self6sane or insane, &hat &as itC Kocked !ack and forth !et&een s'!;ective omnipotence and depersonali8ed impotence, she &ondered &hether self &as merely an ill'sion, a phantom shado& shaped like a h'man !eing: Go& m'ch 2 dictate to other peopleQ Go& often too 2:m silent, ;'dging it 'seless to speak. 2 said ?to Jatherine Aansfield@ ho& my o&n character seemed to c't o't a shape like a shado& in front of me. -Diar 2: $10 +hat she so'ght in her fiction, therefore, &as a marriage of these t&o modes of perception, manic and depressive, the a!ility to imagine &edded to a l'cid recognition of reality, an epiphanic moment &hen her inner !eing and the o'ter &orld cooperated &ith each other, each ratifying the e4istence and the &orth of the other, so that self !ecame more than a &alking shado& or an inflated ego< it !ecame !oth real and invented, like a &ork of art: >2 tho'ght, driving thro'gh Kichmond last night, something very profo'nd a!o't the synthesis of my !eing: ho& only &riting composes it: ho& nothing makes a &hole 'nless 2 am &riting> -Diar E: 1$10< >?2@ &rite rather to sta!ilise myself > -Diar ": 2%F0. Perhaps she &as thinking here of Jatherine Aansfield: >:=othing of any &orth can come of 1 FE 1 a dis'nited !eing:, ?Aansfield@ &rote. Dne m'st have health in one:s self> -5ranite and ;ain+o0 F.0. +oolf too sa& the connection !et&een art and mentality, !'t, as 2 &ill arg'e in the ne4t chapter, she B'estioned the val'e of achieving clos're and certit'de in either. 1 F. 1

6) *4't .hat Is the Meaning of 7E8/lained7 It1* Co'ntertransferen(e and9 Modernism


7s an e4perience, madness is terrific 2 can ass're yo', and not to !e sniffed at< and in its lava 2 still find most of the things 2 &rite a!o't. 2t shoots o't of one everything shaped,

final, not in mere dri!lets, as sanity does. 7nd the si4 months6not three6that 2 lay in !ed ta'ght me a good deal a!o't &hat is called oneself. -#etters E: 1%#0 +riting fiction &as good therapy for +oolf !eca'se, like !ipolar integration, fiction deals &ith s'!;ect5 o!;ect transactions that make a &hole, a meaning that ratifies the integrity of !oth self and te4t. 2t involves a'thors and readers alike in the diffic'lt task ofcreating and et discovering a meaningf'l reading, of reconciling o'r e4perience of the te4t &ith the o!;ective te4t. 7s &e read &e m'st avoid the t&in errors of >depressive> 'nderreading -passively receiving information &itho't pro;ecting into it a !eneficial meaning0 and >manic> overreading -taking o'r interpretive pro;ections to !e in fact the te4t0. 3irginia &as &ell a&are of the !ipolar str'ct're of misreading -Diar 1: 1%E0, as &as her 7'nt 7nny -the novelist 7nne Thackeray Kitchie0, &ho in 1%FE &arned readers that st'dying h'man character, &hether in real life or in fiction, reB'ired a parado4ical com!ination of impartiality and empathy: 2t is diffic'lt, for instance, for a too imp'lsive st'dent not to attri!'te something of his o&n moods to his specimens instead of dispassionately contemplating them from a critical distance, or for a cold5hearted o!server to thro& himself s'fficiently into the spirit of those &hose actions he &o'ld like to interpret. -Toilers "%0 2 !elieve that +oolf:s e4perience of mood shifts !et&een these t&o positions helped her to see that thro'gh an integrative alternation !et&een reception and pro;ection, a creative !'t not del'ded reading might !e achieved. 9iction is intrinsically good gro'nd for e4ploring manic5depressive illness< in !oth, making interpretations is the cr'4 of the pro!lem. 2nterpretation is a f'nction of identity, as =orman =. Golland has arg'ed, since each reader !rings to the e4perience of a te4t a ha!it'al style 1 F$ 1 of coping &ith the &orld. +hat &e see is related to &ho &e are< o'r reading tends to replicate o'rselves. Golland theori8es that all readers adapt perceptions defensively in the service of infantile, distorted, and conflicted adaptive strategies in order to protect their >identity theme> from incongr'ent e4perience.?1@ 2 agree that many readers do misread, !'t not all, and not all the time< neither self nor te4t is static in everyone. Aarshall +. 7lcorn, ,r., and Aark Bracher arg'e that literat're ind'ces some readers to confront ideas and feelings that are alien to their ha!it'al &ays of seeing the &orld. 7lcorn and Bracher !ase their arg'ment on Ieorges Po'let:s idea that >&hen one reads any te4t, one:s o&n identity is set aside and the te4t constit'tes a ne& s'!;ectivity &ithin oneself> that initially is dist'r!ing. )ince >reading introd'ces alien tho'ghts into conscio'sness> and since > :every tho'ght m'st have a s'!;ect to think it, this tho$ght &hich is alien to me and yet in me, m'st also have in me a s$+<ect &hich is alien to me.:>?2@ Th's, literat're helps 's to e4perience previo'sly 'ndiscovered parts of o'rselves, parts &hich can feel and empathi8e and 'nderstand alien e4periences< if &e tolerate the insec'rity and chaos attending incongr'ence and if &e resist defensive strategies, then &e may re5form the self !y conscio'sly integrating &hat had !een 'nrecogni8ed. Dnce &e are >occ'pied> !y the tho'ghts of the a'thor, &e dra& ne& s'!;ect5o!;ect !o'ndaries, discovering or re5forming o'r ha!it'al self !y taking in &hat had !een the >not5self.>?"@ *ike the manic5depressive &ho seeks the incl'sive self !y repeatedly confronting the misinterpretations of the ill selves, readers need to deal &ith the inevita!le, irred'ci!le, and ine4ha'sti!le discrepancies !et&een the te4t:s o!;ective feat'res and the self:s s'!;ective response to that te4t !efore they can !egin to 'nderstand the te4t and themselves in ne& &ays. *iterat're is, then, more than a mirror passively

reflecting o'r image: it is like (. +. +innicott:s notion of a >good eno'gh> mother -and the >good eno'gh> psychotherapist0 &ho offers her child the opport'nity to interact &ith her, misread her, correct misreadings !y confronting her o!;ective reality and recogni8ing the child:s o&n part in pro;ecting self5 deceptive meaning onto her, and th's come to discover and define itself thro'gh its o!;ect5relations &ith her.?E@ +hat is essential, in 'nderstanding !oth literat're and manic5depressive illness, is the a!ility to open oneself 'p to e4periences, reactions, emotions, and ideas that do not slavishly reinforce o'r defensive, narro&, entrenched strategies for coping &ith self5&orld transactions. Perhaps this affinity !et&een art and mood shifts e4plains &hy so many artists s'ffered from affective disorders. (oni8etti, Beethoven, Aahler, 1 FF 1 Kachmaninoff, (ickens, K'skin, Gopkins, (ante Ia!riel Kossetti, 3an Iogh, Pollack, Poe, Hmerson, Geming&ay, )e4ton, Koethke, Ko!ert *o&ell, ,ean5,acB'es Ko'ssea', ,ohnson, Byron, )helley, Ioethe, Chopin, Chekov, )ch'mann, and Co&per are !'t a fe& &ho e4perienced prono'nced variations in mood that seemed to contri!'te to their creativity.?.@ 7ltho'gh 'nipolar depressions occ'r in only . percent of the general pop'lation, and !ipolar in a mere 1 percent, a recent st'dy of forty5 seven accomplished British &riters and artists fo'nd that "% percent had !een treated for an affective illness< three5fo'rths of those treated had !een given antidepressants or lithi'm or had !een hospitali8ed. The great ma;ority of the s'!;ects -%9 percent0 reported hypomanic states d'ring intense, creative moments, and a third e4perienced severe mood s&ings.?$@ 7 similar s'rvey of &riters at the University of 2o&a +riters: +orkshop, the oldest and most &idely recogni8ed creative &riting program in the United )tates, fo'nd a strong association !et&een creativity and mood disorders: %# percent of the &riters had had a mood disorder at some time in their lives, compared &ith "# percent of the control s'!;ects. Aoreover, a s'rprisingly high percentage -E" percent0 of these illnesses &as !ipolar, in comparison &ith 1# percent of the controls -schi8ophrenia had no association &ith creativity0. The st'dy concl'ded that mood disorder may !e >!oth a :hereditary taint: and a hereditary gift.>?F@ 9'lly 9# percent of the hypomanic &riters and artists in the British st'dy themselves stated that s'ch moods &ere either integral and necessary -$# percent0 or very important -"# percent0 to their &ork.?%@ Dther st'dies have sho&n that creative persons e4perience a heightening of senses typical of hypomanic states and have an enhanced capacity for feeling and a keener a&areness of mood s&ings -!oth of &hich provide fresh material for their creative &ork0. Aood s&ings, &hether mild or severe, intensify and vary the individ'al:s e4pectations, !eliefs, and insights into h'man nat're, life, and Iod. 7s one patient p't it: )o &hy &o'ld 2 &ant anything to do &ith this illnessC Beca'se 2 honestly !elieve that as a res'lt of it 2 have felt more things, more deeply< had more e4periences, more intensely< loved more, and !een more loved< la'ghed more often for having cried more often< appreciated more the springs, for all the &inters< &orn death >as close as d'ngarees,> appreciated it6and life6more< seen the finest and the most terri!le in people, and slo&ly learned the val'es of caring, loyalty, and seeing things thro'gh. 2 think 2 have seen the !readth and depth and &idth of my mind and heart, and seen ho& frail they !oth are, and ho& 1 F% 1 'ltimately 'nkno&a!le they !oth are. . . . 7nd 2 think m'ch of this is related to my illness6

the intensity it gives to things and the perspective it forces on me. 2 think it has made me test the limits of my mind.?9@ 7 mood disorder !rings depth to an artist:s &ork and sense of reality, foc'sing attention critically in the lo&s, e4panding his or her scope in the highs, integrating 7lcorn and Bracher:s >alien s'!;ect> into his or her ha!it'al, e'thymic identity.?1#@ 2n terms of cognitive style, creative persons share a n'm!er of characteristics &ith hypomanic patients: e4pansiveness of tho'ght, grandiosity of mood, and 'n's'al fl'ency of &ords and ideas.?11@ Creative thinking, like mild mania, demonstrates &ord fl'ency, associational fl'ency -prod'ction of synonyms0, e4pressional fl'ency -rapid ;'4taposition of phrases0, ideational fl'ency, spontaneo's fle4i!ility -a!ility to prod'ce a great variety of ideas across vario's categories0, and adaptive fle4i!ility -creating 'n's'al sol'tions to pro!lems0.?12@ 9inally, creative individ'als engage in far more divergent than convergent thinking. 2n convergent thinking there is almost al&ays one concl'sion that is regarded as 'niB'ely right< efforts are channeled in the direction of that ans&er. 2n divergent thinking there is m'ch searching a!o't or going off in vario's directions< no 'niB'e concl'sion is e4pected or so'ght. This kind of >free &riting> is e4emplified in a playf'l, aimless and hypomanic entry to +oolf:s diary in 192.: 7 disgracef'l fact62 am &riting this at 1# in the morning in !ed in the little room looking into the garden, the s'n !eaming steady, the vine leaves transparent green, P the leaves of the apple tree so !rilliant that, as 2 had my !reakfast, 2 invented a little story a!o't a man &ho &rote a poem, 2 think, comparing them &ith diamonds, P the spiders &e!s -&hich glance P disappear astonishingly0 &ith something or other else: &hich led me to think of Aarvell on a co'ntry life, so to Gerrick, P the reflection that m'ch of it &as dependent 'pon the to&n P gaiety6a reaction. Go&ever, 2 have forgotten the facts. 2 am &riting this partly to test my poor !'nch of nerves at the !ack of my neck6&ill they hold or give again, as they have done so oftenC6for 2:m amphi!io's still, in !ed P o't of it< partly to gl't my itch ->gl't> and >itch>Q0 for &riting. -Diar ": E#0 2ntensified sensory perceptions and a love of the so'nd of lang'age com!ine &ith associational play to defy -or at least postpone0 clos're in an 'ncontrolled narrative. Pointless !'t pleas'ra!le, hypomanic tho'ghts contin'ally enrich and delight. 1 F9 1 These t&o cognitive styles, convergent and divergent, are divided according to mood in creative &ork. 2n one st'dy, nineteen spontaneo's dra&ings &ere o!tained from a rapid5cycling -every t&enty5fo'r ho'rs0 manic5depressive patient. The dra&ings sho&ed that different colors, linear styles, config'rations, organi8ation, and affect &ere associated &ith mania and &ith depression. The dra&ings prod'ced d'ring depressive days centered on prisons, cages, tom!s, and coffins, &hereas manic days res'lted in images of !'rsting o't. (epressive sym!ols tended to !e concentrically and tightly organi8ed, forms &ithin forms, &hile manic sym!ols often &ere energetic spirals &ith m'ch motion: manic dra&ings &ere more likely to !e vivid, f'll of motion and !old lines, !'sy, conf'sed, and characteri8ed !y anger, sens'o'sness, &ildness, and e!'llience. (epressed dra&ings &ere pale, tentative, static, tight, and characteri8ed !y listlessness, hopelessness, emptiness, less affect, and a sense of !eing trapped or enclosed.?1"@ )'ch shifts in style and str'ct're help artists achieve fl'ency &ith their material, >p'shing !ack the envelope> !efore &orrying a!o't content. Aood disorder itself, of co'rse, cannot prod'ce art< the artist m'st have talent and m'st !e a!le to integrate the >&ild> &ith the >enclosed.>?1E@ B't depression is a

definite asset if it teaches timely restraint and o!;ect5relational h'mility, &hereas hypomania provides increased energy, enhanced performance and perception, freer tho'ght processes, and, perhaps most cr'cially, the e4'!erant self5confidence to risk one:s most private vision and skill in a p'!lic medi'm. Hven the vision itself threatens the sense of sec'rity: 9rom virt'ally all perspectives6early Ireek philosopher to 2#th cent'ry specialist6there is agreement that artistic creativity and inspiration involve, indeed reB'ire, a dipping into 'ntapped irrational so'rces &hile maintaining ongoing contact &ith realities of >life at the s'rface.> The degree to &hich individ'als can, or desire to, >s'mmon 'p the depths> is one of the more fascinating of individ'al differences. . . . 2ndivid'als also vary enormo'sly in their capacity to tolerate e4tremes of emotions and to live on close terms &ith darker forces. ?1.@ +oolf descri!ed the creative process as a s'mmoning 'p from the depths, from &hat she called her >dark 'nder&orld,> &hich >has its fascinations as &ell as its terrors> -Diar 2: 12$0, and she e4perienced her mild manias as creative and en;oya!le, as !eing >once more &ashed !y the flood, &arm, em!racing, fertilising> -Diar 2: 1920. 2n &riting novels, she did not simply transcri!e her del'sions or hall'cinations6madness itself is not 1 %# 1 creative, and she disapproved of overtly confessional fiction for herself -#etters $: E#E06!'t she did learn from her anomalo's e4periences ho& tho'ght and feeling co'ld themselves !e fictions shaped !y mood and that literary fiction had to incorporate !oth convergent and divergent thinking, coherence and incoherence, the &ild and the enclosed, in order to !e tr'ly alive: >)'ppose one can keep the B'ality of a sketch in a finished P composed &orkC That is my endeavo'r> -Diar 2: "120. )omeho& art m'st em!ody in an organi8ed form that &hich is manically and magically 'norgani8ed, 'ndifferentiated, and endlessly s'ggestive. B't it can do this only &hen it is not restricted -in &riting, >the only thing that matters is a thing that yo' cant control> ?#etters 1: "$1@0. 9or +oolf, manic5 depressive illness periodically destroyed control ->2 dont think yo' can get yo'r &ords to come till yo're almost 'nconscio's< and 'nconscio'sness only comes &hen yo've !een !eaten and !roken and gone thro'gh every sort of grinding mill> ?#etters .: E#%@0 and so permitted her to ret'rn to the creative process 'nenc'm!ered !y the ill'sion that meaning lay in order alone. Perhaps this is another reason &hy she o!;ected to psychoanalysis: she may have feared it might systemati8e the vital disorder of mentality and mood. The secondary !enefits of s'ch 'pheavals often keep manic5depressives from seeking help, for they are 'na!le or 'n&illing to concept'ali8e their mood s&ings as a psychiatric illness reB'iring a c're. Kather, some vie& their serio's mood pro!lems as part of the h'man condition, the price one pays for !eing >too sensitive,> for having an artistic temperament, or leading an artistic lifestyle. 2ndeed, in many s'ch individ'als, emotional t'rmoil is seen as essential to their identity as performing or creative artists. 7dditionally, many &riters and leaders are concerned that psychiatric treatment &ill erode or compromise their a!ility to create or lead.?1$@ Jay Kedfield ,amison arg'es that elated or e'phoric states are >highly potent reinforcers,> that many patients on lithi'm therapy miss the prod'ctive highs, and that clinicians sho'ld not a'tomatically condemn these patients as shortsighted, regressive, or escapist, since hypomania does !ring very real !enefits. 7s one clinician enth'siastically p't it: 2f &e co'ld e4ting'ish the s'fferers from manic5depressive psychosis from the &orld, &e &o'ld at the same time deprive o'rselves of an immeas'ra!le amo'nt of the accomplished

and good, of color and &armth, of spirit and freshness. 9inally only dried 'p !'rea'crats and schi8ophrenics &o'ld !e left.?1F@ 1 %1 1 Contrary to pop'lar ass'mption, creative patients generally f'nction m'ch !etter on lithi'm if their mania prod'ces disordered &ork or if mood s&ings destroy their personal lives and &ith it the desire or opport'nity to &rite. Ko!ert *o&ell:s literary o'tp't increased &ith lithi'm therapy. *o&ell had s'ffered from severe !ipolar disorder, and his repeated hospitali8ations res'lted in lost prod'ctivity as &ell as personal ang'ish ->frightf'l h'miliation and &aste,> *o&ell &rote0. 7fter eighteen years of ann'al episodes of insanity, he !egan lithi'm treatment in the spring of 19$F and noticed a remarka!le change: his !reakdo&ns stopped, his personal life improved, he felt happier, and !et&een ,'ne and (ecem!er of that year he &rote seventy5fo'r sonnetlike fo'rteen5line poems.?1%@ =e'roscience com!ined &ith +oolf:s metacritical e4plorations of the pro!lems of interpretation challenges o'r traditional approaches to her life and &ork. 2n general, &e do not B'estion the reality of any feeling 'nless &e already have some >more> real meaning to fill the void. This, as Aarshall Hdelson has recently arg'ed, is essentially the 9re'dian perspective: >The mental phenomenon that does not make sense is !oth ca'sed !y, and is the reali8ation of, a set of relations among hypothetical -i.e. 'nconscio's0 psychological entities or intentional states, &hich do make sense.>?19@ Under s'ch a premise it is 'nthinka!le that po&erf'l emotions, del'sions, or statements of e4plosive hostility have no reality o'tside a mood5disordered episode. +e may do'!t +oolf:s a!ility to kno& her tr'e feelings, !'t a 9re'dian takes it for granted that tr'e feelings e4ist, s'!merged and veiled in enigma tho'gh they may !e, and he tries to infer them from s'spicio's !ehavior, 'ng'arded &ords, or seemingly a'to!iographical novels. +e tend to ass'me that emotion is gro'nded in identity and cannot !e faked or accidental: it al&ays reveals, one &ay or another, the a'thentic self. Aanic5depression 'psets this relia!le connection, and it !rings into sharp relief a pro!lem inherent in all !iography: the imposition of meaning. 7s !iographers, &e hope to detect a pattern in the evidence of o'r s'!;ect:s life, !'t &hat pattern &e recogni8e depends in part on o'r preconceptions of &hat an artist is, &hat mentality is, and &hat an individ'al:s mentality is. Tr'e o!;ectivity is impossi!le, !eca'se the story of o'r s'!;ect:s life is partly the res'lt of o'r having imposed a convergent order on the evidence as &e gather it, an order that &e can fail to remem!er is fictitio's. +hen 9re'dians give priority to +oolf:s s'icide or her se4'al tra'mas or her mother:s death, &hen they think the meaning of her life is encoded sym!olically in these events, then they have s'!stit'ted a theory 1 %2 1 for evidence, a theory claiming that all feelings are a'thentic and B'antifia!le< it is a theory !iased to read a mad&oman:s life as contained, one5dimensional, a dead end. This is not good psychoanalysis, &hich has the potential for a far greater scope, as )hoshana 9elman arg'es: (oes psychoanalysis, then, aspire to meaning6or to tr'thC . . . This B'estion . . . this no& 'navoida!le B'estion of the ,eaning of ps choanal sis! is in fact a contradiction in terms, since >meaning> is forever !'t a fiction and since it is psychoanalysis itself &hich has ta'ght 's that. B't contradiction, as &e kno&, is the mode of f'nctioning par e4cellence of the 'nconscio's, and conseB'ently, also of the logic of psychoanalysis. To reckon &ith psychoanalysis is to reckon &ith contradiction, incl'ding its diseB'ili!ri'm, &itho't red'cing it to the spec'lar ill'sion of symmetry or of a dialectical synthesis.?2#@

9ranTois Ko'stang aptly states the pro!lem &hen he asks a startlingly simple B'estion: Go& do yo' make a paranoic la'gh at himselfC The ans&er is, yo' can:t. Paranoia cannot admit s'ch a discontin'ity< any attempt &o'ld !e interpreted !y the patient as persec'tion. Ko'stang s'spects that psychoanalysis cannot la'gh at itself either, !eca'se >it claims to have the last &ord in every disc'ssion, the decisive e4planation in every interpretation.> )'ch a >s'ccessf'l paranoia,> like any good theory, resists r'pt're and c're< it cannot !ear !eing the enemy of its o&n tho'ght, tho'gh it sho'ld: >The psychoanalyst:s sole task is to p't all possi!le theories in do'!t. 2ndeed, a psychoanalyst &ho adheres to anything resem!ling an intellect'al constr'ction can only reinforce the symptomatology of the paranoiac.>?21@ This sit'ation is ironic !eca'se, early in his career, !efore he !ecame entangled in theory, 9re'd himself arg'ed that !oth patient and doctor m'st achieve a >negative capa!ility,> a s'spension of ass'mptions and pre;'dices that censor dist'r!ingly chaotic or seemingly irrelevant tho'ghts. Kela4ing the grasp of convergent, secondary5process tho'ght allo&s the analyst to respond to primary5process thinking?22@ 6or any 'nto&ard, 'ncataloga!le thinking6a very diffic'lt thing to do since sometimes that response takes the shape of fear, anger, denial, hopelessness, or g'ilt. H4plaining a patient:s depression !y acc'sing him of playing for pity, for instance, &hen in reality the therapist is 'n&illing to end're the 'npleasant sense of feeling manip'lated, !'rdened !y yet another hopeless patient, is doing no good for the analysis. +e may gro& intolerant, even angry, at the sight of the homeless on o'r city streets, !'t to react &ith a snap psychoanalytic form'lation -e.g., >at some level they m'st &ant 1 %" 1 to !e poor>0 !rings no insight. 2t is only a defense of o'r identity theme inscri!ed in a monolithic reading of their despair. Go& do &e kno& &hen &e are reading a te4t or a life history in all its disr'ptive m'ltiplicity, and &hen &e are only imposing a coherent and ha!it'al theme accepta!le to o'r o&n s'pposedly sta!le identitiesC D'r version of the meaning of an artist:s life may indeed reveal a !iographical tr'th, !'t it may instead !e a kind of co'ntertransference, an 'nconscio's response that, if left 'nackno&ledged and 'nanaly8ed, &ill create a defensive mis'nderstanding, an analytical fiction that protects 's against meaning and interferes &ith o'r a!ility to read more f'lly. 2n psychoanalysis, Co'ntertransference can !e 'sef'l, for the therapist:s responses may ill'minate the hidden nat're of a patient:s !ehavior6!'t only if the analyst !ecomes a&are of this spontaneo's and largely 'nconscio's interpretation occ'rring sim'ltaneo'sly &ith his theory5driven, conscio'sly mediated interpretations. The most common co'ntertransference state is one that the psychoanalyst Christopher Bollas calls the >not5kno&ing5yet5 e4periencing one.>?2"@ +hen nameless feelings and 'nidentifia!le ideas create psychic pain, it is hard to fend off the need for the sec'rity and clos're that psychoanalytical form'las provide. B't it can !e done, and it needs to !e done if &e are to !ecome a&are of material that does not neatly fill theoretical slots, if &e are to go !eyond official decoding like that of the !ird R phall's R death form'la disc'ssed in Chapter 2. Bollas descri!es this sensiti8ing process as tolerating a >generative split in ?the@ analytic ego> that remains open to the threat of incoherence !y delaying the sec'rity of analysis:?2E@ 2 am receptive to varying degrees of >madness> in myself occasioned !y life in the patient:s environment. 2n another area of myself, ho&ever, 2 am constantly there as an analyst, o!serving, assessing, and holding that part of me that is necessarily ill.?2.@ Ge is >ill> !eca'se indeterminacy ro!s him of his ha!it'al and personal sense of identity. B't !y living o't this form of >self5relating> in the presence of a patient, !y, parado4ically, tolerating disorder &hile detecting patterns, ne& material for analysis can !e fo'nd in the therapist:s o&n divided s'!;ectivity. 2nterpretations, in other &ords, are >meant to !e played &ith6kicked aro'nd, m'lled over, torn to pieces> !y !oth patient and analyst.?2$@

)'ch transactions occ'r in reading as &ell. *ike the patient &ho >'ses the analyst as an o!;ect in the transference in order to p't the analyst into 1 %E 1 the patient:s mind,>?2F@ the reader 'ses the a'thor -via the te4t0 to !ring a com!ined mental &orld into !eing. Keaders live o't a form of self5relating in the presence of a te4t, &ith one part of them f'nctioning as a so'rce of >alien,> inchoate, >manic> material -like the patient in analysis0, and another, more >depressive> part f'nctioning as critic -like the analyst0. +hen self5relating fails, ho&ever, the analyst reader reverts to making >official psychoanalytic decodings> that red'ctively impose coherence 'pon the patient a'thor te4t. 7 literary interpreter can th's easily develop a >:pse'do5methodology: since his rational strategies &ill then !e as m'ch an 'nconscio's defense against inner disr'ption as a cognitively s'ita!le reaction to the e4ternal &orld.>?2%@ Keasoning along these same lines, )teven Aarc's concl'des that 9re'd:s analysis of (ora failed !eca'se 9re'd remained 'na&are of a co'ntertransference6his identification &ith Gerr J. 9re'd co'ld not accept (ora:s re;ection of J.:s advances and defended himself !y acc'sing her of resisting psychoanalysis. The order he imposed on the fragments of her life story &as more appropriate to his o&n life story. B't instead of accepting the pro!lematical character of his reading of her narrative, he resorted to revising for the sake of coherence. Ger narrative &as s'perseded !y his. The same pro!lem arises in psycho!iographical literary analysis. Both *eon Hdel and =oel Cha!ani Aanganyi have recently &arned 's that any life history m'st !e considered only a provisional attempt at tr'th, since the !iographer is easily s&ept 'p into an intricate and intimate relationship &ith the s'!;ect: >a !iographer in seeking the tr'th of his s'!;ect m'st seek his o&n tr'th sim'ltaneo'sly.>?29@ 7ltho'gh Aanganyi and Hdel consider heroi8ation the most likely c'lt'rally activated transference !et&een !iographer and s'!;ect, 2 contend that psycho!iographers r'n an eB'al risk of the opposite distortion, that of red'cing the s'!;ect to a mass of ne'rotic failings !y disco'nting contradictory, inconcl'sive, or 'nintelligi!le evidence as evasions and disg'ises. This pattern seems most common &hen the s'!;ect is a &oman. Aanganyi advises 's to give o'r s'!;ects precedence as a'thoritative &itnesses to their lives< 2 f'rther recommend that applying a ne'rotic theory of !ehavior inevita!ly 'nderc'ts the integrity of those self5reports. +oolf apparently 'nderstood co'ntertransference, at least in terms of a coll'sion !et&een personal style and 'nrecogni8ed needs. 2n her diary she descri!es Hthel )myth:s defensive reaction to +oolf:s manic5depressive illness, 8eroing in not only on )myth:s need to red'ce disorder &ith a theory !'t on the relationship !et&een theory and identity: 1 %. 1 Hthel again67ll my ills, s'ch as they are, spring from liver: 2 am a very strong &oman, &ho needs calomel. 7fter s&allo&ing this terrific ins'lt to the cele!rated sensi!ility of my nervo's system, 2 try to find o't &hat motive lies !ehind Hthel P her calomel. 2 think< -!'t then 2 am not a psychologist0 that she &ants me to !e everlasting: that she &ants me to !e 'nh'rt !y any amo'nt of talk a!o't the Prison ?)myth:s m'sical composition@: that she &ants to have things6to her o&n &ill: that she dislikes other peoples illnesses &hich interfere &ith her vitality< that she likes to rationalise everything: that she s'spects, on principle, all shrinking, s'!tlety P sensi!ility. 7lso she is remorsef'l for having sent me the pict're of a sick monkey, !'t feels that if she can prove that the monkey &as not sick !'t shamming, she is a!solved. 2 dont kno&. 2t is very characteristic, P akin to the methods she

p'rs'es a!o't her m'sic. There too, to e4plain her lack of s'ccess, she fa!ricates a theory. -Diar E: 290 )myth:s personality e4presses itself in the &ay she filters o't certain perceptions and imposes theories 'pon others. )he fails in interpretation !eca'se a threatened self dominates the &orld instead of reading it. 7s for literary analysis, +oolf reasons, anticipating =orman Golland, that it can also !ecome a defensive mis'nderstanding in the service of the critic:s personal needs: To the psychologists a &riter is an oyster< feed him on gritty facts, irritate him &ith 'gliness, and !y &ay of compensation, as they call it, he &ill prod'ce a pearl. The genealogists say that certain stocks, certain families, !reed &riters as fig trees !reed figs6 (ryden, )&ift, and Pope they tell 's &ere all co'sins. This proves that &e are in the dark a!o't &riters< any!ody can make a theory< the germ of a theory is almost al&ays the &ish to prove &hat the theorist &ishes to !elieve. -"The Mo,ent" 1290 Can &e !lithely dissect the &ritings of this mind, so a&are of o'r need to protect o'rselves, !y imposing theories she &as perfectly capa!le of anticipatingC 2f &hat +oolf &rites threatens o'r ha!it'al and comforta!le &ays of dealing &ith te4ts or &ith the &oman &ho &rites the te4ts, &hat !etter defense than to approach the &ork already thinking of her as an hysterical ne'rotic &ho did not al&ays kno& the 'nconscio's s'!te4t of &hat she &as sayingC 2s it any &onder that O'entin Bell co'ld amass t&o vol'mes of !iographical data on his o&n a'nt, a &oman &ho &as active in &omen:s ed'cation, the feminist movement, and the gro'p of conscientio's o!;ectors to the 9irst +orld +ar, and still insist that +oolf &as not politicalC 2t is a f'ndamental irony, !'t one &hich +oolf herself tho'ght 1 %$ 1 &as almost irresisti!le, that the more &e need to hear a &riter:s revol'tionary message6and the more s'!versive that message is6the deafer &e !ecome. C'lt'res s'rvive intact !eca'se individ'als ha!it'ally filter o't &hatever &o'ld tr'ly 'pset the stat's B'o. Can &e, then, possi!ly read &hat the &riter &ritesC +oolf tho'ght &e co'ld if, parado4ically, &e tolerated disorder &hile detecting patterns< !y com!ining disorder and pattern, convergent and divergent thinking, &e might see something ne&. +hat, e4actly, &o'ld that ne& thing !eC 2t doesn:t matter, ;'st as long as &e start seeing &hat previo'sly co'ld not !e seen, the diff7rance of the te4t, the voice of the Dther, &hich 'rges 's to B'estion every ass'mption &e hold sacred, especially those &e do not kno& &e hold. The case of 3irginia +oolf provides a good ill'stration of &hat can go &rong &ith psycho!iography. Too m'ch has !een read into +oolf !y analysts 'nconscio'sly &ishing to find the coherence of ne'rosis in geni's and to esta!lish +oolf:s complicity in her o&n madness. Ger !reakdo&ns are nota!le for their almost !e&ildering array of symptoms, seemingly a fertile field for interpretation !'t for that very reason a dangero's one, since manic5depressive symptoms do not relia!ly reveal any deep5seated conflict. The !iographical relevance of this illness is limited. This point is partic'larly cr'cial in the analysis of +oolf:s g'ilt feelings and self5recriminations, &hich 's'ally centered on her parents< &hen depressed, she !elieved she had killed them simply !y &ishing them dead. Aark )pilka offers t&o likely interpretations: (id she &ant her mother to die, as some 9re'dians might con;ect're, and &as she therefore secretly pleased -and later overcome !y g'ilt0 &hen life granted her &ishC Dr &as she angry &ith her mother for dying, for depriving her of life, and . . . &as she then 'na!le to grieve -and later overcome !y g'ilt0, as still other 9re'dians . . . might arg'eC?"#@

)pilka candidly admits to having held !oth vie&s, theori8ing that +oolf &rote novels a!o't her mother as o!sessive restit'tions for the 'nconscio's crime of repressing her grief. )'san Jenney and Hd&in Jenney reason along similar lines &hen they claim that +oolf periodically &ent mad as >an escape or temporary respite> from her intense g'ilt at not having felt eno'gh grief.?"1@ The Jenneys see +oolf as a fearf'l child &ho did not &ant to move for&ard o't of childhood, a&ay from !eing taken care of. . . . ?)@he felt herself !eing p'lled for&ard o't of that comforta!le cocoon she had never B'ite managed to kick loose. 2t is 1 %F 1 necessary to vie& ?her !reakdo&ns@ as a desperate response to a desperate fear, that she &o'ld have to gro& 'p &hen she didn:t &ant to and felt she co'ldn:t.?"2@ *o'ise (e)alvo and )hirley Panken take this theory a step f'rther: according to them, &hen fiction failed to resolve +oolf:s conflicted feelings and she reali8ed the ill'sion of restit'tion for matricide thro'gh imagination, she attempted s'icide6the 'ltimate act of avoidance.?""@ B't is itC 7ll these !iographers ass'me that g'ilt ca'ses mental disorder. Th's, for them, meaning and order are restored once it is made clear that +oolf !ro'ght on her o&n tragedy. The 'neasy fear that madness can strike anyone, randomly, 'n;'stly, has !een e4plained a&ay. *ike Ailton:s Iod, psychoanalytic critics prono'nce that +oolf had !een given all she needed to live correctly, !'t she perversely chose not to do so6not to grieve, not to resolve her conflicting emotions, not to seek therapy !efore the composed face of the psychoanalytic tr'thgiver. To Hd&ard 7l!ee:s B'estion, >+ho:s afraid of 3irginia +oolfC> &e may ans&er, >7ny sane person, !'t there are vario's &ays to handle o'r fear. +e need not !lame +oolf for making 's afraid.> Perhaps the pro!lem of co'ntertransference lies not so m'ch &ith the critics as &ith mood disorders themselves, &hich seem to !ring o't the &orst in people, and partic'larly in the psychoanalyst attempting to make sense o't of a s'!tle yet pervasive dysf'nction that defies depth psychoanalysis. ?"E@ 7ccording to ,amison, >the potential for po&er str'ggles &ith !ipolar patients is virt'ally limitless> in the analytic setting, !eca'se therapists face s'ch a diffic'lt task: they m'st o!;ectively assess the patient:s limited control over his o&n illness, remain sensitive to his pain, his complaints, and his appeals for help, &hile sim'ltaneo'sly resisting !eing manip'lated.?".@ Dn the one hand, e4troverted manics do not feel in the least ill and do not take kindly to !eing treated or B'estioned< the analyst, &ho !y either profession or temperament is likely to !e a more sensitive, introspective person, may feel o'tflanked and o'tperformed !y someone so colorf'l, energi8ed, and confident. Dn the other hand, an introverted, depressive patient &ill seem to resist therape'tic efforts, !e slo& to respond, and feel 'na!le to fill in the gaps of a memory ravaged !y the disorder. Kapid5cycling patients fr'strate efforts at forming a sta!le transference relationship: >the patient &ho appears at a session angry and irrita!le might prod'ce a reaction in the therapist, &hose feelings may then persist longer than the patient:s fleeting mood.>?"$@ Being p'lled a!o't !y patients &ho 1 %% 1 are chronically ill !'t constantly shifting, &ho moan shamelessly a!o't their pain or !oast of their s'periority, therapists may respond &ith overt or covert hostility, !y demonstrating their impatience or !y eliminating !ipolars from their private practice altogether.?"F@ Psychotherapists can ;'st as easily overidentify &ith patients, partic'larly the s'ccessf'l manics, &ho may provoke denial or

overprotectiveness. ,amison lists five ma;or pro!lematic iss'es in co'ntertransference &ith manic5depressive patients, &hich 2 &ill e4plain parenthetically. 9irst, moods can !e contagio's -therapists m'st not allo& themselves to identify &ith the patient:s depression and yet m'st not lose patience &ith someone &ho is contin'ally h'rting< similarly, they sho'ld not mistake the good feelings of hypomania for therape'tic progress, as the patient 's'ally &ill0. )econd, it can !e diffic'lt to disting'ish s'!tle fl'ct'ations in mood states from characterological pro!lems -the therapist m'st determine &hether a statement, feeling, or idea is a permanent feat're of the person !eing treated, or a state5dependent symptom that &ill disappear &hen the c'rrent mood ends0. Third, depressions sho'ld not !e misinterpreted as resistance -nothing so inspires therapists: anger or 'n&arranted analysis as the s'spicion that patients are not responding as they sho'ld !eca'se they are hiding something 'nconscio'sly, and analysts can easily !e tempted into s'pplying the hidden secret themselves: are these patients !locking feelings &e s'spect they have, or do they really not feel themC 2t is too easy to ass'me that anyone &ho s'ffers so m'ch pain m'st !e deeply fla&ed0. 9o'rth, hypomania can ind'ce special sensitivity to v'lnera!ilities in the therapist -mild manics are so sensitive to stim'li that they can B'ickly 8ero in on the therapist:s o&n fla&s and foi!les, an invasion the doctor may react to &ith fear, hostility, or the !lind imposition of s'perior a'thority and rigid doctrine0. 7nd, fifth, the hypomanic state can make certain illegitimate emotional appeals to the therapist6for e4ample, it can evoke envy, pro;ective identification, coll'sion &ith lithi'm noncompliance, or g'ilt or concern over depriving patients of a >special state> -trying to c're someone of mania, sometimes the most pleasant, stim'lating, and prod'ctive mental state one sees in a medical career, can seem cr'el, especially &hen the patient clings to s'ch >highs> after s'ffering the agonies of deep >lo&s>0.?"%@ 2 &o'ld add to ,amison:s list a si4th iss'e relevant to +oolf st'dies: the literary critic, dist'r!ed !y his s'!;ect:s inconsistent !ehavior, odd perspectives, and creative s'periority, and !y the 'ncertainties of analy8ing across g'lfs of time and space, may find it easier to impose a theory than to remain sensitive to the te4t. 1 %9 1 Aost important, clinicians trained in psychoanalysis m'st not overestimate the patient:s control over his feelings and ideas. 2n this sense, manic5depressive illness 's'rps the psychoanalyst:s a'thority as the >s'!;ect pres'med to kno&> ho& patients make themselves sick. Dnce it has !een ascertained that a chemical dysf'nction is the ca'se of a partic'lar patient:s mental illness, therapists m'st !e ca'tio's not to assign g'ilt for !ehaviors the patient cannot master: Aost analytic treatment carries &ith it a strong implication that it is a ma;or analytic task of the patient to accept responsi!ility for his actions. 2n the psychoanalytic vie&, this responsi!ility is nearly total. +e are even responsi!le for incorrectly or e4aggeratedly holding o'rselves responsi!le. 2t is o'r ;o! to change o'r harsh s'peregos, and it is o'r ;o! to do !attle &ith 'naccepta!le imp'lses. Go&ever, it no& seems likely that there are patients &ith depressive, an4io's, and dysphoric states for &hom the 's'al psychodynamic vie& of responsi!ility seems inappropriate and &ho sho'ld not !e held acco'nta!le. . . . 2t may !e that &e have !een coconspirators &ith these patients in their need to constr'ct a rational5seeming &orld in &hich they hold themselves 'nconscio'sly responsi!le for events. =arcissistic needs may lead these patients to claim control over 'ncontrolla!le !ehaviors rather than to admit to the 'tter helplessness of !eing at the mercy of moods that s&eep over them &itho't apparent rhyme or reason. 7n attempt at dynamic 'nderstanding in these sit'ations may not only not !e gen'inely e4planatory, it may !e a cr'el mis'nderstanding of the patient:s effort to rationali8e his life e4perience and may res'lt in

strengthening masochistic defenses.?"9@ (istinctions m'st !e made !et&een psychological conflicts and those dist'r!ances arising o't of a strong !iochemical predisposition. 9or manic5depressive illness, this &hole iss'e of the relationship !et&een therapist and patient, and !et&een critic and s'!;ect, !ecomes cr'cial. The easy ass'mption of a psychodynamic ca'se5and5effect relationship -event leading to illness, repression leading to symptom0 is not valid. 2ndeed, it has !een reversed. I'ilt cannot ca'se manic5depressive illness< it is the other &ay aro'nd. (epression is a vicio's cycle !eca'se it can fa!ricate evidence ;'stifying itself. )'ch evidence is not a relia!le indication of a repressed s'icidal &ish, and g'ilt may !e only the res'lt of a temporary ne'rohormonal dist'r!ance, not the ca'se of it. Th's, !oth )imon D. *esser and )hirley Panken err &hen they concl'de that 3irginia:s >lack of inner ass'rance . . . &as 'ndo'!tedly one of the ca'ses of ?her@ 1 9# 1 depressions.>?E#@ 2t is m'ch more likely that her lo&ered self5esteem &as ca'sed !y a depression. +hen not depressed, +oolf &as >!y nat're> confident, creative, and life5affirming, as evidenced !y the testimony of her h's!and and friends. +hat evidence, then, can the !iographer 'seC +hat a manic5depressive thinks a!o't or e4periences d'ring a !reakdo&n may reveal inner conflicts6or it may not. (id +oolf perceive her !ody as rep'lsive, the >sordid mo'th and sordid !elly demanding food,> and ref'se to eat !eca'se of a lifelong frigidity and self5hatred created !y se4'al tra'ma or the loss of her motherC Dr does this perception of the !ody effectively e4press the 'ncontrolla!le and ine4plica!le feelings of emptiness and degradation that manic5depressives have &hen their !iochemistry faltersC?E1@ 2s it >highly likely,> as Panken asserts, that 3irginia:s 191" depressive !reakdo&n >&as precipitated !y her sense of personal inadeB'acy and ina!ility to cope,>?E2@ &hen !oth symptoms are conse=$ent to a meta!olic slo&do&nC 2f !iographical and a'to!iographical &riting e4plains as it chronicles, &e m'st !e very caref'l not to conf'se ca'se and effect, or else the deep5seated conflict &e are looking for may !e o'rs instead of hers. 2f &e li+erate o'rselves to read as +oolf &rites, and if &e confine o'rselves to &hat is kno&n a!o't manic5depressive illness, fiction no longer appears to !e a ne'rotic attempt to restore lost parents or deny repressed g'ilt. 2t is not a symptom or a disg'ise !'t a transformation. )ince none of +oolf:s doctors co'ld e4plain ho& her manic and depressive personalities &ere related to each other or to the sane 3irginia, 2 arg'e that she &rote novels in order to e4plore her o&n symptoms in the characters she created< that, like Hmil Jraepelin, she fo'nd it helpf'l to e4amine &itho't red'ction &hat appeared to !e hopelessly disorgani8ed: 2ts odd &hat e4treme depression a little infl'en8a P a cold in head prod'ces. Gappily, 2:m interested in depression< P make myself play a game of assem!ling the fract'red pieces62 mean 2 light a fire, P someho& dandle myself over it. -Diar .: 21.0 2n this, she d'plicated !oth the scientist:s and the !iographer:s &ork of marshaling evidence, !'t &ith one advantage: !y not specifying ho& she assem!led the pieces -it is done >someho&,> and it is not even done serio'sly !'t is only a >game>0, she sit'ated herself in t&o opposed states6sickness and health6sim'ltaneo'sly. Choosing as her organi8ational form fiction, &hich is !oth serio's and playf'l, f'lly assem!led !'t not 1 91 1

according to a specific form'la, ena!led her to avoid red'cing the comple4ity of life e4periences in the service of a psychological model. +oolf had a healthily skeptical attit'de to&ard any theory that restricted creativity: >2 am m'ch of Gardys opinion that a novel is an impression not an arg'ment. The !ook is &ritten &itho't a theory< later, a theory may !e made, !'t 2 do'!t if it has m'ch !earing on the &ork> -#etters .: 910. 7nd she admired Byron:s Don >$an !eca'se of >the springy random hapha8ard galloping nat're of its method . . . a?n@ elastic shape &hich &ill hold &hatever yo' choose to p't into it> -Diar 1: 1%10. 9rom +oolf:s perspective, theories are merely defenses to deny the chaos of real life. Hven a'to!iographies can !e theoretical, in that they contain and sec're order &ithin a h'man life. 2n her diary she critici8es Ger!ert Kead:s a'to!iography as 'nreal !eca'se it is >&eathertight, P gives shelter to the occ'pant,> !'t his self that !'ilt the castle is to me destr'ctive of its architect're. 7 mean, spitef'l Kead d&ells o'tside. +hat is the val'e of a philosophy &hich has no po&er over lifeC 2 have the do'!le vision. 2 mean, as 2 am not engrossed in the la!o'r of making this intricate &ord str'ct're 2 also see the man &ho makes it. 2 sho'ld say it is only &ord proof not &eather proof. +e have to discover the nat'ral la& P live !y it. +e are anarchists. +e take the leap -glory that is0 from &hat &e kno& to the instinctive. -Diar .: "E#0 7s a literary anarchist, +oolf smashes comforta!le, &ord5proof cocoons to see &hat odd, 'ne4pected, even alien tr'ths come o't in the &ay the pieces fall. 9or this reason her &ork is often p'88ling and diffic'lt< it is meant to mystify !eca'se it is designed to represent a perple4ing disorder in perception and mood. 7 conventional narrative &o'ld not s'ffice !eca'se, as Hvelyne Jeitel agrees, no inters'!;ective kno&ledge of psychoses is availa!le for traditional forms to impart to the reader: there is no esta!lished form'la for processing psychotic e4perience in literary disco'rse . . . the a'thor of a pathographical te4t is forced to make innovations of literary form. Ge can do so, ho&ever, only to a limited degree for, as information theory tells 's, it is scarcely possi!le to comm'nicate a ne& s'!;ect area -in this case a psychosis0 !y means of a!sol'tely 'nfamiliar, 'nprecedented formal innovations.?E"@ Jeitel reasons that since it is impossi!le to comm'nicate in lang'age e4periences !eyond the margins of disco'rse, &riters m'st translate the comple4ity of psychosis into >a schema of te4t'al strategies.>?EE@ Tension 1 92 1 created !y 'nconventional form, randomness, even meaninglessness -all opposed to the f'ndamental goal of reading, &hich is that of comm'nication0 fr'strates the reader:s need for consistency, his desire to make a comprehensive &hole o't of the disparate fragments, and so effectively red'ces the reader:s identity as >not at all ill.> The reader, too, participates in the protagonist:s attempt to create identity o't of contradictory incidents and e4periences. Gis reading aims6as all reading does6at !'ilding consistency, and in order to !'ild consistency he himself m'st provide the missing links !et&een the separate !'t interacting te4t'al perspectives.?E.@ 2f this proves diffic'lt or impossi!le, the reader shares an aesthetic version of a psychotic episode &ith the a'thor6not madness itself !'t a representation that can still !e B'ite dist'r!ing. >9orm in fiction,> +oolf &rote to Koger 9ry, >is emotion p't into the right relations> -#etters ": 1""0. 2f this is so, then dist'r!ances in emotion reB'ire of fiction an asymmetrical form< its incoherence is not a

ne'rotic evasion, not a loss of control, !'t a translation, an e4pressive disco'rse similar to the vis'al dis;'nctions of the s'rrealists.?E$@ Keading s'ch a &ork is a test of o'r a!ility to read the 'nreada!le &itho't red'cing or systemati8ing or translating it into coherent, nonmad disco'rse: Go& can &e read the 'nreada!leC . . . This B'estion . . . s'!verts its o&n terms: to act'ally read the 'nreada!le, to impose a ,eaning on it, is precisely not to read the 'nreada!le as $nreada+le! !'t to red$ce it to the reada!le, to interpret it as if it &ere of the same order as the reada!le. . . . 8.:o0 does the 'nreada!le meanC?EF@ 2n seeking to >e4plain> and ,aster literat're, in ref'sing, that is, to !ecome a d$pe of literat're, in killing &ithin literat're that &hich makes it literat're . . . the psychoanalytic reading, ironically eno'gh, t'rns o't to !e a reading that represses the $nconscio$s! that represses, parado4ically, the 'nconscio's it p'rports to !e >e4plaining.>?E%@ 9or +oolf, !oth art and madness em!ody &hat cannot s'rvive dissection, &hat e4ists in a state of incoherence, 'nread and 'nrecogni8ed !y the ha!it'al ego, !'t &ith a po&er to help readers e4plore &ithin themselves 7lcorn and Bracher:s el'sive, em!ryonic >alien s'!;ect> and so, perhaps, to revise self5str'ct're, to live and live till &e have lived o't those em!ryo lives &hich attend a!o't 's in early yo'th 'ntil >2> s'ppressed them. . . . 2ncomprehensi!ility 1 9" 1 has an enormo's po&er over 's in illness, more legitimately perhaps than the 'pright &ill allo&. 2n health meaning has encroached 'pon so'nd. D'r intelligence domineers over o'r senses. B't in illness, &ith the police off d'ty . . . if at last &e grasp the meaning, it is all the richer for having come to 's sens'ally first, !y &ay of the palate and the nostrils, like some B'eer odo'r. 9oreigners, to &hom the tong'e is strange, have 's at a disadvantage. The Chinese m'st kno& the so'nd of Anton and %leopatra !etter than &e do. -"The Mo,ent" 1%/190 D'r reading, then, !ecomes o$r illness, !'t only if it is >an into4icating reading,> if &e are >dra&n into the di88ying &hirl of ?o'r@ o&n reading,> &here deciphering the te4t involves deciphering o'r dreams of the te4t -even if they are only the so'nds of a lang'age &e cannot 'nderstand0 and recogni8ing that incoherence speaks as lo'dly of o'rselves and the a'thor as does the ordered, the symmetrical, and the intelligi!le.?E9@ Psychoanalytic critics like Panken &ho desire >to demystify the a'ra s'rro'nding ?+oolf:s@ emotional oscillations> m'st learn to tolerate and even val'e disorder if they are to 'nderstand the manic5depressive:s &orld.?.#@ To descri!e the m'ltiplicity of the s'!;ect and the el'sive contact !et&een self and &orld, +oolf deli!erately knotted and t&isted her o&n narrative style >in conformity &ith the coils in my o&n !rain> -#etters 1: "##0. The pattern of the >coils,> tho'gh 'nkno&n, co'ld still !e e4pressed, !'t not in traditional narrative order. 7nd so her depiction of character consisted >not of a single integrated ego !'t rather of separate states of a&areness,> a discontin'ity &hich implies that h'man >identity change?s@ &ith each ne& set of perceptions.>?.1@ +oolf attempted to make literat're radial rather than lineal, to descri!e the &aves &hich &ere the motion of mood, the t'r!'lence of self, the 'ncertainty of perception: 2 attain a different kind of !ea'ty, achieve a symmetry !y means of infinite discords, sho&ing all the traces of the minds passage thro'gh the &orld< P achieve in the end, some kind of &hole made of shivering fragments< to me this seems the nat'ral process< the flight

of the mind. -&assionate Affrentice "9"0 2n a letter to a friend she praised the poetry of Ierard Aanley Gopkins for its similar respect for discord and >nonsense>: Gave yo' read the poems of a man, &ho is dead, called Ierard GopkinsC 2 liked them !etter than any poetry for ever so long< partly !eca'se they:re so diffic'lt, !'t also !eca'se instead of &riting mere rhythms and sense as most poets do, he makes a very strange ;'m!le< 1 9E 1 so that &hat is apparently p're nonsense is at the same time very !ea'tif'l, and not nonsense at all. =o& this carries o't a theory of mine< !'t the poor man !ecame a ,es'it, and they disco'raged him, and he !ecame melancholy and died. 2 co'ldn:t e4plain this &itho't B'oting ho&ever, and no& 2 m'st go and &ash. -#etters 2: "F90 Typically, +oolf:s >e4planation> trails off, for her theory resists stasis and statement< it is defined !y its o&n indefina!le and perpet'al 'nderc'tting of any single perspective. 2n her critical essay >Aodern 9iction> she advises other &riters like&ise to tolerate am!ig'ity, lack of str'ct're, !e&ildering conf'sion if need !e, in the hope that some tr'th lies !eneath the m'ltiplicito's appearances: The mind receives a myriad impressions6trivial, fantastic, evanescent, or engraved &ith the sharpness of steel. 9rom all sides they come, an incessant sho&er of inn'mera!le atoms< and as they fall, as they shape themselves into the life of Aonday or T'esday, the accent falls differently from of old. . . . *ife is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged< !'t a l'mino's halo, a semi5transparent envelope s'rro'nding 's from the !eginning of conscio'sness to the end. 2s it not the task of the novelist to convey this varying, this 'nkno&n and 'ncirc'mscri!ed spirit, &hatever a!erration or comple4ity it may display, &ith as little mi4t're of the alien and e4ternal as possi!leC -%o,,on ;eader 1.E0 The semi5transparent envelope is not merely an aesthetic metaphor: it is the percept'al envelope that constantly s'rro'nds 's, the fl'id plane of demarcation !et&een &hat is o'tside 's and &hat is inside, !et&een o!;ect and the !rain:s sensation interpretation of that o!;ect. The shape of the envelope constantly alters, so that from one moment to the ne4t &e do not kno& ho& far &e e4tend into the e4ternal &orld, ho& close &e have come to to'ching or 'nderstanding an o!;ect, or ho& plastic and ins'!stantial o'r s'!;ective &orld may !e. 2t is an osmotic envelope of sensitive 'ncertainty, casting only the vag'est of shado&s &here o'r self is pres'med to !e. Th's, +oolf:s fiction tends to 'se sym!ols and images -&hich, in a ne'rotic &riter, might serve as interpreta!le symptoms of his or her psychology0 to create more am!ig'ity and incoherence than they can resolve: >2 am s're that this is the right &ay of 'sing them6not in set pieces, as 2 had tried at first, coherently, !'t simply as images< never making them &ork o't< only s'ggest> -Diar E: 1#/110. The danger &ith s'ch an approach, of co'rse, is that it can degenerate into shapelessness, a harleB'inade of patches alternating !et&een meaning 1 9. 1 and meaninglessness. This &as a pro!lem +oolf felt had dogged her first novel, The Vo age 1$t -Diar 2: 1F0:

+hat 2 &anted to do &as to give the feeling of a vast t'm'lt of life, as vario's and disorderly as possi!le, &hich sho'ld !e c't short for a moment !y the death, and go on again6and the &hole &as to have a sort of pattern, and !e someho& controlled. The diffic'lty &as to keep any sort of coherence. -#etters 2: %20 B't indeterminacy is &orth the risk, !eca'se it avoids the imposition of a coherence that o!sc'res 6>(irectly yo' specify hair, age, Pc something frivolo's, or irrelevant, gets into the !ook> -Diar 2: 2$.06a method &hich deli!erately fr'strates those analytical readers &ho e4pect to stick >little horns manf'lly into facts . . . the steely intellect'als &ho treat literat're as tho'gh it &ere an ingenio's pict're p'88le, to !e fitted acc'rately together> -Diar 2: 21E0. The s'!;ective life of a manicdepressive is divergent, and so sho'ld !e the e4perience of readers &ho can open themselves 'p to the pl'ralistic e4perience of literat're. +oolf:s modernistic method is a necessary co'nter!alance to the dry s'ffocation of convergent thinking: >Prosaic ;'dgement, &hether !y a psychiatrist or a narrator, is an attempt to free8e, to immo!ili8e,> an imposition incompati!le &ith real life< >?f@iction m'st deal in am!ig'ity, the impossi!ility of ;'dgement< it m'st avoid the form'laic definition of character.>?.2@ Conventional form falsifies thro'gh a linearity and clos're imposed !y the a'thoritative, 'nified, omniscient narrator. 2t is a config'ration of 9re'd:s death instinct6the desire for an a!sol'te red'ction of tension?."@ 6and is antithetical to modernism:s heterogeneity. To shape her fiction to e4press &hat her manic5depressive e4perience ta'ght her a!o't s'!;ect5o!;ect transactions, +oolf invited o'r co'ntertransferences. Dnly !y str'ggling &ith the pro!lem of interpretation &ill readers e4perience the asymmetrical comple4ity of life as +oolf kne& it. +hen +oolf >e4plains> the significance of *ily Briscoe:s painting in To the #ightho$se! she aims not to confine !'t to enlarge !eyond rationality:s capacity to esta!lish an intelligi!le order: 2 meant nothing !y The *ightho'se. Dne has to have a central line do&n the middle of the !ook to hold the design together. 2 sa& that all sorts of feelings &o'ld accr'e to this, !'t 2 ref'sed to think them o't, and tr'sted that people &o'ld make it the deposit for their o&n emotions6&hich they have done, one thinking it means one thing another another. 2 can:t manage )ym!olism e4cept in this vag'e, 1 9$ 1 generalised &ay. +hether its right or &rong 2 don:t kno&< !'t directly 2:m told &hat a thing means, it !ecomes hatef'l to me. -#etters ": "%.0 Hven in her a'to!iography she &isely avoids analysis, as &hen she comments on the therape'tic action of &riting To the #ightho$se: 2 s'ppose that 2 did for myself &hat psycho5analysts do for their patients. 2 e4pressed some very long felt and deeply felt emotion. 7nd in e4pressing it 2 e4plained it and then laid it to rest. B't &hat is the meaning of >e4plained> itC -Mo,ents of Being %10 9re'd might have vie&ed the coy B'estion as evidence of +oolf:s fail're to see the 'nconscio's s'!te4t !eneath the s'rface of this te4t6yet another e4ample of ne'rotic denial, not a real laying to rest. 2ndeed, &hy does she ref'se to e4plain her emotion to 'sC )yntactically +oolf eB'ates >e4plained> &ith >e4pressed.> Critics may ignore s'rface str'ct'res em!odying m'ltiplicito's e4perience, !'t +oolf finds val'e in em!racing them &holly, &itho't searching for an organi8ed rationali8ation in line &ith the ego:s penchant for hegemonic fictions. Geterogeneity, indeterminacy, endless s'ggestiveness and openness: these B'alities n'rt'red the living tr'th a!o't +oolf:s psyche and provoke 's, first to respond and then to B'estion o'r response. By self5relating &e may e4perience another s'!;ect &ithin 's and so share &ith her a richer &orld.

+oolf:s fiction contin'ally dra&s attention to o'r attempts to clarify and systemati8e am!ig'o's te4ts. By applying the same principle to her self, em!racing the >shivering fragments> that her doctors ignored or the 9re'dians red'ced and arranged, in order to >make a &hole,> she fo'nd that the po&er to a'thori8e self &as no longer limited to her mother:s !ody or a long5lost, 'nredeema!le past: 2 &ill go on advent'ring, changing, opening my mind P my eyes, ref'sing to !e stamped P stereotyped. The thing is to free ones self< to let it find its dimensions, not !e impeded. -Diar E: 1%F0 To dramati8e symptoms &as not regressive !'t adaptive< it gave +oolf the opport'nity to e4plain her illness, to represent it, &itho't simplification. This helped her to accept not only her illness !'t her &ellness too: the sane and the insane, differentiated yet one, the one 3irginia +oolf. Critics m'st like&ise learn to !e s'spicio's of psychological preconceptions that red'ce comple4ity to simplicity !y eliminating the meaning of comple4ity. +hen a psychological profile makes too m'ch sense, something has !een ignored. 1 9F 1

:) *In Casting A((o'nts9 Ne%er Forget to 4egin .ith the State of the 4od&*,eneti(s and the Ste/hen Famil& Line
=o& if there:s any tr'th in (ar&in, 7nd &e from &hat &as, all &e are &in, 2 simply &ish the child to !e 7 sample of Geredity -,ames K'ssell *o&ell to his godda'ghter, 3irginia )tephen, 1%%20 The evidence for genetic transmission of manic5depressive illness is B'ite strong. 2f one identical t&in has manic5depressive illness, the other r'ns a $F percent chance of having it too, &hereas a fraternal t&in has only a 2# percent chance6ro'ghly the same ratio as for many other inherited diseases. Df children &ith one !ipolar or 'nipolar parent, 2F percent &ill !e !ipolar or 'nipolar themselves. +hen !oth parents have an affective disorder, and one of them is !ipolar, FE percent of offspring &ill s'ffer a ma;or affective disorder.?1@ )t'dies of manic5depressive offspring &ho had !een adopted and separated from their parents sho& that more than "# percent of the a!sent, !iological parents displayed clear signs of the disorder, !'t only 2 percent of the adoptive parents did.?2@ There is no relation !et&een !ipolar rates and r'ral5'r!an stat's, marital stat's, religion, or race.?"@ Th's, the disorder is not primarily an environmentally ind'ced or learned pattern of!ehavior. Aanic5depressive illness does not afflict every family mem!er. 7ltho'gh some genes can ca'se disease almost 1## percent of the time, most reB'ire a specific !odily environment for e4pression, factors often created !y other genes.?E@ B't it is important to remem!er that, &hether or not some or all of these genes are ever e4pressed in !ehavior, they can !e passed on to f't're generations, even !y seemingly normal individ'als. Kecent st'dies have identified a gene implicated in the etiology of manic5 depressive illness in some gro'ps of individ'als, and more are e4pected to !e fo'nd in these and in other gro'ps.?.@ 2t is likely that several genes are involved -since several mechanisms and

ne'rochemicals infl'ence !rain states0 and that manic5 1 9% 1 depressive illness, like dia!etes, res'lts from a n'm!er of different genetic com!inations interacting &ith a n'm!er of !odily factors. )'ch genetic heterogeneity may also acco'nt for manic5depression:s several phenotypes, vario's levels of severity, and myriad symptoms, as &ell as for its association &ith other disorders -alcoholism, generali8ed an4iety, cyclothymia, and schi8o5affective disorder0 &ith &hich it may share certain, !'t not all, genes.?$@ +ho &ill inherit the disease and &hen the patient:s normal mood &ill change are not yet predicta!le. )ometimes a !reakdo&n is triggered !y a stressf'l event, !'t many shifts of mood or even complete !reakdo&ns cannot !e traced, either !y analyst or !y patient, to an e4terior or psychological ca'se. 7n event can activate a genetically determined, pree4isting affective v'lnera!ility, 's'ally in the first fe& episodes, !'t once the disorder has !een esta!lished, life events 's'ally play little or no role in ne& !reakdo&ns.?F@ This may e4plain &hy manic5depressive illness can resem!le a ne'rosis -initial appearance of illness follo&ing tra'ma0, !'t in fact the central ingredient of ne'rosis6repression leading to symptom s'!stit'tion6is missing. Biology, not psychodynamics, is the primary mechanism of predisposition< life events can trigger !'t not ca'se madness, and many !reakdo&ns are initiated !y p'rely !iological changes. 2t is also possi!le that tra'matic life events only appear to precede affective episodes, that !reakdo&ns !egin !iochemically and s'!tly, ske&ing the patient:s perception of and reaction to a s'!seB'ent event, ca'sing him or her to misinterpret and magnify its ca'sative po&er.?%@ 2t is commonly ass'med that +oolf:s !reakdo&ns &ere al&ays tied to specific events: the death of a loved one, the p'!lication of a novel, or the anticipation of 'nfavora!le revie&s. 2t is tr'e that &hen v'lnera!le to depression, she did react sensitively to criticism -;'st as *eslie did &hen he &as depressed0, !'t &hen the revie&s of >aco+'s ;oo, appeared, she noted ho& little impact it had on her: >The revie&s have said more against me than for me6on the &hole. 2ts so odd ho& little 2 mind6P odd ho& little 2 care m'ch that Clive thinks it a masterpiece> -Diar 2: 21#0. O'entin Bell reports that some tra'mas, s'ch as Tho!y:s death, prod'ced no illness -1: $1, 1110. 7nd +oolf herself records a series of depressions 'nrelated to any stressf'l event: The interesting thing is that one does, normally, keep 'p a kind of vi!ration, for no reason &hatever. HB'ally for no reason &hatever, the vi!ration stops. Then one inB'ires &hy one ever had it, P there seems no reason &hy one sho'ld ever have it again. Things seem clear, sane, comprehensi!le, P 'nder no o!ligation, !eing of that nat're, to make 1 99 1 one vi!rate at all. 2ndeed, its largely the clearness of sight &hich comes at s'ch seasons that leads to depression. B't &hen one can analyse it, one is half &ay !ack again. 2 feel 'nreason slo&ly tingling in my veins. -Diar 1: 29%0 +e have !een to Kodmell, P as 's'al 2 come home depressed6for no reason. Aerely moods. -Diar 2: 1190 2ntense depression . . . &hich does not come from something definite, !'t from nothing. -Diar ": 1110 2 cant tell yo' ho& do&n in the m'd and the !ram!les 2:ve !een6nearer one of those clima4es of despair that 2 'sed to have than any time these $ years6*ord kno&s &hy. Dh

ho& 2 s'fferQ and &hats &orse, for nothing, no reason thats respecta!le. -#etters .: $F0 Unless &e disco'nt her veracity or the acc'racy of her e'thymic self5o!servation, &e m'st concl'de that +oolf &as ;'stified in not seeking a p'rely psychological c're. ConseB'ently, there need !e no >reason,> conscio's or 'nconscio's, &hy 3irginia s'ffered a !reakdo&n soon after her marriage to *eonard. Psychoanalyst 7lma Bond, in typical 9re'dian fashion, ties these t&o events together thematically: 2f one &ere to read only 3irginia:s diaries and the &ords of her family -i.e., Bell, that marrying *eonard &as the &isest decision she &as to make in her lifetime0, one might !e inclined to &onder &hy, d'ring the honeymoon of this >happiest of marriages,> the !ride &o'ld s'ffer the most severe !reakdo&n of her life.?9@ 3irginia:s diaries contain n'mero's references attesting to her contentment &ith and respect for *eonard. )ince a !ipolar episode can occ'r either randomly or in reaction to stress and does not relia!ly sym!oli8e censored messages from !elo&, it seems do'!ly reckless to disco'nt 3irginia:s -and her family:s and friends:0 o&n &ords. B't, !eca'se Bond operates according to the 9re'dian theory that manic5depressives &o'ld not !e sick if they &ere not already 'nconscio'sly lying to themselves, it is easy for her to dismiss any contrary evidence. 2n a like manner, Panken admits that >+oolf never ackno&ledged the possi!ility that her ne'rasthenia masked emotional dist'r!ances> and then proceeds to ignore the possi!le tr'th of +oolf:s position !y presenting theory5driven conflicts as an e4planation of &hy she fell ill.?1#@ Ienetically, 3irginia +oolf:s family history -see 9ig're 20 tallies &ith st'dies sho&ing that relatives of manic5depressives are more likely than 1 1## 1

9ig're 2. 7 Partial Gistory of )tephen 9amily 7ffective (isorders. 1 1#1 1 the general pop'lation to e4hi!it affective illnesses -mania, depression, cyclothymia, schi8o5affective disorders0.?11@ *eslie:s nephe&, 3irginia:s co'sin ,ames Jenneth )tephen, developed !ipolar symptoms in his late t&enties, fo'r years after a head in;'ry. )&itching !et&een >violent states of e4citement P states of 'tter apathy,> each lasting some months, ind'lging in >childish and a!s'rd pranks> that terrori8ed his friends, ,ames grad'ally !ecame so >&ildly e4travagant> in his !ehavior that he &as 'na!le, despite a !rilliant career at Cam!ridge and prestigio's family connections &ith the legal profession, to sec're employment in government.?12@ 3irginia remem!ered her co'sin:s manic !ehavior: That great fig're &ith the deep voice and the &ild eyes &o'ld come to the ho'se looking for ?)tella@, &ith his madness on him< and &o'ld !'rst into the n'rsery and spear the !read on his s&ordstick and at one time &e &ere told to go o't !y the !ack door and if &e met ,im &e &ere to say that )tella &as a&ay. . . . Ge &as mad then. Ge &as in the e4alted state of his madness. Ge &o'ld dash 'p in a

hansom< leave my father to pay for it. The hansom had !een driving him a!o't *ondon all day. . . . 2 s'ppose madness made him !elieve he &as all po&erf'l. Dnce he came in at !reakfast, >)avage has ;'st told me 2:m in danger of dying or going mad,> he la'ghed. 7nd soon he ran naked thro'gh Cam!ridge< &as taken to an asyl'm< and died. -Mo,ents of Being 9%/990 2n =ovem!er of 1%9# (r. )avage &arned ,ames !y letter that as his disease progressed he &o'ld spend and !orro& money rashly, >!'ying 'seless things,> >dress in 'nconventional &ays,> and consider having to repay his de!ts as >a grievance>6typical manic characteristics.?1"@ Dn =ovem!er 21, 1%91, ,ames &as instit'tionali8ed 'nder emergency order at )t. 7ndre&:s Gospital in =orthampton. Ge had !een referred !y his family doctor, *a&rence G'mphrey, and &as p't 'nder the care of the then medical s'perintendent, (r. ,. Bayley. ,ames:s !rother, Ger!ert, told the admitting doctor that ,ames had for three years >!een s'!;ect to attacks of loss of self5control follo&ed !y fits of depression and inaction.>?1E@ The attending physician diagnosed >e4treme depression6almost m'te,> &ith previo's episodes of depression >lasting some months follo&ed !y periods of 'n's'al e4cita!ility. This morning ?prior to his admittance to the hospital@ -at home0 thre& a looking glass into the street and stood naked in the &indo&. Believed there &as a &arrant o't for his detention> for 'nspecified crimes. ='dity or se4'al e4pos're occ'rs in 2% percent of manic patients,?1.@ and 3ictorian doctors, ever vigilant against se4'al perversity, 1 1#2 1 took the symptom serio'sly. 7t admission ,ames &as descri!ed as >tall &ell !'ilt P m'sc'lar in good condition -inclined to !e sto't0.> 7n eye e4am revealed normal reaction to light, !'t his p'lse &as 1#E and his comple4ion sallo&. ,ames stated that there &as nothing the matter &ith him e4cept that he s'ffered from constipation -a common depressive symptom0,?1$@ for &hich he had taken opi'm !'t &ith no effect. (espite other medications and repeated enemas, ,ames remained constipated for a &eek. Ge had the del'sion that there &as a plot against him. Ge str'ck o't at an attendant and then fell into a >violent state of e4citement P destroyed his f'rnit're P clothes,> after &hich he !ecame 'nconscio's. Thereafter ,ames &as depressed and B'iet again, socially isolated, and neither medicines nor enemas co'ld move his !o&els satisfactorily for the ne4t t&o months. By ,an'ary 1st ,ames had improved, &as almost cheerf'l, played !illiards, and took reg'lar e4ercise, !'t he relapsed on the 1.th, !ecoming reserved and irrita!le, pacing a!o't his room and ref'sing all food 'ntil he had to !e fed !y t'!e. Ge !ecame incontinent, 'rinating in !ed and in chairs, and grad'ally &eakened from lack of no'rishment, m'm!ling >2t:s too late.> Gis p'lse rose to 12", tho'gh his temperat're remained at 9%. 9inally, he died on 9e!r'ary ", 1%92. (r. Bayley listed the ca'se of death as >mania, ref'sal of food, and e4ha'stion.> 2n prelithi'm days, in5hospital deaths of manics &ere not 'ncommon. 2n one 19"" st'dy, E# percent of the deaths of hospitali8ed manic patients &ere attri!'ted to >manic e4ha'stion,> many of these compo'nded !y ref'sal of food.?1F@ )'mming 'p the case in a recent revie& of ,ames:s medical records, (r. J. *. J. Trick, the c'rrent dep'ty medical director of )t. 7ndre&:s, concl'des: >2n modern terms it &o'ld seem that he s'ffered from Aanic (epressive illness and this final episode &as one of agitated depression &ith del'sional ideas &hich grad'ally t'rned into a retarded depression &ith m'tism and ref'sal of food.> ,ames s'ffered from manic5depressive mood s&ings, !'t &as their origin genetic, or &ere they a res'lt of the head in;'ry fo'r years earlierC 2t is not certain ho& severe the physical tra'ma &as. Ge &as str'ck !y a &ind5mill sail that t'rned a p'mp, !'t he did not lose conscio'sness< he received a !ad c't, &hich healed, !'t there &ere no reports of paralysis, amnesia, or aphasia from the five doctors -one of &hom &as the reno&ned ne'rologist G'ghlings ,ackson, and another Gack T'ke, the president of the

=e'rological )ociety0 &ho e4amined him in 1%9# and fo'nd him to !e in good physical health &ith no discerni!le !rain disease or damage 1 1#" 1 to his nervo's system.?1%@ 2f the in;'ry had !een severe, 'nipolar mania co'ld have res'lted from an intracranial cere!ral lesion, !'t ,ames definitely shifted !et&een mania and depression. 2n the a!sence of any ne'rological symptoms, it is more likely that the tra'ma only activated a genetic v'lnera!ility for mood disorder that ,ames had inherited from the )tephen family line.?19@ *eslie:s 'npredicta!le mood s&ings, altho'gh infamo's among family mem!ers, &ere never severe eno'gh to incapacitate him and &ere therefore most likely cyclothymic. 7ltho'gh milder than manic5 depressive illness and sometimes called a >s'!syndromal> mood5s&ing disorder, cyclothymia:s chronically fl'ct'ating moods -in short cycles, 's'ally lasting no more than days0 resem!le manic5 depressive mood s&ings !'t &itho't frank psychotic episodes. Cyclothymic mood shifts range !et&een irrita!le depression and high e4citement, arrogant overconfidence and shaky self5esteem, creative sp'rts of energy and ind'stry alternating &ith hypersomnolence and intellect'al aridity. 9amily mem!ers often descri!e patients as >high5str'ng,> >e4plosive,> >moody,> >sensitive,> or >irrita!le.> Cyclothymia is tho'ght to involve predisposing genetic and !iochemical components in common &ith manic5depressive illness: manic5depressives tend to have more cyclothymic relatives than the general pop'lation, and if one identical t&in is manic5depressive, the other, if not manic5depressive too, is very freB'ently cyclothymic. Dften cyclothymia appears as a >premor!id> prec'rsor to f'll5!lo&n !reakdo&ns in manic5depressives, and lithi'm is !eneficial to some $# percent of cyclothymic patients. ?2#@ *eslie:s symptoms &ere typical of the nonpsychotic mood s&ings of cyclothymia. 7ccording to his mother:s diary, he &as e4tremely volatile in childhood, >violent in temper> and erratic in health. Ge &o'ld !'rst into tears if reproached ->7 &ord or even a look of !lame p'ts him into an agony of distress>0 and hide in shame.?21@ Hven in his forties, he &as hypersensitive to reproach, !ecoming depressed &hen his ho'sekeeper >looked and spoke 'npleasantly> to him.?22@ *eslie:s mother, ,ane, fo'nd that her son &as so sensitive that he ref'sed to listen to >stories &ith 'nhappy endings.>?2"@ 7ltho'gh he &as at times >impet'o's> and >t'r!'lent,> his mother noted, he co'ld also !ecome >a!ashed at a look and seems to have scarcely co'rage to ask for &hat he &ants.> Tho'gh >self5&illed> and passionate, he co'ld not >end're to hear of the !oys !eing na'ghty or even the animals in a make5 !elieve story.>?2E@ Ge gre& pale and distressed &hen he heard >of any s'ffering or sorro&.> ,ane 1 1#E 1 concl'ded that he &as >the most sensitive child 2 ever sa&> and that !eing reass'red of her love gave him >pec'liar pleas're,> as did order: >*eslie &as rather am'sed &ith the stones at first, !'t &hen 2 had finished it, he told me he &ished 2 &o'ld not read that kind of !ook that &ent 0iggling from one s'!;ect to another< he liked a !ook that &as more steady and settled, like that long thing -the :*i!rary of Hntertaining Jno&ledge:0< he liked to have a great deal on one s'!;ect and in reg'lar order.> )'!seB'ent e4perience did not make him fonder of !ooks that >&iggle.>?2.@ Thro'gho't his life, the sec'rity of order and love reass'red *eslie &henever he &as depressed< he felt that his very e4istence depended on caref'lly ins'lating himself from the hostile, dangero's &orld -!oth inner and o'ter0 created !y his 'npredicta!le !lack moods. +hen ne&ly married to his first &ife,

Garriet ->Ainny>0 Thackeray, he descri!ed himself in pathetic terms: >2 feel like a fro8en animal that has !een taken in and tha&ed !y !enevolent people.>?2$@ Ge responded to disorder6even seemingly trivial irritations, s'ch as noisy children6as if it &ere an attack 'pon himself: >Ge &as al&ays overly sensitive a!o't noise and disorder, feeling that they &ere someho& designed to make him personally 'ncomforta!le.>?2F@ =ot s'rprisingly, *eslie coped &ith emotional disorder !y com!ining these saving graces of love and order in family life: *ove for )tephen &as a simple emotion. Passion, o!session, del'sion co'ld never steal 'pon him 'nseen, !reed a!o't his heart and possess him. The fascinating and all'ring, and those attractions &hich are mysterio'sly generated !y the temperament and physiB'e, &ere alien to his nat're and repelled him. *ove meant devotion: to adore and to !e adored.?2%@ *eslie:s depressions frightened him !y distorting his ;'dgment a!o't the stat's of all he relied 'pon for sec'rity. Ge &orried e4cessively a!o't his health, the val'e of his &ork, and the family !'dget, tho'gh all &ere so'nd. +hen acco'nts &ere presented to him, he &o'ld >roar> and >!eat his !reast> and claim he &as >dying.> Ge s'ffered from e4treme melancholy, g'ilt feelings, insomnia, hypochondria, and alternating constipation and diarrhea. +hen ac'tely depressed, he &as ha'nted !y >hideo's mor!id fancies> he kne& to !e >'tterly !aseless><?29@ he !elieved that life &as >ghostly, meaningless, and 'nreal,> >a conf'sed and p'rposeless mess of odds and ends,> and that he &as a >mere formless ghost.> =e&s of crop fail'res a!road sent him into >over&helming &orry,> yet food &o'ld 1 1#. 1 appear to him as >a dingy, idiotic &hity !ro&n, &ith no vivid colo'r in it.>?"#@ (escri!ing himself as a >harmless misanthrope,> he over&orked himself to avoid !oredom and loneliness, or he s'lked in isolation in a >comatose> state, or he fle& into violent rages, &hich he called his >Berserker 9its.>?"1@ B't, typically, cyclothymics can shift B'ickly o't of their !ad moods and !ecome happy and prod'ctive. +hen not depressed, *eslie &orked and &rote &ell, felt healthy and clim!ed mo'ntains, played &ith his children and loved life. Bet&een 1%$. and 1%F1 he had &ell periods in &hich he co'ld &rite three or fo'r articles a &eek, complete a si45tho'sand&ord essay at a sitting, and !oast:>2t is one of my &eaknesses that 2 cannot &ork slo&ly< 2 m'st, if 2 &ork at all, &ork at high press're.>?"2@ *eslie co'ld !e >enchanting> &hen in the right mood. Ge delighted his children &ith animal stories and dra&ings, recited poems, and disc'ssed literat're &ith them. Ge sa& them as !ea'tif'l and intelligent, ?""@ and he ta'ght them that life co'ld !e e4citing, as 3irginia remem!ers: Dn a &alk perhaps he &o'ld s'ddenly !r'sh aside all o'r c'rio'sly conventional relationships, and sho& 's for a min'te an inspiriting vision of free life, !athed in an impersonal light. There &ere n'm!ers of things to !e learnt, !ooks to !e read, and s'ccess and happiness &ere to !e attained there. -Mo,ents of Being E./E$0 +hen depressed, *eslie condemned himself as a pathetic fail're, even tho'gh he &as o!vio'sly an accomplished man. Ge had esta!lished a rep'tation as >a critic of literat're and religion< a philosopher and historian of British tho'ght< a !iographer< a Cam!ridge t'tor and 7nglican clergyman< an alpinist and mo'ntaineer< and an editor and a'thor> &ho &as knighted in 19#2.?"E@ Ge had the co'rage to act on his convictions and resigned his ch'rch office, pro'dly &earing the la!el of agnostic in an age of fervent !elief and conformity. Th's *eslie came to !e regarded !y his family as t&o men: one &as to'gh5minded, rational, persevering, and independent< the other &as childishly insec're, irrational, e4cessively sensitive, and self5pitying. 3irginia &as &ell a&are of her father:s t&o personae: the p'!lic *eslie &as strong, sensi!le, sympathetic, and reso'rcef'l, !'t the private paterfamilias gr'm!led, &hined, &orried, and

ho&led. Ge &as ashamed of his &eaknesses. Gis insec'rities, his needs, and his distemper he displayed only to his family, &hich, as a 3ictorian h's!and and father, he felt it &as his right to do. B't it earned him his family:s rage as &ell as their pity. 1 1#$ 1 *eslie &as a&are of his moodiness and tried to reass're ,'lia, in an 1%%F letter, that his fits of ill temper and misery had nothing to do &ith her or &ith their marriage: yo' kno&, 2 hope, that tho'gh yo' cannot give me a fresh set of nerves, all my tantar'ms ?sic @ and irrita!ilities, P oaths P lamentations are -comparative0 trifles< P that 2 have al&ays a h'ge sense of satisfaction 'nderneath.?".@ 7ltho'gh, like most depressives, he !lamed himself for his &eaknesses, he also likened himself to his o&n father, from &hom he felt he had inherited components of his character: 2 &o'ld sometimes a&ake in a fit of >the horrors>6in a state, that is to say, of nervo's e4citement and misery6&ith the erroneo's impression that 2 had !een a&ake for ho'rs and a conviction that 2 sho'ld not get to sleep again. . . . 2 am, like my father, >skinless>: over5sensitive and nervo'sly irrita!le. . . . 2 have so often forgotten things that have !een told me, &hen 2 &as more or less in this state, and declared !y &ay of e4c'se that 2 had never !een told, that it !ecame a standing ;oke against me. 2 am inclined too to !e often silent. . . . 7t the time of my nervo's depression in partic'lar 2 !ecame fidgety and tro'!lesome in a social point of vie&. . . . Ay h'mo'rs and vagaries &ere part of my character and, tho'gh many men are far !etter than 2, 2 co'ld not !ecome another man. This at least 2 can say. Ay irrita!ility implied nothing &orse. 2 have !een led to speak this &ay only !eca'se in my mor!id state, &hen my o&n shortcomings have risen 'p !efore me, 2 have tried to disperse them !y recalling the reality.?"$@ 2ndeed, in prelithi'm times he co'ld not !ecome another man or change his >nerves,> !'t at the same time *eslie:s response to his disorder &as not in his family:s !est interests. 2t sensiti8ed 3irginia to the &hole iss'e of ;'st &hat rights and d'ties family mem!ers had to each other, sick or &ell. *eslie &as right to compare himself to his father, the gloomy, selfmortifying, >intensely pessimistic,> &orkaholic )ir ,ames -1F%9/1%.90, &ho s'ffered from rec'rrent !'t 'nipolar depression?"F@ )ir ,ames had at least three ma;or nervo's !reakdo&ns, in 1%2E, 1%"2, and 1%EF, the last of &hich &as so severe that his doctors and close friends advised him to retire early from his post as 'nder5secretary of state at the Colonial Dffice.?"%@ 2n a Aarch ", 1%E1, letter to his &ife, the normally stoic )tephen, &ho 1 1#F 1 &as so convinced of his 'gliness that he co'ld not !ear to look into mirrors, descri!ed the >!ad tho'ghts> that threatened him &ith dissol'tion: *iving alone 2 am sometimes oppressed !y myself. 2 seem to come too closely into contact &ith myself. 2t is like the presence of some 'n&elcome, familiar, and yet 'nkno&n visitor. This is a feeling for &hich 2 have no description in &ords. Met 2 s'ppose everyone has no& and then felt as if he &ere t&o persons in one, and &ere compelled to hold a disco'rse in &hich soliloB'y and colloB'y mingle oddly and a&f'lly.?"9@

2n another letter, &ritten in 9e!r'ary, 1%.", he again failed to find adeB'ate &ords to e4press his sense of !lank depression, tho'gh he did tie it to a loss of self5esteem: +hat a strange thing it is that the !lank of do&nright helpless inaction sho'ld !e so very dismal a !lankQ +hy can:t one go B'ietly and contentedly thro'gh a fit of nothingnessC Beca'se it is not mere nothingness, !'t a &retched revelation to oneself &hat a !ankr'pt one is the moment one cannot dra& any longer on things &itho't.?E#@ *ike *eslie, )ir ,ames had a >nat'rally ascetic t'rn of mind> and an o!session for ordering inner chaos &ith >systematic and clearly artic'late . . . tho'ght,> insisting 'pon >the 'tmost precision of lang'age.> Both father and son &ere ha'nted !y the fear of pen'ry, and !oth &rote selfconscio'sly a!o't their nervo's condition: >Ay mind,> )ir ,ames noted in a Aarch, 1%EF, letter, >is as sensitive as my eyes, and as soon pained, irritated, and darkened !y any kind of glare.> *ike many agitated depressives, he &as especially v'lnera!le to criticism, to !eing proved &rong, 'nder &hich he >s'ffered so m'ch> that his friends B'ietly avoided B'estioning his ;'dgment< he, in t'rn, >dreaded> the tho'ght that his very presence >cast a gloom over others.>?E1@ 7ltho'gh he &as nicknamed Jing )tephen !y his colleag'es, and, &ith )ir Genry Taylor, >virt'ally r'led the colonial empire> d'ring some momento's years in British history,?E2@ he &as so shy that he developed >a nervo's tick> in his eyes, &hich deceived one stranger into thinking )tephen &as !lind. )ometimes he stared at the ceiling, >&ith a dreamy, far5a&ay look,> &hile talking to others. Ge &as >scr'p'lo'sly neat in dress, and even fanatical in the matter of cleanliness,> !'t he moved a&k&ardly and &as man'ally incompetent, c'tting himself repeatedly &ith a ra8or and str'ggling even to tie his shoes.?E"@ (epression sapped him of !oth finesse and self5esteem. +e also kno& that *eslie )tephen:s first da'ghter, *a'ra -3irginia:s half5sister0, &as !orn premat'rely on (ecem!er F, 1%F#, and &as instit'tionali8ed from the early 1%9#s 'ntil she died of intestinal cancer on 1 1#% 1 9e!r'ary 9, 19E., at The Priory Gospital, )o'thgate. Gospital reg'lations on patient privacy prevent The Priory from releasing any details from *a'ra:s medical records. 7ll information on her comes, therefore, from family mem!ers, &ho vie&ed her condition as either psychosis or mental retardation. The variance of these reports may have !een d'e to differing opinions given !y different doctors. =ineteenth5cent'ry physicians often misdiagnosed affective disorders, schi8ophrenia, and infantile a'tism as retardation !eca'se mood, meta!olic, and tho'ght disorders interfere &ith attention, cognitive performance, and memory< indeed, 3ictorian psychologists considered retardation >a f'ndamental characteristic of depressive mood.>?EE@ 9'rthermore, the sentimental 3ictorians preferred to think of a!normal children as retarded rather than insane, as !a!yish rather than psychotic, and *eslie apparently shared this pop'lar !elief. Gis description of *a'ra conf'ses mental deficiency and insanity: he refers to her as >o!vio'sly a !ack&ard child> and >mentally deficient,> !'t he also notes her >strange &ay&ardness and inartic'late &ays of thinking and speaking,> regressive !ehavior his !iographer =oel 7nnan specifies as >!a!y&ays and apathy.>?E.@ *a'ra co'ld do >disconcerting things6calmly thro& a pair of scissors into the fire,>?E$@ sing nonchalantly &hen *eslie tried to get her attention, stare >vacant5 eyed> -Mo,ents of Being 1%20, complain of choking thro'gho't her meals, or spit the meat o't of her mo'th. *a'ra developed no overt pro!lems in the first five years of her life, altho'gh *eslie had noticed some s'!tle -!'t 'nspecified0 indications that his da'ghter &as developing too slo&ly. )he &as sent to kindergarten, !'t the school:s mistress told *eslie that *a'ra >&o'ld never learn to read.> Ge tried to teach her himself, !'t she s'cceeded in reading only >after a fashion><?EF@ in 1921 3irginia said that

*a'ra >co'ld hardly read> -Mo,ents of Being 1%20. +hen she &as a teenager, *a'ra s'ffered from nervo's tics and speech impediments. Ger learning diffic'lties, her >strange mannerisms> of straining and !oggling over &ords in a >lock;a& &ay of talking,> her >spasmodic> 'tterances and >B'eer sB'eaking> ca'sed the short5tempered *eslie to complain a!o't her >sl'ggishness> and call her an >idiot> -as did 3irginia +oolf ?Mo,ents of Being 1%2@0, !'t he also reported that at times she co'ld !e an e4ceptionally ver!al child, talking B'ickly ->as fast as a pack of ho'nds>0, noisily, and persistently. )ometimes she made irrelevant remarks &ith >the most provoking good temper,> !'t she co'ld fall 'ne4pectedly into tantr'ms of &ild ho&ling. Ger father &as partic'larly alarmed !y her >grotesB'e &ay&ardness,> >perversity,> and lack of >moral sense>?E%@ 6altho'gh, ever the 3ictorian gentleman, he did not ill'strate s'ch o!servations &ith specific e4amples. This is 1 1#9 1 'nfort'nate, since even today affective disorder in adolescents is freB'ently mistaken for cond'ct disorder if symptoms are not adeB'ately specified.?E9@ B't &hat kind of mental illness &as thisC 2n his family memoir, -ir #eslie -tephen's Ma$sole$, Boo/! *eslie &rote of his s'spicion that *a'ra had inherited her maternal grandmother:s insanity: in 1%E# 2sa!ella, +illiam Aakepeace Thackeray:s &ife and mother of *eslie:s first &ife, Garriet, fell into a postpart'm psychosis from &hich she never recovered. 7ltho'gh she had al&ays !een >eccentric> and notorio'sly a!sent5minded, it &as only after Garriet:s !irth that 2sa!ella !egan to s'ffer from >an e4traordinary state of lang'or and depression> and constipation.?.#@ Then she !egan to alternate: on some days she seemed !etter, on others m'ch &orse. Periods of normalcy &ere rec'rrently s'cceeded !y >the 's'al reversal>6&eeks &hen she seemed nearly recovered follo&ed !y episodes of e4cessive violence.?.1@ +illiam noted immediately that her mental state &as 'nsta!le: >at first she &as in a fever P violent< then she &as indifferent, no& she is melancholy P silent.> )oon she s&itched !et&een sl'ggishness, agitation, and moments of happiness, !'t &as >especially> and >c'rio'sly> lo& in the mornings6a common feat're in !iochemical depression. )he e4perienced diffic'lties &ith concentration, complaining in a letter that she lost her train of tho'ght ->2 feel myself e4cited ?,@ my strenght ?sic @ is not great and my head flies a&ay &ith me as if it &ere a !alloon>6a conf'sion +illiam also noted: >she has !een clo'ded P ram!ling again>< >she kno&s every!ody and recollects things !'t in a st'nned conf'sed sort of &ay.> )he apologi8ed for her dark tho'ghts !'t at the same time asserted their tr'th: >2 try to think my fears imaginary and e4aggerated and that 2 am a co&ard !y nat're, !'t &hen people do not raise their e4pectations to too high a pitch they cannot !e disappointed.> Then she attempted s'icide !y thro&ing herself over!oard from a ship. )he s'!seB'ently lost interest in her ne& !a!y and in the rest of the family. +illiam noted that at times she &as >devo'red !y gloom> and &ept over fa'lts and past mistakes.?.2@ )he tho'ght herself >a perfect demon of &ickedness6Iod a!andoned,> in a period of ac'te despair that progressed from >apathy to fits of ram!ling gloom, &allo&ing in a :,oral melancholy:, deploring her o&n 'n&orthiness, thinking she had entailed all manner of misery on her h's!and, that she never had !een fit to !e a &ife.>?."@ +illiam concl'ded that 2sa!ella:s melancholy had >a'gmented to a!sol'te insanity,> leaving her >B'ite demented.>?.E@ 7fter m'ch care and many treatments, 2sa!ella:s episodes !ecame less severe, as +illiam &rites: 1 11# 1 There is nothing the matter &ith her e4cept perfect indifference, silence and sl'ggishness.

)he cares for nothing, e4cept for me a little, her general health has greatly improved: her ideas are B'ite distinct &hen she chooses to &ake from her lethargy. )he is not 'nhappy and looks fresh, smiling and a!o't si4teen years old. To5day is her little !a!y:s !irthday. )he kissed the child &hen 2 told her of the circ'mstance, !'t does not care for it.?..@ Hvent'ally, 2sa!ella settled into >gentle, childish ram!lings> and a daily ro'tine of simple domesticity, socially &ithdra&n and 'nconcerned &ith tho'ghts of her family. )he lived for thirty years after +illiam:s death in 1%$", maintaining >the same placid, retired life,> 'na!le to recogni8e her grandchildren as her o&n.?.$@ 2f 2sa!ella did s'ffer, as seems likely, from a psychotic depression triggered !y the ma;or changes in hormonal levels !ro'ght a!o't !y child!irth,?.F@ then !oth sides of *a'ra:s family had a history of affective illness, &hich dramatically increases the odds for the da'ghter of s'ch a 'nion to s'ffer from some form of it as &ell. *eslie noted that !y the time she &as in her early t&enties *a'ra, like 2sa!ella, &as 'na!le to recogni8e her family clearly.?.%@ 2n 1921 3irginia &rote to 3anessa that *a'ra:s g'ardian, Jatharine )tephen, had visited the fifty5t&o5year5old patient in the asyl'm and reported that she >is the same as ever, and never stops talking, and occasionally says, :2 told him to go a&ay: or :P't it do&n, then:, B'ite sensi!ly< !'t the rest is 'nintelligi!le> -#etters 2: E920. This is not the typical family profile of mental retardation, &hich &o'ld not, at any rate, oscillate so markedly in severity. =or does it s'pport (e)alvo:s alternate vie& that *a'ra &as act'ally sane, her learning disa!ilities and strange !ehavior merely a >ref'sal to 'se her mental a!ilities> at the !ehest of an a!'sive father &ho &anted to control her, and that she &as imprisoned in a mental asyl'm for over fifty years !eca'se *eslie &anted to p'nish her for mis!ehaving.?.9@ (e)alvo reads *eslie:s conf'sed rendering of *a'ra:s pro!lems as a deli!erate o!f'scation of the facts. B't &e m'st remem!er that even 3ictorian specialists freB'ently conflated the symptoms of &hat &e no& kno& to !e different disorders, and *eslie:s o&n doctor, Ieorge )avage, p'!licly espo'sed the !elief that >an insane parent may have an insane, idiotic, &icked, epileptic, or somnam!'listic child,> as if all those traits &ere genetically connected.?$#@ Iiven )avage:s vie&s, even Ainny:s death !y >conv'lsions> -pro!a!ly eclampsia ca'sed !y complications d'ring pregnancy, rather than epilepsy0 &o'ld have s'ggested to !oth men that an inherited link e4isted !et&een 2sa!ella:s disorder and *a'ra:s. 1 111 1 *eslie:s concl'sion &as theory5coherent for the times. Gis lapses prevent 's, ho&ever, from esta!lishing a firm diagnosis6*a'ra:s symptoms occ'r &ith several !rain disorders, incl'ding the childhood psychoses and a'tism6!'t &e can at least avoid the temptation of dismissing *eslie:s or ,'lia:s testimony altogether for the sake of a conspiracy theory that spans over fifty years of medical s'pervision and the deaths of !oth parents and the admitting doctor. (iagnosis aside, *eslie:s o!servations &ere pro!a!ly acc'rate< at least one st'dy sho&s that parents of psychotic and a'tistic children do 's'ally s'cceed at estimating in general, nonpsychiatric terms the a!ilities and disa!ilities of their offspring.?$1@ 7nd recent history provides a!'ndant evidence that parents of children &ith psychotic, a'tistic, or developmental disorders have !een 'n;'stly and cr'elly victimi8ed !y those &ho seek simplistic ans&ers6indeed, the simplest ans&er of all, that so,eone m'st !e !lamed for a!normality in children. Unless !iological mechanisms can !eyond a reasona!le do'!t !e eliminated as the ca'se of a child:s mental pro!lems6especially &hen those symptoms appear in disorders kno&n to !e !iologically !ased and 'nconnected to childrearing practices6!laming the parent is merely a &itchh'nt masB'erading as science. *eslie:s second &ife, ,'lia, herself e4hi!ited chronic depressive symptoms -as 2 &ill e4plore in more detail in Chapter 9ive0, and their children &ere also afflicted &ith varying levels of affective disorder.

Both 3irginia:s !rothers, 7drian and Tho!y, had episodes of depression, as did her only f'll sister, 3anessa. 2n 1%9E Tho!y reportedly attempted s'icide d'ring deliri'm ind'ced !y infl'en8a< he died of typhoid in 19#$.?$2@ 7drian:s m'ch longer life gives 's a more complete pict're of chronic, nonpsychotic depression. *eonard and 3irginia descri!ed him as !eing >e4tremely lethargic and critical,> >passive, inert, depressed and aloof> -*. +oolf, #etters ."10, al&ays looking on the dark side -3. +oolf, &assionate Apprentice 1920, needing >constant reass'rance,> lacking in vitality, s'!;ect to >tantr'ms,> having had his life >cr'shed> o't of him !efore he &as !orn, >moping P glooming> and d&elling too m'ch on the past -3. +oolf, Diar 1: 1%F< 2: 1%$< 2: 2FF< ": 22F< E: 1#"0. 3anessa &as intermittently crippled !y severe depressions, >different in effect !'t not perhaps 'nrelated to 3irginia:s insta!ility,> and her only da'ghter, 7ngelica, &as hospitali8ed for severe depression.?$"@ 7cross three generations, then, &e find five depressives, t&o nonspecific psychotics, t&o manic5depressives, and one cyclothymic: an impressive display of familial pattern. +hy sho'ld there !e s'ch diversityC 7ffective disorders are not genetically identical, ;'st as they are not !iochemically identical, !'t they do tend 1 112 1 to appear in the same families, and so they m'st have some genetic components in common that com!ine in vario's &ays in different individ'als. +ith the e4ception of identical t&ins, each individ'al receives from the parents a different com!ination of mood5disorder genes. )ome com!inations prod'ce the vario's forms of manic5depressive illness, and others prod'ce related mood disorders: p're mania, p're depression, cyclothymia, and schi8o5affective illness, all of &hich can vary markedly in severity. =one of ,'lia:s three children -t&o sons, Ierald and Ieorge, and a da'ghter, )tella0 !y her first h's!and, Ger!ert ('ck&orth, sho&ed any signs of affective illness, !'t since ,'lia herself s'ffered from chronic depression, &e can ass'me that her o&n mood5disorder genes contri!'ted to or a!etted *eslie:s in their children, all of &hom displayed depressive symptoms. 7n individ'al:s genetic make5'p is a complicated !'siness, for it com!ines selected genes from each parent, neither of &hom may display the f'll range or strength of the characteristics they pass on to their children. 7 gene coded for mood disorder may !e either a!etted or inhi!ited !y the addition of other genes in the formation of each ne& h'man !eing. Ienes are s&itches and may !e t'rned either on or off, permanently or temporarily, !y the presence of other genes or !y even smaller n'cleotide s&itches &ithin the gene:s (=7.?$E@ 2t is therefore possi!le that &hat ,ane -&ho &as not ill0 !eB'eathed to her son *eslie &as an inhi!iting gene that prevented f'll5!lo&n manic5depressive illness in him, a gene &hich may either not have !een passed on to 3irginia or have !een s&itched off in her !y a gene contri!'ted !y 3irginia:s mother, the depressive ,'lia. ,'lia:s predisposition to depression may in t'rn have !een s&itched off in her first three children !y Ger!ert:s genes. Beca'se manic5depressive illness is more readily passed from father to da'ghter or from mother to son and da'ghter than it is from father to son, it has !een hypothesi8ed that in some families one of possi!ly several primary genes responsi!le for predisposing individ'als to f'll5!lo&n !ipolar illness is transmitted via the female se4 chromosome.?$.@ 2f this se45linked gene &as involved in 3irginia +oolf:s illness, then the likelihood &o'ld !e that *eslie had inherited only non5se45linked mood5 disorder genes from )ir ,ames -eno'gh to contri!'te to his cyclothymia, his father:s depressions, and *a'ra:s mental diffic'lties, !'t not eno'gh to prod'ce frank manic5depressive illness in any of the three0.?$$@ 7ccording to this model of inheritance, the missing se45linked gene, !y itself ins'fficient to prod'ce illness, might have come from his mother, ,ane, to a'gment the )tephen family genetic code loaded for mood disorders.

1 11" 1 Th's, t&o ro'tes for 3irginia:s inheritance are possi!le: *eslie:s and ,'lia:s genes may have com!ined to ca'se frank !ipolar disorder in 3irginia, or *eslie co'ld alone have transmitted a f'll complement of genes to 3irginia even tho'gh he himself s'ffered only the milder !'t related cyclothymic mood s&ings. 7gain, it is important to remem!er that, like most genes, mood5disorder genes do not have complete penetrance -the percentage of cases that carry the gene &ho do in fact sho& its effect in any degree0< that is to say, only a minority of those &ho inherit these genes ever e4hi!it f'll5!lo&n manic5 depressive illness. P're mania, p're depression, cyclothymia, and schi8o5affective illness can occ'r in separate individ'als in a family that later prod'ces a manic5depressive. Th's, &hereas $$ percent of !ipolar patients have a family history of mood disorder, only 1. percent of them have a !ipolar parent. Thoro'gh family st'dies are needed to determine the distri!'tion and degree of risk of inherited mood disorder.?$F@ 7nyone &orried a!o't the chance of inheriting an affective disorder sho'ld seek genetic co'nseling. Ieneric mechanisms prod'ce the great varia!ility that is essential for evol'tionary adaptation and s'rvival, !'t they complicate B'estions of inheritance. 1 11E 1

;) *<o+ Com/letel& <e Satisfied <er Is ro%ed 3& the Colla/se*Em3lemati( E%ents in Famil& <istor&
2f 3irginia +oolf s'ffered from a manic5depressive illness &ith s'ch important genetic and !iochemical components, is nothing left for the psycho!iographerC 7re &e no&, !eca'se &e cannot B'estion genes, to !e denied spec'lation a!o't the psychological significance of her life and &orkC The diagnosis of manic5depressive illness may e4plain her !reakdo&ns and the form of her symptoms, !'t it does not mean +oolf &as 'naffected !y life events or did not incorporate their significance into her &ork. =or is it a g'arantee of imm'nity from psychological conflict. 7 mood disorder is an emotionally &renching e4perience, and some s'fferers may develop pho!ias, o!sessions, or ne'rotic strategies to cope &ith these dist'r!ances< at the very least, they develop a preocc'pation &ith psychological concerns that can !e ill'minating. +e can still talk a!o't +oolf:s psychodynamics so long as &e are caref'l to disting'ish !et&een psychodynamic conflicts and the manic5depressive syndrome. Psychiatrists approach this pro!lem !y looking for adaptive or constr'ctive, as opposed to regressive or evasive, !ehavior in the e'thymic personality -!et&een episodes0. Teaching the patient ho& to recogni8e and cope &ith endogeno's illness minimi8es the psychological damage and allo&s the analyst to address any ne'rotic conflicts that may !e present6altho'gh &e m'st remem!er that manic5depressives are no more lia!le to !e ne'rotic than the general pop'lation is.?1@ +ithin the psychiatric r'!ric, +oolf may !e classified as adaptive: rather than allo&ing herself to !e over&helmed !y an inc'ra!le illness, she e4plored it &ith great sensitivity, co'rage, and intelligence. Go& she did 'nderstand it is a legitimate o!;ect of st'dy for the psycho!iographer, !eca'se her e4planation in part res'lted from her o&n e4periences, in part from seeing similarities !et&een herself and other family mem!ers. Personal history can !e 'sed as a conte4t in &hich to consider +oolf:s ideas a!o't her disorder, for her art &as not an evasive or conflict5ridden mediation of 'nconscio's drives: she deli!erately shaped her novels to e4plore her anomalo's e4periences and to e4press her insights a!o't them.

1 11. 1 Aost manic5depressive episodes occ'r spontaneo'sly, !'t, since !rain activity is so closely tied to !odily processes, !reakdo&ns are sometimes associated &ith tra'matic events that prod'ce great stress. ?2@ 7ltho'gh the symptoms are not sym!ols of an 'nconscio's conflict pres'med to have generated the !reakdo&n, a link e4ists in the minds of patients &ho, like 9re'd, try to 'nderstand their despair in terms of an em!lematic !iographical event. =ormal individ'als react to the death of a parent, for instance, &ith sadness, mo'rning, and loneliness, !'t for the !iochemically depressed this event takes on a h'ge !iographical significance. )'ffering an intense sense of a!andonment and certain doom, convinced that they alone are inadeB'ate and impotent, and feeling as helpless and as v'lnera!le as infants, these patients often look !ack nostalgically to &hat no& seems to them an idyllic childhood 'nion &ith an ideali8ed parent, as they !emoan their loss or !lame themselves for this fatef'l t'rn of events. 2t &as this constant appeal for reass'rance and n'rt'ring from others, partic'larly from therapists, that led the early 9re'dians to la!el the depressive as narcissistic and to foc's on oral symptoms, for they ass'med that tra'matic loss d'ring the oral stage of infancy had originally ca'sed the ne'rosis.?"@ +e m'st not 'nderestimate the psychological effect of loss on the )tephens, ho&ever. They end'red a s'ccession of deaths, illnesses, and disappointments that &o'ld have tested the mettle of any family. *oss created a psychological pattern +oolf felt she had, to some degree, inherited, a pattern of alternating highs and lo&s, ideali8ation and disill'sionment, that colored her vie& of &hat her manic5 depressive symptoms meant, of &ho she &as and &ho she &anted to !e. Both *eslie )tephen and ,'lia ,ackson !ro'ght to their marriage firmly esta!lished traditions of depressive response to loss. ,'lia:s first h's!and, the attractive and romantic Ger!ert ('ck&orth, died s'ddenly of a !'rst !rain a!scess &hen she &as pregnant &ith their third child, Ierald, in the fo'rth year of their marriage. The ('ck&orth marriage had !een a passionate one, &hich even the skeptic *eslie declared had given ,'lia happiness that &as >'nB'alified> and >perfect.> Ger!ert &as remem!ered not only for his >s&eetness of temper> !'t also for ,'lia:s >complete s'rrender of herself in the f'llest sense> to a 'nion so idyllic that >there &as to !e no shado& of difference or discord.>?E@ The g'ilt and grief ,'lia felt at Ger!ert:s death &ere severe and forever imprinted on the family conscio'sness the Ger!ert myth &ith its moral that perfect happiness lay al&ays o't of reach. 7s +oolf herself arg'ed in 19E#, 1 11$ 1 ho& completely ?Ger!ert@ satisfied ?,'lia@ is proved !y the collapse, the complete collapse into &hich she fell &hen he died. 7ll her gaiety, all her socia!ility left her. )he &as as 'nhappy as it is possi!le for anyone to !e. -Mo,ents of Being 9#0 ,'lia responded to her loss &ith a stoic !'t mechanical devotion to her family. )he lost her religio's faith and defended her agnosticism in print !y claiming it &as earthly life, not the hereafter, that contained the real hell: ,'dgement comes to 's &hile &e live. The distant flames of Gell can s'rely not ca'se the agony &hich remorse !rings on 's. The sorro& &e have ca'sed those &ho love 's !est, the mis'sed opport'nities of o'r lives, the &asted energies line 'p against 's and tort're 's more than the &ords of the preacher.?.@ ,'lia &as ha'nted !y persistent melancholic and even s'icidal tho'ghts that t'rned her into a >chronic mo'rner> and an indefatiga!le n'rse.?$@ )he never forgot her ideali8ed past, and neither did the )tephen family: it !ecame the central image of a pervasive !elief that a perfect 'nion is al&ays

follo&ed !y devastating loss, a seB'ence that !oth )tephen family history and 3irginia:s o&n !ipolar !reakdo&ns repeatedly revived. ,'lia:s e4tended mo'rning &ent hand in hand &ith her n'rsing: the sick and dying served for her as Ger!ert5s'!stit'tes. )he felt a >mor!id g'ilt> for having s'rvived Ger!ert and confessed to *eslie her fear that she co'ld only >&o'nd !'t not heal> others &ho risked loving her.?F@ 9or some time she ref'sed *eslie:s proposal of marriage on the gro'nds that his love for her &o'ld event'ally do him harm.?%@ Dnly the serio'sly ill ran no risk from her attentions, and for the rest of her life, therefore, she &as tireless in her visiting of sickrooms. O'entin Bell !lamed her early death on her n'rsing.?9@ )he died in 1%9., at the age of forty5nine, technically of rhe'matic fever !'t essentially of e4ha'stion.?1#@ *eslie certainly kne& that her need to serve others &as closely connected to &ido&hood and grief: 7s it seems to me, she had learnt so thoro'ghly in her dark days of &ido&hood to consider herself as set apart to relieve pain and sorro& that, &hen no special o!;ect offered itself for her sympathy, &hen there &as no patient to !e n'rsed or !ereaved friend to cheer, she had a stream of overflo&ing good&ill &hich forced her to look o't for some channel of discharge. 7 child:s !irthday or any little occasion or present presented itself to her as a chance of adding something to the right side of the !alance in the long and too often mo'rnf'l acco'nt of pain and happiness.?11@ 1 11F 1 7s *eslie s'spected, it &as not for their sakes alone that ,'lia &as motivated to n'rse others. 2n her !ook on n'rsing techniB'es, 9otes fro, -ic/ ;oo,s , ,'lia herself admonishes n'rses to love n'rsing !'t not the patient: >2t o'ght to !e B'ite immaterial to a n'rse &hom she is n'rsing. . . . The gen'ine love of her :case: and not of the individ'al patient seems to me the sign of the tr'e n'rsing instinct.> )ince devotion sho'ld !e impersonal, a n'rse sho'ld !e a!le to affect cheerf'lness and !ecome adept at &earing a >face.> >Cheerf'lness,> ,'lia declares, >is a ha!it>< if a patient asks B'estions that may res'lt in 'nhappiness, a n'rse sho'ld >lie freely.>?12@ 9or ,'lia, n'rsing !ecame a hiding place as &ell as an e4piation. Ger!ert:s death had destroyed ,'lia:s ill'sion of life:s 'nalloyed goodness. +oolf descri!es her mother as having !een happy as fe& people are happy, for she had passed like a princess in a pageant from her s'premely !ea'tif'l yo'th to marriage and motherhood, &itho't a&akenment. . . . ?)@he had lived &ith a man, stainless of his kind, e4alted in a &orld of p're love and !ea'ty. The effect of his death then &as do'!ly tremendo's, !eca'se it &as a disill'sionment as &ell as a tragic h'man loss. -Mo,ents of Being "20 The loss n'm!ed ,'lia, left her empty of feeling and depressed. 2n a letter to *eslie she e4plained: 7nd so 2 got deadened. 2 had all along felt that if it had !een possi!le for me to !e myself, it &o'ld have !een !etter for me individ'ally< and that 2 co'ld have got more real life o't of the &reck if 2 had !roken do&n more. B't there &as Ba!y to !e tho'ght of and everyone aro'nd me 'rging me to keep 'p, and 2 co'ld never !e alone &hich sometimes &as s'ch tort're.?1"@ Prevented from e4periencing her grief in its f'll intensity, from sinking do&n into herself to feel real emotions, perhaps even >alien> emotions 'n!ecoming a 3ictorian &ido& and mother, ,'lia had to ass'me a dissem!ling >face> for the sake of others to &hom she &o'ld lie freely6a!o't her cheerf'lness, the val'e of life, and self5&orth:

2 &as only 2E &hen it all seemed a ship&reck, and 2 kne& that 2 had to live on and on, and the only thing to !e done &as to !e as cheerf'l as 2 co'ld and do as m'ch as 2 co'ld and think as little.?1E@ ,'lia sacrificed her rime and her emotions for others !'t did not really give herself to them, not !eca'se she &as 'ngenero's !'t !eca'se she felt as if there &ere nothing left inside her to give, as if her innermost self had 1 11% 1 died &ith Ger!ert. )he &rote B'ite candidly to *eslie that she felt >callo's> and >horri!ly 'nsentimental> a!o't their engagement to !e married.?1.@ Perhaps this &as &hy she felt s'ch an affinity for the sickroom. 7s *eslie &rites: )he arg'es &ith s&eet sophistry that 2 am more >tender> than she, !eca'se 2 can try to sympathi8e &ith the happy ?healthy@ &hereas she p'ts them >on a sort of mental shelf &hen they are !right again.> +hen she had saved a life from the deep &aters, that is, she so'ght at once for another person to resc'e, &hereas 2 &ent off to take a glass &ith the escaped. . . . 2t seemed to me at the time that she had accepted sorro& as her life5long partner.?1$@ ,'lia:s melancholic vie& of life, her >restrained> manner, and her reticence a!o't telling her h's!and that she loved him, convinced *eslie that she had !een >n'm!ed and petrified !y her grief,> !'t her emotional paralysis &as not 'naccepta!le to his 3ictorian notion of the nat're of femininity: >&oman5 like she had accepted sorro&, a life of sorro&, or let me say a life clo'ded !y sorro&, as her permanent portion.>?1F@ (epression is easier than mania for spo'ses to end're. The energi8ed mis!ehaviors of mania are e4perienced as >e4ceedingly disr'ptive to the overall family system,> &hereas depressive &ithdra&al ca'ses >relatively little marital disr'ption.>?1%@ )'!d'ed !y her depression, selfless and d'tif'l, ,'lia &as6as she appears in images that rec'r in 3irginia:s novels6>like a person reviving from dro&ning . . . ?&ho@ sometimes feels . . . that she m'st let herself sink.>?19@ 2n her letters to *eslie d'ring their co'rtship, she talked of entering a convent -tho'gh she &as !y then an agnostic0 !eca'se s'ch a life meant the >spirit of s'!mission> to s'periors &ho &o'ld relieve her of the necessity of thinking a!o't her life.?2#@ ,'lia sank into self5sacrifice, into the 3ictorian role of >angel in the ho'se> &hich 3irginia &o'ld gro& 'p to fear and hate. ,'lia had emptied herself, or had !een emptied, of a positive identity that her da'ghter co'ld have em'lated. Ger depression, ho&ever, &as something they co'ld share. 3irginia remem!ered her mother as someone &ho co'ld !e talked to: >2 think her service, &hen it &as not p'rely practical, lay in simply helping people !y the light of her ;'dgement and e4perience, to see &hat they really meant or felt> -Mo,ents of Being ".0. Their relationship had not !een intimate, !'t +oolf did not posit her mother:s potential for service on intimacy or demonstra!le love: the emphasis is on >;'dgement> -for 3irginia too sa& life as !r'tal0 and on >e4perience,> the e4perience only another depressive co'ld 'nderstand.

)ir *eslie )tephen, !y Beresford, 19#2. By permission of the =ational Portrait Iallery.

Garriet ->Ainnie>0 Thackeray, !y ,'lia Aargaret Cameron, 1%$2. By permission of the Tate Iallery 7rchive.

,'lia ('ck&orth, !y ,'lia Aargaret Cameron, 1%$F. By permission of the Iersheim Collection, Garry Kansom G'manities Center, University of Te4as at 7'stin.

7nne Thackeray Kitchie, !y ,'lia Aargaret Cameron, 1%$F. By permission of the =ational Portrait Iallery.

3irginia )tephen, 19#". By permission of the Tate Iallery 7rchive.

3irginia +oolf, n. d. By permission of the Garvard Theatre Collection. 1 119 1 2ronically, ,'lia:s compos're in the face of s'ffering f'lfilled *eslie:s p'!lic -!'t not private0 ideals. 2n an 1%F$ letter to Charles Hliot =orton, *eslie admitted his fail're to accept &ith dignity Ainny:s death: The &orst of it is that, as yo' so tr'ly say, the hideo's mass of commonplace life thr'sts itself in !et&een me and my old happiness, and f'rther6&hat is an 'nfort'nate tendency of mine6that 'nhappiness tries my temper. 2 am more fretf'l and irrita!le !y disposition than yo' perhaps kno&, and sometimes 2 !'lly my !est friends shamef'lly. The pro!lem of making sorro& enno!ling instead of deteriorating is a terri!ly hard one.?21@ Both father and da'ghter disliked self5ind'lgent displays of emotion or mor!id sensitivity< !oth felt degraded !y their >&eakness> of character &hen in the throes of despair< !oth admired ,'lia:s stoical decor'm. 3irginia praised her mother:s >inimita!le !ravery> !eca'se it involved facing a deep sense of the f'tility of all effort, the mystery of life. Mo' may see the t&o things in her face. >*et 's make the most of &hat &e have, since &e kno& nothing of the f't're> &as the motive that 'rged her to toil so incessantly on !ehalf of happiness, right doing, love< and the melancholy echoes ans&ered >+hat does it matterC Perhaps there is no f't're.> Hncompassed as she &as !y this solemn do'!t her most trivial activities had something of grande'r a!o't them< and her presence &as large and a'stere, !ringing &ith it not only ;oy and life, e4B'isite fleeting femininities, !'t the ma;esty of a no!ly composed h'man !eing. -Mo,ents of Being "$0 2n the final pages of his 1%9$ !ook, -ocial ;ights and D$ties , *eslie seems to speak of ,'lia:s life, echoing 3irginia:s admiration in his acco'nt of ho& grief can !e t'rned to good acco'nt: )'ppose, no&, that one so endo&ed is str'ck !y one of those terri!le !lo&s &hich shiver the very fo'ndations of life< &hich make the o'tside &orld a mere discordant nightmare, and seem to leave for the only reality a perpet'al and gna&ing pain, &hich l'lls for an

instant only to !e revived !y every contact &ith facts. )orro& !ecomes the element in &hich one lives and moves. . . . Met the greatest test of tr'e no!ility of character is its po&er of t'rning even the !itterest grief to acco'nt. . . . 2t kno&s instinctively that grief, terri!le as it is, is yet, in another sense, an inval'a!le possession. The s'fferer . . . acB'ires a deeper and keener sympathy &ith all &ho are desolate and afflicted< and the nat'ral affections !ecome !lended, if &ith a certain melancholy, yet &ith that B'ick and delicate perception of the s'ffering of 1 12# 1 others &hich gives the only consolation &orthy of the name6the sense of something soothing and softening and inspiring in the midst of the !itterest agony . . . . 7 lofty nat're &hich has profited !y passing thro'gh the f'rnace acB'ires claims not only 'pon o'r love !'t 'pon reverence.?22@ Both *eslie and 3irginia felt that ,'lia:s nat're &as loftier than their o&n, !'t &hereas *eslie s'cc'm!ed to his grief, 3irginia e4amined her despair !y creating fictional versions of her mother that foc'sed on t&o seemingly contradictory characteristics of her mother:s depressions. They &ere dangero's, !eca'se despair is self5negating -her mother lived, +oolf &rote, >as tho'gh she heard perpet'ally the ticking of a vast clock and co'ld never forget that some day it &o'ld cease for all of 's> ?Mo,ents of Being ".@0, and yet they &ere protective, for they prevented f'rther disill'sionment. The reali8ation that, !eca'se she felt dead already, she had nothing to fear from others: dissol'tion, gave ,'lia the strength to carry other people:s !'rdens, other people:s pain, accepting >that sorro& is o'r lot, and at !est &e can !'t face it !ravely> -Mo,ents of Being "20. ,'lia:s sense of partial imm'nity has !een shared !y other depressives. 2n some patients the self5 deval'ation typical of anhedonic depression seems to have a passive5defensive f'nction as &ell as a self5destr'ctive one: it tempers the perfectionist tendency to form high e4pectations or even manic ill'sions that r'n the risk of f'rther deflation. 9or e4ample, one yo'ng pregnant &oman &ho had created the e4alted fantasy of >a perfect, idyllic 'nion !et&een mother and child> had that fantasy >tra'matically shattered> !y the realities of !irth, child rearing, and parental responsi!ilities. Ger initial e4aggerated enth'siasm gave &ay to a despair that ins'red against f't're disill'sionment.?2"@ 2n her novels +oolf e4plores the relationship !et&een ideali8ation and disill'sionment, especially the advantages and disadvantages each offers. ,'lia can appear in any character &ho sinks in order to s'rvive depression &ith dignity. Ger last &ords to 3irginia ->Gold yo'rself straight, my little Ioat> ?Mo,ents of Being %E@0 &ere, not a re!'ke nor a dismissal, !'t the kind of advice 3irginia needed from a fello& s'fferer of depression. They s'ggest, too, &hy 3irginia came to depend so m'ch on 3anessa, &ho &as, as her da'ghter 7ngelica remem!ers, >self5reliant almost to a fa'lt, prod'cing an effect of rocklike sta!ility that &as not as sec're as it seemed.>?2E@ ,'lia:s infl'ence seems neatly ill'strated !y another memory provided !y 7ngelica, &ho, in the a!sence of *eonard, helped her a'nt 3irginia to !ed one evening at the onset of a headache: 1 121 1 2t &as the only time 2 ever sa& her near a !reakdo&n. 2 had !een shielded from kno&ledge of these. . . . )eeing her s'ddenly threatened left me &ith the impression of a stoic vanB'ished only for the moment, as !rief a moment as she co'ld make it. 2n spite of her fragility 3irginia had enormo's resilience.?2.@

*eslie had less. Ge responded to the s'dden death of his first &ife, Garriet ->Ainny>0 Thackeray, &ith a remarka!le ind'lgence in grief, !ecoming >&rapt in gloom, companionless, and silent,> e4hi!iting a perpet'ally >mo'rnf'l manner.> B't rather than feeling g'ilty for having s'rvived his mate, as ,'lia had done, *eslie pitied himself and intensified his search for a protective, maternal fig're to ass'age a dependency that had !een c'ltivated in him !y his mother years earlier, &hen he &as a &eak and sickly !oy. ,ane had enco'raged his cyclothymic tendency >to &orry e4cessively a!o't signs of ill health, and to feel that he &as a creat're greatly deserving pity.>?2$@ Unlike the anhedonic ,'lia, *eslie feared dissol'tion: ,'lia had !een n'm!ed and petrified !y her grief. . . . 2?,@ tho'gh pl'nged into deep melancholy?,@ al&ays resented or resisted the tho'ght of a complete a!andonment of the hope, at least, of happiness. 2 still some&here, deep do&n in my nat're, &as a!le to carry on a str'ggle against the dominion of grief.?2F@ Gis cyclothymia manifested itself in an assortment of physical as &ell as psychological complaints typical of agitated depression, s'ch as &aking 'p in the middle of the night &ith >fits of nervo's depression,> an insomnia &hich reB'ired narcotics. B't, !eyond these symptoms imposed !y nat're, *eslie B'ickly reali8ed that his most effective mane'ver to pers'ade self5styled n'rse ,'lia to many him &as to act helpless or sick &henever he lacked her constant attention.?2%@ 2t &as a dependency he en;oyed: >To !e n'rsed !y her, 2 kno& it alasQ, &as a l'4'ry even in the midst of s'ffering.>?29@ Hvidently ,'lia fo'nd the relationship congenial: *eslie &as a &illing patient, she &as a &illing n'rse, and !oth &ere depressed. 2n a Aarch E, 1%F#, letter to Charles Hliot =orton, *eslie descri!ed this interest he shared &ith his ne& !ride: +e &ant rest, protection from the o'tside &orld6a B'iet domestic life &ith the least possi!le proportion of anything !ordering 'pon gaiety. This sympathy !et&een 's gre& 'p in a common sense of s'ffering.?"#@ 1 122 1 )'ch a com!ination is !y no means 'ncommon. 7 tendency for assortative mating -people &ith similar disorders marrying each other0 has !een >reported repeatedly> in research on affective disorders.?"1@ They seek each other o't, perhaps !eca'se >normal> mates find it diffic'lt to 'nderstand the depressive:s &orld. ,'lia and *eslie fo'nd in each other a m't'al history of disappointment, a patient sympathy, a consoling tolerance for 'nhealed &o'nds, a shared !elief -connected to their declared agnosticism0 that life had no g'arantees, that no !enevolent providential design co'ld e4plain a&ay the senseless pain of Ger!ert:s and Ainny:s deaths. Aore important, each granted the other the right to !e depressed &itho't cens're and the right to reB'ire care -to soothe *eslie:s nerves0 or distance -to let ,'lia forget herself !y n'rsing others0. Before the availa!ility of antidepressants, s'ch a m't'al policy at least allo&ed depressives some integrity for their feelings6an attit'de far differentfrom that em!odied !y the tyrant of proportion and conversion, (r. Bradsha& in Mrs. Dallo0a . )o, after m'ch evasion, ,'lia finally agreed to marry *eslie6and e4actly for the reason he propagandi8ed, not love necessarily, !'t to provide for him the mothering he craved and to give herself another chance to keep a h's!and alive.?"2@ The )tephen marriage, then, &as a compact !et&een t&o people &ho, over&helmed !y depression:s de!ilitating pain, s'!stit'ted need for romantic love. Go&ever m'ch &e may sympathi8e &ith their very real s'ffering, &e m'st e4amine critically -as their da'ghter 3irginia did0 the destr'ctive aspects of their strategy, for each coped &ith loss and sorro& not !y e4ploring their inner reso'rces !'t !y filling 'p the emptiness inside &ith relationships o'tside, !y nestling into domestic !onds. 2ronically, in

an age that e4tolled self5help and r'gged individ'alism as p'!lic val'es, the str'ct're of the private 3ictorian family offered sec'rity !y making self5reliance, even self5act'ali8ation, 'nnecessary. Cl'ng to as a ref'ge from a competitive society, family life &as ideali8ed !eyond its real val'e, partic'larly !y *eslie, &ho sanctified ,'lia:s role as mother: Ge &orshipped ,'lia ?and@ desired to transform her into an apotheosis of motherhood, !'t treated her in the home as someone &ho sho'ld !e at his !eck and call, s'pport him in every emotional crisis, order the min'tiae of his life and then s'!mit to his criticism in those ho'sehold matters of &hich she &as mistress.?""@ There &as a c'rio's !alance in this relationship !et&een dominance and s'!mission. *eslie !oth &orshipped ,'lia and controlled her, principally 1 12" 1 thro'gh her role as a mother, &hich allo&ed him to ideali8e her and yet 'se her, as if he val'ed his vision of &omanhood over ,'lia herself. *eslie felt o!liged to >e4tract> n'rt're from ,'lia thro'gh vario's ploys: feigning dependence, placing her on the defensive thro'gh acc'sations, or implying that she &as stingy &ith her affections, that she made him coa4 or trick her into loving him. *ike an infant, he kne& nothing !'t his need. Ge felt that his gest'res of self5pity >&ere valid indications of love, for they sho&ed ho& profo'ndly he needed her,> and he did not mind dominating her &hen pity &as not forthcoming.?"E@ ,'lia, in t'rn, s'!mitted to her h's!and:s demands, !'t she took complete control in the sickroom.?".@ 7s he gre& more demanding, she &ithheld herself, !ecoming rigid, n'm!, and more internali8ed. *eslie periodically lost control &hen he felt defenseless< if despair threatened him, he either tried to fight !ack or &hined, asserting himself thro'gh domination or manip'lation. ,'lia then contracted her spirit and !ore the pain stoically. 2t is important to make the distinction here !et&een mood and desire: the depressive mood, imposed !y !rain chemistry, &as not 'nder *eslie:s control, either conscio'sly or 'nconscio'sly, !'t ho& he responded to that despair &hen e'thymic &as shaped !y mind, !y *eslie the person &ho e4perienced himself as threatened and co'ld decide ho& !est to handle his fear and his pain. Certainly, *eslie:s mother had enco'raged the display of s'ch needs, !'t his cyclothymic depressive moods increased their severity. Psychoanalyst )andor Kado, &ho o!served the same !ehavior in his depressed patients, theori8ed that they !ecome inordinately reliant on others for narcissistic gratification and for maintaining the self5esteem that depression destroys. Ultimately, Kado reasoned, the depressive:s desire to !e passive can !e satisfied only !y an all5giving >other> &hom he can control and tyranni8e. That desire to !e passive is th's a composite of &hat the depressed *eslie co'ld not choose and &hat he did choose. Gis strategy for coping &ith mood s&ings failed -especially in 3irginia:s eyes0 !eca'se he laid 'pon his family so m'ch of the !'rden to make sense and order in his life. Ge e4pected ,'lia to restore his sense of sec'rity and self5esteem &hen depression made him feel 'nloved and inadeB'ate. 7fter her death, he t'rned to his children to act as !'ffers !et&een himself and the cr'el &orld. Paraphrasing one of his 'np'!lished letters, ,ean *ove reports that *eslie >said that as long as he co'ld s'rro'nd himself &ith the children, like an :animal in a !'rro&,: nothing co'ld h'rt him6an inverted and frightening concept of fatherhood.>?"$@ 2nstead of distancing himself from his moods to o!serve them critically -as 3irginia &as later to do &ith 1 12E 1 her o&n mood s&ings0, *eslie allo&ed himself to !e s&allo&ed 'p !y them, to !elieve that every

momentary feeling, &hether it &as fear that he &o'ld sink &itho't ,'lia:s constant care or fear that he &as a misera!le fail're and did not deserve ,'lia:s care, represented o!;ective tr'th. 7ttending &holly to himself, he !ecame self5centered, egotistical, and more misera!le. Contraction and control, s'rrender and domination, in reaction to the threatened losses of despair and selflessness, &o'ld later !ecome ma;or motifs in their da'ghter:s novels. B't 3irginia tried to evolve a different strategy for herself, that of e4ploring her o&n reso'rces and resisting dependence on her mother. Aother and father stand for more than real or fantasi8ed parents or even the &hole of childhood: each fig're em!odies distinct o!;ect5relational characteristics. 7ltho'gh she so'ght short5 term n'rt're and s'pport from other &omen to allay ac'te depressive insec'rities, and altho'gh she relied on *eonard to manage practical affairs in the sickroom, 3irginia did not pretend that mother and father, affection and order, solved the very personal and e4istential pro!lem posed !y manic5depressive illness. 3irginia made no one !'t herself responsi!le for esta!lishing her sense of identity. Thro'gh &riting she filled 'p the emptiness inside &itho't entrapping others in a self5deceptive game< !y facingdespair alone, she felt she co'ld disarm it, at least in part. 9iction facilitated a'tonomy !eca'se it helped her to !oth mother and father herself.?"F@ *eslie:s domination &as in fact a reaction research s'ggests is fairly common in depressed patients. 7ltho'gh he sometimes responded to loss and deprivation &ith fear and trem!ling, giving 'p his self5 integrity as depression &ashed a&ay s'!;ect5o!;ect !o'ndaries, he often e4ploited the more potent alternative of dominating chaos thro'gh o!sessive intellection. (epression may mask itself in !ehaviors not overtly gloomy: instead of a discerni!le !lack mood, the patient may e4hi!it a need to dominate interpersonal relationships. Ge or she may manifest metic'lo's &ork ha!its, rigidity of vie& -making !lack5and5&hite distinctions, &ith little tolerance for am!ig'ity0, nervo'sness, an4iety, irrita!ility, fear of financial impoverishment, hypochondria, and digestive disorders s'ch as alternation !et&een diarrhea and constipation, a chronic symptom of *eslie:s.?"%@ ,ohn C'stance noticed that in mania he cheerf'lly em!raced parado4es and o't of fragments synthesi8ed cosmic visions of &holes< in his depression, !y contrast, his tendency &as to >divide and differentiate, analysis as opposed to synthesis.> C'stance theori8ed that his mania operated on &hat he called the (ionysian principle, &hich he defined as a >fren8y> 1 12. 1 of divergent thinking that >dissolves the ego and 'nites man &ith his !rother5man as &ell as =at're>< depression, the 7pollonian principle, involved *ogos, thinking !y >meas're, n'm!er, limitation and order, the separation of the individ'al from the mass !y a process of individ'ation, the separating o't of the elements of e4perience !y orderly analysis.>?"9@ 7ltho'gh C'stance here oversimplifies -agitated manics, for instance, may not feel 'nited &ith h'manity !'t may ;'st as easily e4perience alienation and intense paranoid hostility, &hile anhedonic depressives may lose mental concentration and complain that they are >dissolving>0, mood shifts do affect cognition, and C'stance:s form'la descri!es many !ipolar e4periences. 2n general, the agitated depressive can react to despair !y demanding control, order, and vindictive analysis, &hereas the manic may display a hapless !elief in magic and disorder and an inflated vie& of the self:s po&ers of int'ition. *ike the depressed C'stance, *eslie tried to live his life rationally, keeping chaos at !ay !y imposing his o&n >infalli!le> sense of order at the e4pense of others. Keason and realism !ecame the sole ar!iters of &hat &as tr'e or tolera!le in life< &hatever &as imaginative, chaotic, or emotional &as ill'sory, 'ntr'st&orthy, or 'ndignified.?E#@ *eslie:s arg'ments &ith 7nne Thackeray Kitchie, Ainny:s sister and a s'ccessf'l novelist, &ere notorio'sly com!ative. 7ltho'gh he admired 7nne for inheriting +illiam Thackeray:s >geni's> and tho'ght her >B'ick sympathies and her !right perceptions made her

one of the most delightf'l persons in all social interco'rse,> he heatedly condemned her >'nmethodical> mind, her disrespect for >facts and fig'res,> the lack of >proportion and neatness> in her novels, her tolerance for a >chaotic ;'m!le> of notes &hile &riting novels, her ha!it of >;'mping from one topic to another> in conversation, and the >intricate and apparently a!s'rd processes> !y &hich she solved pro!lems.?E1@ 7nne defended her merc'rial temperament and her e4pansive tho'ghts !y attri!'ting them to e4treme sensitivity: 2 care for too many things ever to do one perfectly. 7t one moment 2:m mad to !e an artist, the ne4t 2 lang'ish for an a'thor:s fame, the third, 2 &o'ld !e mistress of Ierman, and the fo'rth practise five ho'rs a day at the pianoforte. . . . ?T@hings seem to pierce thro'gh and thro'gh my !rain someho&, to get inside my head and remain there ;angling.?E2@ )he &as e4B'isitely responsive to life:s little ;oys, as she sho&s in this 1%91 letter to her h's!and, &ritten &hile traveling: 1 12$ 1 D &hat kind ladiesQ D &hat a delicio's dinnerQ D &hat a nice roomQ D ho& e4traordinarily re;'venated and cheered 2 feelQ . . . The !est of everything is not too good for one. The s'n is shining, the air is delicio'sQ 2 like the climate of AanchesterQQQ?E"@ *eslie &as hypersensitive too, !'t for him, !eing >thinned5skinned> opened the floodgates to an4iety and chaos< he co'ld never tolerate the cacophony 7nne loved. +hereas *eslie &as ha'nted !y depressive &orries of pen'ry and reproved any 'nnecessary e4pendit'res, 7nne spent money rashly, forgot to pay her !ills, and roared &ith la'ghter at his o!;ections. 7nne:s reported !ehavior6her vivacio's o't!'rsts of good h'mor, her >e4traordinary capacity> for cheerf'lness, the many plans for >a cl'tch of novels,> the >floods> of &ords in conversations, her >resilient optimism,> >e!'llience,> and >recklessly e4travagant> spending sprees5s'ggest hypomania, especially considering that !oth her mother and her niece &ere instit'tionali8ed.?EE@ +e m'st take this concl'sion &ith ca'tion, ho&ever: manics do repeatedly and floridly talk aro'nd the point, as 7nne did, digressing rather than logically developing an arg'ment, and spending money recklessly is another, and rather notorio's, symptom of mania, !'t t&o symptoms are slim evidence for a firm diagnosis. 7nne did e4perience >immense !'rsts of energy, follo&ed !y nervo's e4ha'stion,> !'t she never !ecame psychotic or dysf'nctional.?E.@ This is a !orderline case. )he may simply have had >an 'ncommonly !'oyant, optimistic temperament> that stood o't in stark contrast to the !rooding )tephen family, or she may indeed have inherited from 2sa!ella a predisposition for mild mania e4acer!ated !y her >thyroid tro'!le,> for &hich she 'nder5&ent an operation in 1%9%.?E$@ (isorders in thyroid f'nction are freB'ently accompanied !y changes in mood, especially in genetically v'lnera!le patients, incl'ding those &ho &o'ld never have developed a mood disorder had they not e4perienced some e4traordinary !iochemical stress.?EF@ B't 'nless more corro!orating evidence is 'ncovered, 7nne can !e la!eled only as >possi!ly> manic. =o matter &hat the ca'se, 7nne:s e4'!erance left a permanent and positive impression 'pon people, as 3irginia !oasted: The most ingrained Philistine co'ld not remain !ored, tho'gh !e&ildered she might !e, !y

Aiss Thackeray:s charm. 9or it &as a charm e4tremely diffic'lt to analyse. )he said things that no h'man !eing co'ld possi!ly mean< yet she meant them. )he lost trains, mi4ed names, conf'sed 1 12F 1 n'm!ers, driving 'p to To&n, for e4ample, precisely a &eek !efore she &as e4pected, and making Charles (ar&in la'gh6>2 can:t for the life of me help la'ghing,> he apologised. -"The Mo,ent" 19.0 +oolf:s acco'nt of her a'nt:s vivacity and creativity foc'ses on mild mania:s characteristic feat'res of energy and playf'l synthesis: ?7nne:s@ most typical, and, indeed, inimita!le sentences rope together a handf'l of s&iftly gathered opposites. To em!race oddities and prod'ce a charming, la'ghing harmony from incongr'ities &as her geni's in life and letters. ->The Mo,ent" 19.0 *ike the hypomanic +oolf, Kitchie evolved an approach to &riting that gre& >thro'gh the intensity of her a!sorption in partic'lar moments and scenes &hich set her memory alight and her imagination afire.>?E%@ 2t &as precisely this e4pansiveness, &hich +oolf cele!rated in her portrait of Ars. Gil!ery in 9ight and Da , that irritated *eslie, for he co'ld not tolerate divergent thinking. Ge readily admitted his intellect'al despotism: 2 had a perhaps rather pedantic mania for correcting her flights of imagination and checking her e4'!erant imp'lses. 7. and A. 'sed to call me the cold !ath from my ha!it of drenching 7nny:s little schemes and fancies &ith chilling criticism . . . . -2 o!serve parenthetically that Ars. ,ackson ?,'lia:s mother@ said after&ards that my !ehavior to 7nny al&ays p'88led people: !'t that after living in the ho'se &ith 's, she sympathi8ed &ith me, for 7nny &as al&ays the aggressor and co'ld not keep silence. Upon ,'lia reporting this, 2 confess that 7nny:s aggressions &ere not very irritating, and that she &as like a person forced to live in a den &ith a fretf'l !east and persisting in stroking it the &rong &ay.0?E9@ (isregarding *eslie:s imploded sense of reality, 7nne replaced reality &ith the constr'ctions of her e4pansive imagination. The imposition additionally inf'riated *eslie, !eca'se he &anted &omen to !e maternal fig'res &ho represented solidity and sec'rity and em!raced life as it &as, empirically and 'nB'estioningly. 7nne, in contrast, &as a competitor &ho ref'sed to s'!mit to his interpretations of &hat constit'ted >meaning.> Ger >e4'!erant> and >flighty> imagination co'ld disdain his cold rationalism !eca'se !oth imagination and rationalism are, in fact, mere mental constr'cts6not the tr'th a!o't life !'t only artificial orders designed to impose sense 'pon life according to mood. 1 12% 1 +oolf also felt this concept'al competition &ith her father keenly: 9ather:s !irthday. Ge &o'ld have !een 192% 1%"2 9$ 9$, yes, today< P co'ld have !een 9$, like other people one has kno&n< !'t mercif'lly &as

not. Gis life &o'ld have entirely ended mine. +hat &o'ld have happenedC =o &riting, no !ooks<6inconceiva!le. -Diar ": 2#%0 2ndeed, she co'ld not have competed &ith *eslie, for his fictions co'ld tolerate no one else:s, and least of all a &oman:s. 2t &as >inconceiva!le> !eca'se conceptions &ere solely his province, and they co'ld !e non5threatening only if they &ere fi4ed, rational, and convergent6everything a manic finds impossi!le to maintain. O'entin Bell sees a similar trend thro'gho't the )tephen family line: They &ere all &riters. . . . B't they &rote like men &ho are 'sed to presenting an arg'ment, &ho &ant to make that arg'ment plain !'t forci!le< seeing in literat're a means rather than an end. Their minds are formed to receive facts and &hen once they have a fact so clearly stated that they can take it in their hands, t'rn it this &ay and that, and scr'tini8e it, they are content< &ith facts, facts of this kind, they can make 'sef'l constr'ctions, political, ;'dicial or theological. B't for int'itions, for the melody of a song, the mood of a pict're, they have little 'se.?.#@ +oolf:s e4plorations of divergent cognitive styles that defy form'lation and ha!it'al !elief &o'ld also have !een greeted &ith *eslie:s chilling !aths of logic. 7nne la'ghed them off, !'t 3irginia &as !ipolar< her father:s criticism &o'ld have fo'nd a potent ally in her periodic depressions, as +oolf:s o&n description of a garden party in 1%99, >a terri!le oppressive gathering of )tephens,> s'ggests: The others are all )tephens. . . . They all !ring &ith them the atmosphere of the lect're room< they are severe, ca'stic P a!sol'tely independent and immovea!le ?sic @. 7n ordinary character &o'ld !e gro'nd to a p'lp after a &eeks interco'rse &ith them. . . . They ackno&ledge that it is dri88ling P grey, that their g'ests are depressed P think the &hole party a !ore< they can !ear the kno&ledge of these facts P s'pport the discovery &itho't t'rning a hair. -&assionate Apprentice 1E$, 1E90 1 129 1 2n contrast, ,'lia:s family line, the Pattles, >had no aptit'de for &ords> and &ere chiefly remem!ered for their personalities and !ea'tif'l feat'res, &hich ,'lia had passed on to 3irginia. Bell &rites that +oolf &as B'ite conscio's of having inherited t&o opposed traditions, one dominant, rational, and critical, the other recessive, int'itive, and !ea'tif'l. 7s the prod'ct of t&o s'ch family traditions, and as a manic5depressive, she fo'nd it helpf'l to integrate the s'!;ect5o!;ect patterns passed on to her: 7nne:s creative, >a!s'rd processes,> *eslie:s >proportion and neatness,> ,'lia:s o!sc're depths. Th's, 3irginia &as !orn into a morass of despair and dependency, ideali8ed 'nions and disill'sioning separations, control and contraction, dominance and s'rrender, divergent and convergent thinking6all of &hich had direct conseB'ences for her life and her &riting. *eslie:s needs and Ger!ert:s memory demanded too m'ch attention from ,'lia for her to !e a!le to attend to her children. 2ronically, in a family devoted to the ill'sion of perfect mothering, 3irginia &as &eaned after only ten &eeks,?.1@ and her memories of ,'lia sho& little intimacy: +hat a ;'m!le of things 2 can remem!er, if 2 let my mind r'n, a!o't my mother< !'t they are all of her in company< of her s'rro'nded< of her generalised< dispersed, omnipresent, of her as the creator of that cro&ded merry &orld &hich sp'n so gaily in the centre of my childhood. . . . Can 2 remem!er ever !eing alone &ith her for more than a fe& min'tesC -Mo,ents of Being %E, %"0 This fig're of the mother, el'sive, magical, central, yet one &hose tr'est happiness !elongs to a long5

dead h's!and, positions 3irginia herself as an o'tsider, in or!it aro'nd ,'lia !'t never to'ching, never reali8ing the promise of good mothering. 9or any infant, parental care is e4tremely important. 7s =ancy Chodoro& has arg'ed, the mother first serves as an >e4ternal ego,> mediating the infant:s total environment 'ntil the child can develop an effective and identifia!le ego of its o&n. B't the effect of mothering contin'es long after &eaning: The B'ality of care also conditions the gro&th of the self and the infant:s !asic emotional self5image -sense of goodness or !adness, allrightness or &rongness0. The a!sence of over&helming an4iety and the presence of contin'ity6of holding, feeding, and a relatively consistent pattern of interaction6ena!le the infant to develop &hat Benedek calls >confidence> 1 1"# 1 and Hrik Hrikson >!asic tr'st,> constit'ting, refle4ively, a core !eginning of self or identity. ?.2@ 9red Pine adds that developing an identity also has a cognitive component. 7t first the infant is nonself5 conscio's< it does not e4perience itself in the act of perception. Harly events occ'r >long !efore the sense of o&nership can !e identified as s'ch !y the infant. These e4periences are passive in the sense that they are not something that the infant shapes , !'t rather something that happens -or not0 to the infant.> Hven feelings may appear to come from o'tside the self. )elf5conscio'sness crystalli8es &hen the child develops the capacity to >o&n> e4periences, to feel the self as the e4periencing and integrating center of his or her &orld, &hen the infant is no longer a >passive container> of sensations and emotions. By locating e4perience phenomenologically in the self, the child learns to master events, principally thro'gh mirroring -e.g., setting 'p a circ'lar reaction &ith the mother in &hich the infant actively prod'ces repeated !ehavior the mother re&ards0 and playf'l rehearsals or repetitions -in play the self initiates all the action, incl'ding that action s'pposedly initiated !y e4ternal o!;ects0. 2n this &ay, the child discovers contin'ity and familiarity in e4periences of !oth e4ternal and internal events< identity is then felt to !e >o&ned, self5directed, and self5consistent.> )elf5consistency can develop inappropriately. )'ch fa'lty development displays itself as overincl'siveness of self5e4perience, a manic omnipotence and grandiosity &ith irrational feelings of po&er, responsi!ility, or g'ilt a!o't events !eyond the domain of the act'al self5as5actor6the same symptoms fo'nd in ad'lt manic5 depressive illness. 2n this sense, the ad'lt disorder, even tho'gh it is a different disorder &ith a different etiology, recapit'lates early iss'es of identity and perception everyone faces.?."@ +e cannot g'ess ho& m'ch an4iety the infant 3irginia e4perienced d'ring her early &eaning. Unlike Betty J'shen, 2 am 'n&illing to spec'late 'ntil &e have corro!orating evidence that >&itho't conscio'sly intending it, ,'lia or her n'rse s'ccessor, pro!a!ly held the infant 3irginia at a distance or handled her ro'ghly.>?.E@ Basing her assertion on the fact that d'ring her !reakdo&ns the ad'lt +oolf ref'sed to eat, J'shen arg'es for a ne'rotic ca'se5and5effect relationship: that the infant:s oral fi4ation can ca'se madness later on. )ince she has no firm evidence a!o't +oolf:s &eaning, J'shen &orks !ack&ard !y 'sing ad'lt psychosis as proof that something !ad m'st have happened years !efore. This is tantamo'nt to 'sing 9re'dian theory itself as proof, t'rning it into a self5f'lfilling 1 1"1 1 prophecy. Aoreover, mood disorders can ca'se anore4ia &hatever the patient:s n'rsing history, and oral sym!olism in manic5depressive symptoms does not relia!ly or literally refer to early feeding patterns,

!'t, more likely, to the emptiness, emotional h'nger, and sense of a!andonment a depressed mood prod'ces. 2t &o'ld !e more 'sef'l to see ho& the cr'cial iss'e of self5image, originating in the mother5child relationship, can help 's, as it helped +oolf, to 'nderstand the &ild fl'ct'ations of mood in manic5 depressive illness that, in effect, recapit'late the initial, 'niversal loss of sec'rity and goodness d'ring &eaning -&hether good or !ad, in +oolf:s childhood or any!ody else:s0. To +oolf, this >first severance,> the loss of the s'stained sense of contin'ity that the n'rsing ,'lia !ro'ght to the infant 3irginia:s self, seemed to rec'r &henever mania gave &ay to depression< it &as a disconnection that ,'lia:s death and 3irginia:s madness made a lifelong c'rse. Gad she lived longer, co'ld ,'lia have co'nseled her da'ghter in the finer points of depression and despair and made less horrifying 3irginia:s o&n periodic contraction of spiritC (id +oolf see her mother as a kindred spirit &ho co'ld have empathi8ed &ith her da'ghter:s need to feel >real emotions> that others, incl'ding her doctors, dismissed as perverse or irrelevantC 2 think the ans&er is yes. 7 consideration of +oolf:s novels -in Chapters F thro'gh 11, !elo&0 &ill sho& 's ho& mother and da'ghter did connect in fiction, &hat this meant to +oolf, and ho& she created for herself the confidence &ith &hich to !'ild an identifia!le core of self. O'entin Bell remem!ers +oolf said of her mother, >Ger death &as the greatest disaster that co'ld happen> -Mo,ents of Being E#0. +hat did ,'lia:s death >mean> to 3irginiaC To !egin &ith, she &as not allo&ed to mo'rn her mother< only *eslie co'ld ind'lge in grief openly. 3irginia follo&ed her mother:s tradition of feeling g'ilty a!o't grief, &ith the rationale that to mo'rn &as >vain, selfish, and egotistical,> !eca'se it foc'sed attention on her feelings rather than the feelings of others, &hom a d'tif'l da'ghter sho'ld &ant to console.?..@ D&ning feelings openly &as a do'!le5edged s&ord: 3ictorian propriety demanded demonstrations of false concern, and manic5depressive mood s&ings demonstra!ly 'nderc't a'thentic emotions. Aoreover, &hile 3irginia felt compelled to control herself -and &as deeply ashamed of losing control in mania or depression0, *eslie ind'lged in an e4travagant mo'rning, melodramatically e4claiming to his family at the !reakfast ta!le that he &ished he &ere dead, and receiving in his st'dy the visitations of co'ntless friends for comm'nal 1 1"2 1 &eeping -Mo,ents of Being E#/E10. 9rom his da'ghters he demanded the sympathy he had &r'ng o't of their mother, !ehaving as if female selves &ere ine4ha'sti!le stores of s'pportive and positive feelings, a s'pposition the depressive 3irginia kne& from painf'l e4perience &as false.?.$@ 7fter *eslie:s death, 3irginia &orried that she had not given her father the comfort he needed, tho'gh she kne& his appetite for it &as 'nB'encha!le -#etters 1: 1"#0. ,'lia:s death and *eslie:s dependence drove home 3irginia:s fear that she did not possess all the emotional reserves she &o'ld need to !e the good da'ghter, the good &ife, the >good eno'gh> mother. ,'lia co'ld no longer stand as proof that a &oman:s self &as al&ays strong eno'gh to s'rvive. *eslie:s grief &as not limited to real life !'t entered the sphere of fiction as &ell. Gis memoir, -ir #eslie -tephen's Ma$sole$, Boo/ , !eg'n t&o &eeks after ,'lia:s death, distorted the past &ith his sentimentalism. 3irginia soon felt 'na!le to remem!er her mother acc'rately< her father no& e4erted 'ltimate control over ,'lia:s self !y replacing it &ith the >'nlova!le phantom> of an ideali8ed mother. The revision has !een interpreted as an >ela!orate defensiveness> to disprove the 'nspoken acc'sation that he had &orn ,'lia to death,?.F@ !'t it &as also an act of the imagination asserting itself against a keenly felt despair, generating ill'sion to fill the emptiness of depression. 3irginia, finding no comfort in *eslie:s depiction of ,'lia as an angel of the ho'se, s'mmoned 'p her o&n image of her mother. Both father and da'ghter took comfort in fiction, as if their creations co'ld mother them, co'ld mirror !ack a

s'pportive, n'rt'ring image, not of ,'lia, !'t of themselves. 7 revised past conferred not only a sense of o&nership over ,'lia !'t a rene&ed sense of the o&ner, the >2> &ho remem!ers and recasts. Aemory, as a self5created, inner e4perience, helped to correlate identity &ith e4perience. *eslie apparently never B'estioned the a'thenticity of his narcissistic portrait< he &as content &ith his ill'sions, having s'!ordinated memory to desire. B't +oolf, as &e shall see in later chapters, contin'ally ree4amined the maternal characters in her novels, the portrait changing as +oolf:s self5confidence and self5kno&ledge gre&, 'ntil at last, in The Waves , she &as a!le to represent her inner &orld in all its m'ltiplicity &itho't s'mmoning 'p her mother:s image at all. 2dentity m'st rely not only on corro!orating memories !'t on the a!ility to &ean the self from an e4cessive reliance on others to mediate e4perience or make interpretations for 's6in short, to give 's o'rselves. 9or the yo'ng 3irginia, convinced of her inadeB'acy !y her first !reakdo&n and, thro'gh *eslie:s operatic monopoly on grief, cheated of legitimately e4pressing her feelings, ,'lia:s death occasioned another threat. 1 1"" 1 +hen *eslie capit'lated to helplessness, 3irginia discovered her o&n real v'lnera!ility as a female. Dnce dead, her mother co'ld not act as a restraining infl'ence on Ieorge and Ierald ('ck&orth, &hose se4'al advances and a'thoritarianism filled 3irginia &ith anger and disg'st. )he had no defense against them. 9amily mem!ers and friends considered them to !e model !rothers, taking over *eslie:s a'thority after the father retired from family life to his 'pstairs st'dy to !ecome a f'll5time mo'rner. =ot even (r. )avage o!;ected stren'o'sly &hen told of +oolf:s victimi8ation.?.%@ This early tendency to adopt a silent, passive position -modeled !y her mother, enforced !y her half5 !rothers0 and to think of herself as having inherited her father:s ne'rasthenia &as f'rther reinforced !y her rest c'res. The +eir Aitchell treatment of intensive mothering -e4tended !ed rest in a darkened room and a diet of milk, cream, and eggs0 'ndermined her independence and ind'ced a very real sense of helplessness in e4change for a B'icker remission of symptoms. )hortening illness &o'ld have !een eno'gh reason for her to end're it, !'t there &ere cognitive re&ards as &ell. Ke5creating the mothering she had lost and acting o't *eslie:s role of a helpless infant may have seemed a satisfying therapy if only for its sym!olic val'e, for it tied a seemingly incoherent illness to familiar -and familial0 so'rces, especially to ,'lia:s n'rsing and her &ish to sink completely instead of remaining afloat, rigid, defensive, n'm!. +eighed against the terrors of !ad tho'ghts and hellish visions, the rest5c're connection6to parents, to family history, to old, esta!lished, psychological patterns6may have !een reass'ring, even if some&hat demorali8ing. +hen >mad> and o't of control, +oolf co'ld not create comforting fictions, !'t she at least had the ass'rance that one had !een prepared for her. 7s ,ane Aarc's has aptly remarked: >9or 3irginia +oolf the art of !eing ill &as essentially the art of letting go.>?.9@ 2t &as an art her mother had &ished she had. 2n the follo&ing chapters 2 arg'e that +oolf:s o&n e4planations of her manic5depressive symptoms incorporated and sym!oli8ed the patterns of 'nsatisfactory intellective control, self5reproach, manic pro;ections, and dependency rife in her family. Ger early, a!r'pt &eaning and the lack of intimacy &ith her mother, as &ell as her frightening violations !y Ieorge and Ierald, !ro'ght home to her her cr'cial need to develop an independent, confident, adaptive self that co'ld tolerate life:s disappointments and the !ody:s mood shifts &itho't resorting either to *eslie:s defensive control, to ,'lia:s selfless s'rrender, or to 7nny:s flights. 9iction !ecame a so'rce of n'rt're !eca'se it co'ld mirror !ack to her a creative self that &as not contracted, n'm!, infantile, or self5del'ding.

1 1"E 1

=) *<o+ Immense M'st 4e the For(e of Life*The Art of A'to3iogra/h& and .oolf7s 4i/olar Theor& of 4eing
7ltho'gh it might seem 'nlikely that fiction devoted to e4pressing the e4perience of a specific illness in terms of a partic'lar family:s psychology co'ld appeal to many diverse readers, in fact +oolf:s mood s&ings and her interpretive str'ggles, &hile e4treme, are shared !y all of 's to some degree. 9or any infant, development of an identifia!le self hinges on learning to discriminate !et&een s'!;ectivity and o!;ectivity. The first lesson comes &hen the child loses the initial, !lissf'lly >manic> f'sion &ith its mother and esta!lishes transactions &ith her as a separate o!;ect. Aelanie Jlein first presented her pioneering research in childhood o!;ect5relations in Hngland, in a lect're in ,'ly, 192., at the home of +oolf:s !rother and sister5in5la&, 7drian and Jarin )tephen.?1@ That &ork provides 's &ith t&o 'sef'l constr'cts for 'nderstanding the early relationship !et&een self and o!;ect d'ring perception. Hssentially, Jlein arg'es that all children go thro'gh a transitory manic5 depressive state, &hich she considers a defense, thro'gh the 'se of manic omnipotence and control over others, against early infantile loss. =ormal children &ork thro'gh this >nat'ral affective overreaction> !y completing the separationindivid'ation process< pre5manic5depressive children, in contrast, contin'e to e4perience alternating moods, and even ma;or disr'ptive storms, that &ill later develop into f'll5 !lo&n psychotic shifts.?2@ Th's, the e4periential difference !et&een manic5depressive and normal development in childhood is largely a matter of degree, not kind. Jlein foc'sed her research on ho& the first t&o years of an infant:s life create a pattern of o!;ect5 relations that e4tends into ad'lthood. 2nitially, the !a!y is cognitively narcissistic: e4perience of self is the same as e4perience of everything else in the &orld. +hen an infant comes to recogni8e the mother as a separate, independent, yet a!sol'tely necessary o!;ect, he also discovers his 'tter dependence on her and his o&n helplessness. 7s an isolated entity, the child is doomed to emptiness 'nless filled !y someone else. )'ccessf'l &eaning gives the !a!y confidence to !elieve that separateness need not !e tra'matic &hile allo&ing him to reali8e that, since s'!;ect and o!;ect are intrinsically distinct, his inevita!ly am!ivalent feelings a!o't his mother had no hand in creating the separation and did not destroy his so'rce of perfect n'rt're.?"@ 2n other &ords, it &as not some 1 1". 1 >original sin> that !anished the infant from !liss. The lesson to !e learned here !y the child is that feelings, &ishes, and fantasies are contained 0ithin the infant and that they can sometimes !e B'ite 'nrelated to e4ternal circ'mstances. The s'!;ective self can no& !e seen as one &orld, &hile o!;ective reality is another &orld, seemingly 'nrelated and sometimes hostile, altho'gh transactions !et&een the t&o can occasionally !ring a!o't a satisfactory sense of 'nity. This reass'ring 'nderstanding averts the intense separation an4iety that can ca'se infants to form 'nconscio's fantasies that they have virt'ally devo'red their mother and &ill !e endlessly h'ngry, empty, and depressed from no& on. )ignificantly, psychoanalyst Dtto 9enichel has o!served that the 'nconscio's6and conscio's6ideas of depressed patients are >filled &ith fantasies of persons or parts of persons they may have eaten.> Harly psychoanalysts mistakenly theori8ed 'pon s'ch evidence that manic5depressive illness &as ca'sed !y narcissistic tra'ma d'ring the oral stage of infancy.?E@ B't Jlein !elieves that &e all form s'ch fantasies &hen, as infants, &e str'ggle &ith the pro!lems of dependence and n'rt'ring, the

>manic> desire for perfect satisfaction, the >depressive> fear of endless h'nger, the primacy of s'!;ectivity, and the insignificance of the s'!;ect. Perhaps, then, endogeno'sly depressed patients, feeling empty and doomed, sym!oli8e their inner state !y recapit'lating this early, similar e4perience &e all share. Dral images may !e spontaneo's metaphors !y &hich certain elements of a manic5 depressive:s e4perience may !e e4pressed. The manic &ho declares himself to !e Iod !eca'se he feels godlike is not necessarily and ne'rotically regressing !ack to the infantile stage of omnipotent !liss. Kather, the similarities !et&een the t&o mood states are e4ploited !y a !rain &hose dist'r!ed percept'al apparat's reads e4ternal and internal stim'li, past and present events, reality and !elief as one and the same. =e'rologically, making connections is a f'ndamental &ay of kno&ing. 2f &eaning is not s'ccessf'l, Jlein arg'es, the infant may fear he has damaged the mother on &hom he is totally dependent, especially if, disappointed and fatig'ed, she &ithdra&s her attentions and imposes separation a&k&ardly or r'thlessly. The !a!y:s internal &orld fragments as &ell, destroyed !y his am!ivalent feelings a!o't her and a!o't himself. +hen that am!ivalence is not recogni8ed as an inner state !'t is perceived as an o'ter fact, s'!;ect5o!;ect distinctions !ecome conf'sed, leading to self5 destr'ctive and self5deceptive misinterpretations. 9eelings of helplessness and anger are transm'ted into a sense of an empty and hostile 'niverse, 1 1"$ 1 and the depressed infant mo'rns the loss not only of his former happiness !'t of his self.?.@ D'ter lack eB'als inner. This can have long5term reperc'ssions: The infant comes to define itself as a person thro'gh its relationship to ?mother@, !y internali8ing the most important aspects of their relationship. 2ts stance to&ard itself and the &orld6its emotions, its B'ality of self5love -narcissism0, or self5hate -depression06all derive in the first instance from this earliest relationship.?$@ 7ny sym!olic attempt, in art or in play, to restore the lost o!;ect increases tr'st in self5love and self5 confidence< the self !ecomes good again !eca'se it demonstrates its po&er to create a val'ed o!;ect. B't reparation, Jlein &arns, is a slo& process, and the infant kno&s only its 'rgent need. Aanic defenses -&hich sho'ld not !e conf'sed &ith mania0 are faster and, !y denying dependency and helplessness, can protect the ego from despair. >Aanic control,> the infant:s omnipotent &ishes, orders the &orld and makes it dependa!le. The child determines to e4tort care from the mother thro'gh manip'lative !ehavior. )elf dominates o!;ect, transforming it according to self:s &ish and need. Go&ever, if any satisfaction is gained, it is ill'sory, as ins'!stantial as Ar. Kamsay:s alpha!etical conB'est of facts in To the #ightho$se , as harmf'l as *eslie:s cold !aths of logic splashed on 7nny:s e4'!erant imagination.?F@ The mother &ho m'st !e coerced !y threat of tantr'm or tears is a mirror of the tr'ly &orthless self. 7s long as *eslie had to coa4 affection from ,'lia -or impose order 'pon chaotic e4perience0, he co'ld not increase his self5esteem. Jlein:s model of infant development ill'minates a critical personal and aesthetic iss'e for +oolf that lies at the heart of a series of central memories in her a'to!iographical &ork >7 )ketch of the Past.> Jlein, like her mentor 9re'd, tends to vie& the creative act as an ill'sion, a s'!stit'te gratification rather than a &ay of kno&ing the &orld and esta!lishing a n'rt'ring transaction &ith it. B't her form'lation of the manic and depressive modes as reactive and originating in infancy does artic'late &hat +oolf learned from the s'!;ective e4perience of her manic5depressive !reakdo&ns, &hich &ere endogeno's and limited to ad'lthood. 2t also e4plains &hy sometimes in +oolf:s fiction a moment of creative perception res'lts in conflict rather than resol'tion. T&o incompati!le entities, self and o!;ect, and the mechanisms accompanying transactions !et&een the t&o interpretative post'res of manic

pro;ection and depressive o!;ectification m'st !e integrated, or insight &ill fail. Creativity challenges the self to risk its a'tonomy 1 1"F 1 in the hope of strengthening itself !y !inding its inner &orld of meaning to the o'ter &orld of o!;ects. 7rt allo&ed +oolf to e4plore her illness !y ret'rning her to those initial crossroads &here she &as o!liged to handle reality !oth as a thing in itself and as an artifact of imagination6a skill her illness periodically revoked !'t her &riting and o'r reading reinstate. 7ltho'gh reading her novels cannot ind'ce the illness in 's, it can recapit'late that early and formative event &e share &ith +oolf if &e allo& o'rselves to e4perience a pro!lematic reading, achieving a fl'id !alance !et&een perceiving the literal meaning of &ords and fa!ricating a s'!;ective meaning 'niB'e to o'rselves !'t not foreign to the te4t. 9iction is as m'ch a test of o'r po&ers as of the a'thor:s, and in her most diffic'lt novels +oolf deli!erately ta4es o'r interpretive skills to help 's !ecome more conscio's of ho& &e read. >7 )ketch of the Past> is an o!sc're, digressive, and fragmentary a'to!iography &ritten to provide relief from the a'thor:s >dr'dgery of making a coherent life> of Koger 9ry:s !iography -Mo,ents of Being %.0. )tressing its cas'al nat're, +oolf introd'ces her sketch &ith a c'rio's apology: There arc several diffic'lties. 2n the first place, the enormo's n'm!er of things 2 can remem!er< in the second, the n'm!er of different &ays in &hich memoirs can !e &ritten. 7s a great memoir reader, 2 kno& many different &ays. B't if 2 !egin to go thro'gh them and to analyse them and their merits and fa'lts, the mornings62 cannot take more than t&o or three at most6&ill !e gone. )o &itho't stopping to choose my &ay, in the s're and certain kno&ledge that it &ill find itself6or if not it &ill not matter62 !egin: the first memory. -$E0 This passage is odd !eca'se, &hile +oolf claims not to shape a pattern for her narrative, she ass'res 's that a pattern &ill emerge6>or if not it &ill not matter>6th's implying that &hat she &ants to comm'nicate cannot &holly reside in the te4t itself. D'r apprehension of a str'ct're that connects a seemingly dis;ointed seB'ence of events depends on o'r a!ility to s'pply meaning, or on the te4t:s a!ility to invite it, or on +oolf:s desire not to destroy it !y imposing her o&n analysis6or on all three. +e are never s're &hat to think a!o't o'r role in reading this te4t. +e have not !een invited to apply convergent thinking on o!;ective, !iographical facts, !'t to read scenes that arrange themselves and so !ecome >representative, end'ring,> em!lematic of something other than an historical fact. )'ch >informality> has !een sho&n to !e the prod'ct of caref'l art, not 1 1"% 1 inattention< !y foregro'nding the techniB'e of &orking thro'gh the past !y scene5making, Woolf foc$ses $pon herself as the one 0ho e(periences , &hich is &hat identity formation is all a!o't.?%@ 2 shall no& e4tend that insight !y sho&ing ho& the e4periences themselves are em!lematic of !ipolar mood components. 2n the first ten pages of her sketch, +oolf gives 's seven childhood memories to ill'strate her discovery of >!eing>: a momentary, profo'ndly tr'thf'l interpretation of a perception that validates the 'nity of the perceiver &itho't e4plicitly tying any of the memories together, resisting the pamphleteering )tephen family tradition of marshaling evidence to arg'e a point. 2nstead, she asks her readers to e4perience her memories as 'nordered, incoherent, s'ggestive !'t not definitive, &hile &e remain a&are that &e are sim'ltaneo'sly engaged in the pro!lematical activity of reading, in &hich meaning is

traditionally eB'ated &ith order. Both the content and the form of +oolf:s a'to!iography foc's o'r attention on the diffic'lties of interpretation, as if the real so'rce of !iographical kno&ledge a!o't +oolf lay as m'ch in ho& &e handle meaninglessness as in &hat &e do &ith meaning. Ger deli!erate reticence and the te4t:s am!ig'ity test o'r tolerance for a >failed> reading. 2f &e are to kno& her and not ;'st the facts a!o't her, the rain!o& as &ell as the granite, &e m'st !e caref'l neither to impose order ar!itrarily on &hat &e read nor to sink into an 'nshaped collection of data. +e m'st let the memoir >find itself>6!'t that too involves o'r 'nspecified help. D!vio'sly, s'ch a method defies conventional 9re'dian strategies for reading a'to!iography. Previo's a'thors of psychoanalytic st'dies of >7 )ketch of the Past> have seen only evasion or disg'ise in the te4t:s am!ig'ities and lapses in contin'ity, and a !rief consideration of ho& they arrived at their readings &ill ill'minate the !ipolar str'ct're of +oolf:s memoir. 3irginia Gyman, for instance, sees the diffic'lty of interpreting >the vast B'antity of disparate and sometimes contradictory information,> &arning readers that any memory may !e re&orked and that the narrative may have more validity than the e4perience it is s'pposed to render: 2f any recollection is in itself a distortion, and if a recollection of a recollection is f'rther removed from the original e4perience, ho& can &e arrive at the tr'th a!o't the original e4perienceC The o!vio's ans&er is that &e cannot.?9@ Iood so far, !'t &ill Gyman relinB'ish her need for a convergent tr'thC )he contin'es: 1 1"9 1 The !est &e can do is to constr'ct &hat Koy )chafer -19%#0 calls a >second reality> &hich is more coherent and incl'sive than the narrative itself. . . . To constr'ct this second reality, &e m'st ;'4tapose &hat &e kno& of the &riter:s present circ'mstances against the story that he is telling 's.?1#@ The &ord against implies that &e m'st disco'nt +oolf:s te4t as 'ntr'st&orthy and prevaricating &henever it and 9re'dian theory conflict. )ince there are many points of conflict, Gyman finds +oolf to !e a frightened &oman &hose ad'lt &orld is collapsing and &ho flees to the past to escape her present diffic'lties. This regression is pres'med to !e ne'rotic and distortive, and so Gyman reasons: 2f &e accept the fact that the scenes +oolf descri!es are defenses against the e4periences, and at least as m'ch created as perceived, &e m'st alter o'r interpretation of them as direct and valid recollections of the original events. . . . ?+@e can constr'ct a second reality that is more coherent and incl'sive than the first.?11@ 7gain, the &ord against characteri8es Gyman:s attit'de to&ard a'to!iography: not only sho'ld &e array o'r kno&ledge against +oolf:s, !'t +oolf herself is depicted as opposing her o&n past in order to create comforting ill'sions a!o't &hat really happened. 9re'dian theory, like the infant:s manic control, reorders evidence to avoid cognitive dissonance. Gyman:s original insight is good< as an a'to!iography, >7 )ketch of the Past> is fragmented, am!ig'o's, a recollection of recollections, and it may therefore not !e valid as o!;ective history. B't her need for a more coherent and incl'sive reality than +oolf is &illing to give 's leads her to replace +oolf:s story &ith, in effect, an >'nlova!le phantom,> ;'st as *eslie replaced ,'lia in his memoir &ith a &ife more s'ita!le to his personal needs and his c'lt're:s val'es. *eslie certainly seemed defensive in his revisions, and in his version of his life history he caref'lly covered over gaps and contradictions. ?12@ +oolf, in contrast, foregro$nds the fragmentedness of her recollections, as if to dra& o'r attention to &hat cannot !e told systematically. B't Gyman cannot accept lapses in narrative as anything !'t

defensive omissions< like the !adly &eaned infant, she denies the e4perience of lack !y forci!ly manip'lating the te4t and e4torting a more comforting order than the one +oolf thinks !est e4presses her m'ltiplicito's life. That order comes in the form of a theory: !eca'se +oolf >treats herself as a perceiver acted 'pon !y e4ternal forces> instead of 1 1E# 1 imitating a'to!iographers &ho record tri'mphs, Gyman concl'des that +oolf is so pathologically passive she cannot face her feelings honestly.?1"@ The >e4ternal forces> !ecome mere ne'rotic pro;ections of repressed emotion. Ay interpretation &ill offer no narro&ly convergent >tr'th> of +oolf:s early life that she co'ld not have kno&n. *ike the n'rsing mother &eaning her dependent infant, +oolf &ithholds ready satisfaction for o'r o&n good6and for hers. +e m'st learn to accept her as she is, and accept the fact that her memories may have !een re&orked !eca'se memory is not relia!ly o!;ective in anyone. The !rain refines and a!stracts all it perceives< no memory is epistemologically privileged. Aoreover, +oolf:s is an a'to!iography that e4plicitly introd'ces itself as a pro!lematic history: in the first paragraph +oolf ref'ses to analy8e content -&hich memories she &ill select0 or form -&hy her memoir is &ritten ;'st this &ay0. )eemingly hapha8ard, this sketch can have only one p'rpose: to e4press +oolf:s o&n sense of her identity, that &hich someho& orders the material. Th's the fragments tell a more profo'nd tr'th than either 'nadorned fact co'ld e4press or defensive ego co'ld impose. To see this s'!;ective5 o!;ective vie&, this em!lematic history of !eing, &e m'st let her instr'ct 's. Beginning &ith her earliest memory, a p'rely vis'al impression of her mother:s dress6red and p'rple flo&ers on a !lack !ackgro'nd6as seen from her mother:s lap, +oolf digresses into another memory of lying in a n'rsery at )t. 2ves, hearing the rhythm of the ocean &aves, and feeling >it is almost impossi!le that 2 sho'ld !e here . . . feeling the p'rest ecstasy 2 can conceive . . . of lying in a grape and seeing thro'gh a film of semi5transparent yello&> -$.0. The &om!like sec'rity of these images of fr'itf'lness -the flo&ers on ,'lia:s !reasts, the grape, the ever5present, comforting, rocking rhythm of the &aves0 is !elied !y the omino's statement that 3irginia finds it hard to !elieve she is really there. The ecstasy is real, !'t she herself is not: >2 am hardly a&are of myself, !'t only of the sensation. 2 am only the container of the feeling of ecstasy, of the feeling of rapt're> -$F0. The e4perience is so pleasant, she confesses, that she sometimes &ishes she co'ld ret'rn to the p're ecstasy she associates &ith infancy, &itho't shame or reperc'ssions. )he is caref'l here to tell 's, tho'gh, !y a series of B'alifiers, that she kno&s s'ch recapit'lation can never !e real: 7t times 2 can go !ack to )t 2ves more completely than 2 can this morning. 2 can reach a state &here 2 see, to !e &atching things happen as if 2 &ere there. That is, 2 s'ppose, that my memory s'pplies &hat 2 had forgotten, so that it see,s as if it &ere happening independently, tho'gh 2 am really making it happen. -$F< my italics0 1 1E1 1 The ad'lt +oolf kno&s that self is more real than mood. B't in the grip of mania -or in the state of infancy0, ecstasy seems to have an e4istence independent of her &illingness to con;'re 'p images. Aania denies her o&nership of her o&n e4periences, !'t the sensation is so re&arding that she hopes science &ill someday invent a machine to trace s'ch states and present them as p're e4perience, &itho't the egotistical mis!ehaviors she kno&s accompany ad'lt episodes: 2 shall fit a pl'g into the &all< and listen in to the past. 2 shall t'rn 'p 7'g'st 1%9#. 2 feel

that strong emotion m'st leave its trace< and it is only a B'estion of discovering ho& &e can get o'rselves again attached to ?the past@, so that &e shall !e a!le to live o'r lives thro'gh from the start. -Mo,ents of Being $F0 Clearly, the past is sed'ctive for +oolf, a !lessed time !efore the onset of an illness that proved the pro!lematic and dist'r!ing nat're of the self, !'t it is also em!lematic of the myth of p're happiness, of an ideali8ed constr'ction eB'al to *eslie:s remem!rances of ,'lia and to ,'lia:s memory of Ger!ert. +oolf spec'lates that if she co'ld only learn ho& to >fit a pl'g,> and, conversely, to >p'll the pl'g> -&hen mania gets o't of control and !ecomes self5destr'ctive0, she might en;oy the assets of mania &itho't !ecoming ill. *ike an infant !efore &eaning, the manic +oolf feels as if she has entirely s'!s'med n'rt'ring goodness into herself and yet is still eng'lfed !y it, !'oyed and !athed as !y a friendly &ave. ='rt're, in mania, is ine4ha'sti!le, and so omnipotence is a given. The yello& meat of the grape softens perception, privileges impression over fact, sm'dges s'!;ect5o!;ect !o'ndaries, and erases separateness. Go& sho'ld &e vie& this ideali8ed portraitC 9re'dians react &ith a pec'liar mi4t're of scientific detachment and moral disapproval. 7lma Bond concl'des that mania is merely a defense mechanism: 2n order to escape 'nspeaka!le pain and grief at terri!le crises of her life, 3irginia +oolf e4perienced a tremendo's p'll !ack to her early paradise. )he faced a do'!le ;eopardy: Kegression meant loss of self, &hile gro&ing 'p meant loss and despair. To avoid these t&in disasters, 3irginia >chose> the middle path of mania. . . . 2n my opinion, 3irginia +oolf, as all manics, distorted one of nat're:s most !ea'tif'l and creative gro&th periods, that of the >love affair &ith the &orld,> into a hideo's travesty.?1E@ *eaving aside Bond:s hostile co'ntertransference that manics choose to lose to'ch &ith reality, or that shifting into mania is a perverse and 'nnat'ral act, sho'ld &e regard 3irginia +oolf:s memory as a defensive 1 1E2 1 !lind spotC 2s it here !eca'se she ha!it'ally severs the connection !et&een self and its emotionsC The ans&er, +oolf tells 's enigmatically, may lie in a second memory: at si4 or seven years old, she got into the ha!it of looking at her face in a hall mirror, a self5ind'lgence of &hich she felt deeply ashamed. 7ttri!'ting her sense of shame not to any personal conflict !'t to an >instinct> inherited from the )tephen family line, she refers to a story a!o't her self5denying, depressive grandfather, >)ir ,ames, &ho once smoked a cigar, liked it, and so thre& a&ay his cigar and never smoked another> -Mo,ents of Being $%0. Ge, apparently, did not ind'lge himself, despising egotism, nor did he long for self5 ind'ced !liss< his control &as a!sol'te and rigid, e4aggerating the separation !et&een a 'nmergea!le self and the o!;ect it controlled. 7 digression no& follo&s, &hich incl'des a disc'ssion of +oolf having inherited >p'ritanical> prohi!itions -she too feels compelled to control herself and refrain from the egotism of selfind'lgence0, her admission of intense shame a!o't femininity and dress -for most of her life, she, like )ir ,ames, fo'nd it diffic'lt to look at her image in a mirror0, and then a confession that she co'ld feel >ecstasies and rapt'res spontaneo'sly and intensely and &itho't any shame or the least sense of g'ilt, so long as they &ere disconnected &ith ?her@ o&n !ody> -$%0. Aania is en;oya!le and g'ilt5free as long as it is not acted o't as vanity, as long as it is childlike and given to her !y someone or something else. 9oc'sing on the mirroring of her !ody serves as a personal metaphor for a self5ind'lgent mania, the p'nishment for &hich is depression. 7s &e sa& in chapter 2, ,ohn C'stance noted that depression made him feel g'ilty a!o't having en;oyed his egotistical manic states< he too felt >rep'lsion> for himself:

?(epression@ invades the personality in the form of intense disg'st for oneself, horror of one:s !ody, of seeing one:s reflection in a mirror and so on. Clothes and personal property associated &ith oneself !ecome o!;ects of rep'lsion, &hereas in the manic phase clothes and other property take on an e4traordinarily attractive aspect< 2 have often felt them im!'ed &ith magical po&ers, filled &ith >mana> as it &ere. 7t the same time one takes a narcissistic delight in one:s o&n !ody.?1.@ Aost manic5depressives e4perience ac'te shame and h'miliation, partic'larly over self5ind'lgent actions performed d'ring mania: monopoli8ing conversations, ignoring the feelings of others, or ind'lging in spending sprees, se4'al transgressions, or violence. Aood s&ings are often vie&ed !y patients as lo&s that nat'rally and inevita!ly co'nter!alance 'nreasona!le highs. 1 1E" 1 9or +oolf, depression came as a period of penance for >great egoism and a!sorption and vanity> -#etters 1: EF#0, typically as a morning headache and melancholy after too m'ch sociali8ing the night !efore: 3aria!le as a !arometer to phychical ?sic @ changes, my &its fl'tter P fri88le P 2 can get no &ork o't of them. . . . 2:ve !een gadding . . . gadding too m'ch for the health of my five &its. They soon ;angle. -Diar 2: 2.%0 +hen her life revolved too intensely aro'nd her o&n personality6too m'ch clever talk, too many parties, too m'ch admiration6depression ta'ght her to B'estion the arrogance of personality: ?+@hy is not h'man interco'rse more definite, tangi!le. . . . )omething ill'sory then enters into all that part of life. 2 am so important to myself: yet of no importance to other people: like the shado& passing over the do&ns. 2 deceive myself into thinking that 2 am important to other people: that makes part of my e4treme vividness to myself: as a matter of fact, 2 dont matter< P so part of my vividness is 'nreal< gives me a sense of ill'sion. -Diar ": 1%%0 *oving the e'phoria !'t condemning the egotistical e4pansion of mania, the depressed +oolf tried to see herself in minimalist terms, not as an everlasting thing or a !ea'tif'l face in the mirror, !'t as a container &aiting to !e filled &ith something that really &as val'a!le, real, and life5giving. 9or the evangelical )ir ,ames, that so'rce of !lameless !o'nty &as his Iod, &hose !lessing &as a ;oy a!o't &hich he did not need to feel ashamed. +oolf e4pected no s'ch divine intervention. +hat, then, &o'ld fill 'p the inner emptiness left !y her passing moodsC >7 )ketch of the Past> &ill tell 's6!'t not ;'st yet. T&o more memories6also 'ne4plained and tied 'p &ith self, shame, and mirrors6follo& in B'ick s'ccession. 2n the first, a!o't the time that 3irginia !egan to admire herself in the hall&ay mirror, near that hall&ay eighteen5year5old Ierald ('ck&orth e4plored her private parts: >2 remem!er resenting, disliking it6&hat is the &ord for so d'm! and ,i(ed a feelingC> -Mo,ents of Being $9, my italics0. 2n a letter on the same memory, she descri!es her feelings after this violation as >shame> -#etters $: E$#0 and attri!'tes her discomfort to >all sorts of s'!terranean instincts,> stressing her allegiance to the ancestral moral code, inherited !y all )tephens, that condemns egotistical self5ind'lgence6&hich, 'nfort'nately, &as another )tephen inheritance. Ca'ght !et&een inheritances, !et&een manic ind'lgence and depressive control, she moves on to the 1 1EE 1

second memory and relates a childhood dream, vag'ely e4plaining its relevance ->for it may refer to the incident of the looking5glass>0 in &hich, &hile staring at herself in the hall&ay mirror, >a horri!le face6the face of an animal6s'ddenly sho&ed over ?her@ sho'lder> and frightened her -$90. The dream seems rather straightfor&ard, too easy in fact, and +oolf leaves 'nsaid the connection the reader is tempted to make: that the dream ill'strates +oolf:s se4'al response to Ierald:s a!'se, that she &as ashamed of the se4'al feelings he s'pposedly stirred 'p in her, that the previo's mirror enco'nter &as therefore a'toerotic. Th's, the animalistic face !elongs to Ierald -&ho is acting >!eastly>0 or perhaps even to 3irginia -&ho desires his !eastliness !'t, ne'rotically, cannot admit the fact0. ,ean *ove arg'es s'ccessively for !oth vie&s, concl'ding that +oolf:s shame stems from having demeaned herself !y en;oying the caresses of someone &ho rep'lsed her.?1$@ D't of shame, of co'rse, come frigidity and madness, and so the ne'rotic !asis for manic5depressive illness seems to have an a'to!iographical corro!oration. B't !iological research sho&s that frigidity does not ca'se manic5depressive illness< it is often a res'lt of the disorder. 7nd &e m'st ask o'rselves &hether, like 9re'd &ho insisted that (ora m'st have !een se4'ally attracted to Gerr J. !eca'se she had felt his erection, &e too are s'pplying feelings the s'!;ect does not have. 9re'd did not do'!t the po&er of the phall's to inspire desire in a &oman, and so he regarded (ora:s denial of desire as resistance and her s'!seB'ent dreams as deceitf'l representations. 2f &e treat the a!sences or gaps in +oolf:s te4t as resistance, are &e too not ass'ming that se4 can drive a yo'ng &oman insaneC +oolf does connect Ierald and !east, !'t the 9re'dian reading leaves m'ch 'ne4plained, and especially the iss'es of mothering, mirroring, and mania &hich permeate this &hole section. Aoreover, the portrait of +oolf:s >devastating frigidity> has !een a!ly challenged !y Blanche +iesen Cook, &ho has analy8ed +oolf:s e'thymic letters to 3iolet (ickinson and finds e4pressed there not a coldly dispassionate love !'t a &arm, convivial l'st. +e sho'ld follo& 3ita )ackville5+est:s s'ggestion that &hat +oolf disliked a!o't men &as not their desire for se4 !'t their >possessiveness and love of domination,>?1F@ and &e sho'ld remem!er +oolf:s critical eval'ation of Kalph Partridge: Kalph comes t&ice a &eek or so, an indomita!le, perhaps rather domineering, yo'ng man< loves dancing< in the pink of health< a healthy !rain. Ge descri!ed a !rothel the other night 6ho&, after the event, he P the girl sat over the fire, disc'ssing the coal strike. Iirls paraded !efore him6that &as &hat pleased him6the sense of po&er. -Diar 2: F.0 1 1E. 1 Ierald may have t'rned +oolf against the alliance of po&er and se4 in men, !'t not against passion. Hros takes many forms, and a &oman:s desire for another &oman is not, in itself, evidence of ne'rosis, let alone of frigidity. 2f +oolf had not !een manic5depressive, her se4'al preference &o'ld not !e vie&ed as a convenient symptom of st'nted development. Go&, then, sho'ld &e vie& this memory of a dreamC )ignificant memories or dreams in o'r lives, the ones &e remem!er as em!lematic, need not !e6indeed, 's'ally are not6se4'al in nat're. 7s one critic reminds 's: >2f 9re'd teaches 's anything, it is not that :desire is primarily se4,: !'t that &e never kno& &hat desire is, or &hat se4 is.>?1%@ The dream research of the past t&o decades s'ggests that the &ord transfor,ation &o'ld !etter carry 9re'd:s form'lation of ho& dream&ork f'nctions than &o'ld distortion or censorship of for!idden 'nconscio's &ishes. These >transformations may s'!seB'ently !e 'nderstood !y the &aking psyche in &ays that make them classifia!le as disg'ises,> !'t >they may also !e 'nderstood !y the &aking psyche in &ays that make them classifia!le as revelations or e4pressions or inspirations or compensations or creative insights or &hat have yo'.>?19@ (reams, fantasies, and even hall'cinations are &ays of thinking a!o't ideas, the &orld, o'rselves, !'t there is no relia!le

form'la for deciding ho& the connections are !eing made. 2ronically, it is precisely &ith this pro!lem of dream analysis that psychoanalytic tho'ght has !een most creative in recent years. 9re'd had deval'ed the manifest content of the dream: it is !o'nd to !e a matter of indifference to 's &hether it is &ell p't together, or is !roken 'p into a series of disconnected separate pict'res. Hven if it has an apparently sensi!le e4terior, &e kno& that this has only come a!o't thro'gh dream5distortion and can have as little organic relation to the internal content of the dream as the facade of an 2talian ch'rch has to its str'ct're and plan.?2#@ 9or 9re'd, the literary f'nction of a dream:s manifest narrative &as tantamo'nt to secondary revision: it &as simply a deceptive cover for the tr'e meaning. B't Phillip AcCaffrey asserts that the dream is str'ct'red in so many &ays like art that if its f'll meaning is to !e grasped it m'st !e ;'dged !y aesthetic criteria as &ell as psychoanalytic ones. AcCaffrey do'!ts the acc'racy of 9re'd:s version of (ora:s dream. 9re'd attri!'ted meaningf'l order e4cl'sively to latent content, dismissing (ora:s manifest dream as mere >;'m!les of likely cl'es, disorgani8ed assortments of pregnant hints> that &ere 'nimportant in themselves. B't since the missing message of 1 1E$ 1 the dream is 'ltimately s'pplied !y the therapist, &ho replaces gaps &ith theoretically congr'ent s'!stance, the risk of minimi8ing or even distorting &hat the patient has made of the dream message, the artf'lly crafted dream itself, is high. 9or AcCaffrey, the dream is not a screen designed to disg'ise !'t a stage on &hich to represent &hat the patient &ants to say on !oth conscio's and 'nconscio's levels. Ge cites 9re'd:s analysis of (ora:s dream as paradigmatic: 9re'd concl'ded that (ora dreamt her father &as dead !eca'se she &anted to e4act revenge 'pon him for en;oying the pleas'res from 9ra' J. that (ora 'nconscio'sly &anted from Gerr J. Aoreover, 9re'd decided that (ora terminated her analysis to gain revenge against him, for she desired him as &ell. B't AcCaffrey notes that !oth (ora:s manifest dreams and her actions clearly represent another, not 'nconscio's, motive. )he left father and 9re'd !ehind !eca'se !oth had !etrayed her !y ref'sing to !elieve her version of &hat had happened &ith Gerr J. The cr'cial iss'e for (ora &as not se4 !'t respect.?21@ 2n order not to !etray 3irginia +oolf o'rselves, &e m'st follo& her lead thro'gh her associations and transferences, remem!ering that these appear in an aesthetic conte4t &ith an informative legitimacy of its o&n. Ger assertion that she &as ashamed of the se4'al aspect of Ierald:s violation is only one element inter&oven &ith other memories in a te4t that is self5conscio's a!o't the aesthetic and psychological iss'es of !iography. Th's, this event has important o!;ect5relational meanings as &ell. 3ie&ed as a transformation rather than a disg'ised evasion, 3irginia:s dream of the mirror scene can !e seen aptly to dramati8e the sensations of a mood shift into depression6an ine4plica!le transition very like a narrative gap. 7 magical, maternal &orld has filled the child in the grape &ith an 'nselfconscio's !liss, !'t the child at the mirror &ants to fill herself + herself and 0ith herself, going against the dictates of inherited )tephen morality -e4aggerated !y depression:s >p'ritanical> self5a!negation as em!odied in )ir ,ames0. 2n her dream, therefore, she finds only horror, a reflection of an animal, a !ody &itho't a self, a !ody that devo'rs selves. +oolf:s concl'sions: some manias are !ad !eca'se they are self5ind'lgent and solipsistic< &hat appears to !e magically profo'nd is, in reality, only self5del'sion, an inflated image of the self< the !east is em!lematic of the emptiness of depression l'rking !ehind the ill'sion of f'llness that mania -sym!oli8ed !y cosmic mothering0 miscreates o't of nothing. +oolf is frightened &hen her deepest depressive fear6that she does not act'ally e4ist !ehind the face in the mirror6is made real !y mood shifts, even pleasant ones.

1 1EF 1 Gere mirroring seems more important than desire6not only 3irginia:s desire, !'t Ierald:s too. 2n !oth scenes 3irginia is !eing looked at. 7nd ;'st as she is ashamed to see the 3irginia in the mirror ga8ing !ack at her, responding to her !ea'ty &ith damning >pride and pleas're,> so too Ierald is an eB'ivocal mirror that responds, eval'ating her as a desira!le o!;ect. Behind this s'rface appreciation l'rks a terri!le emptiness: he treats her as an o!;ect, !ea'ty &itho't s'!stance, a !ody &itho't a self, and reinforces her &orst fear -as a victimi8ed &oman and as a manic5depressive0: that she is not really there. *ike a mirror, he reflects nothing of her inner self, &hich seems to melt a&ay into >d'm!ness>< n'm!ed !y emptiness, she cannot even s'mmon 'p the &ords to name her emotions. )he loses o&nership of her emotions as she loses her identity< the silence that l'res 9re'dians into filling 'p gaps also dramati8es eloB'ently her inner state of non!eing. (epression destroys her sense of self and self5 &orth ;'st as the animal head threatens to devo'r her. The scene is not primarily se4'al -and modern attit'des to&ard incest and rape no& more acc'rately reflect their nonse4'al, violent character0 !'t percept'al and deadly. 9or the rest of her life, the depressive +oolf, like the depressive )ir ,ames, s'ffered 'n!eara!le an4iety &hen she sa& someone looking at her, eval'ating her, as if a look had the po&er to invalidate self !eca'se others co'ld see her as she &as, or, rather, as she &as not -> )ketch> $%0. Airroring is am!ig'o's !eca'se it is !ipolar: it can create either f'llness and ratification of !eing or emptiness and invalidation, the death of the so'l. +oolf 'ses this metaphor to dramati8e the manic5 depressive:s search for a therape'tic mirroring >Dther> to correct interpretations and to esta!lish identity. Keal mirrors are inadeB'ate, !eca'se they cannot esta!lish a !ipersonal field on &hich to ill'minate the reciprocal nat're of mood and pro;ection. Their fail're is evidenced in a memory: There &as the moment of the p'ddle in the path< &hen for no reason 2 co'ld discover, everything s'ddenly !ecame 'nreal< 2 &as s'spended< 2 co'ld not step across the p'ddle< 2 tried to to'ch something . . . the &hole &orld !ecame 'nreal. -F%0 Compare the depth of +oolf:s e4istential perception &ith *o'ise (e)alvo:s simplistic 9re'dian interpretation: )he cannot e4plain &hy she co'ldn:t step across the p'ddle, !'t the act of opening her legs &ide eno'gh to stretch across a p'ddle of &ater &as horrifying to her possi!ly !eca'se she &o'ld !e a!le to see in the p'ddle a reflection of her legs, open &ide, &hich she might have associated &ith her a!'se.?22@ 1 1E% 1 (e)alvo p'ts to poor 'se s'ch a rich metaphor. )elf and the 'niverse it lives in are mirror images. +itho't a core, +oolf cannot find meaning in the o'tside &orld< reciprocally, a meaningless &orld proves there is no core in 3irginia to make meaning. Body alone cannot ratify spirit, and &hen that !ody is female in a patriarchal c'lt're that disco'nts a &oman:s val'e, physical mirroring of &oman5as5 !ody sym!oli8es a great loss. +hat co'ld +oolf have seen in the mirror, in Ierald:s eyes, in the depths of her depressions, !'t an o!;ect to !e possessed and devo'red, an image of non!eing and &orthlessness, a mad&omanC +here co'ld she find a reciprocal mirror that dependa!ly ratified self, opened it 'p safely to insight, &hen manic5depressive mood shifts made and 'nmade perception and !elief &ith di88ying 'npredicta!ilityC )he &o'ld find it in fiction, in the do'!led !ipolar field esta!lished !y &riter te4t and reader te4t, and, significantly, she &o'ld f'lfill Christopher Bollas:s

criteria for good psychoanalysis: The psychoanalytic process is a 'niB'e therape'tic proced're !eca'se it ena!les the person to represent the transference to the self as o!;ect and to crystalli8e those feat'res of !eing and relating &hich are co'ntertransferential e4pressions. . . . 9reB'ently ?the patient:s@ reproaches or enth'siasms &ill !e follo&ed !y another response &hich is a reaction to his o&n narration6a reaction, that is, to the transference aspects of the relation to the self as o!;ect, and his responses &ill !e in the nat're of a co'ntertransference. . . . +hen the patient lives thro'gh the disco'rse of the transference e4perience &ithin the analytical setting, a disco'rse &here the transference addresses of the patient:s o!;ect &orld and defensive make'p !oth impl ?y@ an other and evoke aspects of the self and other &ithin the analyst:s co'ntertransference, the person grad'ally discovers the private lang'age of the self. . . . ?T@he patient grad'ally hears ne&s of himself thro'gh the e4perience of the other. ?2"@ +oolf >heard the ne&s> of Ierald:s e4perience of her as >Dther,> as nothing !'t a glassy hole in the &orld into &hich she might at any moment fall. B't >7 )ketch of the Past> is not merely a ca'tionary tale, and manic5depressive illness is not ;'st a disa!ility. 2t is also a gift. 2t can occasion >f'n.> The three memories that follo& the first mirror scene are all 'sed !y +oolf to ill'strate a >moment of !eing,> the centerpiece of her ideas a!o't fiction, her version of the circ'it of transference !et&een s'!;ect and o!;ect, &hich she feels &ill also >e4plain> her psychology and the 1 1E9 1 previo's memories. B't clearly her idea of &hat an e4planation sho'ld do is 'nconventional< she merely gro'ps three memories together in an am!ig'o's &ay. 2n the first she and her !rother, Tho!y, are on the la&n, p'mmeling each other: ,'st as 2 raised my fist to hit him, 2 felt: &hy h'rt another personC 2 dropped my hand instantly, and stood there, and let him !eat me. 2 remem!er the feeling. 2t &as a feeling of hopeless sadness. 2t &as as if 2 !ecame a&are of something terri!le< and of my o&n po&erlessness. 2 sl'nk off alone, feeling horri!ly depressed. -Mo,ents of Being F10 2n the third memory, having heard of a family friend:s s'icide, +oolf &alks o't to the garden !y the apple tree and is paraly8ed &ith terror: 2t seemed to me that the apple tree &as connected &ith the horror of Ar. 3alpy:s s'icide. 2 co'ld not pass it. . . . 2 seemed to !e dragged do&n, hopelessly, into some pit of a!sol'te despair from &hich 2 co'ld not escape. -F10 Mears later, after )tella:s death, &hen )tella:s fiancN ,ack Gills visited the grieving family, 3irginia tho'ght again of the tree as standing for her depression: >7nd the tree o'tside in the 7'g'st s'mmer half light &as giving me, as he groaned, a sym!ol of his agony< of o'r sterile agony< &as s'mming it all 'p> -Mo,ents of Being 1E10. *ike +oolf:s sym!ol of the lightho'se, the apple tree >s'ms 'p,> standing for all sorts of meanings. =o metaphorical similarity is reB'ired, and so no 9re'dian analysis of the tree:s phallic shape &ill help 's 'nderstand +oolf:s feelings. +hat +oolf gives 's is a !ipolar seB'ence. The second memory, sand&iched !et&een these depressive episodes, ends happily. *ooking at a flo&er !ed, she says o't lo'd to herself, >That is the &hole,> and feels B'ite satisfied:

?2@t seemed s'ddenly plain that the flo&er itself &as a part of the earth< that a ring enclosed &hat &as the flo&er< and that &as the real flo&er< part earth< part flo&er. -F10 )'ch an aesthetic sol'tion to grave psychological pro!lems may at first strike 's as a sidestep, an evasion or denial. B't in terms of o!;ectrelations6&hich are, as &e have seen, central to the manic5 depressive:s dilemma6it makes good sense. +orking from the theories of Aelanie Jlein and (. +. +innicott, Christopher Bollas arg'es that to ass'me that the &orld is there to !e e4perienced and 'nderstood, that a meaning a&aits 's there, is the !asis of sanity. +oolf:s >moment of !eing> is eB'ivalent 1 1.# 1 to Bollas:s >aesthetic moment,> &hen >the s'!;ect feels held in symmetry and solit'de !y the spirit of the o!;ect,> a &ordless occasion, >nota!le for the density of the s'!;ect:s feeling and the f'ndamentally non5representational kno&ledge of !eing em!raced !y the aesthetic o!;ect. . . . ?)@elf and o!;ect feel reciprocally enhancing and m't'ally informative.> To the perceiver, >'ncanny moments> seem to !e >partially sponsored !y the o!;ect> itself, as if it &ere >the hand of fate> leading 's to some 'nspecified involvement.?2E@ +oolf calls this 'ncanny sponsorship >a third voice>: The lemon5colo'red leaves on the elm tree< the apples in the orchard< the m'rm'r and r'stle of the leaves makes me pa'se here, and think ho& many other than h'man forces are al&ays at &ork on 's. +hile 2 &rite this the light glo&s< an apple !ecomes a vivid green< 2 respond all thro'gh me< !'t ho&C Then a little o&l ?chatters@ 'nder my &indo&. 7gain, 2 respond. 9ig'ratively 2 co'ld snapshot &hat 2 mean !y some image< 2 am a poro's vessel afloat on sensation< a sensitive plate e4posed to invisi!le rays. . . . 2 f'm!le &ith some vag'e idea a!o't a third voice< 2 speak to *eonard< *eonard speaks to me< &e !oth hear a third voice. 2nstead of la!o'ring all the morning to analyse &hat 2 mean, to discover &hether 2 mean anything real, &hether 2 make 'p or tell the tr'th &hen 2 see myself taking the !reath of these voices in my sails and tacking this &ay and that thro'gh daily life as 2 yield to them, 2 note only the e4istence of this infl'ence< s'spect it to !e of great importance. -Mo,entsof Being 1""0 The res'lting sense of transcendental f'sion cannot !e dissected or analy8ed: it >is an e4perience of !eing rather than mind, rooted in the total involvement of the self rather than o!;ectified via representational or a!stract tho'ght,> the sort of tho'ght typical of strictly ego5dominated actions. )'ch perceptions are aesthetically str'ct'red, like AcCaffrey:s model of the manifest dream, and tell their story in &ays that are !eyond the grasp of the analytical conscio's mind. They are >o'tside cognitive coherence.>?2.@ 7nd, as Clarissa (allo&ay &ill note after hearing of )eptim's:s death, s'ch moments are >f'n> -2%E0. Bollas e4plains the >'ncanniness> of s'ch moments of !eing as >a form of d7<? v$ ,> an e4perience of 'ntho'ght !'t kno&n familiarity, the feeling of having a deep and even sacred >rapport> !et&een s'!;ect and o!;ect oharkening !ack to the first time &e &restled &ith the pro!lem of perceiving anything. That time &as overseen !y o'r mothers, &ho filled 's &hen &e &ere empty, to'ched 's &hen &e &ere lonely, and sho&ed 's that rapport &as possi!le. Bollas considers all aesthetic e4periences as 1 1.1 1 transformational !eca'se, like the image of the mother for the infant &ho !elieves in her magic, >the transformational o!;ect seems to promise the !eseeching s'!;ect an e4perience &here self

fragmentations &ill !e integrated thro'gh a processing form.> Beca'se the mother is the teacher of the ecstasy of special moments, she seems sacred, formative, ideal6regardless of &hat cold hard facts &e kno& a!o't her o!;ectively. +oolf:s >o!session> &ith her mother -her repeated 'se of the mother fig're in fictions dealing &ith ;'st these iss'es of perception0 is not in itself evidence of pathology. =or is the >ill'sion> -s'ch a pe;orative &ord for s'ch a reverential e4perience0 of the sacred and magic moment mother a defensive pro;ection or evasion of 'gly tr'ths: it e4presses, in the only terms possi!le or aesthetically satisfying, a prever!al, prerepresentational perception. )ince &e e4perience mother !efore &e can >kno&> her -as a person, a !eing like o'rselves, or a mem!er of a category0, she is called 'p as an em!lem of e4periences that also resist analysis, partic'larly ling'istic analysis.?2$@ 2s it any &onder that a manic5depressive, &hose disorder can ar!itrarily ind'ce or destroy that sense of 'ncanny rapport in seemingly a'thentic perception, &o'ld e4plore her o&n m'ltiple sense of !eing in repeated re5creations of mothering and mirroringC >7 )ketch of the Past> is, then, a metafiction, so self5refle4ive that it lays !efore 's all its parts in a heap. 2f it is forci!ly organi8ed, it yields 'p only paltry ideas a!o't repressed g'ilt and th&arted desire that tell 's nothing of &hy +oolf:s &ork is so splendid, so compelling, and so m'ch f'n. This te4t is not a form'li8ed schematic< it a&aits a magical moment, a creative reading that is also d7<? v$ 6'n!idden, 'ncanny, yet deeply personal to each reader, regardless of &hat happened to him or her in childhood. Dnly &hen &e can encompass the diversity of !ipolar memories, moments of ecstasy and 'nity, moments of despair and fragmentation, &itho't resorting to neat and tidy analysis, can &e e4perience the a'to!iography of a manic5depressive. +oolf does not analy8e her aesthetic resol'tion of o!;ect5relations. )he says only that the flo&er is more than a mere flo&er< it is an indefina!le reconciliation of formerly fragmented parts, the &orld:s o!;ective flo&er and the imagination:s s'!;ective flo&er. 7esthetic &holeness mirrors !ack an image of the one &ho sees as ordered and coherent and th's increases the seer:s self5confidence: >2 &as not po&erless. 2 &as conscio's6if only at a distance6that 2 sho'ld in time e4plain it> -Mo,ents of Being F20. By making the e4perience >&hole> +oolf can feel &hole herself, for it is partly !y her po&er that the moment of 'nderstanding and the feeling of oneness 1 1.2 1 &ith the &orld come a!o't. Beca'se she and the 'ncanny o!;ect ;ointly create the moment of a'thentic perception, e4perience >has lost its po&er to h'rt ?her@,> to destroy her sense of self6as Ierald did6 !y treating her merely as an o!;ect, !y mirroring !ack only fragments. This transaction prod'ces a ne& sense of self5contin'ity and self5importance that is different from the ill'sion of manic egotism, for it is o!;ect5related, reality5related: )o 2 came to think of life as something of e4treme reality. 7nd this of co'rse increased my sense of my o&n importance. =ot in relation to h'man !eings: in relation to the force &hich had respected me s'fficiently to make me feel ?&hat &as real@. -1"F0 2n a >moment of !eing,> life and 3irginia +oolf co5create a space in &hich self and &orld can e4ist -F1/F20. They are m't'ally enhanced, made &hole and good !y &hat (. +. +innicott calls >play,> &hat Hrik Hrikson calls >interplay>: a transaction that shapes identity and esta!lishes modes of relationship &ith the environment !y involving, parado4ically, the feat'res of a m't'al f'sion and a gain in distinctiveness. Bet&een p'rely s'!;ective >primary creativity> and >o!;ective perception !ased on reality testing,> a transitional space is created &here the self e4periences >f'sion &ith that &hich is !eyond the self in order to achieve higher and higher degrees of self5definition.>?2F@ Bo'ndaries !et&een self and o!;ect are !oth !l'rred and re5formed. 2n a like manner, manic and depressive modes

of perception are reconciled &hen s'!;ect and o!;ect connect !'t are not completely s'!s'med in each other. 2t is only then, and not !y looking directly into the mirror -&hich aggrandi8es egotism or destroys ego, depending on mood0, that the tr'th is capt'red. 9or +oolf, foc'sing on the o!;ect mirrors the s'!;ect !eca'se one can:t &rite directly a!o't the so'l. *ooked at, it vanishes: !'t look at the ceiling, at Iri88le, at the cheaper !easts in the Loo &hich are e4posed to &alkers in Kegents Park, P the so'l slips in. -Diar ": $20 +orld and self m'st meet. )ignificantly, &hat +oolf did in &riting d'plicated &hat psychoanalysts attempted, !efore lithi'm therapy, to do in their treatment of manicdepressives. Both Dtto 9enichel and Hdith ,aco!son, for instance, reported that helping their patients esta!lish good o!;ect5relations -!y 'nderstanding the transferences that occ'r !et&een patients and therapists &hich affect patients: a!ility to make interpretations0 &as cr'cial in order to !egin analysis. ,aco!son felt that the !iggest h'rdle lay in overcoming the 1 1." 1 >highly ill'sory, magic B'ality of ?the manic5depressive:s@ transference feelings ?and@ his e4aggerated ideali8ation and o!stinate denial of possi!le or visi!le shortcomings of the analyst.>?2%@ +hen the patient:s mood determined ho& the progress of analysis &as perceived, he co'ld not see that he &as -or &as not0 improving, and the analyst felt helpless. Keconnecting the patient to the &orld !y !reaking thro'gh a misleading transference allo&ed tr'e insight to !egin, even if it co'ld not prevent f'rther mood s&ings. +oolf val'ed the same !reakthro'gh. 2t is tr'e that the perfect, 'n&illed, a'tomatic !liss of grapelike infancy is gone -the pl'g has !een p'lled permanently0, !'t separateness can !e overcome !y an imaginativepercept'al reach &hich has the advantage of not red'cing one to infantile dependence. There is a positive alternative to having one:s mother !ack. +oolf seems to connect all these elements !y concl'ding her childhood e4plorations of perception &ith her mother:s death and the onset of her first !reakdo&n: Go& immense m'st !e the force of life &hich t'rns a !a!y, &ho can ;'st disting'ish a great !lot of !l'e and p'rple on a !lack !ackgro'nd, into the child &ho thirteen years later can feel all that 2 felt on Aay .th 1%9.6no& almost e4actly to a day, forty5fo'r years ago6 &hen my mother died. -F90 The loss &as severe and keenly felt, !'t her mother:s death came at a time &hen 3irginia more distinctly reali8ed that &hat one co'ld kno& a!o't the &orld depended a great deal on ho& one felt a!o't it and a!o't oneself. )elf5kno&ledge &as strength: The tragedy of her death &as not that it made one, no& and then and very intensely, 'nhappy. 2t &as that it made her 'nreal< and 's solemn, and self5conscio's. +e &ere made to act parts that &e did not feel< to f'm!le for &ords that &e did not kno&. 2t o!sc'red, it d'lled. 2t made one hypocritical and immeshed in the conventions of sorro&. Aany foolish and sentimental ideas came into !eing. Met there &as a str'ggle, for soon &e revived, and there &as a conflict !et&een &hat &e o'ght to !e and &hat &e &ere. -9.0 ,'lia:s death intensified +oolf:s str'ggle to esta!lish her o&n identity, a str'ggle complicated !y mood s&ings, misinterpretations, and erratic !ehavior and tho'ghts. +oolf:s preocc'pation &ith her mother th's stood for more than a ne'rotic longing to escape into the past. ,'lia !ecame an em!lem for +oolf:s

search for self. Psychotherapy can like&ise help 1 1.E 1 patients re!'ild a cohesive, reality5related, o!;ect5related self if the therapist can create a >maternal matri4> to mediate !et&een self and &orld. Psychoanalysis is, after all, a highly interpersonal affair, and it is in this !ipersonal field that a >mothering> analyst and the patient can recapit'late the separation5individ'ation process, repair fa'lty schemata !y &hich perceptions have !een organi8ed and interpreted, and esta!lish m't'ally satisfying interpersonal relations, all of &hich facilitates a rene&ed sense of core identity. 2n order to accomplish so m'ch, the analyst m'st, like a good mother, help the patient e4plore interpretations &itho't intr'ding on the patient:s a'tonomy -!y providing or imposing interpretations0 or allo&ing herself to !e intr'ded 'pon -allo&ing 'nchecked transferences to distort the patient:s vie& of the therapist0. A't'al a'tonomy allo&s the patient room to define his or her o&n identity and determine self&orld !o'ndaries.?29@ )imilarly, art allo&ed +oolf to replace her mother:s mirroring &ith her o&n, to e4plore moods and make interpretations. The po&er to n'rt're &as no longer limited to the mother:s !ody. Thro'gh a >second severance> -The Waves 12.0, art &eaned +oolf from dependence on an 'no!taina!le so'rce of life< it recapit'lated the !alance !et&een individ'ation and f'sion that the first &eaning accomplished years !efore. By thinking in terms of mothering, mirroring, and &eaning, +oolf co'ld cope &ith a !ipolar disorder that other&ise !affled even the specialists of her time. This emphasis on the m't'al a'tonomy of s'!;ect and o!;ect strikes some readers as too inactive. 2ndeed, >7 )ketch of the Past> em!odies the principle of a'tonomy as a &hole in its ref'sal to specify anything essential a!o't +oolf as s'!;ect. *ike 3irginia Gyman, (aniel 7l!right complains that +oolf:s a'to!iographical imp'lse differs significantly from that of other confessional &riters, s'ch as (. G. *a&rence or ,ames ,oyce: &hereas the male &riters descri!e >a vigoro's ego ?that@ fights to reali8e its proper self,> 3irginia +oolf >does not str'ggle to&ard selfhood< instead, a self is thr'st 'pon her.> Beca'se +oolf seems to emphasi8e passivity thro'gho't the te4t, 7l!right concl'des that m'ch of the formation of her personality !egan &hen she &as se4'ally a!'sed !y her half!rothers, and s'!seB'ent catastrophes reinforced a lifelong pattern of victimi8ation that c'lminated in her theory of the tr'e artist:s anonymo's self: >?7@ccording to 3irginia +oolf:s doctrine the artist is most in to'ch &ith art &hen atten'ated, a!negated, a colorless vehicle of revelation. Properly the artist sho'ld have no self, !e no!ody, for there is no e4presser, only an e4pression.> 1 1.. 1 9or 7l!right, s'ch impersonality does not g'arantee good art: >?T@he &hole edifice of fiction is threatened !y collapse if its architect're has no one:s personal g'arantee !ehind it.>?"#@ B't a manic5 depressive finds the need for a g'arantee highly s'spect, for the aggressive ego can aggrandi8e its po&er !y imposing its constr'cts on art. Aania destroys the o!;ect, &hich !ecomes merely a loc's for imposing pro;ections of inner desires. 2n contrast, the v'lnera!le, depressed self is incapa!le of prod'cing art !eca'se it feels depersonali8ed !y a 'niverse devoid of meaning. Dnly &hen the moment is right can creativity p't together the pieces, ordering &hat is o'tside !y sim'ltaneo'sly ordering &hat is inside -tho'gh the order itself remains 'nspecified0, ratifying !oth self and o!;ect and the 'ncanny sense of !elonging !et&een the t&o. +oolf can do this only at the invitation of the moment6she cannot create &holeness on her o&n< to try &o'ld res'lt only in a kind of manic5defense. Th's, +oolf leaves her aesthetic model deli!erately vag'e, even parado4ical, !eca'se to tidy it 'p &o'ld !e to violate its o&n prescription. There can !e no form'la for discovering identity or meaning either in

a'to!iographies or in novels. +oolf employed the same method in &riting her diary, as she notes in this 1919 entry: +hat sort of diary sho'ld 2 like mine to !eC )omething loose knit, P yet not slovenly, so elastic that it &ill em!race any thing, solemn, slight or !ea'tif'l that comes into my mind. 2 sho'ld like it to resem!le some deep old desk, or capacio's hold5all, in &hich one flings a mass of odds P ends &itho't looking them thro'gh. 2 sho'ld like to come !ack, after a year or t&o, P find that the collection had sorted itself P refined itself P coalesced, as s'ch deposits so mysterio'sly do, into a mo'ld, transparent eno'gh to reflect the light of o'r life, P yet steady, tranB'il, composed &ith the aloofness of a &ork of art. The main reB'isite, 2 think on re5reading my old vol'mes, is not to play the part of censor, !'t to &rite as the mood comes or of anything &hatever< since 2 &as c'rio's to find ho& 2 &ent for things p't in hapha8ard, P fo'nd the significance to lie &here 2 never sa& it at the time. -Diar 1: 2$$0 This is not 7l!right:s passive victim. *ike a s&immer riding the rhythm of a &ave, the creative +oolf feels !oth s'!ordinate to and dominant over e4perience. By fostering the 'ncanny sense of sponsorship !et&een self and te4t, +oolf allo&s 's room to e4perience life:s most important characteristic6its endless s'ggestiveness6in a moment of vision, 'nderstanding, and peace. 1 1.$ 1

>) *A No%el 0e%oted to Infl'en?a* Reading +itho't Resol'tion in !e Voyage O"t


Considering ho& common illness is, ho& tremendo's the spirit'al change that it !rings, ho& astonishing . . . ho& &e go do&n into the pit of death and feel the &aters of annihilation close a!ove o'r heads . . . it !ecomes strange indeed that illness has not taken its place &ith love and !attle and ;ealo'sy among the prime themes of literat're. . . . Those great &ars &hich the !ody &ages &ith the mind a slave to it, in the solit'de of the !edroom against the assa'lt of fever or the oncome of melancholia, are neglected. . . . ?T@he !ody, this miracle, its pain, &ill soon make 's taper into mysticism, or rise, &ith rapid !eats of the &ings, into the rapt'res of transcendentalism. The p'!lic &o'ld say that a novel devoted to infl'en8a lacked plot< they &o'ld complain that there &as no love in it6 &rongly ho&ever, for illness often takes on the disg'ise of love, and plays the same odd tricks. 2t invests certain faces &ith divinity. . . . ?*@ove m'st !e deposed in favor of a temperat're of 1#E. ->The Mo,ent > 9/11< my italics0 2n her first novel, The Vo age 1$t! &ritten !et&een 19#E and 191", +oolf e4plored the themes that pervade all her !ooks: mothering, madness, and the 'niversal h'man need for a meaningf'l therape'tic mirroring of selfcontin'ity in a &orld that can, at any moment and for no reason, inflict pain, loss, and po&erlessness. 7ltho'gh *ytton )trachey &as right in calling it a >very, very 'nvictorian> !ook, it &as not yet modernist.?1@ +oolf had !een hoping to >re5form the novel and capt're m'ltit'des of things at

present f'gitive, enclose the &hole, and shape infinite strange shapes> -#etters 1: ".$0, !'t she had yet to e4periment &ith narration, point of vie&, and interior monolog'e as &ays to dramati8e her sense of the m'ltiplicity of self and life. 2nstead, she 'sed a rather traditional narrator to tell a story that seems conventionally !iographical6the gro&th and ed'cation of a yo'ng &oman6and her attention to detail, contin'ity of action, and dialog'e &ere a far cry from her series of highly e4perimental and a!stract !ooks that !egan &ith >aco+'s ;oo, in 1921. 1 1.F 1 The Vo age 1$t is an 'neasy mi4t're of the ne& and the old: >?+@e get a story &ith action and plot in the conventional sense, a story &hich !y its for, depends for its meaning on the seB'ence of events, &hose real meaning nevertheless depends on the a'thor:s thro&ing, !y a variety of devices, all sorts of contradictory meanings into the content. >?2@ The novel:s aesthetic tension has !een attri!'ted to its irritating tendency to fr'strate conventional e4pectations, ill'strated !est !y the >apparently pointless sacrifice of Kachel.>?"@ 2n general, critics tend to vie& its shapelessness and lapses as evidence either of +oolf:s ne'roses creeping into the te4t or her ine4perience &ith plotting.?E@ B't 2 &ill arg'e that the novel:s inconsistencies are part of a deli!erate strategy to invite the reader to e4perience a failed reading and to deal &ith the fr'stration of pointlessness &hen critical ac'men meets an intracta!le te4t 6the first step to&ard 'nderstanding the manic5depressive:s &orld. 7ltho'gh fe& critics agree on the meaning of The Vo age 1$t! its plot is fairly straightfor&ard. T&enty5three5year5old Kachel 3inrace, naive, motherless, raised !y a patriarchal father and thoro'ghly conventional 3ictorian a'nts, em!arks on a voyage of self5discovery to the little )o'th 7merican resort of )anta Aarina. 7 small company of ship!oard travelers infl'ence her development: Kichard (allo&ay, former mem!er of Parliament, masc'line, domineering, s'ave, a grasper of o!;ective fact and convergent thinking, f'rtively gives Kachel a kiss, her first lesson in a male:s se4'al desire and in depression< Clarissa (allo&ay, Kichard:s ideali8ed &ife, adoring, feminine, maternal, seems to 'nderstand int'itively Kachel:s ine4pressi!le yearnings and fosters in the yo'ng girl an e4alted faith in the goodness and !o'nty of life< Gelen 7m!rose, Kachel:s depressive a'nt, ed'cates her niece in the deceitf'lness of life and the !r'tality of emotion< Kidley 7m!rose, Gelen:s h's!and, the remote scholar, hoarding, hypochondriacal, defensive, offers no n'rt'ring to Kachel, for he is as needf'l as she is. Thro'gho't the voyage, Kachel:s companions are 'na!le to provide her &ith the ans&ers she seeks6 perhaps !eca'se she never seems a!le to form a coherent set of B'estions a!o't the meaning of her life. The (allo&ays have disem!arked in Port'gal !efore Kachel can resolve the am!ivalent feelings of e4citement and despair that Kichard has aro'sed in her. Gelen teaches Kachel thro'gh cool, ironic, detached o!servation, prod'cing a sharper, more critical intellect and a more independent self, !'t one that feels isolated from others and disill'sioned &ith the &orld. 2n )anta Aarina, Kachel confronts the same dichotomy in feeling, first 1 1.% 1 !y !efriending )t. ,ohn Girst -&ho is so isolated and critical himself that he has !ecome misera!le and misogynist0 and then !y falling in love &ith Terence Ge&et, &o'ld5!e modernist, dreamer, and moody lover &ho yearns for a profo'nd, !enevolent f'sion &ith the &orld and &ith a &oman. 2n an Hdenic tropical forest, &here nat'ral affections flo'rish and life seems most promising, she and Terence !ecome engaged and try to &ork thro'gh the ma8e of feelings separating them. Kachel s'ddenly develops a high fever, s'ffers profo'nd percept'al dist'r!ances for ten days, and dies. The last t&o chapters of the novel foc's e4cl'sively on ho& the Hnglish colony there first mo'rns her death and the

cr'el termination of the lovers: plans and then settles !ack into m'ndane concerns. Hven in this short s'mmary &e can see several elements from +oolf:s life e4ploited in fiction. *ike 3irginia, Kachel lost her mother !efore she co'ld develop an ad'lt:s independence< no& she seeks n'rt'ring f'sions &ith Clarissa, Gelen, and Terence ;'st as 3irginia did &ith )tella, 3anessa, and *eonard. Kichard (allo&ay, like Ierald ('ck&orth, teaches the yo'ng &oman a som!er lesson a!o't po&erlessness and v'lnera!ility as the male prerogative to make f'm!ling advances fills the o!;ect of his desire &ith anger and fear. The happy Clarissa, like the yo'ng ,'lia in love &ith the >stainless> and romantic Ger!ert ('ck&orth, does not remain long eno'gh to co'nsel Kachel or to give her a lasting model of ;oyo's selfhood to imitate, !'t instead leaves her in the care of the depressed mother5fig're, Gelen, an older ,'lia. )t. ,ohn Girst, Kidley 7m!rose, and +illo'gh!y 3inrace, sharing a n'm!er of *eslie )tephen:s characteristics, are isolated, patriarchal male fig'res &ho, !eca'se they do not B'estion their ass'mptions a!o't &hat and &ho &omen are, fail to 'nderstand and n'rt're females< the inner lives of &omen remain as m'ch a mystery to them as does the dense ;'ngle. 7nd, like >7 )ketch of the Past,> The Vo age 1$t presents moments of !eing, &hen self and &orld seem to f'se and enhance one another, as &ell as moments of fail're, &hen self and &orld cannot ;oin, &hen identity fragments, manic ill'sions spring 'p, or depression s&eeps over the self like a s'ffocating &ave. 7t the heart of The Vo age 1$t is )tella ('ck&orth. )he had !een a d'tif'l 3ictorian da'ghter: selflessly she tended the family and s'pported *eslie emotionally, and she too declined in health from e4ha'stion, !ecoming >pale as a plant that has !een denied the s'n . . . !o&ing to the inevita!le yoke of her se4.>?.@ 7fter )tella:s death, 3irginia and *eslie relied on the yo'nger 3anessa for mothering, !'t 3anessa, like Gelen 7m!rose, &as >as B'ick to detect insincerity of nat're as fallacy of arg'ment,> and 1 1.9 1 she re!elled -Mo,ents of Being .E, .$0. +hen )tella died, the last living vestige of ,'lia:s image died &ith her. 2t &as an important loss for 3irginia. *ike )tella, Kachel &as a tintype of her mother, a minor likeness to the ideali8ed 3ictorian original. =either )tella nor Kachel felt at all ideali8ed herself. =aive and ine4perienced, &ith little self5 confidence, !oth hoped an e4ternal change -a happy marriage0 &o'ld fill internal needs. +hen )tella !ecame engaged to ,ack Gills, 3irginia re;oiced in her good fort'ne in terms reminiscent of ,'lia:s idyllic life &ith Ger!ert: love seemed to !e like an e4alted manic dream, and, indeed, coincided &ith &hat she remem!ered as her first hypomanic >vision>: 7nd it &as thro'gh that engagement that 2 had my first vision6so intense, so e4citing, so rapt'ro's &as it that the &ord vision applies6my first vision then of love !et&een man and &oman. 2t &as to me like a r'!y< the love 2 detected that &inter of their engagement, glo&ing, red, clear, intense. 2t gave me a conception of love< a standard of love< a sense that nothing in the &hole &orld is so lyrical, so m'sical, as a yo'ng man and a yo'ng &oman in their first love for each other. -Mo,ents of Being 1#.0 2n ,ack, )tella had fo'nd >rest and s'pport> as &ell as gro&th< she !ecame >more positive, less passive> -Mo,ents of Being 1#$0. )tella, 3irginia concl'ded, >had come to stand !y herself, &ith a painf'l footing 'pon real life, and her love no& had as little of dependence in it as may !e . . . as tho'gh ,ack had finally convinced her of her &orth> -Mo,ents of Being .#/.20. )tella &as !etrayed, ho&ever, ;'st as life seemed most promising. Pregnant, she died of peritonitis contracted -perhaps d'ring se4'al interco'rse0 &hile a!road on her honeymoon.?$@ 2n The Vo age 1$t! Kachel contracts a fever after she and Terence ackno&ledge their love for one another. *ove and death, optimism and pessimism, are tied together in a dist'r!ing, !ipolar &ay, violating o'r conventional

e4pectations of romance. 2n her diary, 3irginia recorded feeling a terri!le rage follo&ed !y inertia and depression6!oth reactions, she said, to the >st'pid damage> )tella:s death inflicted. 2t &as, she &rote in 19E#, a >shapeless catastrophe> -Mo,ents of Being ..0 !eca'se it seemed so meaningless in comparison &ith her e4pectations of )tella:s happiness, and the promise it held for her and for 's of escape from that gloom ?after ,'lia:s death@< &hen once more 'n!elieva!ly6incredi!ly6as if one had !een violently cheated of some promise< more 1 1$# 1 than that, !r'tally told not to !e s'ch a fool as to hope for things< 2 remem!er saying to myself after she died: >B't this is impossi!le< things aren:t, can:t !e, like this.> -Mo,ents of Being 12E0 2 remem!er saying to myself this impossi!le thing has happened:6as if it &ere. . . against the la&, horri!le, as a treachery, a !etrayal6the fact of death. The !lo&, the second !lo& of death, str'ck on me trem'lo's, creased, sitting &ith my &ings still st'ck together, on the !roken chrysalis.?F@ )tella:s death &as a violation of desire -for a &orld responsive to o'r inner needs, for a real landscape in &hich to reali8e o'r dreams0 and self5confidence -&o'ld the yo'ng 3irginia even !e given the chance to try her o&n &ingsC0. B't, as s'ch, did this shock not also hold a lesson to !e learned, one especially val'a!le for a manic5depressiveC 2 &o'ld reason that if life &ere th's made to rear and kick, it &as a thing to !e ridden< no!ody co'ld say >they> had fo!!ed me off &ith a &eak little fee!le slip of the precio's matter. )o 2 came to think of life as something of e4treme reality. -Mo,ents of Being 1"F0 7re &e del'ded to e4pect good o't of life simply !eca'se &e can conceive of a !enevolent pattern &e think it sho'ld follo&C T&o more deaths in 19#E, and a third in 19"F may help ill'strate the meaning this 'nans&era!le B'estion held for +oolf. 2n one &eek, t&o acB'aintances died. Dne death &as an accident: Aargaret Gills -significantly, ,ack Gills:s sister5in5la&0 &as riding a !icycle &hen it slipped on a &et road. The other res'lted from a chronic illness: Charles 9'rse s'cc'm!ed to t'!erc'losis at the age of thirty5si4. >Df the t&o,> &rote +oolf, >Aargaret:s death is the sadder,> !eca'se >her death seems merely aimless and cr'el,> &hereas an identifia!le and predicta!le disease e(plained &hy 9'rse died. Gis &ido&, +oolf reasoned, >m'st have kno&n &hat a risk she &as taking &hen she married him> -#etters 1: 1.#0: she did not fall victim to an ill'sory e4pectation of happiness. 2n 19"F, 3anessa:s eldest son, ,'lian Bell, died in the )panish Civil +ar. 2t &as >as if he &ere ;erked a!r'ptly o't of sight, &itho't rhyme or reason: so violent P a!s'rd that one cant fit his death into any scheme> -Diar .: 1220. +oolf o!;ected, not to the necessity of death, !'t to its pointlessness. +e feel !etrayed !y accidental death !eca'se it appears so 'nrelated to the individ'al:s personality or character. 7pparently ar!itrarily imposed, it destroys o'r conventional e4pectations a!o't &hat life means, &ho &e are, and &hat destiny &e deserve. The life that has ended is, in a &ay, triviali8ed !eca'se chance6a slippery road, a shallo& tread, a tropical germ 1 1$1 1 picked 'p some&here6predominates. Gave &e !een del'ded all along, like the overconfident manic,

a!o't o'r po&er over o'r lives, a!o't o'r o&nership of o'rselves and o'r identityC 7nd this phenomenon &e call the h'man self, the &hole fascinating and significant inner 'niverse of conscio'sness &hich legislates &hat r'les life sho'ld follo& and &hat destiny character deserves, is this too proven to !e ephemeral &hen a rise in temperat're or a change in !lood chemistry can distort it 'ntil self seems !arely recogni8a!le, 'ntil &e are B'ite madC +henever the physical &orld intr'des on o'r e4istential sense of self5integrity, o'r identity, &e lose o&nership of o'rselves 'ntil &e can integrate the tra'matic event into a rationale that implies a consistency in life:s events and self:s 'nderstanding of those events. +e are contin'ally engaged in the effort to see design in the real &orld. Keligion, philosophy, art, literary theory6so m'ch of civili8ation is meant to protect 's from the ha'nting s'spicion that life may have no transcendent direction that can e4plain &hy things happen as they do. This is the real s'!;ect of The Vo age 1$t: ho& do &e deal &ith a death that threatens 's and &ith a reading that defies 'sC +hen life -or a novel0 is so intracta!le that it defies even o'r &ish to 'nderstand, &e may feel compelled to keep o'r g'ard 'p al&ays, to impose meaning &here &e cannot find it, to &rench the te4t if need !e, lest &e thro& do&n the !ook in despair. Dne critic complains that the plot of The Vo age 1$t >is so slack, &oven &ith s'ch slender threads, that if one tries to analyse it one is ca'ght !et&een t&o dangers either to see it disintegrate, or to see it stiffen into a coarse, infle4i!le frame&ork &hose pattern conf'ses or even destroys the essential lines of the &ork.>?%@ Aanic5depressives are most familiar &ith these t&o reactions, !'t &e need not s'ffer a mood disorder o'rselves to recogni8e ho& +oolf felt a!o't the meaninglessness of Gills:s death or her o&n illness. +e need only read a novel that resists o'r ha!it'al interpretive strategies. The Vo age 1$t 'ndermines o'r control !y inviting 's to face an intracta!le fact: that seeking the !liss of s'!;ect5o!;ect f'sion, the r'!y of love, may for no reason at all make one pregna+le! a &ord that, like this novel, is dist'r!ingly eB'ivocal. The novel:s themes are connected to Kachel:s infected !ody. 7s a metaphor for the self, it signifies a frightening v'lnera!ility: 2f +oolf tho'ght her mother:s early death &as d'e to her &omanhood6the many !irths, the energy a!sor!ed !y her large family and relentlessly demanding h's!and6, then ho& m'ch more m'st )tella:s 1 1$2 1 death have given her fore!odings a!o't se4'ality, a!o't marriage, a!o't the a!ility of her !ody to change and her ina!ility to control that changeC?9@ +oolf:s !ody imposed !ipolar disorder and gender on her &itho't her permission, and &ith these irred$ci+le !iological facts came ar!itrary c'lt'ral determinations of &hat madness and femaleness meant that threatened to red$ce and triviali8e her inner life. +e sho'ld not, as readers, try to e4plain a&ay this threat to +oolf or to o'rselves &hen death or madness or se4ism makes no sense. +hen &e feel helpless in the face of an intracta!le fact, &e share +oolf:s e4perience as a female manic5 depressive victimi8ed !y &hat she co'ld not change. 2s +oolf s'ggesting that &e retreat into a pessimistic stoicism, !eca'se life is aimless and &e are too v'lnera!leC?1#@ )he certainly took her mother:s death serio'sly and generali8ed from it, especially &hen she &as depressed, omino's propositions a!o't the &orld:s treachery. Met she also !elieved, especially &hen manic, in life:s potential for happiness. +hen, a year !efore she !egan to &rite The Vo age 1$t! her closest friend and lover, 3iolet (ickinson, lay ill &ith fever for ten days -the length of Kachel:s illness0, +oolf descri!ed fate in depressed terms, as >a !r'tal sledge hammer, missing all the people she might knock on the head, and crashing into the midst of s'ch sensitive and e4B'isite

creat'res as my 3iolet. 2 &ish 2 co'ld shield yo' &ith my gross corpse> -#etters 1: %10. Met, other letters from this same period reveal a profo'nd love of life, a ;oyf'l c'riosity a!o't it, a &illingness to a!;'re shielding. 2n ,an'ary of 191" 3anessa praised 3irginia:s a!ility to cheer her 'p: 2 am sometimes overcome !y the finest B'alities in her. +hen she chooses she can give one the most e4traordinary sense of !igness of point of vie&. 2 think she has in reality ama8ing co'rage P sanity a!o't life. 2 have seen so little of her lately that it has str'ck me here.?11@ D!vio'sly, any o!server:s impression of +oolf:s &orldvie& &o'ld depend on &hat mood she &as in at the time, !'t 3anessa:s eval'ation at least demonstrates that at some points her sister &as anything !'t pessimistic or mor!id. 3irginia:s o&n letter of 7'g'st, 19#$, attests to the same attit'de: >Keally it is &orth &hile to take a spirited vie& of the f't're. Things are !o'nd to t'rn 'p> -#etters 1: 2""0. 2t &as only fo'r months later that Tho!y died of typhoid fever contracted on holiday in Ireece. 7n irresolva!le 'ncertainty pervades The Vo age 1$t: sho'ld &e or sho'ld &e not em!race life, 'ntr'st&orthy as it isC 2t is a diffic'lt B'estion 1 1$" 1 for a manic5depressive to ans&er. +oolf:s yo'thf'l spirits &ere dashed !y tragic deaths at fairly reg'lar intervals: 1%9. -,'lia0, 1%9F -)tella0, 19#E -*eslie0, and 19#$ -Tho!y0. 2n each case, death seems to have follo&ed moments of great promise and evident sec'rity,?12@ and the res'lting 'ncertainties, the cyclic highs and lo&s, co'ld appear in nonpsychotic forms in any personality that e4perienced s'ch s'ccessive losses. The complication here is that these shifting perspectives are also specific to, and magnified !y, manic5depressive illness, &ith or &itho't act'al losses, for mood shapes the eval'ation of events. Go& are &e to read +oolf:s philosophy of life, &hen !iography and !iology !lend indisting'isha!ly into one anotherC Go& are &e to vie& pessimistic or even s'icidal statements a!o't the meaninglessness of life &hen certainly the deaths she end'red, the !reakdo&ns she e4perienced, the se4'al a!'se she s'ffered6all senseless, incomprehensi!le, 'ndeserved6might convince even a non5 manic5depressive that e4istence &as periodically a hard !'sinessC 7nd &hat do &e do &ith the other passages in her diaries and letters: the ecstasies, the tri'mphs, the e4'ltant sense of life:s a!'ndance and her o&n creative po&er to s'rmo'nt o!staclesC 7re these merely hypomanias, or are they the pleas'res of a flo'rishing and prod'ctive creative geni's en;oying life &hen it is goodC )eeking one totali8ing ans&er offers 's too great a temptation merely to impose 'pon life:s discord the false orders of o'r o&n 'ne4amined, mood5mediated, need5f'lfilling ass'mptions. 9ate is diffic'lt to read for !oth e4ternal and internal reasons. B't it is this diffic'lty that makes do'!ly interesting a fiction &ritten !y a manic5 depressive a!o't reading fate. +oolf:s novels &ill not present 's &ith congr'ent ans&ers to separate >real> from >'nreal> events, perceptions, feelings, or ideas. They &ill only help 's appreciate the pro!lem of asking 'n!iased B'estions: 2 don:t admit to !eing hopeless tho'gh6only the spectacle is a profo'ndly strange one< P as the c'rrent ans&ers don:t do, one has to grope for a ne& one< P the process of discarding the old, &hen one is !y no means certain &hat to p't in their place, is a sad one. -Diar 1: 2.90 Gope is a !ias, !'t then so is hopelessness< !oth ind'ce a false sense of certainty in >reading> life. 7 novel that confronts the aimlessness of life and death &ill necessarily !e a p'88ling and fr'strating e4ploration of ;'st ho& diffic'lt it is to read anything. Beca'se reading sho'ld !e a str'ggle, The Vo age 1$t contains a rather large n'm!er of flat characters &hose primary f'nction is ill'strate simplistic o!;ect5relations: they either s'rrender6!ecoming passive, selfless, hapless,

1 1$E 1 or hopeless6or fight6!ecoming 'nmergea!le hard cores that deny v'lnera!ility and 'ncertainty. Dne &ho immediately s'cc'm!s &itho't contest is the servile and feat'reless )'san +orthington, rep'ted to have >no self> -1"E0, &ho !ecomes engaged to the eB'ally d'll 7rth'r Pennington. Proper, fossili8ed, neither &restles &ith 'ncertainty< c'lt're has provided them &ith ready ans&ers to every pro!lem, so that even Kachel:s tragic death can !e >smoothed over> &ith >tactf'l> conversation -"$"0. By s'rrendering individ'ality immediately, )'san and 7rth'r !ecome !lessed nonentities &rapped in cotton &ool, an instit'tionali8ed form of non!eing. +itho't depth, there can !e no dro&ning. Kachel herself periodically s'cc'm!s to selflessness. 7fter reading a perple4ing play !y 2!sen, she feels as if she has shr'nk: >+hat:s the tr'th of it allC>. . . 2t &as all very real, very !ig, very impersonal, and after a moment or t&o she !egan to raise her first finger and to let it fall on the arm of her chair so as to !ring !ack to herself some conscio'sness of her o&n e4istence. )he &as ne4t overcome !y the 'nspeaka!le B'eerness of the fact that she sho'ld !e sitting in an arm5 chair, in the morning, in the middle of the &orld. . . . 7nd life, &hat &as thatC. . . Ger dissol'tion !ecame so complete that she co'ld not raise her finger any more, and sat perfectly still, listening and looking al&ays at the same spot. 2t !ecame stranger and stranger. -12"/2.0 Kachel:s dissol'tion red'ces her to paralysis and magnifies the impersonal &orld< it is perceived as B'eer and 'nreal, !eca'se she cannot !elieve in her o&n s'!;ective reality. ,ames =aremore is correct in reading s'ch events as frightening e4amples of loss of self, tho'gh he has &rongly seen them as +oolf:s 'rging 's to seek p'rely o!;ective kno&ledge6if that &ere even possi!le.?1"@ The death of the so'l is not +oolf:s moment of !eing. +hen Kachel as s'!;ect is a mere !lank, an empty container incapa!le of contri!'ting meaning to her perceptions, the &orld is alien and 'nreal to her. The only advantage to anhedonic depression lies in the fact that it empties one of ill'sion<?1E@ it allo&s Kachel to ask the most f'ndamental B'estions of e4istence. Ger periodic dissol'tions cleanse the so'l6an asset if one is adaptive eno'gh to 'nderstand ho& s'ch cleansing comments on the 'ne4amined ass'mptions of sanity. Dther minor characters fight despair and v'lnera!ility, not !y dissol'tion and s'rrender, !'t !y imposing themselves. The determined Aiss 7llan orders her environment, preferring the sec'rity of closed c'rtains to the open night sky -1.10 and the hoarding of a !ottle of crUme de 1 1$. 1 menthe as a >charm against accidents> -2.E0. *ike *eslie )tephen, Aiss 7llan seems perfectly s'ited temperamentally to the large task of categori8ing the lives of great &riters for her &ri,er! yet at the same time she finds it diffic'lt to e4press their originality, to say >something different a!o't every!ody> -"1$0. The agitated depressive has a knack for imposing order, !'t at the same time tends to o!literate individ'ality !y constraining responsiveness6an 'nfort'nate lesson to !e giving readers ne& to the st'dy of great literat're. Kidley 7m!rose like&ise stifles emotion &ith >the contin'ity of the scholar:s life,> closeting himself for ho'rs like a misanthropic hoarder of self, caring deeply only a!o't Pindar, food, and digestion -1990. Ars. 9l'shing, >'pright and imperio's> -2.90, assa'lts art -19%0< in her o&n paintings, >all perfectly 'ntrained onsla'ghts of the !r'sh 'pon some half5realised idea s'ggested !y hill or tree,> her highly organi8ed and infle4i!le personality dominates, permitting little of

the e4ternal &orld to sho& thro'gh -2"E0. Perhaps most revealing is the intensely defensive +illiam Pepper, gloomy, cross, severe, &ho has disciplined himself 'ntil his heart has !ecome >a piece of old shoe leather> -190 and &ho a!;'res the freedoms of life in a spacio's villa for the constraints of the hotel !eca'se he fears infection from improperly cooked vegeta!les. Pepper may seem ;'st a crank, a petty academic at &hom +oolf can poke f'n for his l'dicro's egotism,?1.@ !'t he serves a very important f'nction in the novel: he e4presses !efore an assem!led company of ma;or characters &hat seems to !e a convenient piece of narrative fore!oding. 7t first, &hen he &ithdra&s from his friends, Gelen fears she has someho& angered him. )he &o'ld have tried to change his mind if +illiam had not sho&n himself inscr'ta!le and chill, lifting fragments of salad on the point of his fork, &ith the gest're of a man pronging sea&eed, detecting gravel, s'specting germs. >2f yo' all die of typhoid 2 &on:t !e responsi!leQ> he snapped. >2f yo' die of d'llness, neither &ill 2,> Gelen echoed in her heart. -9"0 Pepper:s paranoia seems ;'stified !y Kachel:s s'!seB'ent death !y fever, and this connection might lead some readers to concl'de hastily that Pepper:s s'rvival and Kachel:s death are linked to ho& they live their lives, for it is conventional to pres'me that a fictional character:s fate comments on his her &isdom or folly, sanity or mor!idity. (oes Pepper:s ca'stic contraction of spirit save himC 2f so, then does Aiss 7llan:s !ottle of crUme de menthe act'ally prevent accidentsC 7ss'ming that Pepper is rightly 1 1$$ 1 defensive, &hy does the novel avoid specifying the origin of Kachel:s fever to s'!stantiate his attit'deC B't if Kachel:s death is 'nrelated to Pepper:s defensiveness, &hy does +oolf have him specify typhoid fever, &hich Kachel:s illness seems to resem!leC To complicate matters even more, Gelen:s silent retort rings tr'e: Pepper is dead inside. )o &hat does this novel &ant to sayC 2s a safe life &orth livingC Dr is a romantic advent're 'p tropical rivers &orth dying forC )'san stands as proof that non!eing is not al&ays act'ally fatal, !'t she scarcely invites the reader:s admiration. Thro'gho't, +oolf remains c'rio'sly noncommittal, making s'ggestions that are indirectly and invaria!ly 'nderc't. 7s readers, &e find o'rselves forced into a corner !y +oolf:s 'n&illingness to resolve this pro!lem a!o't the relative val'e of different states of mind. The novel sho&s that pernicio's defensiveness and self5destr'ctive s'rrender can, 'nder certain circ'mstances, &ork eB'ally &ell. Hach mood, even those &e may find repellent, has certain assets. -+ho &o'ld !e more likely to s'rvive a first5strike n'clear attack than the paranoid depressive &hom &e dismissed as a kook !eca'se he moved his family to so'thern Dregon to live in a &ell5stocked !om! shelterC0 +hat a manic5depressive feels e4aggerates &hat &e all feel6and sho'ld feel6a!o't life:s essential eB'ivocation. >There is no irony in =at're,> the elderly Ieorge Aeredith &rote to the dying *eslie )tephen in 19#E. >+e &ho have loved the motion of legs and the s&eep of the &inds, &e come to this. B't for myself, 2 &ill o&n that it is the =at'ral order.>?1$@ The Vo age 1$t re5creates this most lifelike condition of contingency &henever it deals &ith ho& characters find meaning in their lives. Th's, Clarissa may e4tol life:s a!'ndance ->&hen yo':re my age yo':ll see that the &orld is cra,,ed &ith delightf'l things> ?.%@0 &ith an e4'!erance that infects Kachel !riefly ->it seemed indeed as if life &hich had !een 'nnamed !efore &as infinitely &onderf'l, and too good to !e tr'e> ?$1@0, !'t in fact, in this partic'lar case, it is too good to !e tr'e: Kachel dies,

and Clarissa:s o&n e4alted visions of a no!le h's!and and an enno!ling Hngland are 'nderc't !y the ta&dry realities of his philandering and the spirit'al emptiness of his politics. Met &e cannot 'se these tragedies as evidence for the opposite concl'sion, that life is inherently !ad, for Kachel !enefits as m'ch !y Clarissa:s ideali8ed image of life:s goodness as she does !y Kichard:s demonstration of its !adness, and the novel does not specifically red'ce the parado4. Both vie&s, irred'ci!ly contradictory, help Kachel reali8e &hat the &orld is like and &hat she needs from it. 1 1$F 1 2t is significant, then, that Kachel:s o!;ect5relational style can at times seem closely related to Pepper:s< !y creating an 'nmergea!le self, she defensively re;ects comm'nion &ith the &orld. +hen, for e4ample, she reali8es that prostit'tes are desired !y men as se4'al o!;ects, and that the same instinct &hich e4ploits them is the desire Kichard (allo&ay felt to&ard her -remem!er Kalph Partridge:s desire for po&er mi4ed 'p &ith his desire for se40, she immediately recoils. >2t is terrifying6it is disg'sting,> she asserts &ith considera!le hatred, and then concl'des s'ddenly: >)o that:s &hy 2 can:t &alk aloneQ> By this ne& light she sa& her life for the first time a creeping hedged5in thing, driven ca'tio'sly !et&een high &alls, here t'rned aside, there pl'nged in darkness, made d'll and crippled for ever. -%20 This is essentially the concl'sion reached in her dream, the night of Kichard:s kiss, of lying as still as death !efore the gi!!ering man. 9re'dian critics often foc's on the dream as a ne'rotic disg'ise for Kachel:s -and +oolf:s0 fear of se4: the gi!!ering man is identified as Ierald hiding at the end of a moist vaginal t'nnel. B't s'ch an interpretation pres'mes that sym!olism &orks in only one direction, from manifest image to&ard repressed se4'al desire, s'pposedly &here the >real> meaning lies. 2f, instead, &e follo& recent advances in sleep research s'ggesting that dreams are transformative and adaptive &ays of thinking rather than the prod'cts of an 'nconscio's censor,?1F@ &e can see that this fictional dream may !e 'sing se4'al imagery to represent something nonse4'al: the &alled5in >no e4it> hell of depression &ith all its attendant helplessness, terror, and despair. Keplicating Pepper:s leathery interior, Kachel m'st pretend to !e dead, emptied of a living self, or the d&arfish man &ill attack her. The fear of v'lnera!ility to s'ch a depressive state is an agony that r'ins sleep, !eca'se selflessness is a nightmare. Unfort'nately, Kachel:s initial response to attack is to create a defensive image of the self as 'nassaila!le: The vision of her o&n personality, of herself as a real everlasting thing, different from anything else, 'nmergea!le, like the sea or the &ind, flashed into Kachel:s mind, and she !ecame profo'ndly e4cited at the tho'ght of living. >2 can !e m5m5myself,> she stammered, >in spite of yo', in spite of the (allo&ays, and Ar. Pepper, and 9ather, and my 7'nts, in spite of theseC> >2n spite of every one,> said Gelen gravely. -%E0 1 1$% 1 This ideali8ation of individ'alism at first seems positive, !eca'se it em!oldens Kachel, !'t control is a defensive denial of v'lnera!ility, not a sol'tion to it, and it m'st o!str'ct a !eneficial and creative f'sion &ith others.?1%@ 7gainst a !ackdrop of minor characters em!odying elements of vario's fi4ed moods, Kachel moves, a sensitive, 'nformed h'man !eing, indefinitely dra&n, gathering e4periences. Beca'se of her vag'eness

as a character, she is plastic eno'gh to !e intensely a&are of s'!tle changes in her o&n moods.?19@ This is her f'nction in the novel6to !e diffic'lt to pin do&n, to chart the aimless &aters of mood shifts, life:s am!ig'o's nat're, and self:s constantly changing relationship to it, as the ship '$phros ne! to &hich she is often compared, plies the &aters to an 'ncertain fate: >The sea might give her death or some 'ne4ampled ;oy, and none &o'ld kno& of it. )he &as a !ride going forth to her h's!and, a virgin 'nkno&n of men< in her vigo'r and p'rity she might !e likened to all !ea'tif'l things, &orshipped and felt as a sym!ol> -"20. (eli!erately o!sc're, this image of veiled p'rity is not simply a fore!oding of Kachel:s death< it also predicts the eB'al possi!ility of 'ne4ampled ;oy. 2t is the noncommittal omen of an >inscr'ta!le destiny.>?2#@ Th's, The Vo age 1$t is a hodgepodge of emotions and vie&s that do not sort themselves o't into any convenient order. Kather, reading this novel invites 's to see that the s'!;ective &orld of perception, mood, and ;'dgment is one of organi8ed and organi8ing >meaning,> &hereas the o!;ective realm of physical nat're is one of >tr'th> &e glimpse only occasionally and then find disconcertingly divergent and 'nresolva!le. This is &hy the omniscient narrator philosophi8es a!o't the myriad !ootless activities of land!o'nd Britons &ho c't flo&ers, fell in love, admired the day, and >prognosticated pleasant things a!o't the co'rse of the &orld,> none of &hich seems to carry m'ch &eight. >)ome said that the sky &as an em!lem of the life they had had,> the narrator notes &itho't emphasis< >others that it &as the promise of life to come> -"10. Terence himself, desperate to deny the serio'sness of Kachel:s illness, also ind'lges in 'ns'pported interpretations, one of &hich seems meant for the reader to apply to this novel: >7ccording to him, too, there &as an order, a pattern &hich made life reasona!le. . . for sometimes it seemed possi!le to 'nderstand &hy things happened as they did> -2990. There may indeed !e a meaningf'l pattern !ehind the chaos of events in o'r lives, !'t o'r 'nderstanding of it is marred !y the limitations of o'r psychic apparat's, !y invisi!le moods largely o'tside o'r control, !y the &ay &e order o'r 1 1$9 1 rooms, &ash o'r vegeta!les, and digest o'r food. Conscio'sness is shaped in so many &ays. Go&, then, can &e discern the pattern that &ill make Kachel:s destiny >reasona!le>C =o one in this novel possesses an >a'thoritative> reading of events. 7t first Kachel -and the reader0 looks to Gelen for g'idance. Aild depressives do have a special and, at times, val'a!le talent for de!'nking ill'sion, &hich the ine4perienced Kachel reB'ires, for she >&o'ld !elieve practically anything she &as told, invent reasons for anything she said> -"E0. Gelen:s perspective on Kichard (allo&ay:s kiss helps Kachel 'nderstand that it &as !oth stim'lating and !anal, not a transcendent event !'t not a fatal one either. Go&ever, Kachel finds that even the formida!le Gelen has her limitations. Galf&ay thro'gh the novel, Gelen falls into a deeper, more de!ilitating depression &hich seems to have no ca'se and against &hich she has no defense: 7l&ays calm and 'nemotional in her ;'dgments, Ars. 7m!rose &as no& inclined to !e definitely pessimistic. )he &as not severe 'pon individ'als so m'ch as incred'lo's of the kindness of destiny, fate, &hat happens in the long r'n, and apt to insist that this &as generally adverse to people in proportion as they deserved &ell. Hven this theory she &as ready to discard in favo'r of one &hich made chaos tri'mphant, things happening for no reason at all, and every one groping a!o't in ill'sion and ignorance. -2210 Ars. 7m!rose looked and listened o!ediently eno'gh, !'t in&ardly she &as a prey to an 'neasy mood not readily to !e ascri!ed to any one ca'se. . . . )he did not like to feel herself the victim of 'nclassified emotions, and certainly as the la'nch slipped on and on, in the hot

morning s'n, she felt herself 'nreasona!ly moved. -2FF/F%0 Gelen:s depression consists of >'nclassified emotions> she cannot analy8e or name, a vac''m she finds 'ncomforta!le. ,'st as she had played 9re'd to Kachel:s (ora !y interpreting Kachel:s depression after (allo&ay:s ad'ltero's kiss as >the most nat'ral thing in the &orld> -%10, so no& Gelen e4plains her o&n depression as the res'lt of having seen !eneath appearances to a tr'th seldom glimpsed. B't she cannot name that tr'th. 7ltho'gh Gelen:s &orst fears are event'ally reali8ed !y Kachel:s death, it &o'ld !e a mistake to vie& them as a cl'msy narrative device of fore!oding,?21@ or as +oolf:s only philosophy of life. Gelen is no >fate fig're> -tho'gh depressives typically fear that they are0, ;'st as Pepper:s pho!ia a!o't germs is no virt'e offered for o'r imitation -tho'gh he &o'ld arg'e so0. Gelen e4hi!its symptoms typical of depression, &hich +oolf 1 1F# 1 kne& !y e4perience co'ld occ'r independently of life events6even tho'gh life does occasionally prove the depressive:s vie& to !e correct. There can !e no relia!le litm's test for ho& realistic o'r feelings are &hen feeling itself distorts the res'lts. The te4t tests o'r a!ility to interpret, not !y giving 's a heavy5handed 9re'dian disg'ise to decode, !'t !y 'nderscoring the f'ndamental dilemma of all perception: the need to avoid solipsism on the one hand and meaninglessness on the other, even tho'gh !oth are necessary components of reading. +hen 9re'dian critics interpret Gelen:s fore!oding mor!idity as evidence of +oolf:s ina!ility to keep her ne'rotic fears o't of the te4t, they 'ndermine not only the a'thor:s control over her story !'t o'r responsiveness to it. +hen &e m'st &rest artistic control from +oolf in order to e4plain a&ay the sense of 'ncertainty and m'ltiplicity that she deli!erately creates, then &e have !ecome defensive o'rselves. +e have !ecome Pepper. Dne s'ch defensive post're is Aitchell *easka:s arg'ment that Gelen:s !leak o'tlook is really an attempt to p'nish Kachel for deserting her to form a heterose4'al attachment &ith Terence. Gelen:s despair is a desperate, 'nconscio's effort to poison the atmosphere &ith irrationality and gloom and death< her inclination to feel victimi8ed and defeated, and hopelessly to &ant to massacre all that is, or co'ld !e, happy and flo'rishing. +hatever satisfaction in life or in love Gelen 7m!rose may have !een denied m'st also !e denied to others, partic'larly to Kachel &hose increasing independence deprives Gelen of her most cherished s'!stit'te for real satisfaction: transitory f'lfillment thro'gh others.>?22@ *easka does not feel the need to sympathi8e &ith Gelen:s pointless s'ffering or to e4amine the possi!le tr'th of her tragic vision< he dismisses !oth as evidence of veiled aggression, a sick need to control others. Psychotherapists often e4perience similar co'ntertransference reactions &hen dealing &ith depressed patients, &hose despair -&hich they often generali8e into gloom5and5doom predictions for the &hole &orld as &ell as for their families0 can !e interpreted as disg'ised, self5destr'ctive rage. 7 physician:s o&n anger and fr'stration at &hat he perceives to !e the patient:s resistance to therapy may !e manifested as a defensively vindictive condemnation of the depressive:s seeming coll'sion &ith his disease.?2"@ 2t is hard to sympathi8e &ith someone &hose victimi8ation seems glo!al, 'nnecessary, and self5advertised. B't sympathi8e &e m'st if &e are to see that Gelen:s mor!idity is neither ;ealo'sy nor +oolf:s s'pposed 'nconscio's fears a!o't les!ian love -is it likely that a &oman &ho seemed 1 1F1 1

so conscio's of, and so satisfied &ith, her feelings a!o't other &omen &o'ld have m'ch to repressC0. +e m'st prepare o'rselves for the possi!ility that the te4t means &hat it says6that conscio'sness is a p'88le &itho't resol'tion. Terence Ge&et also seems to !e constantly victimi8ed !y his 'nclassified emotions. 7ltho'gh initially enth'siastic a!o't organi8ing an e4pedition 'p a mo'ntain, he loses his desire as he &alks to meet his companions: >B't &hy do &e do itC6is it to prevent o'rselves from seeing to the !ottom of things. . . making cities and mo'ntains and &hole 'niverses o't of nothing, or do &e really love each other, or do &e, on the other hand, live in a state of perpet'al 'ncertainty, kno&ing nothing. . . C> -12F0 +hat is >the !ottom of things> he sho'ld !e seeingC Dnce he starts the clim! he B'ickly forgets his depressive spec'lations, recovers his spirits, and gains the hilltop. B't no s'!lime concl'sion a&aits him at the overvie&. 2nstead, he >!ecame, for no reason at all, profo'ndly depressed> and fell to meditating once again on ho& insipid and cr'el all his g'ests really &ere -1"E0, tho'gh moments !efore he had ;'dged them >no!le> -1"20. Ge had clim!ed the mo'ntain !'t gained no gro'nd in the str'ggle to read his o&n feelings. +hereas Gelen:s mood s&ings are grad'al and chronic, Terence end'res many !rief shifts !et&een depression and e4'ltation that ill'strate ho& even rapid alterations of mood escape detection &hen the individ'al ass'mes that his present interpretation is al&ays the right one. Gaving eavesdropped on Gelen and Kachel, Terence e4citedly st'm!les do&n a path, sho'ting happily, >(reams and realities, dreams and realities, dreams and realities> -1%%0, e4'ltant that life seems to !e com!ining the mysterio's and the real in the !eloved fig're of Kachel. 2n the ne4t paragraph, he falls into a depression, feeling >as if he &ere enclosed in a sB'are !o4, and instantly shrivelled 'p> &hen he enters his room. )lo&ly he regains some eB'animity, !'t Hvelyn:s flirtation leaves him again depressed, over&helmed !y >the mystery of life and the 'nreality even of one:s o&n sensations> -19E0, tho'gh only min'tes !efore, &ith !o'ndless optimism, he had sho'ted his ;oy at ;'st s'ch a mi4t're of s'!;ectivity and o!;ectivity. Aood makes all the difference: to the manic, >'nreal> sensations seem a mirac'lo's synthesis of self and &orld promising e4citing ne& realms of e4perience< to the depressive, they are frightening conf'sions of self and &orld that minimi8e him and imprison him in dark cells of pain and 1 1F2 1 disappointment. Terence may feel B'ite po&erf'l, s'perior to Girst:s fear of risking contact &ith &omen, !'t he can also perceive his desire for comm'nion &ith Kachel as a fearf'l prospect that makes him feel helplessly misera!le. Gis most rapid shifts occ'r &ith Kachel, &hen >at one moment he &as clear5sighted, and, at the ne4t, conf'sed,> and so, &hen he confesses his fa'lts to her, he concl'des that he is indeed >moody.> >2:m overcome !y a sense of f'tility6incompetence> -2%#0, he tells her, tho'gh later he !oasts of inflated feelings of self5esteem and po&er, descri!ing himself as >immensely solid> and claiming that the >legs of my chair might !e rooted in the !o&els of the earth> -29"0. Aood s&ings are volatile: Terence is most depressed !y the least incident. +hen Kachel complains of a headache, he is over&helmed !y depression o't of all proportion to the occasion: >?G@is sense of dismay and catastrophe ?&as@ almost physically painf'l< all ro'nd him he seemed to hear the shiver of !roken glass &hich, as it fell to earth, left him sitting in open air,> v'lnera!le, e4posed -"2F0. D'r hindsight of Kachel:s death tempts 's to regard his depression as a conventional narrative stratagem. ?2E@ *ike the Britons, &e find it all too easy to read meaning even in the eB'ivocal sky, to s'ppose &ith

'ne4amined confidence that life &o'ld not have given s'nsets s'ch an important f'nction as that of ending the day &ith e4travagant !ea'ty if it had not intended them to sym!oli8e something more. B't &hat is that >more>C 7nd on &hose a'thority do &e descry its meaningC =ot Terence:s, certainly. (esperate to deny the serio'sness of Kachel:s illness -and of his o&n despair0, he overlooks (r. Kodrig'e8:s incompetence and is shocked &hen s'ddenly his eval'ation changes: >Gis confidence in the man vanished as he looked at him and sa& his insignificance, his dirty appearance, his shiftiness, and his 'nintelligent, hairy face. 2t &as strange that he had never seen this !efore> -""F/"%0. )trange indeed, !'t is this a shift in perception to a more o!;ective vie&, or ;'st another misinterpretationC +hat has facial hair to do &ith medical e4pertiseC Gas a s'!;ective impression merely coincided accidentally &ith Kodrig'e8:s act'al incompetenceC +hy is reading this novel as pro!lematical as reading Kodrig'e8:s faceC 7nd &here is the omniscient narrator &hen &e need herC )he remains silent on the iss'e here, !'t in her memoir to her niece and nephe&s, +oolf reco'nts ho& friends of her family read into )tella:s face her mother:s visage and character: People &ho m'st follo& o!vio's tokens, s'ch as the colo'r of the eye, the shape of the nose, and love to invent a melodramatic fitness in life, as tho'gh it &ere a sensational novel, acclaimed ?)tella:s@ no& the 1 1F" 1 divinely appointed inheritor of all &omanly virt'es, and &ith a certain ha8iness forgot yo'r grandmother:s sharp feat'res and )tella:s vag'e ones, and created a model of them for 3anessa to follo&, !ea'tif'l on the s'rface, !'t fatally insipid &ithin. -Mo,ents of Being ..0 +ith e4pectations of perfect happiness for her, they &ished )tella &ell on her honeymoon. 9rom her ;o'rney, ho&ever, she ret'rned fatally ill< from divine g'arantee came only a >shapeless catastrophe. . . death making an end of all these e4B'isite preparations> -Mo,ents of Being ..0. Kachel:s emotional vacillations enlarge her e4perience of life, !'t they also shape !elief, the premises !y &hich she eval'ates these e4periences. *ike Gelen and Terence, she is 'na!le to compensate for the distortions, tho'gh she does note them. Dne day, having &alked alone along a river !ank, she is s'ddenly >filled &ith one of those 'nreasona!le e4'ltations &hich start generally from an 'nkno&n ca'se, and s&eep &hole co'ntries and skies into their em!race?<@ she &alked &itho't seeing> 'ntil interr'pted !y a solid o!;ect, the perception of &hich is momentarily intensified and falsified !y her energi8ed !rain. >2t &as an ordinary tree,> the narrator tells 's, >!'t to her it appeared so strange that it might have !een the only tree in the &orld.> This ill'sion of mirac'lo's sing'larity is temporary< the tree >once more sank into the ordinary rank of trees> as Kachel sank o't of her hypomanic state -1FE0. )itting in the shade and reading Ii!!on, Kachel again e4periences an elevated mood, !'t this time she attempts to 'nderstand it: >)lo&ly her mind !ecame less conf'sed and so'ght the origins of her e4altation.> +ith effort, she narro&s do&n the pro!a!le ca'se to Terence and )t. ,ohn. Met she cannot analy8e and so control their po&er to affect her so drastically, !eca'se for her they are still enveloped in an ideali8ing >ha8e of &onder>: >9rom them all life seemed to radiate< the very &ords of !ooks &ere steeped in radiance> -1F.0. O'estioning !elief in the midst of hypomania proves to !e 'seless. Aood manip'lates !elief and colors facts, even individ'al &ords, to fit itself: >)he co'ld not reason a!o't ?Terence and )t. ,ohn@ as a!o't people &hose feelings &ent !y the same r'le as her o&n did, and her mind d&elt on them &ith a kind of physical pleas're s'ch as is ca'sed !y the contemplation of !right things hanging in the s'n.> Jno&ing o!;ectively that Terence and )t. ,ohn do not radiate >all life> or that the &ords of !ooks are

not >steeped in radiance> &ill not lead her to insight 'ntil she identifies the so'rce of the reflected, !linding !rightness. This Kachel does not do. *ike the early 9re'dians, she foc'ses on the o!;ect of her distorted perception in the hope that it has someho& ca'sed the shift in mood, !'t this 1 1FE 1 gets her no&here. )oon her mood drops again, she loses the manic a!ility to >;'ggle &ith several ideas,> and >a kind of melancholy replace?s@ her e4citement,> destroying even the ill'sion of significance: >)he sank do&n on to the earth, clasping her knees together, and looking !lankly in front of her,> &ondering, >+hat is it to !e in loveC> -1F.0. +hat does it mean for Kachel to !e in love &hen she cannot !e s're of her !eliefs or her emotionsC Go& can this novel !e ;'dged a tragic love story or a failed !ild'ngsroman &hen the most !asic iss'es a!o't perception and self have yet to !e resolvedC Kachel thinks she sees clearly that the preacher Ba4:s complacent listeners have conf'sed their notions of Iod &ith their o&n self5images, !'t it is an agoni8ing str'ggle for her merely to determine &hat she feels a!o't Terence and &hether or not it is even love. Hach time they meet, conflicting emotions assert themselves ->&hen they met their meeting might !e one of inspiriting ;oy or of harassing despair> ?22E@0. Gelen:s co'nseling only conf'ses the t&o &omen f'rther &hen Kachel:s !ipolar mood s&ings occasionally, !'t only temporarily, coincide &ith Gelen:s depression: ?Kachel:s mind@ &as so fl'ct'ating, and &ent so B'ickly from ;oy to despair, that it seemed necessary to confront it &ith some sta!le opinion &hich nat'rally !ecame dark as &ell as sta!le. Perhaps Ars. 7m!rose had some idea that in leading the talk into these B'arters she might discover &hat &as in Kachel:s mind, !'t it &as diffic'lt to ;'dge, for sometimes she &o'ld agree &ith the gloomiest thing that &as said, at other times she ref'sed to listen, and rammed Gelen:s theories do&n her throat &ith la'ghter, chatter, ridic'le of the &ildest, and fierce !'rsts of anger even at &hat she called the >croaking of a raven in the m'd.> >2t:s hard eno'gh &itho't that,> she asserted. >+hat:s hardC> Gelen demanded. >*ife,> she replied, and then they !oth !ecame silent. Gelen might dra& her o&n concl'sions as to &hy life &as hard, as to &hy an ho'r later, perhaps, life &as something so &onderf'l and vivid that the eyes of Kachel !eholding it &ere positively e4hilarating to a spectator. -221/220 Gelen:s attempt to 'nderstand Kachel:s moods is doomed !eca'se she too ass'mes that ideas or events arc !ehind them, that if she co'ld only >discover &hat &as in Kachel:s mind,> she co'ld co'nteract the cognitive changes. *ike many other manic5depressives !efore her, Kachel s'ffers as m'ch from her o&n moodiness as from the &orld:s ina!ility to 'nderstand her 1 1F. 1 inner &orld. 9r'strated and tearf'l, her p'lse >!eating, str'ggling, fretting> against a &orld of degraded h'man !eings &ho cannot comprehend her emotional t'm'lt or satisfy her demands -&hich mania intensifies so m'ch that her desires cannot !e adeB'ately form'lated or appeased0, she !ecomes convinced that other people are against her, imposing their >pondero's st'pidity> 'pon her, like *eslie

)tephen drenching 7nny:s e4'!erant imagination &ith his >cold !ath> of logic: 7ll day long she had !een tantali8ed and p't off. . . . 9or the time, her o&n !ody &as the so'rce of all the life in the &orld, &hich tried to !'rst forth here6there6and &as repressed no& !y Ar. Ba4, no& !y Hvelyn, no& !y the imposition of pondero's st'pidity6the &eight of the entire &orld. Th's tormented, she &o'ld t&ist her hands together, for all things &ere &rong, all people st'pid. 3ag'ely seeing that there &ere people do&n in the garden !eneath she represented them as aimless masses of matter, floating hither and thither, &itho't aim e4cept to impede her. -2.%0 (riven and visionary, the manic cannot 'nderstand that indefina!le reB'ests are impossi!le to f'lfill. Tho'gh desire is vivid and e4pansive, the real &orld and its limitations are only >vag'ely> seen thro'gh the !linding light of e4alted mood.?2.@ Aanic confidence, intensified !y scattered creativity and 'nrealistic goals, is easily diverted into egotism and hostility. B't this denial of her aimless moodiness cannot last. Kachel:s paranoid rage soon settles into its opposite, a >melancholy lethargy.> Ger imagined vision of a persec'tory &orld dims, and &ith it the ill'sion of 'nlimited energy and profo'nd p'rpose. >2t:s a dream,> she concl'des, and she s'!seB'ently discovers that the r'sty inkstand, the pen, the ashtray, and the old 9rench ne&spaper arc really only >small and &orthless o!;ects ?that had@ seemed to her to represent h'man lives> !'rsting &ith vivacity and malice. Kachel has arrived at a momentary insight into this partic'lar instance of mania, !'t has she achieved a lasting 'nderstanding of all the mood s&ings she has e4periencedC This moment of micro5depression is not definitive< it merely disill'sions her of one false !elief !y replacing it &ith another. +ithin seconds she moves on to the ne4t shift in mood. 7s !efore, she is over&helmed !y elevated mood, energy, and perception: the landscape seems covered &ith >a ha8e of feverish red mist,> and her friends have a startling intensity, as tho'gh the d'sty s'rface had !een peeled off everything, leaving only the reality and the instant. 2t had the look of 1 1F$ 1 a vision printed on the dark at night. +hite and grey and p'rple fig'res &ere scattered on the green< ro'nd &icker ta!les< in the middle the flame of the tea5'rn made the air &aver like a fa'lty sheet of glass< a massive green tree stood over them as if it &ere a moving force held at rest. -2.%/.90 B't &hat is this 'npeeled >reality>C 3ivid and yet indefinite -Hvelyn and Gelen appear merely as 'nrecogni8a!le >fig'res>0, Kachel:s vision lasts only an instant and is soon forgotten. Ger e4'ltation drops a&ay, and she re;oins the hotel g'ests for a B'iet tea, d'ring &hich she considers and accepts Ars. 9l'shing:s invitation to the ill5fated e4pedition 'p the river. Una!le to connect present moments of intense feeling &ith conflicting past moments, Kachel learns nothing that can help her 'nderstand emotion. 7ltho'gh Clarissa confidently predicts that Kachel is >going to find o't> &hy people marry -$#0, her engagement to Terence takes place &itho't m'ch enlightenment. Their love scenes seem deli!erately cast as eerie and 'nreal, f'll of am!ig'o's silences and flat, 'nremarka!le statements spoken &ith a d'll, lifeless B'ality, the diminished inflection typical of depression:?2$@ >Mo' like !eing &ith meC> Terence asked. >Mes, &ith yo',> she replied.

Ge &as silent for a moment. )ilence seemed to have fallen 'pon the &orld. >This is &hat 2 have felt ever since 2 kne& yo',> he replied. >+e are happy together.> Ge did not seem to !e speaking, or she to !e hearing. >3ery happy,> she ans&ered. They contin'ed to &alk for some time in silence. Their steps 'nconscio'sly B'ickened. >+e love each other,> Terence said. >+e love each other,> she repeated. -2F10 7 dreamlike 'nreality so over&helms them that they B'estion not only &hy they &ant to marry !'t &hether in fact Terence had even asked her -2%20. Aood shapes &hat is recorded in memory and ho& it is recorded, making events apprehended as 'nreal more diffic'lt to remem!er. Kachel and Terence therefore agree to revie& their previo's conversation, to pin do&n &hat each one felt so that >together they &o'ld interpret her feeling> a!o't &hat had happened. B't their attempt at an intellect'ali8ed reconstr'ction proves f'tile. Kachel only !ecomes conscio's of a ne& and 1 1FF 1 'nfamiliar feeling r'nning thro'gh her: >This is happiness, 2 s'ppose.> This is not a 9re'dian novel a!o't love or se4. This is a story a!o't &hether emotion is a fiction that can !e read. Kachel accepts each of her different readings of the &orld !eca'se each carries &ith it a po&erf'l force of conviction. Una!le to analy8e her perceptions, >it seemed to her that her sensations had no name,> and she herself !ecomes a mere container for those sensations -22"0. By ref'sing to name Kachel:s fatal illness !'t foregro'nding her deliri'm, &hich is inherently inchoate, +oolf foc'ses o'r attention on the physicality of Kachel:s illness, sho&ing 's that a !iological disorder has percept'al and psychological conseB'ences that resist a >personal> e4planation. +hen Kachel:s head first !egins to ache, the &ords of Ailton, recited !y Terence, !egin to mean >different things> from the ordinary -as &e sho'ld e4pect !y no&, +oolf does not specify &hat the difference is0, and >the garden too looked strange> -"2F0. 2nterpretation and perception have !ecome indisting'isha!le< o!;ects, especially &ords, have !ecome mallea!le, plastic, o!sc'rely sym!olic, ine4plica!ly significant. Kachel envisions her sickroom attendants taking flight a!ove trees and high to&ers. The sickroom itself persec'tes her: the &alls lean malevolently to&ard her, harsh light assa'lts her, and the movement of the !linds in the &ind terrifies her. These perceptions are convincingly vivid, !'t they fail to yield to analysis: 9or si4 days indeed she had !een o!livio's of the &orld o'tside, !eca'se it needed all her attention to follo& the hot, red, B'ick sights &hich passed incessantly !efore her eyes. )he kne& that it &as of enormo's importance that she sho'ld attend to these sights and grasp their meaning, !'t she &as al&ays !eing ;'st too late to hear or see something &hich &o'ld e4plain it all. 9or this reason, the faces,6Gelen:s face, the n'rse:s, Terence:s, the doctor:s, 6&hich occasionally forced themselves very close to her, &ere &orrying !eca'se they distracted her attention and she might miss the cl'e. Go&ever, on the fo'rth afternoon she &as s'ddenly 'na!le to keep Gelen:s face distinct from the sights themselves< her lips &idened as she !ent do&n over the !ed, and she !egan to ga!!le 'nintelligi!ly like the rest. The sights &ere all concerned in some plot, some advent're, some escape. The nat're of &hat they &ere doing changed incessantly, altho'gh there &as al&ays a reason !ehind it, &hich she m'st endeavo'r to grasp. -"E#/E10

Conf'sed, Kachel resorts to 'nlikely e4planations validated only !y mood, not !y fact, and tho'gh her perceptions change incessantly, she 1 1F% 1 cannot stop to think that the fa'lt lies &ith her. +oolf:s metaphor for this most essential element of manic5depressive illness is the dream state. Both familiar and strange to readers, it emphasi8es the parado4ical e4perience of +oolf:s madness: it s'spends the r'les of >normal> &aking mental f'nctioning and yet sharply reveals the 'ne4amined ass'mptions of those r'les. Kachel:s fevered mental state is descri!ed as >a transparent kind of sleep,> as if she is trapped in Terence:s dichotomy representing moodiness, >dreams and reality>< she is neither f'lly asleep nor a&ake and is 'na!le to tell the difference. Tho'gh her premises are distorted, ho&ever, Kachel:s mind does still f'nction in a logical &ay. To paraphrase *eonard:s reass'rances to +oolf, Kachel is >terri!ly sane in three5B'arters of her mind> -Beginning Again 1$E0. )he attempts to >cross over into the ordinary &orld,> to kno& &hen she is e4periencing a dream, &hen a reality, !'t it is diffic'lt, for the fever has >p't a g'lf !et&een her &orld and the ordinary &orld &hich she co'ld not !ridge> -"290. Una!le to &ake 'p, Kachel is imprisoned !y s'!;ectivity: >all landmarks &ere o!literated>< even the so'nds of people &alking on the floor a!ove seem incomprehensi!le and can >only !e ascri!ed to their ca'se !y a great effort of memory. The recollection of &hat she had felt, or of &hat she had !een doing and thinking three days !efore, had faded entirely> -"29/"#0.?2F@ The sight of Terence takes special effort >!eca'se he forced her to ;oin mind to !ody in the desire to remem!er something> -"EF06ho& she felt a!o't him, &ith the same !eliefs and conviction, an impossi!le task no&. 2n this sense she is no longer Kachel, for she loses identity &hen she loses her past. )he has >ceased to have any &ill of her o&n> and is 'na!le to comm'nicate &ith the rest of the &orld, for her mind has !een >driven to some remote corner of her !ody, or escaped and gone flitting ro'nd the room> -"EF0. Dnly !ody, the ca'se of the separation, can forge the link !et&een self and &orld and end the nightmare. +oolf may not have 'nderstood ho& !iology determined mood, !'t clearly she e4perienced the connection. 7s the fever progresses the mood s&ings intensify, and Kachel !egins to hall'cinate vividly. ='rse Ac2nnis no& appears to !e playing cards in a t'nnel 'nder a river, a vision Kachel interprets as >ine4plica!ly sinister> -""#0. The ne4t vision e4pands on the theme. 7 &aking dream that repeats elements of Kachel:s nightmare after (allo&ay:s kiss, it replays the same message that po&erlessness and v'lnera!ility are frightening: Kachel again sh't her eyes, and fo'nd herself &alking thro'gh a t'nnel 'nder the Thames, &here there &ere little deformed &omen sitting in 1 1F9 1 arch&ays playing cards, &hile the !ricks of &hich the &all &as made oo8ed &ith damp, &hich collected into drops and slid do&n the &all. B't the little old &omen !ecame Gelen and ='rse Ac2nnis after a time, standing in the &indo& together &hispering, &hispering incessantly. -""10 The &omen are Ac2nnis and Gelen, distorted !y fever, sitting in her room< the oo8ing &alls, her o&n skin shedding !eads of s&eat. The !ody:s !o'ndaries have melted and are mi4ed 'p &ith perceptions of separate o!;ects. (epression and se4'al a!'se are connected here !eca'se each red'ces Kachel to a helpless, paranoid o!;ect. Kecapit'lating a nightmare p'ts into &ords &hat is nameless and so diffic'lt to e4plain6ho& Kachel feels &hen depressed.

7 similar scene occ'rs &hen Terence ne4t visits. Kachel hall'cinates an old &oman &ith a knife killing chickens -as she had earlier &itnessed0, a decapitation scene that has inflamed some 9re'dians &ith its l'rid imagery. )hirley Panken maintains that this vision of castration e4presses Kachel:s -and +oolf:s0 ne'rotic and repressed fear of se4'al intimacy &ith a man and her masked oral rage -#$st of %reation %"/%.0. B't if +oolf did kno& &hat she &as doing here, and if it &as !ased on her e4perience of manic5depressive illness, then the foc's sho'ld not !e on decoding latent content for some tidy and reasona!le message !'t on the str'ct're of Kachel:s hall'cination. +hen Terence kisses her, she sees an old &oman slicing a man:s head off &ith a knife -""90, !'t it is Kachel &ho has !een c't off6!y her o&n paranoia. )he feels as if her mind is >flitting ro'nd the room.> 7n attempt to to'ch, to comm'nicate, is perceived not simply &rongly !'t as its opposite, as a separation, an alienation. The kiss:s meaning is a florid 'nmeaning, ;'st as )tella:s death defied hope, ;'st as manic5depressive illness 'ndermines desire and character and ;'dgment. Kachel:s hall'cinations and the novel:s eB'ivocations alike cry o't for coherence and red'ction, !'t at &hat priceC 2f &e save Kachel from an incoherent madness and a meaningless death !y saving o'rselves from the f'ndamental 'ncertainties of reading, are &e not destroying the novelC To tempt 's f'rther, in the characters &ho s'rvive Kachel &e are offered !ad models for making interpretations, tho'gh no one voice rises a!ove the rest &ith an a'thoritative, or even convincing, e4planation of &hy Kachel dies. Aiss 7llan overgenerali8es sorro& into depressing pessimism: she feels >as if her ?o&n@ life had !een a fail're, as if it had !een hard and la!orio's to no p'rpose> -".$0. The indomita!le Ars. Thorn!'ry overcomes her so!s ->Go& co'ld one go on if there &ere no reasonC> ?".F@0 !y fa!ricating an order that !ea'tifies death: >on the &hole, s'rely there 1 1%# 1 &as a !alance of happiness6s'rely order did prevail. . . . they &ere saved so m'ch< they kept so m'ch. The dead6she called to mind those &ho had died early, accidentally6&ere !ea'tif'l> -"$#0. Ar. 9l'shing is defensive too !'t lacks the imagination to ideali8e death: he fears that his &ife feels >she &as in some &ay responsi!le,> a s'spicion he arg'es is >'nreasona!le> in a series of 'nfinished assertions that cover all defensive !ases: >+e don:t even kno&6in fact 2 think it most 'nlikely6that she ca'ght her illness there. These diseases6Besides, she &as set on going. . . . 2:ve no do'!t myself that Aiss 3inrace ca'ght the infection 'p at the villa itself.> Ars. 9l'shing co'nters her grief !y stiffening, regarding death as a h'miliating s'rrender: +hen she &as alone !y herself she clenched her fists together, and !egan !eating the !ack of a chair &ith them. )he &as like a &o'nded animal. )he hated death< she &as f'rio's, o'traged, indignant &ith death, as if it &ere a living creat're. )he ref'sed to relinB'ish her friends to death. )he &o'ld not s'!mit to dark and nothingness. -".90 +illiam Pepper !lames Kachel:s death on taking 'nnecessary risks &ith 'n&ashed vegeta!les. Dld Ars. Paley agrees, referring to Kachel as >yo'ng people> &ho >al&ays think they kno& !etter, and then they pay the penalty> -"$20. The se4ist 7rth'r Pennington ass'mes that Hnglish&omen are too &eak constit'tionally to s'rvive >ro'ghing it,> even tho'gh the soft and passive )'san flo'rishes physically. Hvelyn denies contingency altogether: if Kachel:s death &ere not a part of a Providential plan, she &orries, >it need never have happened> -".F0. The rest of the hotel:s inmates B'ickly forget their grief &hen a storm momentarily a!sor!s their attention, after &hich they ret'rn to their needle&ork and chess and novels, as if nothing f'ndamental had dist'r!ed them at all. 2n this &ay The Vo age 1$t triviali8es its o&n ending, 'ndermining the significance of Kachel:s death !y presenting contradictory interpretations ready5made according to each character:s o&n

psychological needs and strategies for dealing &ith threatening, pointless events. 7nd critics have generally follo&ed the models set o't for their imitation. )ome, like Ars. Thorn!'ry, accept the >apparent> ar!itrariness of Kachel:s death as evidence that some orderly pattern 'nderlies all h'man e4perience !'t that it transcends the capacity of individ'als to 'nderstand it< only in death &ill !e fo'nd an ideali8ed >vision> of tr'th or a perfect 'nion &ith Terence6tho'gh &hat that vision is and &hy it sho'ld !e so val'a!le is certainly not demonstrated in the novel.?2%@ Perhaps Kachel prefers death 1 1%1 1 !eca'se it offers the ill'sion of perfect f'sion &ith Terence, !'t the ill'sion !elongs to Terence alone, not to the te4t, and it is s'!seB'ently e4ploded !y a >necrophilic rage> once the reality of Kachel:s death sinks in.?29@ *ike Ar. Pepper and Ars. Paley, some critics morali8e that tragedy res'lts &hen foolish risks are taken, death !eing the >inevita!le end of romantic dreaming> that ignores the grim realities of the &orld.?"#@ Dr, like Aiss 7llan, they take a depressive, tight5lipped line, !laming Kachel:s death on the >impossi!le !arriers !et&een people, !arriers &hich in the end are tri'mphant.>?"1@ Dnly the 9re'dians share Ar. 9l'shing:s talent for rationali8ations at any cost &hen they try to specify a latent origin for Kachel:s fever: )hirley Panken arg'es that Kachel dies !eca'se she capit'lates, in a kind of death &ish, to insol'!le inner conflicts< *o'ise (e)alvo and others contend that se4'al kno&ledge and se4'al g'ilt are the real ca'ses of death< Kachel s'cc'm!s either from fear of se4 or from an 'nresolved, latent les!ian desire for Gelen.?"2@ -7nd yet G'ghling Hliot contracts a similar fever and is treated !y the same (r. Kodrig'e8: are &e to ass'me he s'ffers from impotence or l'rking homose4'alityC Ars. Thorn!'ry reports that she fell ill &ith typhoid for si4 &eeks on her honeymoon in 3enice< &as this too a psychosomatic reaction to intimacyC 7nd &hat of the famo's e4plorer, Aacken8ie, &ho >had died of fever some ten years> !efore in the ;'ngle ?2FF@C BestialityC Go& far are &e &illing to go to make se4'al feelings fatalC0 9inally, it has !een s'ggested that Kachel sinks into fever !eca'se she does not resist s'rrender to the dark inner forces and social, se4'al press'res< ;'st as Ars. 9l'shing feels that she s'rvives !y sheer &ill po&er, *easka and 7pter theori8e that Kachel dies >a self-0illed death!" one that is >the 'ltimate e4pression other personality tendencies.>?""@ +hat are &e to think a!o't Kachel:s death &hen so many convenient critiB'es have !een provided 's !y the a'thor herselfC Kachel and Terence e4plicitly state that a life of happiness is a reasona!le reB'est to make of fate ->2t isn:t as if &e &ere e4pecting a great deal6only to &alk a!o't and look at things> ?"#1@0, !'t it is apparentl too ,$ch to as/! not only in this novel !'t freB'ently in real life as &ell. Go& are &e to eval'ate a thoro'ghly nat'ralistic event in fictionC Perhaps in response to other critics: fr'stration, one has voiced the inevita!le concl'sion that Kachel:s death is ar!itrary and essentially 'nrelated to the novel:s thematic str'ct're: >2t does not seem convincing to treat the illness as the o$tco,e of Kachel:s emotional e4periences6as a flight from se4 or from the 'nsatisfactoriness of love.> That significant admission is shared !y others: the novel:s ending is >'nmotivated,> seemingly >intended to 'pset all e4pectations 1 1%2 1 of :pattern:>< it is >grat'ito's,> >pointless and 'nnecessary.>?"E@ 7nd so o'r foc's sho'ld !e shifted onto &hy readers have s'ch a diffic'lt time accepting it as s'ch, &hy, altho'gh admitting that Kachel:s death defies analysis, striking the reader as a >!lank fact,> they try to analy8e it any&ay, filling in the !lanks as if they &ere not meant to !e there.?".@ Aitchell *easka sees the >tragic pointlessness> of Kachel:s death, accepts that it >is intentionally made am!ig'o's> ->the a'thor, ho&ever, names no proliferating

organism, specifies no 'n&ashed vegeta!les>0 and yet concl'des that it is "self-0illed! > even &hile he &onders &hy &e >are at li!erty to spec'late on &hy &e are not a!le :to give a reasona!le e4planation:> for it. 2nstead of en;oying this li!erty to spec'late on the meaninglessness of death, *easka pres'mes that, since >ever thing is there not + chance! +$t + choice! > this narrative gap stands for something that is missing !eca'se it is latent, for!idden, repressed< some cr'cial element that &ill give the >real> reason for the novel:s central event has !een left o't. Claiming that &e can dip into Kachel:s -and 3irginia:s0 'nconscio's mind, *easka finds discarded references to se4'ality, violence, and !estiality in earlier versions of the novel and reesta!lishes them as motives for Kachel:s &ithdra&al into fever, deliri'm, and death. B't perhaps the point is that Kachel:s death is grat$ito$s! and that, faced &ith conf'sion and loss, some readers &ill go to great lengths to esta!lish a rationale that &ill e4plain a&ay tragic senselessness, making 'ns'pported interpretations along the &ay -for instance, that +oolf:s earlier revisions and deletions of >!estial> passages give 's a privileged vie& into her mind >at &ork in the $ng$arded act of creation. >?"$@ *easka follo&s the comforting 9re'dian form'la of psychic determinism, the theory that no psychic event occ'rs !y chance, and so he ass'mes that Kachel:s death m'st !e ca'sed !y deeper conflicts that +oolf is 'n&illing to confess -!y definition, ne'rotics are not &illing to e4amine &hat they have repressed0. Ge gives himself license to s'pply &hat is not in the te4t, to make clear &hat has !een left deli!erately 'nclear, to center a decentered te4t, and he ignores the significance of o!sc'rity, of a!sence, of meaninglessness6in essence, of modernism. 2ronically, it is precisely this 'nlimited >end5less> state that characteri8es psychoanalysis at its !est6&hen it is still e4ploratory and potentially capa!le of tolerating the 'nto&ard chaos and pain of illness. By forcing a concl'sion to Kachel:s life -e.g., death !y frigidity0, 9re'dian critics not only gloss over +oolf:s deli!erately constr'cted te4t'al strategies !'t also em!alm psychoanalysis !y premat'rely e4plaining a&ay contingency. 9re'd:s dict'm of psychic determinism is not a license to !'ry 'nder theory all 'ncertainties, gaps, and elisions. 1 1%" 1 2t is this li!erty to spec'late, &itho't hope of an o!;ective or concl'sive ans&er, that fr'strates *easka and 's, !'t it cannot and sho'ld not !e avoided. )'ch freedom to perceive pointlessness is an integral part of s'!;ect5o!;ect relations. Dften, like +oolf in >7 )ketch of the Past,> &e face only a !lank &all of non!eing, of 'nmeaning -&hy did Aargaret Gills die on her !icycleC0. 7nd yet +oolf o!vio'sly val'es these e4periences, as &hen she tries to s'm 'p her feelings a!o't the deaths of ,'lia and )tella: 2f there is any good -2 do'!t it0 in these m'tilations, it is that it sensitises ?one@. . . to !e a&are of the insec'rity of life. . . . (id those deaths give 's an e4perience that even if it &as n'm!ing, m'tilating, yet meant that the Iods -as 2 'sed to phrase it0 &ere taking 's serio'sly. . . C 2 &o'ld reason that if life &ere th's made to rear and kick, it &as a thing to !e ridden< no!ody co'ld say >they> had fo!!ed me off &ith a &eak little fee!le slip of the precio's matter. -Mo,ents of Being 1"F0 (eath m'tilates feeling. This *eslie )tephen himself said in a letter to C. H. =orton apropos of Ainny:s death: Irief like yo'rs and mine seems to me to !e not like an illness from &h. one recovers !'t like a permanent m'tilation &h. can never !e c'red< tho'gh one may !ecome acc'stomed to the ?illegi!le@ state of e4istence and lo&er one:s am!ition to s'it one:s capa!ilities.?"F@ 3irginia ackno&ledged the h'rt !oth her father and she felt at the loss of loved ones and sec'rity, yet clearly she s'rpasses him &hen she tells 's that one m'st remain sensitive to it nevertheless< one m'st tolerate 'ncertainty, conf'sion, m'ltiplicity. Jno&ing that even senseless e4perience &as >the real

thing> ratified her sense of self, a self !rave eno'gh to stare into the cons'ming fires &itho't resorting to the comfort of ill'sions or a lo&ering of am!ition. )hirley Panken dismisses The Vo age 1$t !y concl'ding that +oolf >seems incapa!le !eca'se of her ine4perience and &arp in development of sorting o't threatening emotions><?"%@ 2 arg'e that this novel does indeed >sort o't> confa!'lations of inner states and o'ter o!;ects6!'t not in an order Panken e4pects or recogni8es. Perhaps !eca'se +oolf is more interested in depicting the e4istential contingency of mood shifts, she does not attempt to deal &ith madness and death as anything more than a final void that s&allo&s 'p selves forever. 2n >aco+'s ;oo,! she e4plores the emptiness left !y a character:s death. By 192., in Mrs. Dallo0a ! she sho&s 's that even loss and death can !e faced &ith some confidence that an essential feat're of the self &ill remain intact< 1 1%E 1 and in To the #ightho$se! characters overcome the helplessness death and loss prod'ce, to'ching one another across g'lfs of time and mortality in &ays that Kachel and Terence do not manage. The Vo age 1$t is !'t the first step to&ard depicting a self strong eno'gh to s'rvive the loss of meaning. 1 1%. 1

@) *0oes An&3od& Ano+ Mr. Flanders1*4i/olar Cognition and S&n(retisti( Vision in #aco$'s %oo&
+oolf conceived the form of >aco+'s ;oo, !efore the story: )'ppose one thing sho'ld open o't of another. . . . 9or 2 fig're the approach &ill !e entirely different this time: no scaffolding< scarcely a !rick to !e seen. . . . ?T@he theme is a !lank to me< !'t 2 see immense possi!ilities in the form 2 hit 'pon more or less !y chance 2 &eeks ago. 2 s'ppose the danger is the damned egotistical self< &hich r'ins ,oyce P ?(orothy@ Kichardson to my mind: is one pliant P rich eno'gh to provide a &all for the !ook from oneself &itho't its !ecoming as in ,oyce P Kichardson, narro&ing P restrictingC -Diar 2: 1"/1E0 The 'n's'al form of this novel !oth attracts and repels readers. +itho't an omniscient narrator, cohesive plot, or detailed characteri8ation, the novel tells a story that falls apart. +e kno& more a!o't ,aco!:s room than &e do a!o't ,aco!, &ho remains a ghost &hose to'ch is felt !'t not identifia!le. *ike The Vo age 1$t! this story is simple: a yo'ng person gro&s 'p only to die pointlessly. B't &hereas Kachel >gallantly. . . takes her fences> -Diar 2: 1F0 against the odds, ,aco! is in no &ay 'plifted !y a ;o'rney that is triviali8ed !y his aimlessness, his &asted destiny6a s'perficiality emphasi8ed !y the narration:s disconcertingly comic tone. That tone leads one &riter to concl'de that >aco+'s ;oo, is not a serio's !ild'ngsroman at all, !'t a parody of one.?1@ ,aco! is presented to 's not for o'r love or pity !'t as a fig're that escapes 's &hether alive or dead. The omniscient narrator of The Vo age 1$t confides to 's Kachel:s tho'ghts, !'t &e are given little insight into ,aco!:s mind. Ge teasingly escapes even his >!iographer,> &ho self5conscio'sly r'minates on her limited kno&ledge. >aco+'s ;oo, B'estions its o&n validity as a !iography. +oolf:s B'est for a fictional order &itho't >scaffolding> &as tied to her desire to avoid the >egotistical

self,> that s'rface f'nction of an a'thor:s psyche that s'!d'es plot and limits psychological insight to the coherent, the demonstra!le, the visi!le6to itself, in other &ords, the perfectly config'red mask of the omniscient a'thor masterf'lly governing his created 1 1%$ 1 &orld and falsifying the reader:s e4perience. Hgo creates meaning o't of its o&n coherent str'ct're, and so +oolf vie&s its literary prod'ctions as merely self5serving ill'sions, proving not that reality has !een grasped !'t that it can !e replaced !y an intellect'ali8ation. 9iction, she reali8ed, can s'ffer !y attempting to !e too complete, !y pretending that its &holesale s'rrender to the ego:s need for certainty and artifice has not o!sc'red the tr'th. Three years !efore she !egan >aco+'s ;oo,! +oolf considered critically the ill'sion of omniscience and po&er that her manic e4pansions created: Hver since 2 &as a child. . . 2:ve had the ha!it of getting f'll of some !iography, P &anting to !'ild 'p my imaginary fig're of the person &ith every scrap of ne&s 2 co'ld find a!o't him. ('ring the passion, the name of Co&per or Byron or &hoever it might !e, seemed to start 'p in the most 'nlikely pages. 7nd then, s'ddenly, the fig're !ecomes distant P merely one of the 's'al dead. -Diar 1: 1%#0 2t &as from this rhythmical movement !et&een !elieving in imaginary f'llness and discovering later only deflated fact that +oolf learned to !oth appreciate and s'spect the !iographer:s &ish to capt're a life. Dnce the elated mood &as past, Co&per and Byron receded from her !eca'se she had never really to'ched them. >aco+'s ;oo, moves !eyond the caref'lly !alanced parado4es of The Vo age 1$t to a more daring e4periment in fiction: a self5conscio's e4pression, in !oth content and form, of the !ipolar s'!;ect5 o!;ect relations of reading fiction, transactions &hich go a&ry in manic5depressive episodes. +oolf reali8ed that representing ,aco!:s so'l in its totality &o'ld dangero'sly aggrandi8e the narrator:s a'thority and make the novel as selfserving as *eslie:s Ma$sole$, Boo/; she &as as concerned &ith protecting her narrator from egotism as she &as &ith depicting ,aco!:s tragic fall into it. ,aco! and his narrator are co'nterparts, and an analysis of his story and her method &ill sho& ho& +oolf proposed to constr'ct a fictional order that does not restrict a novel:s meaning or her readers: a!ility to create meaning for themselves. To enco'rage o'r self5e4amination d'ring the reading process, +oolf makes discontin'ity more than a fact of life< it is a fact of te4t. >7s freB'ent as street corners in Gol!orn,> her narrator reminds 's, >are these chasms in the contin'ity of o'r &ays. Met &e keep straight on> -9$0. Keaders typically cover over gaps in meaning &ith the more consistent narrative of intention. B't &hat is +oolf:s intention hereC comicC tragicC criticalC 1 1%F 1 elegiacC Hvidence e4ists to s'pport any one of these 'nifying themes. Critics readily ackno&ledge that >aco+'s ;oo,'s dreamlike, spasmodic incoherenceits rapid transitions, shifting perspective, and disconnectedness6evidences +oolf:s modernity, !'t then they resort to h'nting in the fe& specific details in ,aco!:s life for cl'es that &o'ld help to pl'g 'p the very large holes in the te4t &ith &hat is s'pposed to !e ,aco!:s >real> story, a more coherent story. Aeaning is eB'ated &ith completeness, and so even a modern novel m'st !e patched 'p !efore it can !e declared finished. Perhaps !y its very nat're, literary criticism is conservative: it opposes !oth the s'!versive goals and methods of modernism and +oolf:s o&n feeling that even living characters are >splinters P mosaics< not, as they

'sed to hold, immac'late, monolithic, consistent &holes> -Diar 2: "1E0. 2f &e let the gaps stand, the 'nderemphasis of plot in >aco+'s ;oo, shifts the !'rden of storytelling to the development of imagery, &hich readily invites readers: s'!;ective responses< indeed, it is in o'r ar!itrary interpretations that +oolf is primarily interested. Perhaps this is &hy the novel a!o'nds &ith images of order and chaos, foregro'nding the B'estion of order and disorder in fiction and in critical response. 2nstead of reading sym!ols for their latent content, 2 &ill e4tend 3irginia Blain:s insight that ">aco+'s ;oo, relies on connecting the apparently disparate !y setting 'p s'!tle trains of imagery &hich shift and mod'late like a mirror of the narrative voice, creating a chain of perception &herein each ne& image reflects and contains the preceding one.>?2@ 2 &ill consider ho& these images f'nction as representations of the novel:s str'ct're, as self5refle4ive pieces of metafiction em!odying components of manic5depressive o!;ect5relations. Dpposed images of order and chaos occ'r thro'gho't >aco+'s ;oo,: 'niformity irreg'larity, rigidity fl'idity, mechanical lifelessness primitive energy, destr'ctive rationality vital emotions, psychic fragmentation psychic &holeness. +oolf reali8es her theory of having one thing opening o't to another !y cl'stering these images of str'ct're aro'nd characters &ho read their internal, psychological states in the form of e4ternal, spatial relationships6em!odiments of the mood5distorted psychological patterns of +oolf:s family and her illness. )ome characters &ant to s'rrender, like ,'lia )tephen, to life:s elemental disorder6a dissol'tion that comes as relief, a &ished5for sinking into o!livion and 'nconscio'sness. 9or others, follo&ing *eslie )tephen, o!livion and 'ncertainty elicit a defensive fear that thro&s 'p !arriers !et&een self and o!;ect, hoarding and starving the ego imprisoned in a ;oyless, tidy &orld. 7 third type, like 7nne Thackeray Kitchie, tolerates the insec'rity of chaos, am!ig'ity, and dissol'tion 1 1%% 1 &itho't sinking into isolation and nothingness, !'t &hether a vision of life:s meaning that is not merely self5serving is achieved depends on ho& &ell manic pro;ection and depressive intro;ection are integrated. The novel !egins &ith an immediate opposition !et&een agitated control and a healthy advent'rism. ,aco!:s mother, Betty 9landers, after t&o years still 'na!le to accept her h's!and:s death, mo'rns the loss of str'ct're in marriage, &hich is compared to >a fortress> &hile >&ido&s stray solitary in the open fields> -%0. )he feels her v'lnera!ility keenly and reacts &ith horror to ,aco!:s sheep:s sk'll, &ith rev'lsion to&ard nat're in general: The &aves sho&ed that 'neasiness, like something alive. . . . Betty, p'lling ?her children@ along, and looking &ith 'neasy emotion at the earth displayed so l'ridly. . . . ?T@his astonishing agitation and vitality of colo'r. . . stirred Betty 9landers and made her think of responsi!ility and danger. -110 Betty pro;ects her o&n 'neasiness onto the landscape and its >l'rid> display. )he associates safety &ith order and constr'cts a >scaffolding> in her personal narrative,?"@ em!odied in a !are front room &here an oil lamp sprays its harsh artificial light in straight, reg'lar lines across the la&n. 2nside she and her servant can cond'ct the sterili8ing d'ties of ho'seholding: >they &ere conspirators plotting the eternal conspiracy of h'sh and clean !ottles> -1"0. D'tside a storm lashes the ho'se &ith a &ild, intense energy that lacks any recogni8a!le plot or order< it is >nothing !'t m'ddle and conf'sion.> This strict division, spatiali8ed as inner and o'ter, !et&een meaning and 'nmeaning, conformity and innovation, schemati8es the agitated depressive:s s'!;ect5o!;ect relations. ,aco!:s cra! circling endlessly &ithin a !'cket aptly represents the !oy:s life 'nder his mother:s r'le. Ge &as, as Betty complained, >the only

one other sons &ho never o!eyed her> -2"0, !'t his &ild nat're, at home on the moors, is !o'nded !y rigid circ'mstance shaped !y her. )imilar oppositions s'rro'nd the 9landers family. Betty:s 'nofficial, married s'itor, Captain Barfoot, is passionless, >military> -2$0, >rigid> -2%0, and as >reg'lar as clock&ork> -1.0 in his &eekly calls, inspiring a sense of safety ->Gere is la&. Gere is order> ?2%@0. Ge is the perfect antidote to Betty:s &orries a!o't her late h's!and:s fate: >Gad he, then, !een nothingC. . . 7t first, part of herself< no& one of a company, he had merged in the grass, the sloping hillside, the tho'sand &hite stones, some slanting, others 'pright, the decayed &reaths> -1$0. Betty fears nothingness inside as &ell as o'tside< the prospect of loss ha'nts her like the shado&s 1 1%9 1 of chaos l'rking !ehind images of order. This dichotomy is especially &ell portrayed !y the mechanical reg'larity of the to&n of )car!oro'gh itself: the !and plays in a Aoorish kiosk, a str'ct're mathematically precise in its decorated patterns< the m'sic is categori8ed !y n'm!er< the dancers have no real vitality or animality in the repetitive movements of a &alt86>all &ore the same !l'rred, dr'gged e4pression.> Met >thro'gh the chinks in the planks at their feet they co'ld see the green s'mmer &aves, peacef'lly, amia!ly, s&aying ro'nd the iron pillars of the pier> -1%0. Ars. 9landers admires civili8ation:s order and camo'flage. )he likes to clim! (ock Gill and &atch &hat appears to !e, in repeated images of constriction and control, a s'!d'ed landscape: tro'sers are aligned in ro&s< flo&er !eds are neatly laid o't !y the Corporation< the golden sea is >hoarded> 'p !y a !lack pier< men in &hite coats &heel >triang'lar hoardings> that advertise a seaman:s capt're of a >monster shark> -1F/1%0. +hen her eldest son, ,ohn, slaps do&n grass and dead leaves hapha8ardly into her lap, Betty >arranged them methodically !'t a!sent5mindedly. . . ?thinking@ the ch'rch clock &as ten or thirteen min'tes fast> -190. The meas'ring of time is a depressive denial of chaos. Three pages later, Betty reminds herself that Topa8 the cat &ill soon have to !e killed !eca'se he is so old. 7s she does so, she also decides not to marry Ar. 9loyd -&ho had given Topa8 to ,aco!0, altho'gh his proposal moves her emotionally. 7 h's!and, like an 'ne4pected death, &o'ld introd'ce an 'ncontrolla!le element into her life, and so +oolf com!ines tho'ghts of the red5haired Ar. 9loyd and Topa8:s castration and e4termination in one sentence: > :Poor old Topa8,>: said Ars. 9landers, as he stretched himself o't in the s'n, and she smiled, thinking ho& she had had him gelded, and ho& she did not like red hair in men> -22/2"0. Ar. 9loyd cannot !e gelded and m'st !e dismissed from tho'ght. Ars. ,arvis, on the other hand, &ants to s'rrender completely. )he &anders o't on the moors at night, desperately yearning to sink into o!livion. Tho'gh a vicar:s &ife, she &o'ld e4change sec'rity and salvation for 'nhappiness, divorce, and loneliness6if only she co'ld !e s&ept a&ay !y the >'niversal that is.> B't >she does not kno& &hat she &ants to give, nor &ho co'ld give it to her> -2F0. 9eeling dead inside, she finds it >diffic'lt> even >to think of herself> as e4isting -1"20, ;'st as ,'lia ('ck&orth, &anting the one thing life co'ld not give !ack to her, felt hollo& and >deadened,> desiring only >to think as little> of herself as possi!le.?E@ 7ttri!'ting an e4aggerated val'e to the 'no!taina!le 'niverse and 'nderrating herself, Ars. ,arvis hopes that losing self5conscio'sness 1 19# 1 &ill dissolve her tro'!ling do'!ts and fears. )he finds the tom!stone epitaphs reass'ring, for the dead are one &ith the moor, &hich >seems to hoard these little treas'res, like a n'rse. . . . ?The@ skeletons are in safe keeping> -1"E0. B't this apparent peace is the n'llity of despair and depression:

>2 never pity the dead. . . .> >They are at rest,> said Ars. ,arvis. >7nd &e spend o'r days doing foolish 'nnecessary things &itho't kno&ing &hy.> -1"10 7 tr'e moment of !eing is impossi!le for an individ'al &ho, feeling foolish and 'nnecessary, &ants to dissolve into nothingness. Ars. ,arvis cannot imagine &hat she &ants to receive or &hat she can give !eca'se she does not have a st'rdy eno'gh sense of self to make s'ch a f'sion prod'ctive. Ars. 9landers and Ars. ,arvis represent cognitive components of t&o different types of depression. Ars. ,arvis, the anhedonic depressive &ho feels empty, isolated, and impotent, &o'ld &illingly s'rrender to dissol'tion regardless of cost< Ars. 9landers, the 'nmergea!le, agitated depressive self, defensively protects her isolation against the void o'tside. (epression, it seems, ,$st have a void! !'t its location is varia!le. =either character recogni8es ho& mood colors perception of self and o!;ect, and so they conf'se the t&o realms of s'!;ect and o!;ect. Betty e4ternali8es the internal, denying fear !y pro;ecting it o'tside onto the landscape, &hereas Ars. ,arvis internali8es the e4ternal, desiring to !ring the landscape inside to fill her emptiness. These t&o &omen sketch o't the parameters of ho& self relates to its o&n perceptions of the &orld &ithin &hich ,aco! moves. +hen he is o't on the moor, his inner and o'ter &orlds coincide &itho't imposition or s'rrender, m'ch the &ay Kachel 3inrace feels one &ith her m'sic. B't ,aco!:s cognitive gro&th is st'nted !y attending Cam!ridge, &hich, like Betty:s ho'se, is represented !y harshly mechanical, orderly images the narrator pits against ,aco!:s Byronic moors: 2nsolent he &as and ine4perienced, !'t s're eno'gh the cities &hich the elderly of the race have !'ilt 'pon the skyline sho&ed like !rick s'!'r!s, !arracks, and places of discipline against a red and yello& flame. . . . . . . the &orld of the elderly6thro&n 'p in s'ch !lack o'tline 'pon &hat &e are< 'pon the reality< the moors and Byron< the sea and the lightho'se< the sheep:s ;a& &ith the yello& teeth in it< 'pon the o!stinate irrepressi!le conviction &hich makes yo'th so intolera!ly disagreea!le6>2 am &hat 2 am, and intend to !e it,> for &hich there &ill !e no form in the &orld 'nless ,aco! makes one for himself. -"$0 1 191 1 Aaking a >form in the &orld> is diffic'lt, !eca'se Cam!ridge &ill not tolerate disorder. (ogs and &omen are for!idden in Jing:s College Chapel as disr'ptive elements, and even light itself seems la'ndered and pressed: 7n inclined plane of light comes acc'rately thro'gh each &indo&, p'rple and yello& even in its most diff'sed d'st. . . . =either sno& nor greenery, &inter nor s'mmer, has po&er over the old stained glass. 7s the sides of the lantern protect the flame so that it !'rns steady even in the &ildest night. . . so inside the Chapel all &as orderly. . . all very orderly. 2n contrast to the >civili8ing> of light into geometrical, spectral, and imm'ta!le patterns, the narrator pict'res a lantern set in ,aco!:s forest: 2f yo' stand a lantern 'nder a tree every insect in the forest creeps 'p to it6a c'rio's assem!ly, since tho'gh they scram!le and s&ing and knock their heads against the glass, they seem to have no p'rpose6something senseless inspires them. -"20 The lantern can !e vie&ed in either of t&o &ays: as an e4ample of defensive control, or as an irrational s'rrender. Perspective is everything< the o!;ect remains the same. Aore important for ,aco!, orderliness

is associated &ith prosaic tho'ghts and egotism, &hereas chaos is allied &ith senseless inspiration and animal vitality. ,aco!:s destiny is not Kachel:s. Ge is not to die in the dreamy mystery of e4otic fever !'t in a rit'ali8ed, mechani8ed, meaningless sacrifice fostered !y his society:s need for 'niformity of vie&, &hich strangles originality, tolerance of am!ig'ity, and the radial openness of modernism. +oolf pop'lates Cam!ridge &ith pedantic teachers &hose B'alities are antithetical to ,aco!:s childhood s'!;ect5o!;ect f'sions. Dld )op&ith, methodical in ha!it and tho'ght, s'ffering from a >strange paralysis and constriction> of h'man feeling, analy8es and refines all e4perience as if he &ere minting coins, !ringing order and >val'e> to chaos: )op&ith &ent on talking. Talking, talking, talking6as if everything co'ld !e talked6the so'l itself slipped thro'gh the lips in thin, silver disks. . . . . . . )op&ith &ent on talking, t&ining stiff fi!res of a&k&ard speech6things yo'ng men !l'rted o't6plaiting them ro'nd his o&n smooth garland, making the !right side sho&. -E#/E10 The >!right side> filters o't &hatever inchoate meaning >a&k&ard speech> may contain. Dnly )op&ith:s >o&n smooth garland> !enefits. The coin of e4perience !ears his likeness r'dely stamped 'pon it. 1 192 1 ,aco! is most strongly rep'lsed !y Ieorge Pl'mer, &hose si4penny &eeklies reflect >the &eekly creak and screech of !rains rinsed in cold &ater and &r'ng dry> -".0. ,aco!:s disg'st sho'ld !e reass'ring, !'t the narrator &arns 's that ,aco! has no lang'age of his o&n to replace the conventional, 'niform disco'rse that cannot see !eyond one or t&o vie&s of a lantern. >+hat can yo' do &ith a !rain so competent that nothing resists it6!eca'se after all, it attempts only solid things6histories, and tri'mphant little te4t !ooks?C@> +oolf asked once in a letter a!o't D4ford dons -#etters 1: "19/2#0. +ith only the dead lang'age of immo!ili8ation, ho& can ,aco! find a >form in the &orld> open and fl'id eno'gh to allo& the creative disorder of cognitive gro&thC Th's, >the e4tent to &hich he &as dist'r!ed proves that he &as already agog> -"./"$0. 7s a mem!er of the disfranchised se4, +oolf &as saved from ,aco!:s fate !y !eing e4cl'ded from indoctrination into the >tri'mphant> and >competent> tradition of the British male intellect'al. Beca'se manicdepressive illness is a radial e4perience, not a linear one, she &as free to find her o&n disco'rse, her o&n form, to resist stasis. This mood disorder does not ill'minate or ;'stify a sane point of vie&. Kather, it periodically deconstr'cts the validity and self5righteo'sness of >normal> interpretations. Aany manic5depressives 0ant to !e &ell -for the sake of their families, their ;o!s, peace and B'iet0, !'t they cannot deny that, &hen ill, they perceive in profo'ndly different and sometimes fascinating &ays that are denied them &hen &ell. They have e4periences they find diffic'lt to e4press or e4plain directly, &itho't t'rning them into refined theories, metaphors, or symptoms. The change from mad disco'rse to nonmad disco'rse is not a transformation !'t a replacement6and a dispiriting one. 7s a res'lt, manic5 depressives often feel as if they lived in a different &orld from nonmanic5depressives. 2t is not s'rprising, then, that +oolf chose to narrate this story as an o'tsider looking in, attempting neither solidity nor tri'mph. )'rro'nded !y the ego5aggrandi8ing, self5congrat'latory, patriarchal machinery of civili8ed !ehavior, ,aco!:s re!ellions !ecome more trivial. Ge loses his nat'ral amia!ility, !ecomes >over!earing,> and strikes Bonamy in an academic disagreement over a!stract terms6good! a+sol$te! <$stice! and p$nish,ent -1#20. +hen he accompanies the ('rrants to the Dpera Go'se, he s'rrenders himself to a seat:

Dnly to prevent 's from !eing s'!merged !y chaos, nat're and society !et&een them have arranged a system of classification &hich is simplicity itself< stalls, !o4es, amphitheatre, gallery. The mo'lds are filled nightly. There is no need to disting'ish details. B't the diffic'lty remains6one 1 19" 1 has to choose. . . . =ever &as there a harsher necessityQ or one &hich entails greater pain, more certain disaster< for &herever 2 seat myself, 2 die in e4ile. -$%/$90 ,aco!:s choice is tragic !eca'se it sho&s ho& classification and order mold 's in seemingly insignificant &ays, s'!tly sed'cing 's to agree that disorder is impractical or 'ndesira!le. Theater seating is em!lematic of analytical thinking, &hich str'ct'res his o!;ect5relations in other areas of his life, even that of perception itself. 2t is m'ch harder to feel the romance of senseless forest insects !'tting their heads against a lantern &hen one accepts the val'e of protecting a steady flame from the &ild night &inds. ,aco! cooperates &ith society:s penchant for order and prosaic ;'dgment even as he ridic'les it. Ge m'st therefore develop a social self that disg'ises and protects &hat he considers his essential self. B't the mask is composed of the same h'm!'g manners +oolf had diagnosed t&o years !efore, in her essay >Cleverness and Mo'th,> as evidence of deep self5destr'ction: ina'thentic emotion, non!eing, and psychic death -%onte,porar Writers 1E9/.10. Th's, altho'gh he is not proficient in Ireek, ,aco! ideali8es the ancients, to'ting the Cam!ridge line. Ge a!andons a desire to &rite home of his initial e4citement &hen visiting Ireece !y cynically rationali8ing, >2 daresay this sort of thing &ears off> -1E90. Ge rehearses in his mind 3ictorian platit'des, s'ch as >the r'ins of the Colise'm s'ggest some fairly s'!lime reflections> -1"$0, intending to impress Bonamy &ith his sensi!ility to scene. Ge notes his favorite lines in (onne:s poems, piecing together prof'ndities !y !reaking them o't of conte4t, as if one can acc'm'late e4perience like coins &ith a marked val'e: (onne:s &ords, like )op&ith:s, !ecome e4perience melted do&n and r'dely stamped &ith an a'thoritative meaning. ,aco!:s constriction of the spirit is manifested !y his !if'rcated relationships &ith &omen. ,'st as his mother dissociates herself from nat're, ,aco! dissociates himself from deep se4'al involvement &ith &omen. Df all &omen he is said to >hono'r> most deeply the incorporeal Clara ('rrant, &hom he prefers to think of sentimentally as a >virgin chained to a rock> -12"0.?.@ Gis se4'al partners are clearly associated &ith primitive energy, chaos, mystery, and animality6as if they &ere se4'al moors he intended to visit only on holiday. 9lorinda is >&ild and frail and !ea'tif'l> -F%0, tho'gh as >ignorant as an o&l> -F90< her hand&riting is chaotic, as if made !y >a !'tterfly, gnat, or other &inged insect, attached to a t&ig &hich, clogged &ith m'd . . . rolls across a page> -9E0. ,aco! meets her on I'y 1 19E 1 9a&kes (ay, in a incoherently str'ct'red scene, a dreamscape contrasting starkly &ith the precise, harshly lit &orld of Cam!ridge. Herily lit !y a &ood fire, 9lorinda floats in a >dark vac''m,> as if she &ere a ghost. )he h'rls a p'rple glo!e at a yo'ng man:s head, !'t it magically and harmlessly cr'shes to po&der. 2n the hotel dining room, inanimate o!;ects acB'ire the po&er of life: a ta!le >ran, as if on invisi!le legs ?,@ > across the room -F.0. Ca'sal connections have !roken do&n. 2n 9lorinda:s presence ,aco! feels >free, vent'resome, ?and@ high5spirited,> and he marvels at her freedom from propriety:>she had called him ,aco! &itho't asking his leave> -F$0. )he is >entirely at the !eck and call of life,> &hereas he is preocc'pied &ith classifying her on the gro'nds of her virginity -F90. Ge has generali8ed

the lesson of seating in the Dpera Go'se !y acting the prig here< his passion, dictated !y a!stractions, never precedes his categori8ations. Passion has seated itself and died in e4ile. ConseB'ently, ,aco!:s escape to Ireece is no real escape. Ge p'rs'es Ars. +ent&orth, &ho is also a sham, a caricat're of himself. )he is the romantic Hnglish&oman seeking a controlled a!andon !y sed'cing yo'ng men &hile maintaining order and sec'rity in her life in the form of an impert'r!a!le h's!and. They p't on the appearance of profo'nd emotion &hile &ithholding their a'thentic selves from each other. )oon after&ard, ,aco! virt'ally disappears as a fig're in the narrative< his death is reported indirectly, at a distance. 2nv'lnera!le on the moors, he dies in the 9irst +orld +ar, a nightmare of prosaic ;'dgment and mechani8ed death. +hat ,aco!:s death may mean is connected in the last t&o chapters to his friend Bonamy, &ho 'ndergoes a conversion. *ike the yo'ng *eslie )tephen at Cam!ridge, Bonamy had !een >all for the definite, the concrete, and the rational> -1E$0. ,aco! had hated Bonamy:s methodical, constrictive t'rn of mind: >2 like &ords to !e hard6s'ch &ere Bonamy:s vie&s, and they &on him the hostility of those &hose taste is all for the fresh gro&ths of the morning> -1E#0. B't after ,aco!:s death, Bonamy e4periences a s'dden rev'lsion for order and reason: he >got a very B'eer feeling, as he &alked thro'gh the park, of carriages irresisti!ly driven< of flo&er !eds 'ncompromisingly geometrical< of force r'shing ro'nd geometrical patterns in the most senseless &ay in the &orld> -1.20. Bonamy is thro&n into chaotic emotionalism -;'st as *eslie a!andoned his faith and took 'p agnosticism0, an over&helming feeling of !eing >tossed like a cork on the &aves< of having no steady insight into character< of !eing 'ns'pported !y reason, and of dra&ing no comfort &hatever from the &orks of the classics> -1$E06strangely, ;'st the reaction most readers feel reading this !ook. 1 19. 1 Gere is +oolf:s rep'diation of the &ar, framed not only as a political statement !'t in terms of s'!;ect5 o!;ect relations. +ar is evil !eca'se it 'nleashes onto a real landscape &hat sho'ld !e kept in check in the mind: the self5destr'ctive tendency of *ogos to dissect, regiment, and rationali8e 'ntil feeling is dead, fossili8ed and meaningless. The falsifying fiction of a >;'st &ar> imposes the depressive:s del'sion that hell is inescapa!le, perhaps even desira!le, that the cognitive r'les one m'st live !y reB'ire a hell. +ar is a mental o!;ect as &ell as a physical one, and Bonamy:s former o!;ectivism is as m'ch a violation, an act of &ar, as is ,aco!:s death. Both yo'ng men are cas'alties of the lopsided o!;ect5relations that make possi!le civili8ation:s !l'nders and mass deceptions. >aco+'s ;oo, is not merely +oolf:s paean to her dead !rother, Tho!y, !'t to all >dead> people, the citi8ens of non!eing, paraly8ed !y convention, hoarded egotism, and disill'sionment6to the &orld of depressive cognition in all its many forms. This narrative of ,aco!:s failed s'!;ect5o!;ect relations is paralleled !y the story of his !iographer:s o&n tri!'lations. +e read, not a >tri'mphant> !iography of self5congrat'latory >solidity> -s'ch as Cam!ridge dons &o'ld &rite0, !'t the s'!;ective acco'nt of an >o'tsider> &ho confesses she is 'na!le6and 'n&illing6to present life o!;ectively. Perceptions are 'nrelia!le, she reminds 's, people are mere Platonic shado&s, and the real ,aco! is 'nreacha!le !y either &riter or reader. Dnly o'r most incoherent impressions of ,aco! are vivid, !'t their >tr'th> is so s'!;ective as to !e almost incomm'nica!le: ?*@ ife is !'t a procession of shado&s, and Iod kno&s &hy it is that &e em!race them so eagerly, and see them depart &ith s'ch ang'ish, !eing shado&s. 7nd &hy, if this and m'ch more than this is tr'e, &hy are &e yet s'rprised in the &indo& corner !y a s'dden vision that the yo'ng man in the chair is of all things in the &orld the most real, the most solid, the !est kno&n to 's6&hy indeedC 9or the moment after &e kno& nothing a!o't him.

)'ch is the manner of o'r seeing. )'ch the conditions of o'r love. -F20 +e desire more than o'r seeing &ill !ear. 2f the depressive tries in vain to tack life do&n, and the manic desires more than life can grant, then mood s&ings imply that loss teaches a val'a!le lesson: the >manner of o'r seeing> is at odds &ith >the conditions of o'r love.> +e cannot kno& ,aco! -or 3irginia kno& Tho!y0 so &ell that losing him m'st !e a fatal loss of self. Tho'gh self ha!it'ally feels its fate is intert&ined &ith o!;ects, it lives in its o&n s'!;ective &orld and need not fear dissol'tion if an o!;ect is s'ddenly torn a&ay. Aanic5depressives m'st repeatedly learn to resist mor!id storylines if they are to s'rvive s'icidal tho'ghts. 1 19$ 1 )ince her Platonic attit'de disco'nts the s'!stance of percept'al evidence, the narrator cannot take very serio'sly her &ork as a historian. ,aco! is 'nkno&a!le, and !ooks &ritten a!o't him m'st !e 'nreada!le< o!;ectivity fails, and >&hat remains is mostly a matter of g'ess&ork> -F"0. To overcome the lack of direct evidence, the self5conscio's narrator resorts to spec'lation and imagination, filling in the gaps, not &ith ,aco!, !'t &ith prod'cts of her o&n personality &hich she caref'lly foregro'nds as hers.?$@ )he accepts the dichotomy of o!;ective and s'!;ective kno&ledge as irred'ci!le !'t freely mi4es the t&o in the hope that the reader &ill discern some tr'th incorporating !oth6the same am!ig'o's prescription +oolf gives 's in >7 )ketch of the Past.> ,'st as the moor encompasses all things6the shado&s &e call Tom Iage or Bertha K'ck, or Ars. 9landers:s cheap !rooch6the narrator and the reader m'st em!race fact and fancy, seeing and love. By 'nderc'tting o'r interpretative strategies, >aco+'s ;oo, invites 's to str'ggle &ith provisionality: the retentive grasp on o!;ective, orderly data -*eslie:s agitated depression0, the s'!missive s'rrender of reading to chaos -,'lia:s anhedonic depression0, and the dreamy em!race of disorder !y a dilated self -7nny:s hypomania0. +oolf:s narrator enco'rages 's to !ecome self5conscio's as &e read. +hat are &e looking for in a fictional !iographyC she contin'ally asks !y implication. +o'ld &e really !e satisfied if she pretended to omniscienceC 2f &e do'!t o'rselves, the narrator reminds 's that: =o!ody sees any one as he is. . . . They see a &hole6they see all sorts of things6they see themselves. . . . . . . Dne m'st do the !est one can. . . . 2t is no 'se trying to s'm people 'p. Dne m'st follo& hints, not e4actly &hat is said, nor yet entirely &hat is done. -"#/"10 2f &hat &e see in others originates in 's, &hat kno&ledge have &e gainedC +hy do &e accept &itho't B'estion the narrator:s omniscient ;'dgments of minor charactersC To 'rge o'r self5e4amination, she stops short at the one character &e &ant to kno& most< she ref'ses to pin do&n ,aco!. )tanding o'tside his Cam!ridge rooms, she dra&s attention to her position -and o'rs0 as an o'tsider, as a reader &ho cannot B'ite see the te4t: The la'ghter died in the air. The so'nd of it co'ld scarcely have reached any one standing !y the Chapel, &hich stretched along the opposite side of the co'rt. The la'ghter died o't, and only gest'res of arms, movements of !odies, co'ld !e seen shaping something in the room. 1 19F 1 +as it an arg'mentC 7 !et on the !oat racesC +as it nothing of the sortC +hat &as shaped !y the arms and !odies in the t&ilight roomC -EE0

The reader &ho accepts omniscient confidences a!o't minor characters is disconcerted !y the narrator:s do'!ts and &inks &hen it comes to ,aco!. Perhaps +oolf teases 's !eca'se the Hd&ardian reader e4pected to !e told everything< he &as confident that he co$ld have complete kno&ledge of a character, and a narrator:s voice seemed more real to him if it confidently constr'cted a totali8ing portrait. 9or this reason 7rnold Bennett critici8ed ,aco! as inadeB'ately developed. +oolf:s response accepted his logic !'t ref'ted his ass'mptions: its only the old arg'ment that character is dissipated into shreds no&: the old post5 (ostoevsky arg'ment. 2 daresay its tr'e, ho&ever, that 2 haven:t that >reality> gift. 2 ins'!stantise, &ilf'lly to some e4tent, distr'sting reality6its cheapness. B't to get f'rther. Gave 2 the po&er of conveying the tr'e realityC Dr do 2 &rite essays a!o't myselfC -Diar 2: 2E%0 +oolf aimed for a reading !eyond the o!;ective and demonstra!le -cheap reality0, a&are that at the other e4treme she risked the self5ind'lgent solipsism of egotism or mania ->essays a!o't myself>0. *ike Bennett, other readers find the tactic a strain. Aitchell *easka, for instance, is alarmed !y the slipperiness of >aco+'s ;oo,: 2f, as some serio's readers maintain, 3irginia +oolf meant 's to s'pply at least as m'ch as she s'ggests in >aco+'s ;oo,! then the serio's critic is in serio's tro'!le. 9or the implication is that the te4t !ecomes a different novel for each reader< and that from personal reservoirs of memory, e4perience, and feeling, a reader may f'rnish the other&ise lifeless page &ith &hatever he pleases< that the !ook !ecomes a massive Korschach test, a series of stim'li &ith no response controls. 2f one reading of a !ook is as valid as any other reading, then all literary criticism is f'tile. Concerned that art cannot e4ist 'nless it controls reader response, *easka arg'es that relia!le ->valid>0 ca'se5and5effect holds the novel together. +oolf, he reasons, has merely reversed this order, presenting the effect !efore giving 's the ca'se. Gis concl'sion, that the s'!te4t of >aco+'s ;oo, chronicles the fatal progress of ,aco!:s repressed homose4'ality, fastens on gaps or lapses in the te4t -ho& else &o'ld a ne'rotic les!ian e4press herself !'t in avoidancesC0 and overlooks m'ch of the novel:s deli!erate reticence. *easka simply cannot !elieve +oolf means &hat she says: 1 19% 1 9or s'rely, Ars. +oolf, so delicate an analyst of h'man relations, &o'ld not have &ritten a novel of one h'ndred and seventy pages merely to prove her point that >it is no 'se trying to s'm 'p people.>?F@ 3alidity is *easka:s Iod -;'st as proportion &ill !e (r. Bradsha&:s in Mrs. Dallo0a 2! and so for him a novel that disco'nts all tr'th m'st !e trying to repress an 'gly tr'th. 9or *easka, +oolf:s se4'al preference is that repressed tr'th missing from the te4t, and so he >ret'rns> it to a position of prominence6in effect, re&riting her novel. Perhaps this is &hy *easka repeatedly refers to her as Mrs. +oolf thro'gho't his !ook: to 'nderscore her marital stat's and imply 'nconscio's se4'al conflict. =on59re'dians also react !adly to a novel that does not impose its o&n resol'tion. ,oan Bennett dismisses it as immat're !eca'se it falls apart. The reader is left &ith the impression of a series of episodes. . . . B't the s'ccessive moments !'ild 'p no &hole that can !e held in the ,ind. . . . ?The reader:s@ attention is dissipated and diff'sed. Too many disassociated, or only ten'o'sly related,

demands have !een made 'pon it.?%@ +hat is at iss'e here is the process of reading. Bennett, like the character Bonamy, &ants to hold a 'nified idea of the novel in her mind. )he is not content to let her e4perience e4ist in that >semi5 transparent envelope> +oolf calls creative perception &hen it can convey elicit o!;ective and s'!;ective kno&ledge sim'ltaneo'sly -%o,,on ;eader 1.E0, !eca'se Bennett ass'mes that reading is largely a receptive activity: it moves from a'thor, &ho s'pplies ideas, to reader, &ho holds them. *ike Professor )op&ith, Bennett regards reading as an e4traction of an essential ore, a p'rification of comple4ity. )'ch ass'mptions lead another critic to concl'de that a fictional order sho'ld not !e lifelike: 2n a &orld &hich does not offer any simple connections, h'man 'nderstanding can only !e achieved &ith great diligence. Drder, if it is to e4ist at all, m'st !e man5made, and the need to create one:s o&n order, &hich the very form of the novel makes imperative, is insisted 'pon thro'gho't >aco+'s ;oo, . . . . >aco+'s ;oo, is filled &ith people str'ggling to form'late coherent perceptions to s'stain them thro'gh the &elter of impressions and e4periences constantly assailing them. The &ide variety of h'man testimony &e have concerning ,aco!:s appearance and !ehavior not only s'ggests the diffic'lty of kno&ing him !'t also the 'rgency of s'ch a task.?9@ 1 199 1 The >'rgency> of the need to >form'late coherent perceptions> lies, not in the narrative form itself, !'t in the reader &ho imitates Betty 9landers, the Cam!ridge professors, and yo'ng Bonamy. Hven ,ames Gafley, &ho momentarily considers a provocative B'estion ->7re there not t0o interpretations of e4perience> in this novelC0, seeks clos're !y concl'ding that >aco+'s ;oo, is not >a completely accomplished &ork of art> !eca'se its potential for meaning e4ists neither in ,aco! nor in the narrator. ?1#@ 2f &e consider >aco+'s ;oo, to !e a complete and deli!erate &ork, then &e m'st ask again, are there t&o interpretations of e4perience operating here, so that even a ne'tral o!;ect like a lantern set in the forest s'pports m't'ally e4cl'sive vie&s, is !oth a !eacon of order and a sp'r to incomprehensi!le fren8yC 2n her essay >Phases of 9iction,> +oolf theori8es that a'thors in the past !eheld life as one and entire, !'t that modern life contains s'ch discord and incongr'ity that a'thors can no& offer only a divided response -5ranite and ;ain+o0 0. )he rates (aniel (efoe the chief of >the great tr'th5tellers,> !eca'se he >ass'res 's that things are precisely as ?he says@ they are.> 9or (efoe:s reader, to !elieve seems the greatest of all pleas'res. . . . ?H@mphasis is laid 'pon the very facts that most reass're 's of sta!ility in real life, 'pon money, f'rnit're, food, 'ntil &e seem &edged among solid o!;ects in a solid 'niverse. . . . (efoe presided over his 'niverse &ith the omnipotence of a Iod, so that his &orld is perfectly in scale. -5ranite and ;ain+o0 9./9$0 +oolf arg'es that (efoe:s readers &anted, not a record of conscio'sness as it &as6insec're, 'nsta!le, inconcl'sive6!'t an ill'sory fa!rication of life as it sho'ld !e6predicta!le, ordered, and profita!le6 according to the capitalistic c'lt'ral val'es of the eighteenth cent'ry. 9or the modern age, ho&ever, mind and reality are no longer 'nities: 9eelings &hich 'sed to come single and separate do so no longer. . . . Hmotions &hich 'sed to enter the mind &hole are no& !roken 'p on the threshold. . . . 2n the modern mind !ea'ty is accompanied not !y its shado& !'t !y its opposite. -5ranite and ;ain+o0 1$0

+e cannot red'ce the m'ltiplicity of e4perience -&hich is >infinitely !ea'tif'l yet rep'lsive> ?12@0 into a single vision, !eca'se >it is as if the modern mind, &ishing al&ays to verify its emotions, had lost the po&er of accepting anything simply for &hat it is> -1$/1F0. Dmniscience is too 1 2## 1 'nreal to !e accepta!le in a novel that seeks to record tr'thf'lly the >sho&er of inn'mera!le atoms,> the >myriad impressions> -%o,,on ;eader 1.E0 that constit'te conscio'sness of modern life. )ince meaning itself is >provisional> and since modern novelists do'!t any form of !elief, they no& >are forcing the form they 'se to contain a meaning &hich is strange to it> -5ranite and ;ain+o0 110, a meaning so disordered that it literally cannot !e stated. ,inny Carslake is the only character in >aco+'s ;oo, &ho achieves s'ch a >modern> perspective. )he occ'pies a reading space that lies !et&een Ars. 9landers:s aggressive solipsism and Ars. ,arvis:s passive receptivity, !et&een the critics: insistence on order and the narrator:s relinB'ishing of a'thority. ,inny cherishes >a little ;e&eller:s !o4 containing ordinary pe!!les picked off the road> and arranged in an apparently meaningless pattern: >B't if yo' look at them steadily, she says, m'ltiplicity !ecomes 'nity, &hich is someho& the secret of life> ->aco+'s ;oo, 1"10. The passage is terse and am!ig'o's, !'t, &hatever ,inny thinks she sees, her method is s'ggestive !eca'se it ties together the novel:s imagery, its narrative reticence, and modes of manic5depressive perception. 3ie&ed o!;ectively, ,inny:s stones have no order, no 'nity, no meaning. 3ie&ed s'!;ectively, the stones 'ncannily invite her contri!'tions, and any meaning is possi!le. 2ndeed, meaning itself is 'nimportant here. +oolf foc'ses on the relationship !et&een ,inny and the stones thro'gh &hich some kind, any kind, of meaning is gained. Keaders of >aco+'s ;oo, face the same pro!lem &hen they move from s'!;ective approaches -int'iting the essence of ,aco! from o'r emotional reactions to him0 to o!;ective -ded'cing ,aco!:s character from s'ch fact'al evidence as his love of (onne:s poems0: each perspective presents its o&n ,aco! 9landers. ,inny has gone !eyond this dilemma !y recogni8ing an order that does e4ist, not in the stones e4cl'sively, nor in herself e4cl'sively, !'t +et0een the t&o. 7 >hidden order,> it cannot !e spelled o't, !eca'se it has more than one origin and more than one kind of cognitive str'ct're. 2t is not the enforced 'nity of the depressed ego:s mechanical analysis, or the 'ninvited disorder of p're mania, or the sole property of the stones. 2ts integration of all three &itho't pre;'dice is the secret of life for a manic5depressive. To !egin integration &e m'st accept chaos &holly, syncretistically. 2t is only then that &e can create discover a satisfying order in &hat &e have perceived. To gain this parado4ical sense of order:s origin, primary and secondary5process thinking m'st !e coordinated, !'t in a &ay that defies classical psychoanalysis. 7nton Hhren8&eig provides 's &ith a 'sef'l 1 2#1 1 constr'ct !y defining syncretistic vision as a glo!al, 'nanalytical vie& attained thro'gh an 'nconscio's scanning that does not differentiate detail -as the a'thoritative ego acting alone &o'ld0. Traditional 9re'dian tho'ght vie&ed the 'nconscio's as lacking str'ct're !eca'se it >does not disting'ish !et&een opposites, fails to artic'late space and time as &e kno& it, and allo&s all firm !o'ndaries to melt in a free chaotic mingling of forms.>?11@ )ince fiction is 's'ally regarded as the em!odiment of rigoro's organi8ation -since >ever thing is there not + chance! +$t + choice! > as *easka says0,?12@ &e have traditionally ass'med that a novel is primarily shaped !y the conscio's mind e4tracting !its and pieces from the !oiling ca'ldron of 'nconscio's tho'ghts -even if the ego represses latent meaning0. 9or Hhren8&eig, ho&ever, primary5process thinking only appears chaotic. The artist and his a'dience m'st

rely on 'nconscio's scanning to provide the >hidden order> that conscio's analysis cannot: The chaos of the 'nconscio's is as deceptive as the chaos of o'ter reality. . . . ?C@reative &ork s'cceeds in coordinating the res'lts of 'nconscio's 'ndifferentiation and conscio's differentiation and so reveals the hidden order in the 'nconscio's. . . . The artist, too, has to face chaos in his &ork !efore 'nconscio's scanning !rings a!o't the integration of his &ork as &ell as of his o&n personality. . . . ?U@nconscio's scanning makes 'se of 'ndifferentiated modes of vision that to normal a&areness &o'ld seem chaotic.>?1"@ Hhren8&eig redefines the notion of repression: some images, too personal to !e shared &ith any!ody, have !een &ithdra&n from conscio'sness !eca'se of the s'perego:s censorship of >certain offensive contents!" !'t others, so impersonal they are shared !y all, !ecome inaccessi!le !eca'se of their >'ndifferentiated str$ct$re alone>:?1E@ +hat appears am!ig'o's, m'lti5evocative or open5ended on a conscio's level !ecomes a single serial str'ct're &ith B'ite firm !o'ndaries on an 'nconscio's level. Beca'se of its &ider s&eep lo&5level ?syncretistic@ vision can serve as the precision instr'ment for scanning far5fl'ng str'ct'res offering a great n'm!er of choices. )'ch str'ct'res rec'r reg'larly in any creative search.?1.@ The artist discovers the hidden order of a seemingly chaotic reality !y associating it &ith 'nconscio's, seemingly chaotic fantasy material< &hen the connections are made, order is perceived and meaning is gained !eca'se perception has !een personali8ed. )elf and o!;ect are no& related in a deeply personal &ay, &hich, as ,inny says, >is someho& the secret of life.> 1 2#2 1 The advantage of Hhren8&eig:s theory lies in his redefinition of artistic 'nity in concord &ith +oolf:s e4perience of !ipolar cognitive styles. Conscio's perception tries, as *eslie:s agitated depressive rationalism did, to smooth over the gaps, imperfections, or incoherence of open material< the ego:s need for clarity ro'nds off discontin'o's str'ct'res !y a narro& foc's on a limited n'm!er of details. )yncretistic vision, like 7nne:s hypomania, scans &itho't foc's and allo&s 's to grasp &idely scattered deviations &itho't premat're ordering.?1$@ ,ohn C'stance follo&ed ro'ghly the same proced're &hen he facilitated his all5incl'sive manic visions thro'gh >a sort of rela4ation of the foc'sing of my eyes> and of his analytical po&ers, &hich allo&ed his energi8ed imagination to scan vis'al images and !ring 'nconscio's associations to the s'rface: 2n periods of ac'te mania ?visions@ can appear almost like a contin'o's cinema performance, partic'larly if there are any complicated and varia!le light5patterns &ith &hich my optical mechanism can play the necessary tricks. These visions generally appear on the &alls of my room, if these are shiny eno'gh to reflect light. They are infinitely varied, and !ear a close relation to the processes of tho'ght passing in my mind at the time. They are o!vio's prod'cts of the Unconscio's, &hich in this state is of co'rse largely in control of my mind.?1F@ =either +oolf nor C'stance locates meaning either strictly or metaphorically in the specific ideas !ro'ght 'p from the 'nconscio's. They are more interested in form than in latent content, in ho& to integrate manic dedifferentiation -that is, glo!al, 'ncritical perception of divergent detail0 and depressive analysis &itho't specifying a restrictive form'la. The modernist goal of e4pressing this sense of m'ltiplicity is like&ise >incompati!le &ith ?the@ design and order> of the novel -5ranite and ;ain+o0 1E"0. To avoid !ecoming merely theory5ridden or a

Korschach test gone &ild, fiction m'st give the reader room to e4perience a pro!lematical reading that is to some e4tent $ncorrected and $ncontrolled + the a$thor's ego. >aco+'s ;oo, provides that space in &hich a reader can e4perience discontin'ity, 'ncertainty, am!ig'ity, &itho't either feeling &edged, like (efoe:s a'dience, !y o!;ective kno&ledge, or lapsing into &ild pro;ection. 7 s'!;ective5o!;ective vie& is possi!le if the a'thor ref'ses to verify the reader:s response on a conscio's level. Go& the artist can tolerate order and disorder has !een descri!ed !y Hhren8&eig as >the three phases of creativity.> Ge relates these phases to Aelanie Jlein:s manic and depressive modes of early perception as the child tries to heal the fragmentation of self and &orld d'ring &eaning: 1 2#" 1 ?T@he d'al rhythm of pro;ection and intro;ection can !e conceived as an alternation !et&een the paranoid5schi8oid and depressive positions as descri!ed !y Aelanie Jlein. . . . The creative process can th's !e divided into three stages: an initial ->schi8oid>0 stage of pro;ecting fragmented parts of the self into the &ork< 'nackno&ledged split5off elements &ill then easily appear accidental, fragmented, 'n&anted and persec'tory. The second ->manic>0 phase initiates 'nconscio's scanning that integrates art:s s'!str'ct're. . . . Then creative dedifferentiation tends to&ards a >manic> oceanic limit &here all differentiation ceases. The inside and o'tside &orld !egin to merge. . . . 2n the third stage of re5intro;ection part of the &ork:s hidden s'!str'ct're is taken !ack into the artist:s ego on a higher mental level. Beca'se the 'ndifferentiated s'!str'ct're necessarily appears chaotic to conscio's analysis, the third stage too is !eset &ith often severe an4iety. B't if all goes &ell, an4iety is no longer persec'tory -paranoid5schi8oid0 as it &as in the first stage of fragmented pro;ection. 2t tends to !e depressive.?1%@ By itself, mood cannot integrate self and o!;ect, !'t it does provide the alterations of vie& needed to gather the material for creative &ork. 2t is precisely this rhythmical movement thro'gh vario's levels of o'r mental organi8ation, each level informed !y or responding to another, that is lacking in psychotic thinking. 2n psychosis, 'ndifferentiated imp'lses er'pt e4plosively from the 'nconscio's, dismem!ering self5str'ct're, or else the conscio's mind !ecomes so >split off> from the 'nconscio's that the individ'al seems to have lost emotional and ideational depth. +hat psychosis and creativity share is a partial dissol'tion of the ego. The important difference !et&een the t&o phenomena, on the other hand, is the fact that creative artists are o!vio'sly a!le to alternate !et&een contrary modes of perception. Th's, from a psychoanalytic vie&point, their egos m'st !e e4tremely strong, and in this they differ from psychotics, the &eakness of &hose egos makes it almost impossi!le for them to e4ercise vol'ntary control over the alternation !et&een opposed kinds of thinking.>?19@ These t&o >opposed kinds of thinking> have !een defined simply in terms of 9re'd:s introspectively !ased distinction !et&een conscio's and 'nconscio's. Kesearch in ne'roscience, ho&ever, offers 's a complication that may enrich o'r 'nderstanding of &hy art is so m'lti5layered and compelling: different styles of thinking may also !e divided !et&een left and right hemispheres of the !rain. 2n the split5!rain st'dy, s'rgeons c't the t&o h'ndred million nerve fi!ers in the corp's callos'm, the interface !et&een the t&o hemispheres. +hen each hemisphere is tested separately, 1 2#E 1

distinct cognitive styles !ecome apparent. To &hat e4tent these differences are significant is still controversial, and my s'mmary is necessarily oversimplified, !'t it &ill sho& ho& important and e4citing f't're research may !e for esta!lishing connections !et&een !rain f'nction and literary theory. 2n general, the dominant hemisphere -'s'ally the left0 has s'perior analytic and ver!al skills !eca'se of its talent for seB'ential processing< the nondominant hemisphere -'s'ally the right0 is adept at processing imagery, vis'osparial, m'sical, and holistic data and plays a ma;or role in responding to emotional stim'li.?2#@ *eft hemisphere skill lies in processing &ith a s'!stit'tive semantic code6 &ords6&hereas right hemisphere cognition is syncretistic and analogical. Kight hemisphere talents are 'sef'l in detecting novel or 'ne4pected events, identifying patterns that are illegi!le or o!sc'red !y random interference, and e4trapolating from incomplete information?21@ 6very like Hhren8&eig:s str'ct'ral 'nconscio's. Beca'se of its talent for a nonlinear mode of association rather than syllogistic logic, the right hemisphere arrives at sol'tions to pro!lems !ased on m'ltiple converging determinants rather than on a single ca'sal chain< it prod'ces metaphors, p'ns, and >&ord5pict'res.>?22@ Dne psychiatrist disc'sses this intrig'ing connection !et&een hemispheric style and glo!al5vers's5analytic cognitive styles in terms reminiscent of *eslie and 7nny:s temperaments: 2n the o!sessive5comp'lsive personality, &hose rigid intellect'ali8ation and penchant for detail s'ggest a left5hemisphere cognitive style, &e find a restricted affective ?mood@ life &ith something of a negative tone. 2s this a characteri8ation of an e4aggerated left hemisphere in personalityC 2n the hysteric personality, on the other hand, &hose glo!al and 'ndifferentiated cognitive style s'ggests a relatively greater right5hemisphere contri!'tion, &e find affective la!ility, a tendency to deny pro!lems, and Pollyannish optimism. 7re these the affective characteristics that emerge &hen the right hemisphere makes the ma;or contri!'tion to personality organi8ationC?2"@ 2t &o'ld seem likely, then, that the alterations in cognitive style &e see in manic5depressive illness involve a disintegration of left hemisphere and right hemisphere cooperation.?2E@ 7 revie& of ne'ropsychological st'dies of interhemispheric activity in patients &ith affective illness sho&s a >s'rprising degree of consistency> in reports that people &ith depressive and manic5depressive illness, as a gro'p, >typically demonstrate deficits in right hemisphere or nondominant hemisphere f'nctioning.>?2.@ (epression seems especially to correlate &ith right hemisphere impairment, &hich is associated &ith an ina!ility to integrate tho'ghts or relate elements in a 1 2#. 1 comple4 pattern. Aania, on the other hand, is associated &ith left hemisphere impairment more than depression is.?2$@ The right hemisphere sensitivity to conte4t may !e important for the e4perience of emotion< &itho't !enefit of the right5hemisphere attentional po&ers, the left hemisphere may prod'ce either flights of conf'sed fancy and loosened logic in mania or impoverished imagination and isolated ;'dgment in depression. 2ntrig'ingly, some researchers have fo'nd that they can ind'ce manic or depressive states !y in;ecting sodi'm amytal into the !lood vessels leading to the hemispheres. 7nestheti8ing the right hemisphere prod'ces e'phoria, giddiness, or a manic state< anestheti8ing the left hemisphere prod'ces depressive symptoms. 7ltho'gh other st'dies have not consistently replicated these res'lts, these findings have sp'rred e4periments &hich 'nderscore the importance of interhemispheric activity in mood states: electroconv'lsive therapy more often prod'ces depression &hen applied 'nilaterally to the left hemisphere and e'phoric responses &hen applied to the right hemisphere.?2F@ Co'ld the rhythmical alternation !et&een mania and depression !e related to a s&itching of dominance patterns !et&een left hemisphere and right hemisphereC Co'ld &e event'ally e4plain >mi4ed> states, &hich com!ine

feat'res of mania and depression, as a sim'ltaneo's dysf'nction in !oth hemispheresC 2f !oth hemispheres participate in the depressive syndrome, then perhaps the right hemisphere dysf'nction prod'ces the mood component, the left hemisphere dysf'nction the cognitive and an4iety components. (ividing responsi!ility for the prod'ction of mood disorders !et&een the hemispheres might e4plain, first, &hy manic5depressives fail to introspect the ca'se of a mood shift -and so arrive at specio's e4planations0, for the &ord5fl'ent, model5!'ilding left hemisphere cannot gain privileged access to all right hemisphere activities< second, &hy those &ho s'ffer mi4ed mood states, s'ch as agitated depression, e4hi!it symptoms of !oth mania and depression sim'ltaneo'sly -for the hemispheric dysf'nctions com!ine0< and, third, &hy, altho'gh depressives derive some !enefit from cognitive therapy, it cannot c're their mood s&ings< for &ord5!ased strategies may help the ling'istically adept left hemisphere reorgani8e some of its f'nctions !'t give little aid to the lang'age5deficient right hemisphere. To complicate matters even f'rther, it is possi!le that the hemispheres themselves may !e divided into sections -!rain B'adrants0, each of &hich may affect the operation of the others.?2%@ 9or instance, in a st'dy of tra'ma5ind'ced !rain damage to the right hemisphere, it &as fo'nd that the closer the in;'ry to the frontal pole, the more severe the depression, a fact &hich 1 2#$ 1 has led to the theory that the manic5depressive syndrome reflects largely right hemisphere frontotemporal dysf'nction. The t&o hemispheres may !e involved in a reciprocal relationship &hose f'nctioning depends on the specific emotion !eing reg'lated: The right and left controlling systems are themselves 'nder active reciprocal interaction thro'gh transcallosal ?interhemispheric@ ne'ral inhi!ition. 2n this manner, anger, e'phoria, paranoid mood is evoked &hen the nondominant ?'s'ally the right@ hemisphere no longer controls the dominant ?'s'ally the left5hemisphere@ systems, together &ith ver!al5motor disinhi!ition. +hen on the other hand the nondominant regions are no longer 'nder dominant control, the emotional5catastrophic reaction, dysphoric emotions of an4iety or sadness are released. +hen the cere!ral disorgani8ation is principally restricted to the nondominant hemisphere, the depressive phase of the manic5depressive syndrome s'pervenes. 7t a certain threshold the dominant hemisphere !ecomes activated, triggering the manic phase.?29@ The !rain:s responses are comple4: the t&o hemispheres share a variety of ne'rotransmitters, and meta!olic activity is altered in m'ltiple areas in !oth hemispheres d'ring episodes of mood disorder. Th's, to !'ild a comprehensive e4planatory model for manic5depressive illness, researchers &ill have take into consideration not only meta!olic and ne'rohormonal changes !'t !oth interhemispheric and intrahemispheric mechanisms. The o'tcome of f't're research along these lines may &ell have profo'nd significance for an integrative mind !rain model, and that in t'rn &ill s'rely affect ho& literary critics think a!o't a'thors and te4ts in the f't're. B't one step at a time. 9or no&, 2 arg'e that Hhren8&eig:s three stages of creativity -and ,inny:s >secret> resol'tion of s'!;ective5o!;ective perception0 descri!e a s'ccessf'l interhemispheric integration of !ipolar cognitive styles. The rhythmic alternation !et&een analysis and 'ndifferentiated perception, !et&een depressive ordering and manic e4pansiveness in artistic composition -or !et&een the >analytical ego> and the >ill> ego d'ring a psychoanalytic session0,?"#@ may !e d'e to a comple4 ;o!5sharing program !et&een the t&o hemispheres, each responding and contri!'ting to the other:s method of coping &ith a percept'al pro!lem. Th's, Hhren8&eig:s str'ct'ral 'nconscio's6a region

!eyond a&areness that represses, not !eca'se of conflicted content, !'t !eca'se the material is str'ct'rally incompati!le &ith rationalistic conscio'sness6may not !e a part of 9re'd:s 'nconscio's< it may act'ally !e a co5conscio's mod'le that is not readily availa!le to the ego. 2n 9re'dian terms, each hemisphere may have its o&n 1 2#F 1 ego, the left hemisphere ego &ith a talent for organi8ing a &ord5!ased acco'nt of analy8ed perceptions, the right hemisphere ego sensitive to data that defy clos're, stasis, and theory. The s'ccessf'l integration of the t&o -and incl'sion of other 'nconscio's material, if reB'ired and or related0 deepens, enriches, and personali8es e4perience, &hich may e4plain &hy h'mankind has al&ays fo'nd art endlessly s'ggestive and yet satisfying on a level often !eyond &ords. 2f the right hemisphere is co5conscio's, &hy &o'ld its scanning !e perceived as >'nconscio's>C +hen the t&o hemispheres are s'rgically separated, the left hemisphere is convinced it /no0s &hat stim'li or information &as presented !y e4perimenters to only the right hemisphere, altho'gh it can only !e making a g'ess. 2f, for instance, the right hemisphere is told to r'! the left hemisphere5controlled right el!o&, the left hemisphere perceives the action and may assert, &ith a s'rprising degree of certainty, that it &as responsi!le for the action and offer a reasona!le e4planation ->2 &as only scratching an itch,> or >2 g'ess 2:m nervo's>0. The &ord5fl'ent left hemisphere implicitly and ha!it'ally denies that another conscio's -!'t often &ord5deficient0 center e4ists.?"1@ Connected hemispheres, of co'rse, do share information, !'t this operation is seamlessly integrated: the left hemisphere is not a&are that some of its data may !e coming from and processed !y another, &ell5organi8ed conscio's entity, for &hom it is speaking. Dne of the most prominent feat'res of left hemisphere conscio'sness is that it 'ses all data6&hatever its origin and shape6as material for the fiction that a 'nitary e4perience has !een reported !y a 'nified self. Typically, the patient reports ver!ally that he regards his left hemisphere5controlled, right5hand actions as his actions, carried o't !y his ego< if left5hand !ehaviors defy e4planation -e.g., the left hand p'lls do&n pants the right hand is trying to p'll 'p0, they are vie&ed as >alien,> as >not mine.> This has led some researchers to concl'de that the s'!;ectively e4perienced self in these patients lies in the dominant, ling'istically skilled hemisphere.?"2@ Th's, in creative individ'als, the officially designated left hemisphere ego, tho'gh not privy to the details of dissociated activities operating in the nondominant hemisphere, nevertheless finds itself ine4plica!ly !enefiting from them if it can engage in the tricky !'siness of self5relating &hile o!;ect5relating. Perhaps, then, the >'ntho'ght !'t kno&n> co'ntertransference material -see p. %", a!ove0 is >'ntho'ght> !y the left hemisphere !'t >kno&n> !y the right hemisphere< making it intelligi!le to the left hemisphere -and therefore to the speaking patient0 &o'ld resem!le the process of 1 2#% 1 classical psychoanalysis, !'t it &o'ld reB'ire a more sophisticated and fle4i!le approach, for the search &o'ld !e for material that might !e -10 'nconscio's !eca'se for!idden, -20 'nconscio's !eca'se str'ct'rally incompati!le &ith analytical tho'ght, -"0 co5conscio's !'t not represented !eca'se filtered, or -E0 co5conscio's !'t not represented ling'istically. 2n a clinical setting, items 1 and " &o'ld reB'ire the traditional 9re'dian deciphering of sym!ols to discover &hy the repressed material is not availa!le, !'t 2 and E &o'ld !e distorted !y a 9re'dian reading imposed !y left hemisphere cognitive style 'pon right hemisphere material. +e may even find that the activity of the >alien s'!;ect,> &ho reads the same te4t &e do !'t e4periences -!eyond o'r a&areness0 a different response, also involves co5conscio's interhemispheric activity.?""@ 7t the very least, &e may s'rmise that +oolf:s rhythmical sh'ffling

!et&een manic and depressive cognitive styles permitted her to e4perience vario's left hemisphere and right hemisphere operations, giving her a sensitivity to the cognitive components of artistic creativity that &ent far !eyond the 9re'dian form'lations of repression and displacement so pop'lar in her day. 2n s'm, the creative artist constr'cts a pro;ective intro;ective, conscio's 'nconscio's, left5hemisphere analytical right5hemisphere syncretistic vie& ;'st as manic5depressives m'st constr'ct an incl'sive core self o't of their several moody selves. Keaders m'st do the same< they m'st accept ,aco! as he is presented to 's6a fragment, a figment of o'r imagination, &hat yo' &ill, and yet real, !eca'se &e have felt him, tho'gh &e cannot f'lly artic'late &hy and ho&. >aco+'s ;oo, leaves 's in a transitional space &here &e have s'spended analysis !'t have not yet perceived the hidden order that comes &hen analysis and glo!al empathy find each other. The ,aco! &e seek e4ists some&here !et&een the te4t and the reader6and !et&een the left hemisphere and the right. That neither ,aco! nor the reader achieves a moment of !eing does not make this an 'ns'ccessf'l novel. 2t is, rather, an appropriate prec'rsor to Mrs. Dallo0a and To the #ightho$se! !oth of &hich also create this space !et&een o!;ectivity and s'!;ectivity !'t, in addition, fill the void. >aco+'s ;oo, seems to !e aimed primarily at reed'cating the reader to a!andon ass'mptions a!o't the novel as a form. 2n >Phases in 9iction,> +oolf contends that psychological novels sho'ld free 's from premat're !elief: Besides this fineness and s&eetness &e get another pleas're &hich comes &hen the mind is freed from the perpet'al demand of the ?traditional@ novelist that &e shall feel &ith his characters. By c'tting off the responses &hich are called o't in act'al life, the novelist frees 1 2#9 1 's to take delight, as 0e do 0hen ill or travelling, in things in themselves. +e can see the strangeness of them only &hen ha!it has ceased to immerse 's in them, and &e stand o'tside &atching &hat has no po&er over 's one &ay or the other. Then &e see the mind at &ork. -5ranite and ;ain+o0 122< my italics0 +oolf fr'strates o'r efforts to categori8e this novel as one or another kind of percept'al e4perience or to feel confident that ,aco! is real eno'gh for 's to empathi8e &ith him. +e finish o'r reading in that semi5transparent envelope, a&aiting an interhemispheric f'sion that may never come. 2f &e feel a!andoned, it is !eca'se &e have !een freed to discover create o'r o&n e4perience of the novel. 2f &e feel a !lank &here ,aco! sho'ld have !een, it is !eca'se &e have not yet ;oined +oolf in her creation. +e have only !een invited into ,aco!:s room< &e stand &here a creative reading can take place. 1 21# 1

#) *The Sane 2 the Insane9 Side 3& Side*The O3Be(t5Relations of Self5Management in Mrs' Dallo(ay
2 like going from one lighted room to another, s'ch is my !rain to me< lighted rooms. -Diar 2: "1#0

B't &hen the self speaks to the self, &ho is speakingC6the entom!ed so'l, the spirit driven in, in, in to the central catacom!< the self that took the veil and left the &orld. ->7n Un&ritten =ovel,> in A .a$nted .o$se 0 2n Mrs. Dallo0a ! 3irginia +oolf complicates the pro!lem of s'!;ective and o!;ective readings !y eliminating the self5conscio's narrator &ho so conveniently raised B'estions of interpretation and cognitive style in >aco+'s ;oo,. 2nstead, the reader is led !y a shifting and impersonal narration that impartially ver!ali8es the intimate tho'ghts of vario's characters, thro&ing the reader off !alance.?1@ The descriptive style, highly ordered and rhythmic, does not change from one character to another. Th's the indirect interior monolog'es so'nd c'rio'sly alike, !lending tho'ghts together6a provocative act since some of these tho'ghts are >insane.> +oolf p'rs'es ,ames Gafley:s B'estion, >7re there not t0o interpretations of e4perienceC>?2@ )he gives each its o&n voice, and the mi4t're dist'r!s 's !y revealing common mechanisms at &ork in psychotic and in normal thinking. Met despite the mi4t're of mad and nonmad disco'rses, in Mrs. Dallo0a +oolf e4tends ,inny Carslake:s !rief vision of a profo'nd 'nity and e4pands her o&n sense of and control over herself in &ays that anticipate effective treatments of depression !y contemporary cognitive psychologists. )oon after p'!lishing >aco+'s ;oo, in 1922, +oolf !egan &riting a short story entitled >Ars. (allo&ay in Bond )treet,> &hich B'ickly e4panded !eyond her original plans: >Ars (allo&ay has !ranched into a !ook< P 2 ad'm!rate here a st'dy of insanity P s'icide: the &orld seen !y the sane P the insane side !y side6something like that> -Diar 2: 2#F0. The phrase >something like that> seems partic'larly apt. 2nitially, she had planned 1 211 1 the novel &itho't the psychotic )eptim's, foc'sing e4cl'sively on Clarissa, &ho &as to die6or commit s'icide6at her party. )econd tho'ghts prompted her to divide sanity and insanity !et&een t&o characters, !'t she reminded herself to keep them related any&ay: >)eptim's and Ars (allo&ay sho'ld !e entirely dependent 'pon each other> -#etters ": 1%90. Third tho'ghts led her to &orry as to >&hether the !ook &o'ld have !een !etter &itho't> )eptim's and the mad scenes -Diar 2: "210. +oolf anticipated reader conf'sion >o&ing to the lack of connection, visi!le, !et&een the t&o themes> 3Diar ": E0 and predicted that >revie&ers &ill say that it is dis;ointed !eca'se of the mad scenes not connecting &ith the (allo&ay scenes.> B't since s'ch a dis;'nction &as not >'nreal> psychologically, she hoped her a'dience &o'ld someho& see a connection -Diar 2: "2"0. +oolf also hesitated over the mad scenes !eca'se creating )eptim's &as >a very intense P ticklish !'siness> -Diar 2: "1#0 for her: >2t &as a s'!;ect that 2 have kept cooling in my mind 'ntil 2 felt 2 co'ld to'ch it &itho't !'rsting into flame all over. Mo' can:t think &hat a raging f'rnace it is still to me 6madness and doctors and !eing forced> -#etters ": 1%#0. Kemem!ering madness involved pl'nging >deep in the richest strata of ?her@ mind> -Diar 2: "2"0, a metaphor *eonard also 'sed to descri!e 3irginia:s sense that insanity lay ;'st !eneath the s'rface of sanity, like a parallel !'t alien 'niverse: 2f, &hen she &as &ell, any sit'ation or arg'ment arose &hich &as closely connected &ith her !reakdo&ns or the ca'ses of them, there &o'ld sometimes rise to the s'rface of her mind traces or echoes of the nightmares and del'sions of her madness, so that it seemed as if deep do&n in her mind she &as never completely sane. -Beginning Again F90 +oolf feared !eing too e4plicit a!o't )eptim's:s madness, not only !eca'se readers might mis'nderstand or ;'dge it self5ind'lgently confessional, !'t also !eca'se dredging 'p vivid, dist'r!ing, and stressf'l memories of her !reakdo&ns sho&ed ;'st ho& transparent &as the dividing line !et&een

madness and sanity: >+hy is life so tragic< so like a little strip of pavement over an a!yss. 2 look do&n< 2 feel giddy< 2 &onder ho& 2 am ever to &alk to the end. . . . 7nd &ith it all ho& happy 2 am6if it &eren:t for my feeling that its a strip of pavement over an a!yss> -Diar 2: F2/F"0. This seemingly mor!id sensation of &alking on the edge of sanity is certainly not 'niB'e to +oolf. ,ohn C'stance 'sed the same image in 19.2 -!efore any of +oolf:s diaries had !een p'!lished0 to descri!e the manic5depressive:s relationship to his o&n illness: 1 212 1 =ormal life and conscio'sness of >reality> appear to me rather like motion along a narro& strip of ta!le5land at the top of a Ireat (ivide separating t&o distinct 'niverses from each other. Dn the one hand the slope is green and fertile, leading to a lovely landscape &here love, ;oy and the infinite !ea'ties of nat're and of dreams a&ait the traveller< on the other a !arren, rocky declivity, &here l'rk endless horrors of distorted imagination, descends to the !ottomless pit.?"@ Bet&een the fertili8ing ;oy and infinite !ea'ty of mania and the !ottomless pit of depression, normality threads its narro& path, do'!ly v'lnera!le !eca'se !ipolars have no direct control over &hen they fall and are often 'na&are that they have lost their !alance. Aood shifts simply e4aggerate normal modes of perception, cognition, and feeling, so introspection, !y itself, fails to notice the gro&ing discrepancies. Bipolars are repeatedly deceived and risk losing their sense of themselves as distinct from their moods. Dnly &hen living on the narro& strip of >normality> can anyone see &hat self is, is not, has !een, can never !e. B't ho& to descri!e this sense of living o't three lives to readers &ho have felt only solid gro'nd !eneath them, &ho ass'me identity is a right granted !y divine la&, &ho !elieve, as the 3ictorians did, that a >self5made> man needed only his earnest free &ill to gain self5masteryC >Gealth,> intones (r. Golmes, !r'shing aside )eptim's:s symptoms, >is largely a matter of o'r o&n control> -1"%0. Golmes decides that there is >nothing &hatever serio'sly the matter &ith> )eptim's -"10, and (r. Bradsha& agrees: >:+e all have o'r moments of depression,: said )ir +illiam> -1E%0. The temptation to deny the reality of mental illness is strong, in readers too, especially &hen a &riter attempts to depict insanity as someho& connected to sanity. Blatant, gi!!ering madness is a convenient, c'lt'rally accepta!le stereotype, !'t manic5depressive illness shades into normal mentation, and this can !e m'ch more threatening.?E@ Aanic5depressives are 's'ally a&are -and &ary0 of this fearf'l reaction in others, as one patient -&ishing to remain anonymo's0 e4pressed it in a letter to the a'thor: >normal> people &ant to either romantici8e or ghettoi8e insanity !y denying any contin'ity !et&een the normal self and the insane one, &hen in fact it is the contin'ity itself that is terrifying. Ioing o't of yo'r head . . . isn:t nearly so frightening as remaining yo'rself &hile the 'niverse s'ddenly goes n'ts, as if yo' are trapped in a T&ilight Lone episode or a Gitchcock movie &here yo' s'ddenly reali8e that all these kind people trying to help yo' get &ell are really poisoning yo'r milk. That:s &hy the general in (r. )trangelove &as so &onderf'l: his insanity &as perfectly logical. . . . 2f 2 had to p't my acB'ired 1 21" 1 &isdom in a motto 2 &o'ld say, >Be&are of the 'niverse &hen it starts making sense.>?.@ 2s it possi!le, &itho't losing all distinction !et&een the t&o, to !e e4plicit a!o't s'ch a profo'nd sense of 'nreality so closely connected to normal lifeC Dr is the difference !et&een sanity and insanity too

great to !ridge &itho't destroying its Brightening s'!tlety and po&erC The parado4 of manic5 depressive illness is that it is !oth familiar and strange, o!vio's and transparent, sane and insane, posing special formal pro!lems for a fiction that p'rports to e4press it. 7ltho'gh an omniscient narrator &o'ld seem an ideal device !y &hich to make s'ch connections visi!le, +oolf instead chose an impersonal and limited narration. 2ts ref'sal to disc'ss ho& it makes interpretations concerning &hat is descri!ed or overheard creates an >am!ig'ity of perspective> that gives >the :ha8y: effect so often ascri!ed to impressionist fiction as &ell as painting.>?$@ Dnly !road !r'shstrokes paint these characters: pasts. Df )eptim's:s childhood &e kno& only that his mother had >lied> -12F0. B't &hat lieC Go& &as it significantC Dr &as it one of )eptim's:s del'sionsC +e are not f'rnished &ith the o!;ective tr'th of the characters: e4periences, !'t only &ith an >'ncertainty and am!ig'ity, m'ltiplicity and mystery ?that@ are integral to impressionist epistemology.>?F@ )eptim's:s >!etrayal> carries eB'al &eight &ith Clarissa:s irretrieva!le past, Peter:s !r'ised memories, and Aiss Jilman:s spirit'al conversion. Circ'mstances !ecome irrelevant &hen events are 'niversal. )'ch a techniB'e effectively m'ddles characteri8ation,?%@ &hich e4plicates +oolfs reminder to herself in her diary: >Characters are to !e merely vie&s: personality m'st !e avoided at all costs. . . . (irectly yo' specify hair, age, Pc something frivolo's, or irrelevant, gets into the !ook> -Diar 2: 2$.0. 7ltho'gh Peter +alsh:s se4'al affairs in 2ndia differentiate his life from (oris Jilman:s cramped and pernicio's religiosity in a *ondon &orking5class sl'm, these circ'mstantial facts come to 's in the form of reflections that resem!le one another in style and tone.?9@ The details &ash o't, and &hat is left is 'niversal: the str'ct're of disappointments, ecstasies, hopes, and despairs '!iB'ito's in h'man life. To avoid creating disting'isha!le voices, +!olf generally esche&s dialog'e, preferring a'thorial s'mmaries of conversations. +hat little action does occ'r serves only as a sp'r to f'rther reflection: 7lmost all of the characters: tho'ghts in Mrs. Dallo0a are daydreams of one kind or another. Kelatively little of the inner monolog'es are related to or determined !y the act'al circ'mstantial conte4t . . . . 1 21E 1 Beca'se so m'ch of the novel is given over to the relatively 'ninterr'pted flo& of daydreams and meditations controlled !y an a'thorial voice, the !ook has an almost seamless B'ality.?1#@ (aydreaming is styli8ed !y mood. Go& &e create and interact &ith o'r daydreams -&hich can !ecome o!;ects in their o&n right, reass'ring or terrifying, e4citing or depressing0 serves as a model for ho& &e relate to others and to self. +e are perpet'ally engaged in a comple4 relationship &ith o'rselves as o!;ects, either thro'gh self5management or representationally, thro'gh self5o!;ectification6or !oth, as &hen in s'!vocal thinking &e talk to o'rselves as if &e &ere talking to another person. 7nalyst Christopher Bollas 'ses his o&n e4perience as an ill'stration: 7s 2 have !een planning this chapter, for e4ample, 2 have tho'ght from the second person prono'n o!;ectifying myself to say: >Mo' m'st incl'de +innicott and Jhan !eca'se m'ch of yo'r thinking comes from their &ork.> . . . This constant o!;ectification of the self for p'rposes of thinking is commonplace. 2t is also a form of o!;ect relation, as 9re'd so sagely 'nderstood &hen he evolved his theory of the s'perego to identify that part of the mind that speaks to 's as its o!;ect. =at'rally this intras'!;ective relationship &ill change according to the person:s state of mind.?11@ Peter +alsh also casts his daydreams in the second person. +hen he follo&s an anonymo's &oman across Trafalgar )B'are, he imagines that she silently calls to him, 'sing >not Peter, !'t his private

name &hich he called himself in his o&n tho'ghts. :Mo',: she said, only :yo':> -F90. 2n this &ay Peter flirts &ith himself &hen he feels romantically advent'ro's< he need not involve the &oman at all e4cept as a transitional o!;ect em!odying his o&n inflated desires.?12@ (aydreams are ideal !arometers of mood. Aod'lations of self5esteem, an essential feat're of mood s&ings, can !e detected in o'r intras'!;ective transactions6ho& &e val'e, and are val'ed !y, fig'res in o'r inner dramas. Aood itself is !'t a vie&, a slanted transaction. )eamlessly shifting from daydream to daydream allo&s +oolf to e4press the s'!tlest aspect of !ipolar illness: its transparent connections &ith normal mentality, the 'ps and do&ns of esta!lishing personal val'e &ithin a social conte4t, its fl'ct'ations, &hich can o!sc're the point of depart're from +oolf:s >little pavement,> from sanity. Hach ma;or character in the novel participates in this common life of self5representation, comprising vario's aspects of +oolf:s e4perience of manic5depressive states. By foc'sing on intras'!;ective relations, she 1 21. 1 e4plores the parameters of her e4perience of !ipolar illness: the egotistical prec'rsor state -Peter0, the psychotic >mi4ed> state -)eptim's0, and the e'thymic state -Clarissa0, &hich attempts to integrate the other t&o. Beca'se +oolf and her doctors !elieved that egotism presaged a shift from normal to ill mentation, and !eca'se she val'ed facing disappointments sB'arely, she designed Peter:s daydreams to !e egotistical compensation for his fail'res. 7s a yo'th, he had B'arreled so often &ith Clarissa that she married his opposite, the B'iet !'t effective Kichard (allo&ay. )ent do&n from D4ford, Peter left Hngland, hastily &edded a &oman a!oard ship, formed an ad'ltero's liaison in 2ndia, and has no& ret'rned to *ondon to arrange, half5heartedly, for (aisy:s divorce. 9ifty5three years old, he is 'nemployed and still o!sessed &ith the one &oman he has never !een a!le to conB'er. B't he daydreams of romantic advent'res and f't're s'ccesses, entertaining elated fantasies that leave him &ith little patience for Clarissa:s real needs and desires. )ignificantly, Peter:s divided style of self5representation elicits divided responses from readers. )ome critics take the part of Peter:s &orst fears, condemning him as an >a&k&ard o'tsider,> a >shado&y identity,> a >passive, ineffect'al, and self5defeating> man &ho e4ploits his &orthlessness, &ho resorts to self5h'miliation and childishness in order to e4tract motherly concern from Clarissa.?1"@ Dther critics are ca'ght 'p in Peter:s self5ind'lgent mythology of inner strength and forcef'lness, and so they admonish his carnal passion and the masc'line, se4'al threat he presents to Clarissa:s psychic a'tonomy, as if he personified >that rep'lsive !r'te &ith !lood5red nostrils, h'man nat're . . . that passionate and penetrating and so'l5destroying love.>?1E@ Both critical vie&s replicate Peter:s dealings &ith himself as an o!;ect as he feels alternately po&erf'l and degraded. Df co'rse, s'ch identification helps readers to e4perience a character:s mental states, !'t empathy is not al&ays 'nderstanding. 2f &e !ecome too entangled in Peter:s self5representations, &e &ill fail to see +oolf:s larger design. 2n daydreams Peter lives o't mildly !ipolar s'!;ect5o!;ect transactions !y creating ideali8ed o!;ects and e4pectations that arc repeatedly destroyed. Dn a &alk a!o't to&n, Peter e4hi!its typical hypomanic e'phoria, e4tolling *ondon as a >splendid achievement,> 'nkno&n !'tlers as >admira!le,> and chance girls as >evanescent>< to his appreciative eyes motorcars arrive >acc'rately, p'nct'ally, noiselessly, there, precisely at the right instant> -%20. Cas'al !ystanders are >capa!le,> >p'nct'al,> >alert, ro!'st,> >&holly admira!le, good fello&s, to &hom one &o'ld entr'st one:s life>

1 21$ 1 -%"0. 7 !attered old &oman:s incoherent song so'nds to Peter like a primeval, timeless, transcendent ode to love, >love &hich has lasted a million years> -122/2"0. 7dmitting his >s'scepti!ility to impressions> !eca'se of >these alternations of mood< good days, !ad days, for no reason &hatever,> he finds himself falling in love &ith every &oman he meets6they are all >!looming,> elegant, >!ecoming> -1#F06and life itself seems >a!sor!ing, mysterio's, of infinite richness> -2E%0. Captivated !y his e4aggeration of the goodness of the o!;ects he sees, he yearns to possess them all, impelled !y >three great emotions> that >!o&led over him< 'nderstanding< a vast philanthropy< and . . . an irrepressi!le, e4B'isite delight< as if inside his !rain !y another hand strings &ere p'lled, sh'tters moved, and he, having nothing to do &ith it,> feels so >'tterly free> that he p'rs'es a yo'ng &oman, a stranger, &ho, as she passed Iordon:s stat'e, seemed, Peter +alsh tho'ght -s'scepti!le as he &as0, to shed veil after veil, 'ntil she !ecame the very &oman he had al&ays had in mind< yo'ng, !'t stately< merry, !'t discreet< !lack, !'t enchanting. -F%/F90 Dnce he has reass'red himself that >she &as not &orldly, like Clarissa< not rich, like Clarissa,> he can fancy himself >an advent'rer, reckless . . . s&ift, daring . . . a romantic !'ccaneer.> 7s she enters her ho'se, he ends his fantasy a!r'ptly: >+ell, 2:ve had my f'n. . . . ?T@his escapade &ith the girl< made 'p, as one makes 'p the !etter part of life, he tho'ght6,a/ing oneself $p" -%1< my italics0. +hat has Peter made 'p, and ho& is it f'nC Ge e4aggerates the val'e of every o!;ect he sees incl'ding himself< desire and self5confidence are dilated !y >moments of e4traordinary e4altation. =othing e4ists o'tside 's e4cept a state of mind, he thinks> -%.0. *ike Aelanie Jlein:s manic infant -and +oolf in her yello& grape0, &hose needs are all magically met, Peter floats !'oyantly in an oceanic !liss incorporating everything aro'nd him. Ge is f'll of promise and energy6as long as the stranger does not resem!le Clarissa. 2f the &oman kne& him as Clarissa does, the !'!!le &o'ld !'rst. Th's, the chase can never !e completed. +hen he m'st face Clarissa:s 'nspoken criticism, that >his &hole life had !een a fail're> -110, he defensively ideali8es her, endo&ing her &ith magical B'alities: >-for in some &ays no one 'nderstood him, felt &ith him, as Clarissa did06their e4B'isite intimacy> -$%0. )he has >that &oman:s gift,> he decides, >of making a &orld of her o&n &herever she happened to !e> -11E0. Peter:s generali8ation of her val'e6it is not her gift alone, !'t all &omen:s6 1 21F 1 reveals the pro!lem. Ger individ'ality is glossed over !y his e4alted mood. Dnly in elated fantasy can a &oman satisfy his desire. 2n the opposite mood Peter critici8es Clarissa, for the reality of her can never live 'p to his fictions. The stranger he chases in Trafalgar )B'are is >the very &oman he had al&ays had in mind,> a perfect amalgamation of antithetical B'alities, !'t she has no identity< she mirrors !ack &hatever he pro;ects. Clarissa !reaks the spell !eca'se she &ill not serve as glorifying mirror to his ill'sions<?1.@ she o!;ectifies his self5hatred and !ecomes his scapegoat. 7ltho'gh he finds (aisy:s 'ndiscriminating adoration a !it of a !ore, it is &hat he e4pects of a &oman. Ge acc'ses Clarissa of coldness, of &ithholding the >&oman:s gift> that might have saved him from himself: 9or Geaven:s sake, leave yo'r knife aloneQ she cried to herself in irrepressi!le irritation< it &as his silly 'nconventionality, his &eakness< his lack of the ghost of a notion &hat any one else &as feeling that annoyed her, had al&ays annoyed her< and no& at his age, ho& sillyQ

2 kno& all that, Peter tho'ght< 2 kno& &hat 2:m 'p against. -$90 Peter recogni8es her eval'ation of him. 2ndeed, he cherishes it like a lover:s keepsake and perpet'ates the pain thro'gh a vainglorio's daydreaming that has literally replaced Clarissa as a love5o!;ect. 2n his mind, Clarissa is responsi!le for the image she mirrors !ack to him< her fail're to ret'rn his ill'sions and magnify his val'e is &hat has >red'ced him> -1210 to an ass. *ike an infant &ho perceives disappointment in his mother:s look, he reads it as lack of self5&orth and f'lfills her prophecy.?1$@ 7ltho'gh his first imp'lse is to deny &hat he sees in Clarissa:s look, Peter loses control of his pose as a martyr for love: 2 kno& all that, Peter tho'ght< 2 kno& &hat 2:m 'p against, he tho'ght, r'nning his finger along the !lade of his knife, Clarissa and (allo&ay and all the rest of them< !'t 2:ll sho& Clarissa6and then to his 'tter s'rprise, s'ddenly thro&n !y those 'ncontrolla!le forces thro&n thro'gh the air, he !'rst into tears< &ept< &ept 0itho$t the least sha,e! sitting on the sofa, the tears r'nning do&n his cheeks. 7nd Clarissa had leant for&ard, taken his hand, dra&n him to her, kissed him,6act'ally had felt his face on hers . . . holding his hand, patting his knee. -$9< my italics0 Aany critics find this a diffic'lt scene, !eca'se the knife invites phallic readings, and Clarissa:s ref'sal to respond is regarded as evidence of her frigidity and Peter:s impotence. +hy Peter cries is indeed connected to &hat he does &ith his knife, !'t the knife is not necessarily a sym!ol of 1 21% 1 childish insec'rity a!o't virility or an indictment of Clarissa:s >masc'linity.>?1F@ Critics &ho see the knife as a se4'al sym!ol interpret Peter:s tears as a defeat, as if &e &ere &atching a scene of sym!olic emasc'lation rather than reali8ation. +oolf first referred to a pocketknife in her diary in 191%, &hen her co'sin Garry )tephen paid a visit: >Ge still takes o't an enormo's pocket knife, P slo&ly half opens the !lade, P sh'ts it> -Diar 1: 1.10. *ike Peter, Garry had ;'st ret'rned from 2ndia >an 'ndo'!ted fail're,> irresponsi!le and egotistical, feeling f'lly ;'stified in dictating to others ho& they sho'ld !ehave, 'na&are of any contradiction !et&een his !ehavior and his advice -Diar 1: 1.#, 2210. Garry:s !lade &as not phallic< it &as an em!lem of his egotistical !lindness. +hat Peter loses, then, is an ill'sion a!o't himself that reB'ires the cooperation of an o!;ect: a &oman, a daydream, a knife. +hen Clarissa interr'pts the solipsistic path&ay of Peter:s self5generated ill'sions, he sees himself as she sees him. Ge desires her, not as a se4'al partner, !'t as a percept'al partner.?1%@ Gis ela!orate egotistical ill'sions a!o't civili8ation and manly advent'rism end in disill'sionment, !eca'se he has severed the connection !et&een self and &orld. The novel:s freB'ent 'se of the &ord c$t s'ggests a deep interest in >divisive activities,> in disconnections -E10.?19@ Clarissa:s mirroring momentarily forces Peter to integrate &hat had !een split. Ger motherliness reass'res him that integration is not eB'ivalent to self5destr'ction< it is only a safer form of dis 5ill'sionment, a destr'ction of disconnectedness. )he tries to heal the c't of his knife. 2f Peter:s o!;ect5relational style is !ased on *eslie )tephen:s, as seems likely, then +oolf is saying that her father erred !y ind'lging his cyclothymic moodiness, 'sing it to ind'ce a &oman to comfort him, to act as a mirror magnifying his si8e. By implication, +oolf here accepts the fact that *eslie &as s'!;ect to moods !eyond his control !'t o!;ects to the games he played to trick others into dealing &ith his internal crises. By ref'sing to accede to Peter:s demands, Clarissa !rings him to the reali8ation that his emotions, even the painf'l and depressive ones, are end'ra!le if he &ill only face them. 7s long as moods are nonpsychotic, the individ'al possesses the capacity to make self5corrections !ased on a mirroring relationship &ith the e4ternal &orld.

+hereas Peter:s c't is self5ind'lgent and treata!le, )eptim's:s in;'ry is psychotic and invol'ntary. *ike Peter, )eptim's creates ill'sions, endo&ing certain o!;ects &ith val'e, !'t, 'nlike Peter, )eptim's is 'na&are that he is manip'lating o!;ects. Ge cannot have >f'n,> !eca'se to him his fictions are real. Peter e4periences mild disill'sionment &hen his fancif'l 1 219 1 !'!!les !'rst< he s'ffers, !'t only from insights that can !enefit him if he chooses to face them. )eptim's e4periences his intense despair not as an emotion !'t as a hostile &orld< no therape'tic insight is possi!le. +oolf kne& !y e4perience that psychotic depression is not ;'st Peter:s self5loathing or ne'rotic denial !'t seems, to the s'fferer, to !e an active, corrosive agent loose in the &orld or in the self. )elf5estranged, )eptim's is constantly ha'nted !y split5off pieces of himself that appear, ine4plica!le and strange, in trees, in dogs, in airplanes. Th's, the !irds comm'nicate a revelatory message to him alone, !'t their songs are s'ng in Ireek, &hich he does not 'nderstand< the message originates in himself, !'t it cannot !e reincorporated !eca'se it cannot !e read. >Jno&ledge comes thro'gh s'ffering, said Ar. +hittaker> -19$0, Aiss Jilman:s minister, !'t this is tr'e only if the pain can !e made intelligi!le, can !e >o&ned> !y the self &ho feels it. =o tears, no reali8ation can heal )eptim's:s lacerated mind. 9or him, integration is e=$ivalent to self-destr$ction! !eca'se it &o'ld reB'ire identifying &ith elements of self he can no longer recogni8e or 'nderstand. This is no comforta!le >alien s'!;ect> &hom &e can accept as !oth different from and a part of 's, that &e can integrate and there!y 'se to profit from o'r e4panded receptivity.?2#@ )eptim's:s alien fragments remain 'nreada!le. =o therape'tic insight is possi!le &hen the manic5depressive is severely ill or psychotic, !eca'se, 'nder these conditions, altered !eliefs6the premises !y &hich all perception, tho'ght, and introspection are eval'ated6provide their o&n corro!orating evidence. To see other&ise &o'ld deconstr'ct conscio'sness. +oolf:s insight here is that psychotic !eliefs !ear some dist'r!ing similarities to >normal> convictions, as modern psychology no& sho&s. (el'ded patients are like normal people in at least one respect: they form theories to e4plain their e4periences.?21@ Drdinary events -e.g., st'!!ing a toe, hearing m'sic in a park0 are e4plained !y theories &e think are reasona!le ->the 'neven pavement m'st have tripped me,> &e s'ppose, or >someone:s playing a porta!le tape recorder>0. 7nomalo's e4periences -feeling that o'r !ody is o't of o'r control, hearing voices inside o'r head0 elicit e4planations too. +e may concl'de that o'r !ody is o't of control !eca'se &e are fatig'ed or, &e may &orry, perhaps &e are manifesting the first signs of m'ltiple sclerosis< the voices co'ld conceiva!ly !e radio transmissions picked 'p !y fillings in o'r teeth. 2f the voices admonish o'r !ehavior -and seem to kno& details of o'r personal life0, &e may theori8e that an enemy has commandeered a local radio station and is singling 's o't for attack. 2f &e !elieve that Iod talks to the faithf'l, &e may think 1 22# 1 that the voice comes directly from him -and this interpretation &o'ld make eminent sense of depressive g'ilt0. These are, of co'rse, interpretations made &ith fairly intact reality testing: the radio station and the enemy and m'ltiple sclerosis are real things. B't if &e are psychotic, and o'r e4periences are 'ncanny, mystifying, or ineffa!le, !eca'se a !iochemically altered !rain mishandles perception, then any e4planation that acco'nts for them may seem !i8arre to others. )ome st'dies sho& that vivid and detailed del'sions often arise from perceptions that lack detail6 lines, dots, clicks, !'88es< it is the patient &ho 'nkno&ingly contri!'tes definition.?22@ +oolf herself relates s'ch an episode:>Dne night 2 lay a&ake horrified hearing, as 2 imagined, an o!scene old man

gasping and croaking and m'ttering senile indecencies6it &as a cat, 2 &as told after&ards< a cat:s ang'ished love making> -Mo,ents of Being 12"0. +oolf replaced nonling'istic so'nds &ith an intelligi!le lang'age, !'t preserved the cat:s act'al message. 2n Mrs. Dallo0a ! &hen a n'rsemaid spells o't a sky5&riting advertisement, )eptim's e4periences isolated letters as if they &ere already f'll of prof'ndity: >J . . . K . . . > said the n'rsemaid, and )eptim's heard her say >Jay 7rr> close to his ear, deeply, softly, like a mello& organ, !'t &ith a ro'ghness in her voice like a grasshopper:s, &hich rasped his spine delicio'sly and sent r'nning 'p into his !rain &aves of so'nd &hich, conc'ssing, !roke. 7 marvelo's discovery indeed6that the h'man voice in certain atmospheric conditions -for one m'st !e scientific, a!ove all scientific0 can B'icken trees into lifeQ -"20 +hat >Jay 7rr> means is 'nimportant< )eptim's -and +oolf0 foc'ses on the str'ct're of the perception, connecting it to other intensified sensations. Perception is no longer a ne'tral cond'it for information transferral !'t has !ecome the message itself. 2ntras'!;ective str'ct'ral changes affect s'!;ect5&orld relations. Peter:s daydreams are romances in &hich he is victor, !'t )eptim's:s intras'!;ective transactions have !ecome nightmares in &hich he is victim. 2n normal thinking &e may talk to o'rselves &itho't speaking, 'sing an implied o$ to mark the split in o'r s'!;ectivity. 2n psychosis, a tho'ght can take on an e4istence and a voice of its o&n: thinking is literally perceived as an o'tside event, as a voice intr'ding on o'r conscio'sness. The analyst Bollas:s note to himself, >Mo' m'st incl'de +innicott and Jhan,> co'ld in mania !e perceived as a divine command ->Tho' shalt incl'de +innicott and Jhan>0 or, in depression, as a ver!al attack of hellish proportion 1 221 1 ->2ncl'de +innicott and Jhan, or yo' &ill s'ffer eternal damnation>0. Aood is e4perienced no longer as an inner state !'t as an o'ter reality. +hat is &orse, )eptim's:s &orld has coincidentally coll'ded &ith his paranoia, o!;ectified !y military a'thorities -&ho can force one to kill others0 and !y (octors Bradsha& and Golmes -&ho can force one to kill oneself thro'gh >conversion>0. The 9irst +orld +ar &as a psychotic dream come tr'e. Beca'se of this confa!'lation !et&een inner and o'ter horrors, )eptim's:s vividly distorted perceptions of ordinary 'r!an life persec'te him &ith the po&er &ith &hich images of !loody conflict &o'ld assa'lt 's. The fact that he never daydreams of the &ar in violent terms6instead, civilian life takes on all the terror of !attle6dramati8es the split in his intras'!;ective relations. Gis tho'ghts cannot even connect his s'ffering to his personal history: >B't &hat &as his crimeC Ge co'ld not remem!er it> -1E%0. )eptim's is g$ilt of having s$ffered 6a common depressive !elief, one that common sense tells 's sho'ld !e correcta!le !y appeals to the patient to reconsider his premor!id actions and feelings and to recogni8e that pain is not a sin. B't del'sional patients, in general, do not !enefit from their acc'm'lated life e4periences< their premor!id ;'dgments, ho&ever sane or appropriate, have diminished po&er against the immediate force of an 'ncanny, a!errant, or !i8arre !elief or e4perience. ?2"@ Ko!!ed of a meaningf'l past, of a memora!le event that might e4plain his emotions, )eptim's displaces his despair onto c'rrent o!;ects6a sit'ation that creates f'rther 'nmeaning, conf'sion, and terror. Gorror on a !attlefield is 'nderstanda!le< horror in Kegent:s Park is ine4plica!le and so do'!ly frightening. The individ'al &ho hall'cinates 'nder the infl'ence of *)( may see !eatific or nightmarish visions, !'t can he !e ;'dged insane if he 'nderstands their ins'!stantiality !eca'se he appreciates their so'rceC To see flames !eneath the pavement and say, >That is really the fear 2 deny

myself< it !elongs to me< it is really inside of me,> is still sanity. )eptim's cannot make the same connection. 2n psychosis, the old saying >seeing is !elieving> is ;'st as tr'e as >!elieving is seeing.> )ome 9re'dians attri!'te )eptim's:s e4aggerated reactions to intelligi!le 'nconscio's conflict, spec'lating that he is act'ally rep'lsed !y repressed homose4'al feelings for Hvans displaced onto sym!olic o!;ects.?2E@ Hvidence for this is scarce< m'ch is made of phallic sym!ols -trees and !ananas0, loaded &ords like >panic,> >crime,> and >love,> and )eptim's:s condemnation of h'man nat're, &hich is narro&ly defined as se4'al nat're. That homopho!ia sho'ld !e singled o't as the ca'se of psychosis tells more, perhaps, a!o't &hat these readers fear than &hat )eptim's fears. )eptim's:s 1 222 1 g'ilt is too severe to !e merely se4'al or ne'rotic. 2t is not !ottled 'p or repressed or channeled into a specific symptom, !'t is so active and pervasive that it seems to !e an o!;ect itself, taking 'p space in the real &orld. )eptim's is introd'ced to 's as one &hose eyes have >that look of apprehension in them &hich makes complete strangers apprehensive too> -2#0. Ge is incapa!le of analy8ing s'ch co'ntertransference, and so the fear he sees in others: eyes only serves to reinforce his s'spicion that something o'tside himself is dreadf'lly &rong. 9aced &ith a traffic ;am, he is terrified that some horror had come almost to the s'rface and &as a!o't to !'rst into flames. . . . The &orld &avered and B'ivered and threatened to !'rst into flames. 2t is 2 &ho am !locking the &ay, he tho'ght. +as he not !eing looked at and pointed at< &as he not &eighted there, rooted to the pavement, for a p'rposeC B't for &hat p'rposeC -210 The &orld B'ivers, !'t it is he &ho is shaking. The street threatens to !'rst into flames, !'t the 'nintelligi!le horror e4ists inside him. 2n the same manner, the manic5depressive ,ohn C'stance !elieved he sa& visions in his !edsheets and shado&s: 7 cr'mpled pillo& is B'ite an ordinary everyday o!;ect, is it notC Dne looks at it and thinks no more a!o't itC )o is a &ashing5rag, or a to&el t'm!led on the floor, or the creases on the side of a !ed. Met they can s'ggest shapes of the 'tmost horror to the mind o!sessed !y fear. Irad'ally my eyes !egan to disting'ish s'ch shapes, 'ntil event'ally, &hichever &ay 2 t'rned, 2 co'ld see nothing !'t devils &aiting to torment me, devils &hich seemed infinitely more real than the material o!;ects in &hich 2 sa& them . . . . +ith these visions s'rro'nding me it is not strange that the material &orld sho'ld seem less and less real. 2 felt myself to !e grad'ally descending alive into the pit !y a sort of metamorphosis of my s'rro'ndings. 7t times the &hole 'niverse seemed to !e dissolving aro'nd me< moving cracks and fiss'res &o'ld appear in the &alls and floors. This, incidentally, is a phenomenon &hich 2 have often noticed in the opposite state of ac'te mania, tho'gh it has then, of co'rse, a totally different 'nderlying feeling5tone.?2.@ )ince self and o!;ect are conf'sed, mood5disordered patients see the &orld in terms of internal states -th's >cracks and fiss'res> c't the &orld into fragments &hen C'stance himself is fragmented and c't off0. D!;ects and events gain 'ncanny significance. =othing in life is accidental for a 1 22" 1 mind that finds itself >revealed> in the physical &orld. (epressives often make derogatory statements a!o't o!;ects &hich are really displaced selfacc'sations6not thro'gh ne'rotic displacement -to avoid recognition0 !'t !eca'se it is diffic'lt for these patients to see themselves as depressed! to step o'tside

the mood and perceive the discrepancies in their ;'dgment. 2nstead they tend to foc's on negative aspects of e4ternal o!;ects ->life is pointless,> >people dislike me,> >this food is poison>0. )eptim's too feels that the &orld is &orthless and degraded, that it cries o't for redemption< he hears a cry for help !'t cannot trace it !ack to its origin. Gis s'icidal imp'lses are like&ise c't off from their so'rce, creating a vicio's circle: he feels he m'st die !eca'se he is depressed, !'t he thinks he is depressed !eca'se the &orld is m'rdero'sly insane and &ants him to die. )ince o!;ects em!ody his s'icidal ideas, )eptim's is often afraid to look too closely at them, for >real things &ere too e4citing. Ge m'st !e ca'tio's. Ge &o'ld not go mad> -21.0. +hen he fears madness, he sh'ts his eyes -"20, as if insanity too &ere an e4ternal state imposed 'pon self: >it m'st !e the fa'lt of the &orld then6that he co'ld not feel. . . . it might !e possi!le that the &orld itself is &itho't meaning> -1""0. )eptim's attempts to deal &ith his despair !y deciphering its meaning, !'t interpretation is pro!lematical for an isolated mind that pro;ects its moods 'pon everything it sees. Clifford Beers !ecame convinced that o!;ects contained some o!sc're sym!olic B'ality directly relating to his ine4plica!le and indefina!le g'ilt: The &orld &as fast !ecoming to me a stage on &hich every h'man !eing &ithin the range of my senses seemed to !e playing a part. . . . 8A:ll my senses !ecame perverted. . . . 9amiliar o!;ects had acB'ired a different >feel.> . . . 2 !egan to see hand&riting on the sheets of my !ed. . . . Dn each fresh sheet placed over me 2 &o'ld soon !egin to see &ords, sentences, and signat'res, all in my o&n hand&riting. Met 2 co'ld not decipher any of the &ords. . . . ?+@ith an insane ingen'ity 2 managed to connect myself &ith almost every crime of importance of &hich 2 had ever read.?2$@ )eptim's also misreads according to his mood s&ings. +hen >an4io's to improve himself,> he reads Anton and %leopatra! &hich >lit in him a fire as !'ms only once in a lifetime> -12%0< &hen depressed, he regards )hakespeare as de!ased: >that !oy:s !'siness of the into4ication of lang'age6Anton and %leopatra 6had 'tterly shrivelled> -1""0. +hen manic, >!ea'ty sprang instantly. To &atch a leaf B'ivering in the r'sh of air 1 22E 1 &as an e4B'isite ;oy> -1#E0. Drdinary events ass'me profo'nd, tho'gh ine4pressi!le, significance: >2t is time,> said Ke8ia. The &ord >time> split its h'sk< po'red its riches over him< and from his lips fell like shells, like shavings from a plane, &itho't his making them, hard, &hite, imperisha!le &ords, and fle& to attach themselves to their places in an ode to Time< an immortal ode to Time. -1#.0 +hat the &ord ti,e means, +oolf does not say< she centers her attention solely on lang'age as o!;ect, not signifier. 2t is )eptim's:s relation to lang'age -and to himself0, not his intended or 'nintended meaning, that ill'strates her insights into the str'ct're of manic5depressive illness. 9or instance, )eptim's e4amines an advertisement in sky&riting, !elieving that an important message has !een sent to him. Ge finds a manic !ea'ty implying some transcendent meaning: >)o, tho'ght )eptim's, looking 'p, they are signalling to me. =ot indeed in act'al &ords< that is, he co'ld not read the lang'age yet< !'t it &as plain eno'gh, this !ea'ty, this e4B'isite !ea'ty> -"10. Beca'se he cannot read the message, he imposes significance indiscriminately, desperately &hen he is depressed, eagerly &hen he is manic 6&hen in a mi4ed state, !oth sim'ltaneo'sly. Aanic5depressives often connect their moods in this &ay.?2F@ The onset of s'dden, manic f'lfillment in the midst of emptying despair in a mi4ed state can !e >e4plained> as having !een given a >mission,> an e4alted p'rpose to oppose the hellish a!yss that has opened 'p inside them. The str'ct're of mood s&ings !ecomes their meaning.

9or )eptim's, manic dilation complements depressive hollo&ness. Ge concl'des that he m'st !e the )avior &ho fills the empty &orld6this m'st !e &hy he feels he m'st die tho'gh he loves life. ,ohn C'stance, &ho had !een a naval intelligence officer, relates a similar manic attack that res'lted in a messianic del'sion. 2n 19"% he attended commemorative services on 7rmistice )'nday: )'ddenly 2 seemed to see like a flash that the sacrifice of those millions of lives had not !een in vain, that it &as part of a great pattern, the pattern of (ivine P'rpose. 2 felt, too, an inner conviction that 2 had something to do &ith that p'rpose< it seemed that some sort of revelation &as !eing made to me, tho'gh at the time 2 had no clear ideas a!o't &hat it &as. The &hole aspect of the &orld a!o't me 1 22. 1 !egan to change, and 2 had the e4cited shivers in the spinal col'mn and tingling of the nerves that al&ays herald my manic phases. That night 2 had a vision . . . . . . . +hat 2 sa& &as the Po&er of *ove6the name came to me at once6the Po&er that 2 kne& someho& to have made all 'niverses, past, present and to come, to !e 'tterly infinite, an infinity of infinities, to have conB'ered the Po&er of Gate, its opposite, and th's created the s'n, the stars, the moon, the planets, the earth, light, life, ;oy and peace, never5ending. ?2%@ This is a tr'ly !ipolar theory< it integrates opposing feelings read as e4isting in e4ternal o!;ects6 indeed, C'stance !elieves that love and hate created those o!;ects. Hven &hen he s'!seB'ently !ecame depressed, C'stance held onto his divine vision, !'t in an altered, depressive form: 2 &as a sort of opposite of ,es's Christ. )atan:s ;o! had !een to catch a man, get him to sell his so'l to him completely and 'tterly, like 9a'st, and then take him do&n alive into the pit. That &as a sort of necessary co'nter&eight to the res'rrection of ,es's and the elect. 2 &as the man. B't if 2 co'ld only kill myself, it might !lo& 'p the &hole Universe, !'t at least 2 &o'ld get o't of eternal tort're and achieve the o!livion and nothingness for &hich my so'l craved. 2 did in fact make three attempts at s'icide, the most serio's of &hich &as &hen 2 tore myself from my attendant and thre& myself in front of a car, &ith my poor &ife, &ho &as visiting me, looking on.?29@ Trading one:s paltry h'man so'l, like 9a'st, to achieve a depth of kno&ledge not granted to non5manic5 depressives is an 'plifting rationale in mania -for it e4plains intensified sensations0 !'t a damning one in depression -for it e4plains one:s e4istential isolation as p'nishment for an 'npardona!le sin0. Aoods are given the stat's of real o!;ects !eca'se they mediate o'r perception of the stat's of real o!;ects. )ince feelings !ecome more po&erf'l and more real than the self that feels them, there is little conviction that it is desira!le or even possi!le to manage them. +hen )eptim's !ecomes manic, his e'phoria comes like a divine message, a >p'rpose> that calls on him to stop the sla'ghter, and since he !elieves that 'nmeaning e4ists physically o'tside himself, he sees himself as a messiah &ho m'st redeem the &orld. Hven his depressed sense of !eing a stranger in a strange place is transformed !y mania into a !enefit. Ge is indeed different, he reali8es. Ge is Christ: >Besides, no& that he &as B'ite alone, condemned, deserted . . . there &as a l'4'ry in it, an isolation 1 22$ 1

f'll of s'!limity< a freedom &hich the attached can never kno&> -1E#0. )eeing himself as >the eternal s'fferer> -"F0, he has !een 'plifted and disting'ished !y a paranoid vision of the meaning of life: >)eptim's, the lord of men,> has !een >called forth in advance of the mass of men to hear the tr'th, to learn the meaning> -1#10. Gis despair ,eans something after all. Bipolar mood states are perceived as one rather than interrelated, and )eptim's cannot analy8e the relationship, !eca'se introspection is mediated !y mood. )eptim's:s role as savior collapses the space !et&een self and daydream. The comm'nication and the comm'nicator are no& one. Kather than revealing the tr'e nat're of )eptim's:s intras'!;ective relationship, his messianic del'sion commands !elief !y magically reversing his earlier relationship &ith the &orld. =o longer does he feel passive, selfless, &eak, a >relic straying on the edge of the &orld . . . &ho lay, like a dro&ned sailor, on the shore of the &orld> -1E#0. 7s a messiah, he feels >e4cited> and po&erf'l: >he kne& the tr'thQ Ge kne& everythingQ> -2120. Gis recreation thro'gh his e4alted identity makes sense of his earlier >revelations>: >Aen m'st not c't do&n trees. There is a Iod. . . . Change the &orld. =o one kills from hatred> -".0. +hat these statements say is not the point. They are assertions of a self against meaninglessness, a psychotic magnification of *eslie )tephen:s rationali8ations in his memoirs, &hich filled &ith comforting ill'sions the void left !y his &ife:s death. +oolf sees that &hereas ill'sions merely &eaken self5str'ct're, del'sions destroy it, and that she has a special pro!lem her father never had to face. )ince there is no evidence of impairment of reasoning a!ility in del'sional patients, apart from the inference to !e made from the presence of the del'sions themselves, they do not readily a!andon !i8arre or 'nlikely e4planations for anomalo's e4periences. The cognitive !ias in all h'man !eings, &hether del'ded or not, is to&ard evidence consistent &ith &hat they are feeling6contradictory evidence is 's'ally filtered o't.?"#@ Bradsha& and Golmes:s prescription of conversion to >normal> !eliefs therefore violates the psychotic mind, &hich is convinced that it reads its perceptions correctly. 2n neither stage of his illness does )eptim's ever gain insight into his percept'al pro!lems. Hven in a relatively calm period, &hen he notes dist'r!ed perceptions, he accepts o!;ective and s'!;ective readings side !y side, as if the contradictions !et&een the t&o did not e4ist: Ge lay !ack in his chair, e4ha'sted !'t 'pheld. Ge lay resting, &aiting, !efore he again interpreted, &ith effort, &ith agony, to mankind. Ge 1 22F 1 lay very high, on the !ack of the &orld. The earth thrilled !eneath him. Ked flo&ers gre& thro'gh his flesh< their stiff leaves r'stled !y his head. A'sic !egan clanging against the rocks 'p here. 2t is a motor horn do&n in the street, he m'ttered< !'t 'p here it cannoned from rock to rock, divided, met in shocks of so'nd &hich rose in smooth col'mns -that m'sic sho'ld !e visi!le &as a discovery0 and !ecame an anthem, an anthem t&ined ro'nd no& !y a shepherd !oy:s piping -That:s an old man playing a penny &histle !y the p'!lic5 ho'se, he m'ttered0. . . . =o& he &ithdra&s 'p into the sno&s, and roses hang a!o't him6 the thick red roses &hich gro& on my !edroom &all, he reminded himself. The m'sic stopped. Ge has his penny, he reasoned it o't, and has gone on to the ne4t p'!lic5ho'se. -1#"0 This is divergent thinking carried to an e4treme, splitting attention in t&o. )eptim's is a&are of !oth kinds of kno&ledge6&hat he is perceiving o!;ectively and &hat the perception means to him s'!;ectively6!'t he is 'na!le to connect or integrate them and so feel 'nified himself. Ge is like +oolf in >7 )ketch of the Past,> &ho sees t&o separate entities in a flo&er, !'t he is not a!le to do as

she did and contri!'te a fictional constr'ct to reconcile the t&o perceptions and so affirm his sense of self. 2n a &ay, he s'ffers from an e4traordinary version of Jeats:s >negative capa!ility>6the capacity to hold t&o opposing ideas in the mind, the precondition for a creative act. Dnly !riefly can he B'estion the !asis of his del'sions: +hy then rage and prophesyC +hy fly sco'rged and o'tcastC +hy !e made to trem!le and so! !y the clo'dsC +hy seek tr'ths and deliver messagesC -21$0 B't he finds no &ay to !ridge these t&o interpretations of e4perience and so to integrate himself. )'ch a state of do'!le a&areness is not merely a fictional device< it occ'rs in real patients. The !rain is capa!le of esta!lishing other, co5conscio's mod'les -e.g., in f'g'e states, hypnotic !eliefs, and m'ltiple personality, as &ill !e disc'ssed in Chapter 110 to mediate e4perience in different &ays. Dne inpatient, disc'ssing his !elief that he &as a political prisoner and that the hospital treating him &as a government prison, p't it aptly: >9orty5nine percent of me kno&s that &hat 2 am thinking is too &eird to !e real.>?"1@ 3irginia +oolf:s depressive grandfather, )ir ,ames, descri!ed the same sensation as !eing oppressed !y >an 'n&elcome, familiar, and yet 'nkno&n visitor>6&ho t'rned o't to !e himself 6>as if ?2@ &ere t&o persons in one.>?"2@ +illiam )tyron 'ses a more literary metaphor: 1 22% 1 7 phenomenon that a n'm!er of people have noted &hile in deep depression is the sense of !eing accompanied !y a second self6a &raithlike o!server &ho, not sharing the dementia of his do'!le, is a!le to &atch &ith dispassionate c'riosity as his companion str'ggles against the oncoming disaster, or decides to em!race it. There is a theatrical B'ality a!o't all this. . . . 2 co'ldn:t shake off a sense of melodrama6a melodrama in &hich 2, the victim5 to5!e of self m'rder, &as !oth the solitary actor and lone mem!er of the a'dience.?""@ )tyron:s do'!le a&areness is compara!le to *eonard:s o!servation that the real horror of 3irginia:s insanity &as that three5B'arters of her mind &as still sane eno'gh to s'ffer from the severe psychic dislocations shattering the insane B'arter -Beginning Again 1$"/$E0. 7nd +oolf herself noted in her diary that her melancholy &as >half ass'med> !eca'se she &as so >self conscio's> of it as an inner invention -Diar 1: 2"0. This splitting of conviction fl'ct'ates considera!ly in psychosis. 7 st'dy of thirty5fo'r schi8ophrenic patients fo'nd that, at the height of their disorder -!efore admission to the hospital0, %2 percent of them &ere f'lly convinced of the reality of their del'sional ideas, and only 1% percent indicated >some limited degree of do'!t.> 7fter a month of hospitali8ation, EE percent felt do'!t, and 12 percent completely re;ected their del'sional !eliefs as false. )ignificantly, altho'gh a high rate of conviction &as felt !y these patients at the height of their del'sions, FE percent of them had >partial perspective> even !efore hospitali8ation, an a&areness that other people might vie& their !eliefs as a!errant or impla'si!le. (espite this split in self5a&areness ->2 !elieve, !'t it may !e ;'dged insane !y others>0, %2 percent !efore admission sho&ed >very high emotional commitment -&ere never a!le to p't their del'sional ideas o't of their minds, and or acted overtly and p'!licly in accordance &ith the del'sional !elief0.> These fig'res held ro'ghly tr'e for other ma;or psychotic disorders, incl'ding manic5 depressive illness.?"E@ 2n other &ords, a patient may s'spect that his del'sion is a!errant, !'t his !elief and his emotions take an independent co'rse from intellect'al do'!t. Clinically, the severity of the illness is often ;'dged !y ho& strongly !elief takes precedence over the a!ility to do'!t. 9or )eptim's, fact and del'sion are eB'ally real !'t 'nrelated, and his identity6that &hich makes connections in his e4perience, integrating self and o!;ect in a &ay that sho'ld vivify his sense of his o&n !o'ndaries6has like&ise !ecome split, an 'nidentifia!le thing, a transparency thro'gh &hich

even flo&ers can gro&. +ith no corrective image of itself mirrored !ack, the mind cannot discern &hat role it plays in perception. Th's &hen 1 229 1 )eptim's agrees to see )ir +illiam Bradsha& for treatment, he does so &ith a >melodramatic gest're> and a >complete conscio'sness> of its >insincerity>: he does not &ant to !e c'red, !eca'se he cannot see that he is ill.?".@ +oolf:s insight here is that Conversion, >that Ioddess &hose l'st is to override opposition, to stamp indeli!ly in the sanct'aries of others the image of herself> -1.E0, cannot &ork on psychotic patients !eca'se !elief operates in &ays neither patients nor doctors can fathom. The origins of even >normal> !eliefs el'de introspection.?"$@ 2 may >kno&> that Col'm!'s discovered 7merica in 1E92, !'t 2 >!elieve> that one person:s vote co'nts. 2 may remem!er the partic'lar occasion of learning the first !'t not &hen 2 &as converted to the second, yet 2 do not do'!t the validity of either6&hich is strange, !eca'se nothing specific to my personal e4perience s'pports my !elief in democracy -most of my candidates for president lost0. Met 2 still !elieve. 2t ;'st seems self5evident. This is al&ays the pro!lem &ith m'lti5layered conscio'sness: &e are a&are only of the end5prod'ct of myriad nonconscio's processes. Dnly after m'ch thinking is done o't of sight does its concl'sion !ecome availa!le to 's, ready5made and complete -e.g., >2 !elieve in democracy,> or >2:ve fallen in love>0, and !y then it is already pers'asively self5evident. 7ltho'gh )eptim's:s !eliefs seem paranoid, 'nrealistic, or 'nintelligi!le to 's, to him they are >self5evident,> and so his despair sho'ld not !e >penalised> -1.10, nor can it !e arg'ed a&ay. =o one can prove that paranoia is al0a s &rong, that it is entirely &itho't insight into the treachery of fate6especially after the. British soldier:s e4perience in the Ireat +ar. )'!;ectivity, )eptim's:s del'sions seem to say, is still a virgin &ood 'ntrodden !y Bradsha&:s heavy !oots and sho'ld !e accorded some respect. B't nothing is so diffic'lt for 's, for it 'ndermines o'r self5accorded g'arantees that o'r !elief5forming tho'ght processes are f'ndamentally different from his< that they are privileged, &hereas his are not< and that they are completely 'nder o'r control. 9rom the tort'red &orld of )eptim's )mith it is a pro!lematical ;o'rney to Clarissa (allo&ay:s serene life in +estminster. Beca'se +oolf p'!licly asserted the characters: do'!leness, most critics feel committed to arg'e for a personal connection !et&een Clarissa:s privacy and )eptim's:s pathological isolation. &rivac takes on t&o meanings in this controversy. 9or some critics, it is tantamo'nt to a ne'rotic frigidity, or at least a st'ltifying orderliness.?"F@ Clarissa is condemned as a latent les!ian, so afraid of intimacy and femininity that she yearns for manhood or death -a homopho!ia +oolf did not share0.?"%@ )he is a >frigid and &ithdra&n heroine . . . clinging to 1 2"# 1 a thin !'t tri'mphant capacity to create ill'sion in defense against her fear of se4'ality, her despair of !arreness ?sic @,> altho'gh, c'rio'sly, !oth +oolf and Clarissa seem >to insist on the gallantry of this defense.>?"9@ 9or other critics, Clarissa:s need to !e alone is a ;'stified response to life:s threats, preserving her creativity, sensitivity, dignity, and self5confidence, tho'gh she >is !eleag'ered !y tho'ghts of inadeB'acy !ro'ght on !y the intimidating po&er she pro;ects onto the general masc'line force operating in the &orld,> the same a'thority that destroys )eptim's.?E#@ Clarissa:s daydreams ill'strate ho& privacy c'ltivates the sanity that el'des her do'!le. 7s in >aco+'s ;oo,! &e see t&o interactions &ith o!;ects: a holding on and a letting go of self5&orld !o'ndaries. Clarissa treas'res all the >!its and pieces> of e4istence6,'ne, leaves in )t. ,ames:s Park, Peter, flo&ers, >the fat lady in the ca!> -120, the 'nadorned feat'res of daily life< !'t she also releases them to the past, to themselves, to their o&n destinies. )he occ'pies an o!;ect5relational space !et&een Peter:s

defensiveness against chaos and )eptim's:s helpless s'rrender to it. This >space> is not static !'t rhythmic, like the process of reading itself. 7ccepting life:s >f'rio's &inter:s rages> seems no easy task, for Clarissa:s first reaction to a threat is defensive: typically, she >stiffens.> +e first meet her e4'lting in party preparations and a perfect day ->&hat a morning6fresh as if iss'ed to children on a !each>0< she pl'nges into delightf'l memories of the past and the yo'ng Peter< !'t, reminded of her !itter estrangement from him, >she stiffened a little on the ker!> -E0. Big Ben &arns that the >irrevoca!le> ho'r is passing, creating a heartrending sense of >s'spense> -.0. 9eeling momentarily isolated and empty, she &onders -like ,aco!:s narrator0 &hy people love life, since it >dissolves> so B'ickly, !'t she admits her love for it too, >&ith an a!s'rd and faithf'l passion, !eing part of it> -$0. Thinking of G'gh +hit!read -&ho makes her feel >a little skimpy . . . schoolgirlish> ?%@0 and >all his colleag'es, the gentlemen of Hngland,> &ho en;oy political po&er she cannot share, >she stiffened a little> -2.0. Aemories of Clarissa:s dead parents >ca'ght her heart, made the m'scles of her throat stiff, and contracted her lips in a spasm> -$"0. Aost trying is the intense hatred (oris Jilman inspires in Clarissa6Jilman, &ho >&as never in the room five min'tes &itho't making yo' feel her s'periority, yo'r inferiority,> &hose >so'l r'sted> &ith !itterness -1$0. Clarissa:s initial reaction is a defensive co'ntertransference. B't self5analysis reveals that her hatred >'ndo'!tedly had gathered in to itself a great deal that &as not Aiss Jilman< had !ecome one of those spectres &ith &hich one !attles in the night . . . dominators and tyrants> 1 2"1 1 -1$/1F06not Jilman at all, !'t herself. Clarissa discovers a connection !et&een the &ay she feels a!o't Jilman and the &ay she feels a!o't herself: 2t rasped her, tho'gh, to have stirring a!o't in her this !r'tal monsterQ . . . this hatred, &hich, especially since her illness, had the po&er to make her feel scraped, h'rt in her spine< gave her physical pain, and made all pleas're in !ea'ty, in friendship, in !eing &ell, in !eing loved and making her home delightf'l rock, B'iver, and !end as if indeed there &ere a monster gr'!!ing at the roots, as if the &hole panoply of content &ere nothing !'t self loveQ this hatredQ =onsense, nonsenseQ she cried to herself, p'shing thro'gh the s&ing doors of A'l!erry:s the florists. -1F0 *ike )eptim's, Clarissa vis'ali8es her hatred as a horri!le monster l'rking !eneath normality, !'t, 'nlike him, she detects its so'rce. Upon Jilman is visited the denial of self5love transformed into o!;ect5hate6an insightf'l reaction, !eca'se Jilman does despise >&omen like Clarissa> &ho like themselves. 2n (oris:s o&n daydream she &ants to attack Clarissa, >overcome,> >h'miliate,> and >'nmask> her, s'!d'e her >so'l and its mockery> -1%90. Clarissa responds, first !y hating Jilman, then !y hating herself, &hich she can then dismiss as >nonsenseQ> Ger a!ility to e4amine emotion and to B'estion its so'rce and its meaning diff'ses the attack. )he need not fear fear itself, as )eptim's does, for she reali8es that it cannot destroy the self. )elf, for Clarissa, is more real than transitory emotions. )imilarly, the paranoid hostility that 'rged 3irginia to h'rl vitriolic a!'se at her loved ones, the hypersensitive v'lnera!ility that made any slight or !alk seem a catastrophic threat, &as not the center of +oolf:s !eing. +e see no& &hy G'gh:s elevated position in society makes Clarissa feel >skimpy> and &hy the childhood memory of her parents makes her feel small and 'naccomplished. Clarissa stiffens &hen faced &ith attacks 'pon her self5confidence: implaca!le parents, an >important> man, a &oman &ho holds a gr'dge. )elf5&orth and emotion are interrelated, for she finds life empty, disill'sioning, or

frightening as she vie&s herself as skimpy, g'ilty, or &eak6the typical cognitive profile of depression. The novel charts her progress in strengthening her self5image. 7gainst a !ack5drop of Peter:s fantasies -&hich deny inadeB'acy0 and )eptim's:s pro;ections -&hich e4teriori8e his fragmented self0, Clarissa learns to tie together the goodness of life and the goodness of self. =ot coincidentally, &hat Clarissa finds therape'tic is also one of the aims of cognitive psychotherapists &ho deal &ith depressed patients. *ithi'm or anti5depressants alleviate 1 2"2 1 the !iochemical defect, !'t patients m'st also learn ho& mood has affected their a!ility to eval'ate self and o!;ect. *ike Clarissa, they can ad;'st their interpretations &hen they differentiate self and feeling !y B'estioning the seemingly self5evident reality of mood.?E1@ Clarissa connects self5esteem to life:s val'e in three &ays. 9irst, she organi8es parties to create a moment that enhances the goodness of life. Peter disco'nts the val'e of Clarissa:s parties, !'t as +oolf o!served in 19#" in her ;o'rnal, a hostess raises the spirits of her g'ests and of herself: To !e socially great, 2 !elieve, is really a no!le am!ition6for consider &hat it means. Mo' have, for a certain space of time to realise as nearly as can !e, an ideal . . . 6to make yo' something more !rilliant than yo' are !y day. This seems to me a good ideal. Mo' come to a party meaning to give pleas're< therefore yo' leave yo'r sorro&s P &orries at home. . . . 7nd the *ady ?&ho am'ses yo' tho'gh she lost a son in the &ar@6yo' may call her heartless, !'t s'rely she does more good making the &orld la'gh than !y sitting at home P &eeping over her o&n sorro&s. -&assionate Apprentice 1$%/$90 =ot coincidentally, modern5day cognitive psychotherapists assign home&ork, asking depressed patients to record and e4amine their reactions to normally pleas'ra!le activities.?E2@ Kepeated positive e4periences help them !'ild a repertoire of self5enhancing o!;ect5relations. They learn ho& to see the good in their perceptions of &orld and self, or at least to esta!lish a more memora!le history of positive interpretations they can relate to &hen depression ske&s perception to the negative. 2f patients, comparing past happiness to present despair, can 'nderstand that a drastic shift in eval'ation has occ'rred, they may resist acting on the mood5ind'ced !elief that s'icide is the only appropriate concl'sion for their &orthless lives. Df co'rse, severely depressed individ'als are 'na!le to redirect their thinking< they concl'de that their present despair is the tr'th, al&ays has !een the tr'th, and that their previo's optimism &as the ill'sion. Those, s'ch as *eslie, &ho s'ffer milder forms of mood disorders can at least avoid !ecoming the d'pe of depression, not thro'gh Peter:s defensive ill'sions !'t !y opening themselves 'p to e4periences !eyond the narro& foc's of one partic'lar mood state. 2ndeed, reading +oolf:s fiction tests the a!ility of 's all to read incl'sively, to open o'rselves 'p to the vitality and prof'ndity of literat're. Clarissa:s second therape'tic method deals mainly &ith the past. )he revie&s and reaffirms her decision not to marry Peter: 1 2"" 1 )o she &o'ld still find herself arg'ing in )t. ,ames:s Park, still making o't that she had !een right6and she had too6not to marry him. 9or in marriage a little license, a little independence there m'st !e !et&een people living together day in day o't in the same ho'se< &hich Kichard gave her, and she him. . . . B't &ith Peter everything had to !e shared< everything gone into. 7nd it &as intolera!le. -1#0

)ome readers see her reeval'ations as proof of a co&ardly mis;'dgment on her part, her fear of sharing anything ->+hat is &rong &ith sharingC> )hirley Panken innocently asks0, and so they interpret the novel:s elegiac tone as a mo'rning for her frigid &ithdra&al from an ardent lover.?E"@ B't this position ignores the cognitive f'nction of memory in esta!lishing identity. Kevie&ing past decisions can strengthen o'r sense of self !y revealing to 's the contin'ity of o'r character thro'gh time. +hen Clarissa reaffirms her decision, she aligns past self &ith present. 2ndeed, relia!le interpretation appears to !e the strongest affirmation of self in the novel. Compare Clarissa to )eptim's, &hose sense of himself is as m'ta!le, fragmented, and transitory as his chaotic perceptions. 2dentity is not a given, an o!;ect &e possess< it is the contin'al process of recogni8ing patterns -divergent tho'gh they may !e0 in o'r lives thro'gh o'r o!;ect5relations. Kee4amination, like s'ccessf'l psychoanalysis, reveals &ho &e are &hen &e see ho& past connects &ith present. )ignificantly, Clarissa:s re;ection of Peter is !ased on precisely this iss'e of identity, for he imposes 'pon Clarissa his o&n self5serving definition of &ho she is: she m'st !e everything he is not. This is the >conversion> she resists, ;'st as )eptim's resists Bradsha&:s ;'dgment that patients sho'ld adopt their doctor:s sm'g sense of proportion. Clarissa:s third method of fostering self5esteem involves, parado4ically, anonymity. Ao'nting the stairs to her attic room, she thinks of herself as a n'n, a child, or a virgin -E./E$0, 'ndefined !y the role of friend or mother or &ife. Critics are fond of foc'sing on the emptiness of her room and its narro& !ed as evidence of Clarissa:s frigidity and her fear of life and death.?EE@ B't in her essays +oolf 'ses the terms virgin! e,ptiness! n$n to imply a li!eration from confining se4'al and familial roles, an anonymity that frees the &oman artist from restrictive definitions imposed !y c'lt'ral hegemony: That ref'ge she &o'ld have so'ght certainly. 2t &as the relic of the sense of chastit that dictated anonymity to &omen even so late as the nineteenth cent'ry. C'rrer Bell, Ieorge Hliot, Ieorge )and, all the 1 2"E 1 victims of inner strife as their &ritings prove, so'ght ineffectively to veil themselves !y 'sing the name of a man. . . . 7nonymity r'ns in their !lood. The desire to !e veiled still possesses them. -;oo, .2< my italics0 )e4 and self invaria!ly !ecome conf'sed in the minds of readers, +oolf arg'es, so nineteenth5cent'ry &omen &riters effaced the former !y p'!lishing 'nder male pse'donyms or as >7non.> The >chaste life,> as !oth of +oolf:s a'nts, 7nne Thackeray Kitchie and Caroline )tephen, s'ggested, >allo&s a &oman her o&n &ork and her choice of emotional ties.>?E.@ Chastity fosters a life >!lessed and p'rified> -Mrs. Dallo0a E20, protecting, !eneath the cosmetic personality presented to others, a vital central core too v'lnera!le to !e e4posed. That core is anonymo's !eca'se it is private, chaste !eca'se it is the 'nto'cha!le center of self 'ndistorted !y emotion and mood s&ings. Th's, +oolf;'dges, >the great poet and the lover are !oth representative6in some &ay anonymo's> -"The Mo,ent" 1$%0. +hen +oolf critici8es her o&n &ork, it is for lacking anonymity, for !eing egotistical: >The dream is too often a!o't myself. To correct this, P to forget one:s o&n sharp a!s'rd little personality, rep'tation P the rest of it, one sho'ld read< see o'tsiders< think more< &rite more logically< a!ove all !e f'll of &ork< P practise anonymity> -Diar ": 1$%/$90. )he descri!es her preparation for &riting as a retreat: This has !een a very animated s'mmer: a s'mmer lived almost too m'ch in p'!lic. Dften do&n here 2 have entered into a sanct'ary< a n'nnery< had a religio's retreat< of great agony once< P al&ays some terror: so afraid one is of loneliness: of seeing to the !ottom of the vessel. That is one of the e4periences 2 have had here in some 7'g'sts< P got then to a

conscio'sness of &hat 2 call >reality>: a thing 2 see !efore me< something a!stract< !'t residing in the do&ns or sky< !eside &hich nothing matters< in &hich 2 shall rest P contin'e to e4ist. Keality 2 call it. 7nd 2 fancy sometimes this is the most necessary thing to me: that &hich 2 seek. -Diar ": 19$0 +hen she can sink !eneath the &aves of emotion, the ill'sory distractions of ego, the solipsism of mania, and the self5destr'ctive despair of depression and enter >the healing sanct'ary of anonymity> -Diar E: 1E.0, +oolf finds she can face life and coe4ist &ith it &hile retaining a sense of strength and &orth. Unadorned, she achieves a state of p'rity she else&here specifically connects to the advantages of illness: 1 2". 1 +e do not kno& o'r o&n so'ls, let alone the so'ls of others. G'man !eings do not go hand in hand the &hole stretch of the &ay. There is a virgin forest in each< a sno&field &here even the print of !irds: feet is 'nkno&n. Gere &e go alone, and like it !etter so. 7l&ays to have sympathy, al&ays to !e accompanied, al&ays to !e 'nderstood &o'ld !e intolera!le. B't in health the genial pretence m'st !e kept 'p, and the effort rene&ed6to comm'nicate, to civilise, to share, to c'ltivate the desert, to ed'cate the native, to &ork together !y day and !y night to sport. 2n illness this make5!elieve ceases. -"The Mo,ent" 1E0 2llness p'rifies !y inviting 's to B'estion the reality of one:s feelings and !eliefs, to clear a&ay the cl'tter. 7 self so secret that it is not evident can feel imm'ne to conversion, as +oolf descri!es in 19"2: >2mm'nity> 2 said to myself half an ho'r ago, lying !ack in my chair. Thats the state 2 am -or &as0 in. 7nd its a holy, calm, satisfactory fla&less feeling6To !e imm'ne, means to e4ist apart from r'!s, shocks, s'ffering< to !e !eyond the range of darts< to have eno'gh to live on &itho't co'rting flattery, s'ccess< not to need to accept invitations< not to mind other people !eing praised< to feel This6to sit P !reathe !ehind my screen, alone, is eno'gh< to !e strong< content< to let =essa P (. go to Paris &itho't envy< to feel no one:s thinking of me< to feel 2 have done certain things P can !e B'iet no&< to !e mistress of my ho'rs< to feel detached from all sayings a!o't me< P claims on me< to !e glad of l'nching alone &ith *eonard< to have a ?sic @ spare time this afternoon< to read Coleridge:s letters. 2mm'nity is an e4alted calm desira!le state, P one 2 co'ld reach m'ch oftener than 2 do. -Diar E: 11$/1F0 Both +oolf and Clarissa sink deep eno'gh into themselves to escape the &aves of emotion, the helter5 skelter of distractions, the lies of egotism. =either opts for *eslie and ,'lia:s strategy of filling the internal emptiness &ith e4ternal relationships, losing themselves in !'sy domestic lives. 2mm'nity reB'ires privacy and freedom. *ike Kichard, *eonard tolerated that needed imm'nity. =either he nor Kichard so'ght to >convert> his &ife to respond to him in any stereotyped &ay?E$@ )'ch open5 endedness may look inconcl'sive, !lank, virginal. =o definite principle or philosophy or personality may !e 'ncovered &hen the self can !e pared do&n to its essence. B't that is an advantage. +oolf intends no prescription here: each of 's m'st seek o'r o&n path thro'gh the virginal forest. +oolf:s most interesting insight is that s'ch freedom to !e oneself !rings &ith it g'ilt. 2n A ;oo, of 1ne's 10n! she arg'es that for &omen &riters 1 2"$ 1

the press'res of society -in the form of neglect and scorn0 com!ine &ith inner press'res: the disappointment of loving parents and the moral disapproval of society !ecome internali8ed, and the da'ghter, 'na!le to reconcile her artistic am!itions &ith her &ish to !e d'tif'l and >good,> risks destroying herself -E9/.10. 2n Mrs. Dallo0a ! Clarissa feels g'ilty for having >failed> Kichard in a &ay +oolf avoids specifying !y 'sing 'nclear and 'nreferenced prono'ns: *ovely in girlhood, s'ddenly there came a moment6for e4ample on the river !eneath the &oods at Clieveden6&hen, thro'gh some contraction of this cold spirit, she had failed him. 7nd then at Constantinople, and again and again. )he co'ld see &hat she lacked. 2t &as not !ea'ty< it &as not mind. 2t &as something central &hich permeated< something &arm &hich !roke 'p s'rfaces and rippled the cold contact of man and &oman, or of &omen together. 9or that she co'ld dimly perceive. )he resented it, had a scr'ple picked 'p Geaven kno&s &here, or, as she felt, sent !y =at're -&ho is invaria!ly &ise0< yet she co'ld not resist sometimes yielding to the charm of a &oman, not a girl, of a &oman confessing, as to her they often did, some scrape, some folly. 7nd &hether it &as pity, or their !ea'ty, or that she &as older, or some accident6like a faint scent, or a violin ne4t door -so strange is the po&er of so'nds at certain moments0, she did 'ndo'!tedly then feel &hat men felt. -E$/EF0 2t &o'ld !e tempting to ass'me that this fail're is frigidity, !'t !oth Clarissa and +oolf tend to 'se se4'al &ords to mean nonse4'al things, as if they &ere dese4'ali8ing and li!erating terms and images that are too often overse4'ali8ed and red'ctive. )o &hat, e4actly, is !eing said hereC Dn the one hand, it appears to !e a confession of frigidity and latent les!ianism< on the other, &e see a deli!erate, teasing am!ig'ity, a rel'ctance to specify anything !eyond a >scr'ple,> >some scrape,> or >&hat men felt.> Go& sho'ld &e interpret the se4'ality of the lang'ageC *ike Clarissa herself, these &ords have !ecome anonymo's, veiled, their definitions escaping conventional meaning that &o'ld pin them do&n. Aitchell *easka readily concl'des that Clarissa failed Kichard se4'ally in Clieveden, even tho'gh, in an odd footnote, he remarks on the illogic of the &ord "fail" : Ars. +oolf:s 'se of the ver! fail is a very c'rio's choice in the present conte4t, !eca'se se4'ally, it is the man &ho >fails> his partner thro'gh impotence. Hven a frigid &oman may ref'se her man or may >fake> the act, !'t there is no failing him. 7 &oman:s conditioning may !e s'ch that she is 'na!le to participate gen'inely in the act of se4'al 1 2"F 1 interco'rse< and if so, she has failed herself. B't that fail're is emotional, not physical.?EF@ 2f &e ass'me that Clarissa:s meditations are se4'al !eca'se the lang'age is vag'e, anonymity looks like an avoidance of se4. B't Clarissa does not think she failed herself; she failed ;ichard! she feels g'ilty 6;'st after she thinks a!o't ho& m'ch she en;oys her privacy. Ger chastity, as +oolf:s 7'nt 7nny arg'ed, allo&s a &oman to choose &hat or &ho &ill engage her emotions6!e it a ,'ne day, ne& gloves, the old &oman across the &ay, the evening sky over +estminster. Clarissa:s love for )ally is >completely disinterested> -.#0< it allo&s her >to connect &itho't imposing.>?E%@ This is not the kind of love a 3ictorian &oman &as raised to think &as d'e to her h's!and. 2f she has disappointed her h's!and -and there is no evidence she has0, it is !eca'se she is not dependent on him, !eca'se she lacks >something central> that can !e offered to another &oman &itho't fear of !eing e4propriated. >+hat men felt> co'ld !e the selfconfidence to feel, as G'gh +hit!read does, safe and val'ed and po&erf'l in the presence of others, &hether or not the interpersonal transaction is se4'al. 2t is significant, then, that &hen Peter !arges into her private room shortly thereafter and critici8es

Clarissa, she does not retreat. 2f his knife stands for his a!ility to !elieve in himself, she !ears her o&n standard6her needle6against his intr'sion: +hat an e4traordinary ha!it that &as, Clarissa tho'ght< al&ays playing &ith a knife. 7l&ays making one feel, too, frivolo's< empty5minded< a mere silly chatter!o4, as he 'sed. B't 2 too, she tho'ght, and, taking 'p her needle, s'mmoned . . . to her help the things she did< the things she liked< her h's!and< Hli8a!eth< her self, in short, &hich Peter hardly kne& no&, all to come a!o't her and !eat off the enemy. >+ell, and &hat:s happened to yo'C> she said. )o !efore a !attle !egins, the horses pa& the gro'nd. . . . )o Peter +alsh and Clarissa, sitting side !y side on the !l'e sofa, challenged each other. -$./$$0 *iking herself, Clarissa does not flatter Peter !y !ecoming frivolo's, emptyheaded< in this &ay, too, she has failed him6failed to give &hat he e4pects of a &oman. 7s !efore, she regrets having stood 'p to a man: >2t &as all over for her. The sheet &as stretched and the !ed narro&. )he had gone 'p into the to&er alone> -F#0. Clarissa, like the &omen &riters +oolf admires in A ;oo, of 1ne's 10n! and the )tephen da'ghters, still pays homage to a social convention !y feeling g'ilty for thinking of herself. 1 2"% 1 2ndependence and anonymity help Clarissa face the novel:s clima4, )eptim's:s s'icide. )he imagines his point of vie& and calmly considers &hat it co'ld mean: 7 thing there &as that mattered< a thing, &reathed a!o't &ith chatter, defaced, o!sc'red in her o&n life, let drop every day in corr'ption, lies, chatter. This he had preserved. (eath &as defiance. (eath &as an attempt to comm'nicate< people feeling the impossi!ility of reaching the centre &hich, mystically, evaded them< closeness dre& apart< rapt're faded, one &as alone. There &as an em!race in death. -2%#/%10 . . . and the &ords came to her, 9ear no more the heat of the s'n. . . . )he felt someho& very like him6the yo'ng man &ho had killed himself. )he felt glad that he had done it< thro&n it a&ay. . . . Ge made her feel the !ea'ty< made her feel the fan. -2%"/%E0 7cting on his !eliefs, del'sional or not, )eptim's thro&s a&ay his life, !'t not himself. )eptim's faces a loss of a'tonomy in the hands of Bradsha& and Golmes: >Gis state again is Clarissa:s, is &oman:s< he !ecomes an o!;ect< his !ody is not his o&n. 7s (r. Bradsha& approaches, )eptim's literally has no room, so he h'rls himself o't the &indo& to reality.> Gis death affirms Clarissa:s >sense of herself as s$+<ect! > not o!;ect.?E9@ )elf m'st !e real if it can decide to die. +oolf:s attit'de to&ard death did change d'ring the &riting of Mrs. Dallo0a . 2n 192E she reco'nted her fear after an a'tomo!ile accident involving her niece, 7ngelica Bell, &ho had for a fe& ho'rs !een tho'ght to !e near death: >+hat 2 felt &as . . . that death P tragedy had once more p't do&n his pa&, after letting 's r'n a fe& paces. People never get over their early impressions of death 2 think. 2 al&ays feel p'rs'ed> -Diar 2: 2990. B't ne4t year, after finishing Mrs. Dallo0a ! she reacted differently to the ne&s of the death of her friend ,acB'es Kaverat: ,acB'es died, as 2 say< P at once the siege of emotions !egan. 2 got the ne&s &ith a party here6Clive, Bee Go&, ,'lia )trachey, (adie. =evertheless, 2 do not any longer feel inclined to doff the cap to death. 2 like to go o't of the room talking, &ith an 'nfinished cas'al sentence on my lips. That is the effect it had on me6no leavetakings, no s'!mission 6!'t someone stepping o't into the darkness. -Diar ": F0

Both +oolf and Ars. (allo&ay receive at a party the ne&s of a s'dden death6ne&s that sho'ld inspire Clarissa:s stiffening, &hat +oolf called her >screen making ha!it>?.#@ -&hat =orman Golland calls a filtering identitytheme0 of a'tomatic denial in response to the threat of loss. 2nstead, they 1 2"9 1 let go of fear, a!andoning their sense of v'lnera!ility, of >penetra!ility> -to paraphrase Peter +alsh0 in order to see &hat the event might mean. (eath itself !ecomes personal6not Kachel:s or ,aco!:s senseless imposition, !'t an e4perience to !e integrated into a lifetime of e4periences. 2t is a >ne& vision of death,> +oolf notes in a =ovem!er, 192$, entry to her diary, one that is >active, positive, like all the rest, e4citing< P of great importance6as an e4perience> -Diar ": 11F0 that can !e >o&ned.> The form of Mrs. Dallo0a invites the reader to e4perience the fr'stration of the manic5depressive, the one person &ho seems to !e three !'t is not three. Beca'se the manic5depressive possesses three sets of !eliefs and affects, his or her identity is periodically deconstr'cted. Cyclical shifts !l'r the line !et&een sanity and insanity !y repeated crossings6paralleling o$r repeated crossings from one character:s mind to another:s. +hat ha'nts 's a!o't reading this novel is the s'spicion that there is an 'nsettling connection !et&een the sane and the insane, that from one moment to the ne4t a mind6any mind6 may not kno& itself or see ho& it has temporarily disappeared in the grip of strong anomalo's or contradictory feelings it cannot control or >o&n.> Personality then seems ephemeral, 'nrelated to identity. The novel only 'rges 's to hope that identity m'st lie some&here !elo& the s'perficial differences6names, roles, gender, manic pro;ections, depressive desiccations. *ike Clarissa, &e m'st learn to create >every moment afresh> -.0 and to B'estion o'r protective !eliefs, paring o'rselves do&n to a central essence< like Peter, &e m'st feel the f'n of fiction and r'n the risk of !ecoming foolish and egotistical< like )eptim's, &e m'st open o'rselves to divergent thinking and >alien> e4periences, !'t &itho't losing o'rselves completely. )'ch an incl'sive vie& may seem impossi!le, !'t it is often the goal of great novelists, &ho, >!y disr'pting the reader:s harmony &ith his &orld, in an important sense challenge the very conditions of sanity. 2n;'ring o'r vanity !y 'psetting o'r order, s'ch &riters seldom tell 's the :tr'th: &e &ant to hear.>?.1@ The design of Mrs. Dallo0a may have !een shaped in part !y *eonard:s approach to 3irginia:s illness, &hich &as to connect it to her sanity: There &ere moments or periods d'ring her illness, partic'larly in the second e4cited stage, &hen she &as &hat co'ld !e called >raving mad> and her tho'ghts and speech !ecame completely 'nco5ordinated, and she had no contact &ith reality. H4cept for these periods, she remained all thro'gh her illness, even &hen most insane, terri!ly sane in three5B'arters of her mind. The point is that her insanity &as in her premises, in her !eliefs. )he !elieved, for instance, that she &as not ill, that her 1 2E# 1 symptoms &ere d'e to her o&n >fa'lts>< she !elieved that she &as hearing voices &hen the voices &ere her o&n imaginings< she heard the !irds o'tside her &indo& talking Ireek< she !elieved that the doctors and n'rses &ere in conspiracy against her. These !eliefs &ere insane !eca'se they &ere in fact contradicted !y reality. B't given these !eliefs as premises for concl'sions and actions, all 3irginia:s actions and concl'sions &ere logical and rational. -Beginning Again 1$E0 2t is easy to identify )eptim's:s madness in this passage, !'t more important is *eonard:s strategy: he

not only descri!es 3irginia:s symptoms !'t arg'es that an 'nderlying logic connects the sane 3irginia and the insane 3irginia. This is a cognitive e4planation of del'sions. Ge asserts that a core self still operates< only her !eliefs have no o!;ective !asis. +hat *eonard gave 3irginia &as the sense that she &as still real! that she s'rvived !eneath the crests and tro'ghs, and that someho& the sane 3irginia and the insane 3irginia &ere related. 2n 3irginia:s diaries and letters &e can see *eonard:s infl'ence grad'ally evolving over time -tho'gh she al&ays revises for her o&n p'rposes0. 2n 192#, she &rote of her alternating moods &hen thinking a!o't Aary G'tchinson: >*. at tea p't me tight: A. G. is one of the fe& people 2 dislike, 2 said. =o: he replied: one of the many yo' dislike P like alternately> -Diar 2: $"0. =ot m'ch is made of the incident, e4cept that *eonard tries to generali8e 3irginia:s emotions of the moment, to set them into a larger pattern. By ,'ne of 192E, she attempts self5analysis: 2f 2 &eren:t so sleepy, 2 &o'ld &rite a!o't the so'l. 2 think its time to cancel that vo& against so'l description. +hat &as 2 going to sayC )omething a!o't the violent moods of my so'l. Go& descri!e them, even &ith a &aking mindC 2 think 2 gro& more P more poetic. Perhaps 2 restrained it, P no&, like a plant in a pot, it !egins to crack the earthen&are. Dften 2 feel the different aspects of life !'rsting my mind as'nder. . . . 2 mean, &hat:s the 'se of facts at o'r time of lifeC +hy !'ild these caref'l cocoons: &hy not say straight o't6yes, !'t &hatC -Diar 2: "#E0 +hat is the so'l if its moods !'rst as'nder the pot of descriptionC The &aking mind, &ith its narro& foc's on coherent evidence, cannot encompass the s'ndered fragments of madness. +oolf &ill not !e satisfied &ith the caref'l cocoons of a tidy, coherent theory. B't if &ork is done !y total incl'sion on a syncretistic, 'nconscio's level, &hat can !e said >straight o't>C 2n =ovem!er of 192%, ackno&ledging her skepticism, she gropes for &hat may lie !eyond it: 1 2E1 1 that is my temperament, 2 think: to !e very little pers'aded of the tr'th of anything6&hat 2 say, &hat people say6al&ays to follo&, !lindly instinctively &ith a sense of leaping over a precipice6the call of6the call of6no&, if 2 &rite The Aoths ?The Waves @ 2 m'st come to terms &ith these mystical feelings. -Diar ": 2#"0 Go& can +oolf get !eyond the &ordless, mystical, ine4pressi!le openness of ,inny:s vision &itho't either feeling cramped !y facts or denying facts &ith ill'sory dreamsC The temptation to identify self &ith >the &aking mind> is strong, !'t it gives merely the ill'sion of s'!stantiality: 2 am so important to myself: yet of no importance to other people: like the shado& passing over the do&ns. 2 deceive myself into thinking that 2 am important to other people: that makes part of my e4treme vividness to myself: as a matter of fact, 2 dont matter< P so part of my vividness is 'nreal< gives me a sense of ill'sion. -Diar ": 1%%0 +oolf reasons that the ill'sion of personality camo'flages one:s tr'e identity, ;'st as her manic5 depressive s&ings do. The first egotism of personality is a vol'ntary dalliance that leads to a more serio's, invol'ntary fragmentation of the self. 7nonymity gives her a protective distance from the choppy &aves of mood, !'t it is not her final goal. Kest is &elcome, !'t it does not ans&er all her B'estions. The most important B'estion is: &ho &o'ld she !e &itho't her moodsC This is a diffic'lt pro!lem for any manic5depressive. Can the other selves !e ignored &ith the claim that identity lies only in the >normal> self that family and physician approve ofC Aost patients do ignore their other selves, !eca'se society re&ards consistent !ehaviors: doing one:s ;o!, loving one:s family, making interpretations others can 'nderstand. Consens's and practicality are strong reinforcers for >getting

straight.> 7nd psychotic !ehavior can 'ndo'!tedly !e dangero's and self5destr'ctive. )till, it distresses some patients to dismiss the inconvenient !'t vivid perspectives that mood s&ings impose. Go&ever m'ch +oolf felt terrori8ed !y her hellish nightmares of persec'tion or her ecstatic hall'cinations, she val'ed these 'n's'al e4periences as insights that normality restrained. The pro!lem here &as that insight co'ld !e 'sef'l only &hen she &as &ell eno'gh to &rite. =either madness nor anonymity co'ld !y itself prod'ce art. 7 chaste anonymity co'ld s'spend egotism, a stoic imm'nity might resist the temptations of >!ad> imp'lses, !'t !ipolar mood s&ings periodically defoc'sed conscio's attention and opened +oolf to syncrettstic perception &hich, in a ret'rn to sanity, she then creatively integrated. ,'st 1 2E2 1 as Clarissa m'st !e threatened !y Aiss Jilman:s raspy monster cla&ing inside her !efore she can see herself afresh, +oolf val'ed her decenteredness in illness as the co'nter&eight to her revitali8ing ret'rn to sanity: 2 have a great P astonishing sense . . . of my o&n strangeness. . . . +ho am 2, &hat am 2, P so on: these B'estions are al&ays floating a!o't in me< P then 2 !'mp against some e4act fact6a letter, a person, P come to them again &ith a great sense of freshness. -Diar ": $2/$"0 Dnce she descended past personality and its capacity to identify itself !y tangential B'alities, +oolf achieved a sense of self that &as too open, too elemental to !e defined !y the ans&ers to s'ch limiting B'estions as >+ho am 2C> and >+hat am 2C> The core self e4isted, like other real o!;ects, on the level of to'ch in the dark, &itho't coherent attri!'tes or characteristics, &itho't the organi8ing ego. (edifferentiating scanning, like the sense of to'ch in the dark, ratified self:s s'!stance if the chaos inside co'ld !e aligned &ith the chaos o'tside, &ith no overt specifications, no restraint from a >caref'l cocoon.> )elf &as no depressive phantom, no manic daydream, no florid prod'ction of theory, !'t a thing &ith &hich she co'ld have a relationship6in fact, as many relationships as she cared to imagine. Privacy parado4ically enriched her intras'!;ective o!;ect5relations !eca'se illness gave self !o'ndless possi!ilities as &ell as containment. Clarissa e4periences the same kind of &ithdra&al and emergence. Gaving s'nk into >the depths of her heart> -2%10 in empathy &ith )eptim's:s s'icide, she res'rfaces thrilling at an ordinary sight, the sky a!ove +estminster: >2t held, foolish as the idea &as, something of her o&n in it, this co'ntry sky, this sky a!ove +estminster. . . . 2t &as ne& to her> -2%2/%"0. )elf and &orld are rhythmically connected and disconnected again and again. The novel ends &ith her ret'rn to her party, her secret ;oy inside her. Peter momentarily !ecomes a&are of irred'ci!le, ine4plica!le feelings ->+hat is this terrorC +hat is this ecstasyC> ?29$@0, !'t characteristically attri!'tes them to Clarissa:s >&omanly> magic -an essential feat're of his identity5theme0 and so gains no insight. Hven the novel:s narration seems to dra& o'r attention a&ay from Clarissa:s vision !y concl'ding, >9or there she &as,> as if to 'nderc't the ma;esty of Peter:s adoration &ith a deli!erately s'!d'ed declarative sentence, one as 'nB'estiona!le as it is 'nremarka!le. *ike the +estminster sky, Clarissa is there, !'t &hat makes her so special cannot !e shared &ith anyone else !eca'se it cannot !e form'li8ed or said >straight o't.> *ang'age cannot go into that secret, 'ntrammeled &ood of self that lies !eyond ego. Aanic5depressives 1 2E" 1 find no &ords that can relia!ly form'late their senseless shifts of mood or systemati8e el'sive feelings.

The ne4t mood s&ing &ill destroy any rigid schemati8ation. Dne m'st learn to B'estion all moods and ideas, tolerate chaos, and hope that some &ordless 'nity e4ists some&here to em!race all that one is, senseless or sensi!le. +oolf accepted, ho&ever gr'dgingly, the fact that she co'ld not e4plain the profo'nd m'ltiplicity of her inner life to others or e4pect them to give her a sense of self that co'ld &eather mood s&ings. 2n a letter to 3ita )ackville5+est, she complained a!o't her isolation: 2 &ish yo' co'ld live in my !rain for a &eek. 2t is &ashed &ith the most violent &aves of emotion. +hat a!o'tC 2 dont kno&. 2t !egins on &aking< and 2 never kno& &hich6shall 2 !e happyC )hall 2 !e misera!le?C@ 2 grant, 2 keep 'p some mechanical activity &ith my hands, setting type< ordering dinner. +itho't this, 2 sho'ld !rood ceaselessly. 7nd yo' think it all fi4ed and settled. (o &e then kno& no!odyC6only o'r o&n versions of them, &hich, as likely as not, are emanations from o'rselvesC -#etters ": 2E.0 Go&, 'na!le to kno& herself, co'ld she !e kno&nC The ans&er came in the form of a &ish: if 3ita co'ld e4perience 3irginia:s inner &orld6&itho't e4planation6she might >kno&> her, or at least feel &hat it is like to !e her. This is essentially &hat Mrs. Dallo0a does. +e live in a !ipolar !rain for a day. +e e4perience the isolated lives of several characters &ho might !e one character if only that 'nderlying, anonymo's yet incl'sive self co'ld !e f'lly ver!ali8ed. The sane and the insane are paralleled !'t &itho't specific connections, so that the reader is faced &ith the same insol'!le pro!lem 3irginia &ished 3ita co'ld face: ho& to find a center in all this m'ltiplicity, a core !eyond ego and its mood5congr'ent ling'istic and cognitive po&ers, and yet one enriched !y a panoply of feeling, an all5 incl'sive self that parado4ically e4hi!its !oth 'nity and difference. 2f s'ch a vie& can !e gained, it m'st come from the reader, &ho plays the part of +oolf, mothering the te4t, ret'rning a ga8e that mends the c't separating a'thor and a'dience. B't there may !e no &ords for s'ch a vision. 1 2EE 1

"C) *It Is Finished*Am3i%alen(e Resol%ed9 Self Restored in o !e Lig!t!o"se


+oolf reported that she ceased to !e o!sessed &ith !oth her mother and her father after &riting To the #ightho$se -192F0, theori8ing that she >e4pressed some very long felt and deeply felt emotion> &hich &riting finally laid to rest -Mo,ents of Being %1, 1#%< Diar ": 2#%0. There is m'ch in this novel to evidence a critical and conscio's reeval'ation of her parents. +oolf &as a!le to portray her mother as she desired rather than as *eslie:s ideali8ed angel. 7ltho'gh she resented -and represented0 her father:s e4ha'sting dependency on ,'lia, her treatment of him as Ar. Kamsay is !alanced !y a recognition that he &as as m'ch victim as victimi8er, and she s'!seB'ently !egan to think of him as >:my: father, not :father: any more> -Diar ": 19E0. 2t &as a reconciliation that lasted for the rest of her life< in 19E1, she felt a!le to look at *eslie from t&o angles, >as a child condemning< as a &oman of .% 'nderstanding> -Diar .: 2%10. Completing the family portrait, +oolf stepped into the story herself to offer a 'nifying vision: *ily Briscoe masters self5destr'ctive dist'r!ances in the creative process and finds a'tonomy. To the #ightho$se e4tends and modifies elements from the previo's novels. 7s in The Vo age 1$t! a motherless &oman seeks ans&ers to ine4pressi!le B'estions. *ily:s mood shifts, ho&ever, are not al&ays presented seB'entially, as Kachel:s are, !'t are sim'ltaneo'sly set off against one another in a pattern resem!ling am!ivalence. 7ltho'gh 'ntil she read 9re'd:s definition of it in 19"9 +oolf did not

reali8e that !if'rcated emotion co'ld !e called a,+ivalence -Diar .: 2E90, she did note in 192.: >2 think 2 might do something in To the *ightho'se, to split 'p emotions more completely. 2 think 2:m &orking in that direction> -Diar ": "%0. By collapsing the temporality of mood s&ings -and perhaps 'sing her e4perience of >mi4ed> states of conflicting manic and depressive feelings0, she co'ld frame the resol'tion of !ipolar shifts more clearly as a theory of pictorial art, t&o masses !alanced !y a vertical line. *ike >aco+'s ;oo,! To the #ightho$se invites readers to relinB'ish the &ish for an o!;ective narrative tr'th6!y giving 's not simply t&o irreconcila!le vie&s !'t seventeen s'!;ective points of vie&, each provisional. This novel vent'res !eyond the remote attic room protecting Ars. (allo&ay:s secret self< Ars. Kamsay 1 2E. 1 carries her privacy &ith her in the h'!!'! of family life. *ily:s painting and Ar. Kamsay:s voyage to the lightho'se cele!rate the strength of self in spite of loss6as Kachel:s death and ,aco!:s fecklessness do not. The longing for mothering, for an idyllic past and manic omnipotence to overcome depressed helplessness, is replaced !y ad'lt self5s'fficiency. +oolf e4plores the relationship of her !ipolar illness to her childhood e4periences !y foc'sing on the connections !et&een loss, self5esteem, and the am!ig'o's nat're of mothering. ,'lia had !een the em!lematic foc's of 3irginia:s illness !eca'se premor!id childhood seemed infinitely !etter than ad'lt depressions, especially &hen a manic imagination co'ld mine ,'lia:s o!sc're depths for so'rce material. B't the e'thymic +oolf &as not satisfied !y o!sessive longing for the past, and, &isely, she kne& that loss !ro'ght gain: it revealed life:s >reality,> the >gashes> and >cracks> in the fa!ric that the yo'nger 3irginia had neglected -or had !een protected from0 &hile her mother &as alive. ,'lia:s death had !een an a!r'pt &eaning, !'t it led to gro&th and creative insights &hose components &ere ill'strated -and magnified0 !y manic5depressive illness. Dnce the e'thymic +oolf 'nderstood this, her o&n phantom memories of a >generalised> ,'lia -Mo,ents of Being %E0 lavishing perfect n'rt're, making !a!ies of loved ones, no longer s'fficed. +hereas the loss of !eneficial n'rt'ring res'lts in grief, loss of self5destr'ctive dependency elicits an am!ivalent response. 7n infant &ill miss &hat &as s'pportive, !'t a variety of reactions6anger, fear, g'ilt, denial, despair6can follo& the loss of &hat &as also de!ilitating.?1@ *eslie craved s'ch dependency, !'t +oolf clearly sa& the disadvantages of living in the yello& grape of ill'sory imm'nity. The deeply felt emotion she e4pressed and laid to rest &as not one !'t t&o6a !ipolar attit'de to&ard an ideali8ed mothering that co'ld !oth cripple and delight. Th's, Ars. Kamsay centers a conflict in the novel !et&een the desire for perfect s'pport and the need to !e self5s'fficient,?2@ a conflict that parallels the manic5depressive:s f'ndamental pro!lem of letting go of mood5ind'ced del'sions that seem to e4plain the illness. *eslie co'ld not face the destr'ctive elements of his vie& of ,'lia:s role as the ine4ha'sti!le, sacrificial family goddess 'pon &hom everything, even her family:s mental health, depended. 3irginia &anted to create a more h'man ,'lia, not a target for her pro;ections !'t an eB'al, a contemporary &ith &hom she co'ld have a personal relationship. 2t is significant, then, that ideali8ation lies at the heart of an old critical de!ate on the simple B'estion of ho& to ;'dge Ars. Kamsay as a mother. Aany readers respond to her &ith o'tright idolatry. They identify her 1 2E$ 1 &ith the >Primordial Ioddess> of pagan myth, the goddess (emeter, deity of corn and a!'ndance<

compare her to the Blessed 3irgin, ,es's Christ, and Hve< raise her to the level of a >Platonic ideal>< or endo& her &ith >magical> B'alities of >almost s'pernat'ral force.>?"@ )'ch an e4aggeration of maternal virt'es is common in childhood, !'t it has t&o dra&!acks. 9irst, it e4acer!ates the egoism of primary identification: the infant does not perceive the mother as a person separate from himself, and so he does not accept the mother:s other interests or attachments, !'t perpet'ates the myth that the perfect mother:s &hole !eing is s'pposed to !e devoted to serving her child. This attit'de can e4tend &ell into ad'lthood and !ecome a self5f'lfilling prophecy for people &ho !ecome mothers and fathers themselves.?E@ )econd, s'ch an inflated vie& of the virt'es of the mother relegates the father to the role of tyrant or fool6an 'nfort'nate position !eca'se, altho'gh in most c'lt'res the mother esta!lishes and sym!oli8es a sym!iotic relationship &ith the infant, the father plays an eB'ally important role, that of differentiation. The enc'lt'rated child identifies &ith the mother -self defined !y similarities0 !'t 'ses the father to perceive the self in opposition -self defined !y differences0.?.@ 9athers integrate their children into a larger social conte4t !y denying ready retreat into total care< &hereas mothers provide a reass'ring sense of oneness &ith other h'man !eings, fathers s'pply a reass'ring sense of individ'ality. Children need to learn !oth kinds of o!;ect5relations.?$@ The disadvantage of this d'ality comes &hen the developing child sees the mother as sym!oli8ing the infantile6>dependence, regression, passivity, and the lack of adaptation to reality>6and, t'rning from her to&ard the father, &ho >represents independence and individ'ation, progress, activity, and participation in the real &orld,>?F@ arrives at the erroneo's concl'sion that it is6and sho'ld !e6>a man:s &orld o't there.> Perhaps, this e4plains &hy other critics, citing m'ch the same evidence from To the #ightho$se! arrive at B'ite negative, even vindictive concl'sions a!o't Ars. Kamsay:s motherhood, thinking of her as a narcissist &ho mothers o!sessively to avoid e4amining her o&n emptiness or as a tyrannical, h's!and5dominating, son5s'ffocating !itch &ho m'st die !efore the final resol'tion, spearheaded !y the >heroic> Ar. Kamsay, can take place.?%@ Ar. and Ars. Kamsay have !ecome the victims of o'r c'lt'ral !iases a!o't gender and parenting. Dne critic considering this pro!lem of critical response to the Kamsay marriage concl'des that se4 role stereotyping is not only critici8ed !y To the #ightho$se itself, !'t has seeped into the reading of it. The desire to see Ars. Kamsay as int'ition, sens'al perception, loving concern, and empathy, and the 1 2EF 1 desire to !elieve that all Ar. Kamsay is is, to B'ote the omniscient narrator of Middle,arch! >a lifeless em!almment of kno&ledge,> leads to not really seeing &hat the te4t is saying. +hat the te4t is saying is not that >men are this &ay> and >&omen are that &ay> and so of co'rse >no marriage of tr'e minds> is possi!le for them, !'t the male mind and the female mind, &hen they are in action, are a good deal alike, and are !oth ine4trica!ly tied to emotion.?9@ +hat se45role stereotyping reads into mentality is an e4tension of the s'!;ect5o!;ect lessons children learn from their parents. Pro!lems arise &hen assigning a partic'lar o!;ect5relational style -self o!;ect conf'sion or self o!;ect differentiation0 e4cl'sively to a specific se4. Th's, it is not s'rprising that the depressed +oolf &o'ld locate her manic sense of idyllic f'sion and magical ;oy in &omen rather than men. C'lt'rally prescri!ed notions of maternity, 3irginia:s early e4periences, and her mood s&ings reinforced her impression that it &as ,'lia &ho !est sym!oli8ed a !lissf'l, premor!id past &hen self &as not !'rdened !y its depressing sense of isolation, the limitations of >reality,> as represented and enforced !y males -*eslie, Ierald and Ieorge, and the Cam!ridge dons0. B't in To the #ightho$se this

rigid mold is !roken. +oolf makes here a provocative connection !et&een se4ism and manic5 depressive illness, for the fail're of so many readers to see Ar. and Ars. Kamsay:s inner lives has !een modeled for 's !y *ily:s !if'rcated emotional response to them. A'ch of the evidence 'sed to condemn the h's!and and e'logi8e the &ife -or the reverse0 comes from *ily:s o&n internal monolog'es as she str'ggles &ith mood s&ings that interfere &ith her a!ility to kno& her o&n feelings a!o't Ar. and Ars. Kamsay. Keconciling oneself to parental fig'res involves seeing them as individ'als, not as sym!ols or pro;ections serving 'nackno&ledged needs or c'lt'ral prescriptions. Go& &ell children &ean themselves from idyllic s'!;ectivity depends on ho& completely they are a!le to give 'p the mother as mythic deity, &itho't &hom paradise is forever lost, and to give !ack to the father his capacity for parenting. B't seeing others in the f'llness of their !eing is ;'st the pro!lem that the manic5depressive -or a reader of this novel0 finds so, diffic'lt. Dn the s'rface Ars. Kamsay seems the t&in of *eslie:s Ma$sole$, Boo/ ,'lia, the selfless fo'nt of perfect mothering. The emotional center of a large family, hostess to her g'ests, n'rse to her neigh!ors, she is >a hen, straddling her &ings o't in protection of a covey of little chicks> -"E0 that incl'des her h's!and: >2f ?Ar. Kamsay@ p't implicit faith in her, nothing sho'ld h'rt him< ho&ever deep he !'ried himself or clim!ed high, not for a second sho'ld he find himself &itho't her> -$#0. Hven the skeptical 1 2E% 1 *ily yearns to !e a dependent child leaning on Ars. Kamsay:s knee. B't this idyllic dream cannot !e f'lfilled. Mo'ng ,ames is that dependent child leaning on Ars. Kamsay:s knee, and he is neither happy nor sec're. Ge ;ealo'sly hoards his mother, &hom he ind'strio'sly ideali8es. To him, she seems >to po'r erect into the air a rain of energy, a col'mn of spray, looking at the same time animated and alive as if all her energies &ere !eing f'sed into force,> &hile his father is >like a !eak of !rass, !arren and !are,> demanding >to !e taken &ithin the circle of life, &armed and soothed, to have his senses restored to him, his !arrenness made fertile> -.%/.90, as if his self &ere empty 'nless someone else filled it6 &hich is precisely ,ames:s predicament. B't &hat !oth ,ames and his father &ant is impossi!le. 2t is tr'e that once he is fed &ith this ill'sory reass'rance, Ar. Kamsay, >like a child &ho drops off satisfied,> !elieves himself >restored, rene&ed> -$#0, !'t +oolf makes it clear that the cost of e4tended mothering is great: Ars. Kamsay &orries that she has only made her h's!and even more dependent -$20, the needy *ily is inf'riated that >Ars. Kamsay gave him &hat he asked too easily> -F10, and ,ames feels cheated. The more his mother looks like an angel, the more his father looks like a devil, the emptier ,ames feels, the angrier and more isolated *ily !ecomes. The ill'sion of perfect mothering creates endless h'nger. 2t is important to remem!er that the se4'al imagery here so complimentary to Ars. Kamsay -the col'mn of spray0 and so critical of Ar. Kamsay -the !rass !eak0, tho'gh e4pressed &itho't corrective comment or !ias, in the sophisticated lang'age of an omniscient narrator, is intended to represent a small child:s phallic point of vie&, not +oolf:s. +oolf makes s're that all vie&s in this novel are provisional. +hat p'rpose, then, can ,ames:s sym!olism serve !esides that of revealing his impotent narcissismC Ge notices that &hen his father has had his fill, his mother feels e4ha'sted, empty, and t'rns for her o&n refreshment to the lightho'se. )he &atches it, fascinated, >hypnotised, as if it &ere stroking &ith its silver fingers some sealed vessel in her !rain &hose !'rsting &o'ld flood her &ith delight> -990. +hat has happened hereC 2f &e limit o'rselves to ,ames:s narcissistic point of vie&, &e might !elieve that the lightho'se sym!oli8es a >fantasy lover p'lled 'p o't of the 'nsatisfied inner &orld of Ars. Kamsay:s violated conscio'sness>?1#@ 6!'t the fantasy of violation is ,ames:s, and he &o'ld most likely cast himself as the secret lover !orn of his mother:s deepest inner life. Beca'se !oth the !eam and the lightho'se have a phallic shape, it is easy to penetrate no deeper than the oedipal !ias

of a yo'ng !oy and concl'de that +oolf presents 's &ith a se4'al drama6the anim's fertili8ing 1 2E9 1 the anima, the &ife ass'ming dominance !eca'se the h's!and is inadeB'ately male. B't &hat do these terms6,asc$linit ! fe,ininit ! ani,$s! ani,a 6tell 's that is 'sef'lC The analysis is as metaphoric as the te4t, and dividing 'p the psyche into masc'line and feminine parts limits comple4 mental processes to narro&ed se4'al roles &hich >not only deny the fle4i!ility of the sym!ols !'t also fail to make sense of them.>?11@ B't can &e avoid metaphorical lang'age hereC +oolf 'ses this image of self as vessel in >7 )ketch of the Past> to descri!e a moment of !eing in a nonse4'al conte4t: >&e are sealed vessels afloat 'pon &hat it is convenient to call reality< at some moments, the sealing matter cracks< in floods reality> -Mo,ents of Being 1E20. 7!sol'te separation of self from o!;ect vers's conf'sion of self &ith o!;ect are the t&o e4tremes of !ipolar o!;ect5relations. Unlike the other characters, Ars. Kamsay is n'rt'red not !y the emotional dynamics of familial roles !'t !y a perception of oneness imm'ne to the fl'4 of e4perience. )omething is learned !eyond &hat can !e characteri8ed as s'!;ective or o!;ective kno&ledge, something ine4pressi!le, >intimacy itself, &hich is kno&ledge> -F90, a f'sion that is neither flooded &ith the manic:s s'percharged reality nor sealed off !y the depressive:s alienated self. 7ll these elements6s'!;ect5o!;ect f'sion, stroking fingers, mirroring, and feeding6replicate infant5mother transactions, and, like that infant, Ars. Kamsay sees !oth the o!;ect and herself: >2t &as odd, she tho'ght, ho& if one &as alone, one leant to inanimate things< trees, streams, flo&ers< felt they e4pressed one< felt they !ecame one< felt they kne& one, in a sense &ere one< felt an irrational tenderness . . . as for oneself> -9F/9%0. )'ccessf'l f'sions, like s'ccessf'l interpretations for manic5depressives, increase the self:s &orth. By reconciling !ipolar patterns of hoarding and s'rrender, Ars. Kamsay creates, in o!;ect5relational terms, &hat (. +. +innicott called >an intermediate area of e(periencing! to &hich inner reality and e4ternal life !oth contri!'te . . . a resting5place for the individ'al engaged in the perpet'al h'man task of keeping inner and o'ter reality separate yet interrelated>.?12@ 2n this >transitional space> Ars. Kamsay feels something like the initial, seemingly magical f'sion an infant e4periences &ith its mother, &hile sim'ltaneo'sly recogni8ing that this s'!;ective sense of sacred rapport is ;oined to the o!;ective fact of separateness: >)he looked 'p over her knitting and met the third stroke and it seemed to her like her o&n eyes meeting her o&n eyes, searching as she alone co'ld search into her mind and her heart, p'rifying o't of e4istence that lie, any lie> -9F0. The >lie> is a s'dden phrase that occ'rs to her &hen feeling 1 2.# 1 safe and complete: >+e are in the hands of the *ord.> 2t strikes her as insincere !eca'se she kno&s o!;ectively that the &orld is dangero's. B't it is not that simple. The >lie> is a fiction created !y c'lt're to e4plain a&ay the 'ncanniness of the feeling, yet the sensation of sec'rity is real, and the stroking of the lightho'se !eam occasions the >&aves of p're delight> this moment of oneness prod'ces in her. Ars. Kamsay is caref'l to accept the feeling &itho't seeking imposing an e4planation for it that denies the possi!ility of randomness and loss. This n'rt'ring moment seems to !e o'tside her control, sponsored !y >something else>6th's the temptation to attri!'te it to a deity. B't s'ch an e4planation is as metaphorical as )eptim's:s del'sion that his ecstasy despair proves he is the messiah. )o too &o'ld !e o'r psycho5analytic e4planation that she feels an 'ncanny rapport !eca'se she once again +eco,es

the infant transacting &ith a comforting mother &ho magically seems to kno& her tho'ghts, &ants, and needs. 7ll o'r attempts to e4plain the >lie> are, in a sense -tho'gh not a clinical one0, del'sions that disg'ise ho& e4perience is mod'lated !y the perceiver. The o!;ective tr'th is that Ars. Kamsay comforts herself &hen she f'lly perceives not only the o!;ect !'t herself in relation to the o!;ect, &hen neither is p't into a position of dominance !y mood. B't the s'!;ective tr'th is that the &orld seems ,eant to !e perceived and re;oiced in6like a loving mother or a loving Iod. The >semi5transparent envelope> of perception cannot !e fi4ed to delineate e4actly &hat happens to s'!;ect and o!;ect &hen a moment of !eing occ'rs, and +oolf does not spec'late on &hy s'ch moments are provided for availa!le to 's. )he makes clear only the practical res'lt of this prerepresentational miracle: &hen Ars. Kamsay feels herself to !e as real as the &orld, her self5confidence is restored. This !alance !et&een the s'!;ective impression of oneness and the o!;ective kno&ledge that oneness cannot e4ist independent of her a!ility to imagine it proves the self:s po&er. =o demon lover is needed to refresh Ars. Kamsay:s >violated> so'l. Thro'gh Ars. Kamsay, +oolf e4plores the parado4ical nat're of creativity: that it !oth discovers and creates &hat is perceived.?1"@ 7ltho'gh +oolf 'ses mothering as a metaphor for !ipolar o!;ect5relational iss'es, her r'minations on ho& self deals &ith loss are not limited to Ars. Kamsay:s death. The preeminence of that loss is contin'o'sly 'nderc't: the novel is fall of losses, from the dramatic to the prosaic, and each is painf'l in its o&n &ay.?1E@ The &hole middle section, >Time Passes,> goes into great detail a!o't the erosion of ho'sehold goods, relegating the deaths of family mem!ers to a!!reviated, parenthetical notations, 1 2.1 1 re5creating a >disem!odiment> that erases >h'man agency.>?1.@ +oolf here follo&s her father:s e4ample in his Ma$sole$, Boo/: he only !riefly mentions the deaths of Ainny, ,'lia, and )tella, &hereas he reco'nts nostalgically &hat has passed a&ay generally6old times, old friends, happy occasions, opport'nities gone forever, things never said that sho'ld have !een said6evidence marshaled to ;'stify his depressive feelings of 'nredeema!le loss and his 'nB'encha!le need for comfort from his family. 2n the novel, Ar. Kamsay:s anticipated loss of fame is as keenly felt as Bankes:s loss of friendship, itself compared to death -".0. Bankes mo'rns his childless &ido&erhood ;'st as Ars. Kamsay grieves !eca'se her children &ill gro& 'p. +oolf reasons that at the o!;ect5 relations level all losses are the same. The loss of Ars. Kamsay is foregro'nded !'t not a!sol'te< it !ecomes an em!lematic, !'t not definitive, event. The val'a!le lesson of the father6that !lo&s to o'r narcissism are not cosmic disasters, for &e occ'py only a small space in a large &orld6is dramati8ed !y a decentered death. Unlike the novel:s other characters, &ho are &rapped 'p in their personal griefs and lacks, Ars. Kamsay contemplates loss in these o!;ect5relational terms, pict'ring it as >a sort of transaction ?that@ &ent on !et&een them, in &hich she &as on one side, and life &as on another, and she &as al&ays trying to get the !etter of it, as it &as of her> -9206a paraphrase of *eslie:s remarks a!o't ,'lia:s attempts to !alance a >mo'rnf'l acco'nt of pain and happiness> after Ger!ert:s death.?1$@ Th's, Ars. Kamsay reacts &ith a >spasm of irritation> &hen she recalls that the )&iss girl is crying !eca'se her father has ;'st died, for it reminds her of her o&n 'nspecified loss, >some other, earlier lover> -E./E$0, a parallel to ,'lia:s first h's!and. B't Ars. Kamsay does not lose her faith, as ,'lia did. )he listens to the monotono's !eat of the &aves, hearing !oth an e4perience of good mothering -for they seem >consolingly to repeat over and over again . . . :2 am g'arding yo'62 am yo'r s'pport>:0 and a frightening >ghostly roll of dr'ms,> remorselessly !eating, threatening eng'lfment -2F/2%0. )he kno&s that loss is not contained in a partic'lar event -as the depressive typically !elieves0: instead, it !ecomes a 'niversal conte4t, a philosophy of life.

+oolf revises ,'lia freely to e4plore 'ntapped potential that 3irginia herself has act'ali8ed. Unlike ,'lia, Ars. Kamsay does not sacrifice herself !eca'se of mor!id g'ilt< this transaction is !et&een eB'als. )he accepts life:s losses as anon ,o$s! impersonal and 'ndeserved, sometimes even grotesB'ely inh'man, and she enco'rages others to risk the same tragedy 1 2.2 1 that overpo&ered ,'lia: >7nd yet she had said to all these children, Mo' shall go thro'gh &ith it . . . kno&ing &hat &as !efore them6love and am!ition and !eing &retched alone in dreary places> -920. Ars. Kamsay:s imm'nity esta!lishes an order inside the self as &ell as in the o'ter &orld, allo&ing her to see that >there is a coherence in things, a sta!ility< something, she meant, is imm'ne from change . . . she had the feeling she had had once to5day, already, of peace, of rest> -1.%0. 7ct'al losses can !e end'red if &e feel entire o'rselves. ,'lia co'ld not n'rse herself6she felt !oth deadened and d'tif'l, as if Ger!ert had taken &ith him that central core &hich gave her life6!'t n'rsing others reB'ired nothing more than a cheerf'l face disg'ising her emptiness. Ars. Kamsay does &hat ,'lia &ished she co'ld have done: she sinks do&n into diff'sion &ith the lightho'se 'ntil her self can rise 'p again refreshed. 3irginia has given her mother another chance to reali8e 'ntried strength in her character, to disarm depression. Gad ,'lia lived, this &as something she co'ld have shared &ith her da'ghter. +oolf recogni8es that neither manic dream nor depressive nightmare is final. *ike the image of Kose:s dish of fr'it, the perfection of &hich m'st !e destroyed in order to feed the g'ests, the dinner scene presents loss and n'rt'ring as eB'al parts of a !enevolent transaction: need can never !e f'lly satisfied, !'t deprivation is never total. Ainta:s loss of her grandmother:s !rooch is compensated for !y the gain of a fiancN, and the marriage itself is vie&ed !y Ars. Kamsay, its chief proponent, as an eB'ivocal !lessing: This &ill cele!rate the occasion6a c'rio's sense rising in her, at once freakish and tender, of cele!rating a festival, as if t&o emotions &ere called 'p in her, one profo'nd6for &hat co'ld !e more serio's than the love of man for &oman, &hat more commanding, more impressive, !earing in its !osom the seeds of death< at the same time these lovers, these people entering into ill'sion glittering eyed, m'st !e danced ro'nd &ith mockery, decorated &ith garlands. -1.10 2mplicit here is the recognition that ,'lia:s ideali8ed marriage &as an ill'sion and &o'ld have fallen of its o&n &eight. 2n her 19#F memoir, >Keminiscences,> +oolf hints that ,'lia &o'ld event'ally have learned that nothing is perfect and that >sorro& is o'r lot> even if Ger!ert had lived -Mo,ents of Being "206not that love is al&ays a mockery, !'t thinking of love and death as nat'ral opposites is rigid, convergent thinking. 2n the same year, +oolf &rote: 1 2." 1 happiness and sorro& are eB'ally good, and !ea'tif'l, if yo' can only find the form for them, !eca'se that tickles, s'pplies, the sense &hich is a!ove the reach of these accidents. -#etters 1: "1#0 +e ;'dge the seamless fl'4 of e4perience !y !if'rcated e4tremes -in Ar. Kamsay:s terms, >7> is not >L>0, those reass'ringly simple concepts s'ch as good and +ad! happ and sad! that elicit large !locks of primary emotion rather than s'!tler, more perceptive responses. Creating a >comm'nity of feeling> among the diners that is imm'ne to death:s threats and to love:s ill'sions !eca'se she admits !oth, creating, in other &ords, a >form> in &hich happiness and sorro& are eB'ally good and !ea'tif'l, Ars.

Kamsay em!races opposites and is th's s'!seB'ently a!le to reconcile Cam:s fear of the !oar:s sk'll &ith ,ames:s desire for it. 7n infantile retreat into perfect mothering is not needed here. *ily Briscoe en;oys no s'ch imm'nity< she feels deeply !if'rcated. *ike Kachel 3inrace, *ily ranges !et&een self5assertion and self5a!asement, keeping >a feeler on her s'rro'ndings lest someone sho'ld creep 'p> and yet longing for comm'nion. 7lternating !et&een confidence and despair, *ily paints !y fits and starts, for it is in painting that *ily finds and defines herself. 2n painting her am!ivalence is most evident, as a cyclic fl'ct'ation !et&een holding on and letting go6*eslie:s old intestinal pattern 6that is !oth defensive and self5destr'ctive: 2t &as in that moment:s flight !et&een the pict're and her canvas that the demons set on her &ho often !ro'ght her to the verge of tears and made this passage from conception to &ork as dreadf'l as any do&n a dark passage for a child. )'ch she often felt herself6str'ggling against terrific odds to maintain her co'rage< to say: >B't this is &hat 2 see< this is &hat 2 see,> and so to clasp some misera!le remnant of her vision to her !reast &hich a tho'sand forces did their !est to pl'ck from her. 7nd it &as then too, in that chill and &indy &ay, as she !egan to paint, that there forced themselves 'pon her other things, her o&n inadeB'acy, her insignificance, keeping ho'se for her father off the Brompton Koad, and had m'ch ado to control her imp'lse to fling herself -thank Geaven she had al&ays resisted so far0 at Ars. Kamsay:s knee and say to her6!'t &hat co'ld one say to herC >2:m in love &ith yo'>C =o, that &as not tr'e, >2:m in love &ith this all,> &aving her hand at the hedge, at the ho'se, at the childrenC -"20 *ily feels forced to choose !et&een re;ecting the !eloved mothering fig're or !ecoming again a panicky, dependent child &hose poor self5image 'ndermines her a!ility to have a vision of her o&n. ?1F@ )ome&here !et&een 1 2.E 1 resisting the manic imp'lse for complete, heedless f'sion and fighting off the depressive dread of isolation m'st lie a transitional space in &hich one:s conception s'rvives reali8ation6indeed, in &hich life invites and sponsors rapport as tho'gh &ith a >third voice.> B't something a!o't the Kamsays prevents *ily from forming n'rt'ring f'sions in art. The >misera!le remnant> clasped to her !reast is like a child:s transitional o!;ect, a sec'rity !lanket or a teddy !ear that takes the place of the mother, in the hope that this &ill make &eaning -and esta!lishing independence0 less tra'matic. The o!;ect is invested &ith >manic> meaning -sym!oli8ing the mother:s magical po&er to s'stain the infant:s ill'sion that she and it are one and perfect0 &hile remaining only an o!;ect -representing the >depressive> lesson from father that mother and child are separate, 'nmergea!le entities, each imperfect0. B't !eca'se the goodness of this n'rt'ring o!;ect comes from the goodness of the self that helps create its sponsorship, a child &ho lacks self5confidence and so har!ors 'nresolved, am!ivalent feelings to&ard its parents may find the transitional o!;ect em!odying more conflicts than it resolves.?1%@ +hen overcome !y despair, *ily prod'ces a misera!le remnant that gives less s'stenance than thro&ing herself on the mercy of Ars. Kamsay promises to provide, tho'gh that s'stenance &o'ld come at the e4pense of self5esteem. Hither &ay, *ily goes h'ngry. *ily:s am!ivalence echoes manic5depressive fragmentation in tying self&orth to misinterpretation. Typically, she !lames the Kamsays for her divided feelings: >&hat happened to her, especially staying &ith the Kamsays, &as to !e made to feel violently t&o opposite things at the same time< that:s &hat yo' feel, &as one< that:s &hat 2 feel, &as the other, and then they fo'ght together in her mind, as no&.> (eeply divided a!o't her o&n &orth, she sees in the Kamsays her !if'rcated attit'de to&ard love:s

goodness: it is >so !ea'tif'l, so e4citing,> yet also >the st'pidest, the most !ar!aric of h'man passions . . . tedio's, p'erile, and inh'mane> -1.E/..0. *ily fails to 'nderstand ho& her conflicting emotions have !ecome conf'sed &ith e4ternal realities and so condemns the Kamsays: love as a mi4t're of e4'ltation and ill'sion, an >'nreal !'t penetrating and e4citing 'niverse &hich is the &orld seen thro'gh the eyes of love> -F"06that is to say, a del'sion. This condemnation is especially strong &hen she sympathi8es &ith the &ife and despises the h's!and: >That man, she tho'ght, her anger rising in her, never gave< that man took. )he, on the other hand, &o'ld !e forced to give. Ars Kamsay had given. Iiving, giving, giving, she had died> -22"0. ,ames of co'rse shares this opinion, 1 2.. 1 !'t &hen the narration portrays Ar. Kamsay from his o&n point of vie&, neither *ily:s nor ,ames:s interpretation holds fast. Transactions !et&een h's!and and &ife, tho'gh often shaky, &ork to&ard an accepta!le m't'ality. To eval'ate *ily:s am!ivalence, &e m'st first 'nderstand the nat're of the Kamsay -and the )tephen0 marriage and &hy *ily -and +oolf0 initially mis;'dged it. 2n st'dies of manic5depressive families, researchers have fo'nd that !ipolar illness in a parent presents !oth the spo'se and the children &ith a emotional dilemma: The relationship !et&een the spo'ses proved critical to childrearing patterns. The !alance !et&een m't'ality isolation in the h's!and5&ife relationship &as strained !y the !irth of s'ccessive children. Aany of the spo'ses of patients tended to vie& manic or depressive episodes as &illf'l a!dications of responsi!ility or as manifestations of &eakness of character and self5ind'lgence that had to !e met &ith a firm display of po&er and control. The 'nspoken !'t forcef'lly comm'nicated dict'm to the child that mommy -or daddy0 is >sick> thro'gh some fa'lt of his or her o&n thr'st the child on the horns of a dilemma: the >sick> parent &as lova!le !'t irresponsi!le, &hile the &ell parent &as responsi!le !'t also to !e feared. Th's a pattern &as set in &hich caretaking roles &ere vag'e, loyalties &ere ten'o's, and affection and approval &ere dependent on degree of health and responsi!ility. ?19@ +oolf kne& that her father &as moody tho'gh o!vio'sly not psychotic, not >mad> as she and her family felt she &as periodically -or ,ames Jenneth &as terminally0. Ge had >!ad> moments &hen he groaned and &hined -Mo,ents of Being 1120, !'t &hen *eslie &as fl'shed &ith good feelings, +oolf felt that Bea'tif'l &as he at s'ch moments< simple and eager as a child< and e4B'isitely alive to all affection< e4B'isitely tender. +e &o'ld have helped him then if &e co'ld, given him all &e had, and felt it little !eside his need6!'t the moment passed. -Mo,ents of Being E$0 2n >7 )ketch of the Past,> reco'nting incidents of the happy *eslie, +oolf do'!ts her negative assessment: >Ge cannot have !een as severe and melancholy and morose as 2 make him o't. . . . Undo'!tedly 2 colo'r my pict're too dark> -Mo,ents of Being 11"0. B't three pages later he !ecomes >the e4acting, the violent, the histrionic, the demonstrative, the self5centered, the self pitying, the deaf, the appealing, the alternately loved and hated father.> Gere is precisely the pro!lem that families of !ipolars, &hether cyclothymic or manic5depressive, rec'rrently face. Kelationships develop over 1 2.$ 1

time, !'t mood shifts occ'r rapidly. The sense of tr'st, affection, and loyalty that good days foster is r'ined !y the ne4t !ad day. Dne moment *eslie &o'ld reass're his children that )tella:s coming marriage and depart're &as no tragedy deserving of tears, and >the moment after he &as groaning to her that the !lo& &as irrepara!le> -Mo,ents of Being .#0. Unpredicta!le people create conf'sion in intimate and important familial relationships and tend to elicit strong emotional reactions from spo'ses and or children &ho do not 'nderstand &hy they are treated so inconsistently. +hat is &orse, !eca'se cyclothymia is milder than frank manic5depressive illness, a cyclothymic:s moodiness shades into those s'!tler shifts e4perienced daily !y >normal> people and !y the patient himself &hen he happens to !e e'thymic. 2t is therefore very diffic'lt for family mem!ers, &ho have !ecome acc'stomed to lifelong moodiness, to identify a partic'lar !ehavior as a >trait> -e4pressing the patient:s character0 or a >state> -e4pressing a transitory mood0. 2t is easy to develop an intolerance for 'ncertainty and concl'de rashly that a cyclothymic mis!ehaves !eca'se he chooses to, for &hich violation he sho'ld !e held responsi!le, as any other family mem!er &o'ld !e. =ormally, s'ch a ;'dgment &o'ld !e made !y the spo'se, &ho is eB'al in a'thority to the patient. B't rather than respond to her h's!and:s seemingly >&illf'l a!dication> &ith >po&er and control,> ,'lia tolerated *eslie:s o't!'rsts and his glooms. )he !ore the !r'nt of the former and n'rsed him 'ntil he shifted o't of the latter, and so she earned pity and admiration as a martyr sacrificed 'pon the altar of marriage. Th's, the cr'cial >!alance of m't'ality isolation> in the *eslie5,'lia relationship &as &eighted to&ard isolation. )he stoically end'red a!'se !y contracting into herself, n'rsing in private her chronic grief over Ger!ert:s death and life:s in;'stice, to &hich no o'trage *eslie committed co'ld compare. 7fter her death, it fell to her children to ass'me the caretaking role, and they did so &ith !oth isolation and disapproval. They !ecame all the more ;'dgmental !eca'se they had !een raised according to a more stringent r'!ric that did not forgive mis!ehavior easily: ,'lia &as sterner &ith her children than she &as &ith her h's!and. The in;'stice of this sit'ation &as f'rther strained !eca'se *eslie let it !e kno&n that sharing his &ife:s attentions &ith the !irths of s'ccessive children ca'sed him to feel even more neglected and v'lnera!le. )ince the children felt they &ere implicated in *eslie:s 'nhappiness, draining maternal affection he had craved for himself, perhaps feeling that he had !egr'dged 1 2.F 1 them, they !ecame m'ch more sensitive to the iss'e of his responsi!ility &hen he !ecame histrionic after ,'lia:s death. )ince no one then 'nderstood the !iochemical mechanisms of cyclothymia, and since *eslie clearly retained his reason and sense of reality6he co'ld not !e e4c'sed as >mad>6his children sa& instead a man &ho ind'lged himself in fits of temper and tried to !lame it on his inherited >thin skin,> the skin of the geni's, &hich for them &as the definitive mark of his vanity. 2t &as on the gro'nds of vanity that his s'ffering co'ld !e condemned as a &eakness, a moral defect. *eslie:s intense >oriental gloom,> +oolf claimed, &as a manifestation of >his traditional pose< he &as the lonely< the deserted< the old 'nhappy man> craving affection -1#$0. Ge had a >violent temper,> one that he co'ld not control, and that, considering his &orship of reason, his hatred of g'sh, of e4aggeration, of all s'perlatives, seems inconsistent. 2t &as d'e, 2 s'ppose, to the fact that he &as spoilt as a child< !eca'se of his nervo's delicacy, and that delicacy e4c'sed his e4treme irrita!ility. . . . ?A@en of geni's &ere nat'rally 'ncontrolled. -1#90 2nconsistency6the most visi!le and often the most damaging effect of mood s&ings6implied hypocrisy, and that &as 'nforgiva!le. Hven his s'!seB'ent e'thymic states, &hen he felt g'ilty for having a!'sed his family d'ring fits of depression or rage, &ere interpreted according to the model of

the egotistical geni's &ho ind'lged himself !eca'se he felt privileged to do so: >2t &as part of the convention,> +oolf &rote, >that after these o't!'rsts, the man of geni's !ecame :to'chingly apologetic:> -11#0. Gis sincerity &as o!sc'red !y his children:s sense of the in;'stice of his demands, especially after the deaths of ,'lia and )tella, &hen they had not !een allo&ed to e4press their grief and lay it to rest. >Aisery of this kind tends to concentrate itself 'pon an o!;ect,> 3irginia noted, and *eslie !ecame a s'ita!le target !eca'se of his dependency 'pon those t&o &omen, no& dead, as he t'rned his attention to 3anessa, his >ne4t victim> -..0. Ge even 'rged 3anessa to follo& ,'lia and )tella:s e4ample in not e4amining his moods critically: >+hen he &as sad, he e4plained, she sho'ld !e sad< &hen he &as angry, as he &as periodically &hen she asked him for a cheB'e, she sho'ld &eep< instead she stood !efore him like a stone,> &hich irritated him all the more. 7larmed a!o't their safety and integrity, 3anessa and 3irginia regarded him as a >tyrant of inconceiva!le selfishness> -.$0. 2ronically, they foc'sed so m'ch of their s'spicion and hatred 'pon the moody *eslie that they ;'dged less harshly the 'niform Ieorge, &hose 1 2.% 1 !ehavior &as in fact m'ch more pervasively tyrannical and h'rtf'l, com!ining as it did !rotherly love, se4'al a!'se, and the reification of society:s anti5feminist val'es. Unlike the comple4 and intellect'al *eslie, Ieorge &as merely >st'pid> and >good nat'red> -.%0, and so one co'ld forgive him. Ieorge &as considered to !e too simple to B'alify as the hated ne'rotic geni's of the )tephen male line, !'t *eslie &as smart eno'gh to have kno&n !etter. +oolf admitted that she and her sister had !een >simply cred'lo's> a!o't Ieorge:s tr'e intentions >and ready to impose o'r conventional heroic shape 'pon the t'm'lt of his character> -.%0, &hich res'lted in !edroom em!races, passionate kisses, and dictatorial orders a!o't propriety in dress and conversation at social occasions. The >old &retch,> *eslie, looked so m'ch &orse. +oolf s'spected that her hatred of her father:s tyranny &as to some e4tent 'ndeserved, a reaction to the deaths of ,'lia and )tella. 2t &as, +oolf &rote, like !eing sh't 'p in the same cage &ith a &ild !east. )'ppose 2, at fifteen, &as a nervo's, gi!!ering, little monkey, al&ays spitting or cracking a n't and shying the shells a!o't, and mopping and mo&ing, and leaping into dark corners and then s&inging in rapt're across the cage, he &as the pacing, dangero's, morose lion< a lion &ho &as s'lky and angry and in;'red< and s'ddenly ferocio's, and then very h'm!le, and then ma;estic< and then lying d'sty and fly pestered in a corner of the cage. -11$0 Both father and da'ghter &ere moody, !'t they &ere freB'ently o't of synch &ith each other. Dnly &hen their moods corresponded did she feel that she and he >&ere in leag'e together. There &as something &e had in common> -1110 that created a sense of >passionate f'm!ling fello&ship> -1"F0. +hen he sho'ted and s&ore !eca'se sto't (ermod D:Brien, one of )tella:s admirers, had !een invited to dinner, 3irginia fo'nd herself agreeing &ith him that ,'lia:s hospitality &as sometimes too imp'lsive, and >2 affirmed my sympathy, felt my likeness> to her father -1120. 2t &as a likeness that also implied difference6as every child feels &hen comparing himself or herself to a parent. +oolf recogni8ed her father:s predicament and sympathi8ed even as she critici8ed: he &as a man in prison, isolated. Ge had so ignored, or disg'ised his o&n feelings that he had no idea of &hat he &as< and no idea of &hat other people &ere. Gence the horror and the terror of those violent displays of rage. There &as something !lind, animal, savage in them. . . . Ge did not realise &hat he did. =o one co'ld enlighten him. Met

1 2.9 1 he s'ffered. Thro'gh the &alls of his prison he had moments of realisation. 9rom it all 2 gathered one o!stinate and end'ring conception< that nothing is so m'ch to !e dreaded as egotism. =othing so cr'elly h'rts the person himself< nothing so &o'nds those &ho are forced into contact &ith it. -1E$/EF0 Df her mother:s complicity in *eslie:s tantr'ms +oolf &as eB'ally critical: Too m'ch o!sessed &ith his health, &ith his pleas'res, she &as too &illing, as 2 think no&, to sacrifice 's to him. 2t &as th's that she left 's the legacy of his dependence, &hich after her death !ecame so harsh an imposition. 2t &o'ld have ?!een@ !etter for o'r relationship if she had left him to fend for himself. -1""0 ,'lia:s tolerance for *eslie:s ina!ility or 'n&illingness to cope &ith his mood s&ings led to a destr'ctive isolation. Protecting him against others !'t not against himself, ,'lia inadvertently allo&ed him to remain in his >prison,> 'nenlightened. A't'ality might have helped him gain some a'tonomy< treated as an eB'al rather than as a child or a Iod, he might have !ecome more a&are -as cyclothymics and manic5depressives often are not0 of the effects of his moods on himself and on others. 2t is the therape'tic action of m't'ality in healing the c't that egotism creates !et&een self and &orld that +oolf e4plores in To the #ightho$se. Ar. Kamsay:s lesson in m't'ality !egins immediately. The initial confrontation !et&een h's!and and &ife centers on a B'estion of kno&ledge and mood. Ars. Kamsay offers ,ames a hope that tomorro&:s &eather &ill permit a sail to the lightho'se. The >good eno'gh> mother, she reads the child:s desires and offers the playf'l ill'sion that the &orld might grant his &ish. Ar. Kamsay acts o't the father:s role of dis 5ill'sioning his son, reminding him that the &orld is treachero's and life a disappointment: Ge shivered< he B'ivered. 7ll his vanity, all his satisfaction in his o&n splendo'r, riding fell as a th'nder!olt, fierce as a ha&k at the head of his men thro'gh the valley of death, had !een shattered, destroyed. . . . =ot for the &orld &o'ld she have spoken to him, realising, from the familiar signs, his eyes averted, and some c'rio's gathering together of his person, as if he &rapped himself a!o't and needed privacy into &hich to regain his eB'ili!ri'm, that he &as o'traged and ang'ished. -E%/E90 H4pressed in the hyper!olic terms of Tennyson:s portrait of a !'ngled military campaign, Ar. Kamsay:s feelings seem 'tterly ridic'lo's !'t are not. (estr'ctive o!;ectivity looks like >e4actingness and egotism> to yo'ng 1 2$# 1 ,ames -.%0, !'t it evidences a depressed self tort'red !y isolation in a >poor little &orld> -1#%0 that appears mechanical, inh'man, and entropic. 2n a 192E letter +oolf descri!es, in precisely the same terms, a s'dden depression that came 'pon her as she &as &alking in the rain: 2t &as a &et &indy night< P as 2 &alked !ack across the field 2 said =o& 2 am meeting it< no& the old devil has once more got his spine thro'gh the &aves. -!'t 2 cannot re5capt're really0. 7nd s'ch &as the strength of my feeling that 2 !ecame physically rigid. Keality, so 2 tho'ght, &as 'nveiled. 7nd there &as something no!le in feeling like this< tragic, not at all petty. . . . Dff 2 rode, &itho't m'ch time, against s'ch a &ind< P again 2 had a satisfaction in !eing matched &ith po&erf'l things, like &ind P dark. 2 !attled, had to &alk< got on<

drove ahead< dropped the torch< picked it 'p< P so on again &itho't any lights. )a& men P &omen &alking together< tho'ght yo':re safe P happy 2:m an o'tcast. -Diar 2: 2F#0 The despair in !oth cases is real eno'gh, tho'gh the conte4t may seem inappropriate. +oolf:s mi4t're of poetic fantasy and prosaic reality implies that Ar. Kamsay is reacting, not to his &ife:s remark, !'t to an interior disaster related to it6>that he &as a fail're> -.90. Ge feels shattered !eca'se he reads into her >little lie> a denial of his preocc'pation &ith rationality6the depressive:s typical defense against despair and a chaotic, 'ncaring 'niverse6and she !ecomes the target for all his anger. 7gitated depressives often do t'rn s'ddenly 'pon loved ones, !'t their attacks are misplaced: the real enemy gna&ing at self:s fo'ndations l'rks &ithin. 2ronically, tho'gh *ily:s talent lies in spatiali8ing on canvas inner &orlds, she cannot sympathi8e &ith Kamsay, !'t &onders >&hy so !rave a man in tho'ght sho'ld !e so timid in life< ho& strangely he &as venera!le and la'gha!le at one and the same time> -F#0. Una!le to detect a common denominator for them, she sees only ho& inappropriate his emotions are6 !eca'se she is g'ilty of pro;ection herself. Ars. Kamsay 'nderstands her h's!and:s despair. )he o!;ects, not to the reality of his feelings, !'t to his method for coping &ith his v'lnera!ility, &hich she effectively e4poses: &itho't replying, da8ed and !linded, she !ent her head as if to let the pelt of ;agged hail, the drench of dirty &ater, !espatter her 'nre!'ked. There &as nothing to !e said. Ge stood !y her in silence. 3ery h'm!ly, at length, he said that he &o'ld step over and ask the Coastg'ards if she liked. There &as no!ody &hom she reverenced as she reverenced him. )he &as B'ite ready to take his &ord for it, she said. -.10 1 2$1 1 Ger reaction is therape'tic: &itho't replying to the content of his moody rage, she ackno&ledges its effect, her victimi8ation, !y !ending her head6;'st as a psychoanalyst initially accepts his patient:s transference -also an 'nconscio's transferral of emotion from an appropriate o!;ect to an inappropriate one6's'ally the analyst0 so that he can !ring it to the patient:s attention. +hen the patient !ecomes a&are that he has read into his analyst feelings or ideas that really !elong some&here else, the transference stops. Ar. Kamsay is like&ise to'ched and repentant. Gis &ife:s mirroring helps him ackno&ledge and correct mis!ehavior, even tho'gh he is still depressed< +oolf does not create a magic sol'tion for her father:s mood s&ings, ;'st a practical one. )hortly after&ard, &hen his &ife en;oys a private moment &ith the lightho'se !eam, Ar. Kamsay s'ccessf'lly resists the temptation to interr'pt her and seek reass'rance. )eeing this, she calls to him, giving him >of her o&n free &ill &hat she kne& he &o'ld never ask> -1##0. )tressing depressed spo'ses: needs for a'tonomy and self5s'fficiency, +oolf has Ar. and Ars. Kamsay accomplish their m't'ality tactf'lly, from a distance, m'ch like *ily and +illiam:s seaside intimacy -""/"E0. +hen &alking silently in the garden, Ar. Kamsay is tempted to &hine, !'t he !ecomes 'ncomforta!le, >as if he &ere !reaking into that solit'de, that aloofness, that remoteness of hers> -1#"0 6again, another noticea!le change +oolf makes in her portrait of her father, &ho complained that he >reB'ired> >proofs of ?,'lia:s@ love> in specific lang'age to dispel his >mor!id> feeling of inadeB'acy. ?2#@ Ar. Kamsay does learn to resist, !eca'se he is connected to his &ife in a mirroring relationship. *ike the cognitively narcissistic infant, Kamsay overcomes his "archaic! egoistic &ay of loving> &hen his &ife denies him a'tomatic reciprocity<?21@ !y making him a&are that she has interests 'nconnected &ith her maternal f'nction, she &eans him from dependence and sociali8es him for !alanced o!;ect5 relations &ith others &ho &ill not mother him. )he, in t'rn, gives him the same respect. +hen she

&ants to tell him that she has !een reading fairy tales to ,ames, she stops herself: >=o, they co'ld not share that< they co'ld not say that> -1#E0, for her h's!and does not !elieve in fairy tales. 2n their final moments together in the novel, they silently read !ooks &hich 'plift and reass're them, each in a private corner, 'ntil the time comes to retire to the !edroom. This is a diffic'lt moment, for the separate !'t eB'al o!;ect5relational transaction of reading te4ts that reflect their inner feelings m'st no& com!ine into the one shared transaction of the relationship. 2n an 'nspoken dialog'e, he asks to !e told she loves him and she ref'ses, keeping her 1 2$2 1 distance. B't then she smiles, and from this small sign he takes his solace6and keeps his self5 s'fficiency6allo&ing her her reticence: >?T@ho'gh she had not said a &ord, he kne&, of co'rse, that she loved him.> Ars. Kamsay then admits silently that he &as right a!o't the &eather tho'gh &rong in his defensiveness. Hnigmatically, she ends the chapter !y smiling, >for she had tri'mphed again> -1%$0. Kemem!ering that +oolf has resisted painting ,'lia as a >chronic mo'rner> &ho resorted to motherly sacrifices in place of romantic love, &e have a distinctly playf'l, se4'ally ad'lt scene here. A't'al a'tonomy is preserved, first in the reading of separate te4ts and then in their &ordless intimacy. 7fter this scene Ar. Kamsay:s insec'rities and his depressive cl'tching of o!;ective certainty are greatly m'ted: >B't no&, he felt, it didn:t matter a damn &ho reached L -if tho'ght ran like an alpha!et from 7 to L0. )ome!ody &o'ld reach it6if not he, then another> -1F90. Ars. Kamsay:s tri'mph is that of any parent &hose child has gro&n !eyond its initial dependency and any spo'se &hose mate has learned ho& to s'rvive mood s&ings &ith dignity. Ar. Kamsay:s initial progress to&ard self5s'fficiency e4plains his !ehavior ten years later, after his &ife:s death. )till moody and lonely, >he had !een a little o't of temper too at !reakfast,> and he !ears do&n 'pon *ily for sympathy -22.0, groaning and ass'ming >a pose of e4treme decrepit'de> -22F0. *ily feels she is no Ars. Kamsay, &hose inner reso'rces she ideali8es !eca'se she does not !elieve in her o&n. )he responds characteristically, first &ith a depressive self5negation and then &ith agitated defensiveness. )he !lames herself for not !eing a!le to imitate >the glo&, the rhapsody, the self5 s'rrender> of Ars. Kamsay -22E0 and concl'des that she is >not a &oman, !'t a peevish, ill5tempered, dried5'p old maid pres'ma!ly> -22$0 &ho cannot n'rt're. 7ltho'gh tempted to fake it, to p't on the >face> of the motherly n'rse, *ily feels na'seated !y Ar. Kamsay:s eff'sive needs, &hich disregard her legitimate interests that do not incl'de him. )he &ants to p'll her psychic skirts 'p, to &all herself against intr'sion. )'ddenly, and accidentally, she discovers ho& to avoid !oth a!;ect s'!mission and cold retention. )he diverts his attention from sorro& to !oots, &hich !ecome transitional o!;ects shared !y the t&o players: >They had reached, she felt, a s'nny island &here peace d&elt, sanity reigned and the s'n for ever shone, the !lessed island of good !oots. Ger heart &armed to him.> Ar. Kamsay s'rprises *ily, !ecoming gentle and affectionate, and she responds &ith gen'ine, even filial sympathy: >Th's occ'pied he seemed to her a fig're of infinite pathos> -2"#0, !'t also one of 1 2$" 1 s'dden revivification, that s'dden flare -&hen she praised his !oots0, that s'dden recovery of vitality and interest in ordinary h'man things, &hich too passed and changed -for he &as al&ays changing, and hid nothing0 into that other final phase &hich &as ne& to her and had, she o&ned, made herself ashamed of her o&n irrita!ility, &hen it seemed as if he had shed &orries and am!itions. -2""0

+hen he leaves her, she feels a s'dden emptiness, for ;'st as she is finally ready to sympathi8e, to efface herself and s'rrender emotional s'stenance, >he no longer needed it> -2"10. *ily has inadvertently d'plicated Ars. Kamsay:s strategy for steering Ar. Kamsay to&ard m't'ality and a'tonomy. P't in the position of the mother &hose separate interests are ignored !y the needy and cognitively narcissistic child, she reacts as Ars. Kamsay did at the end of Part Dne. )he resists s'rrender and enco'rages a ne'tral transaction6replicating the lesson of Ars. Kamsay:s dinner: that needs can never !e f'lly satisfied, !'t deprivation is never total. To her s'rprise, *ily finds that Ar. Kamsay has not simply !een p't off< he has changed. Gis readiness to consider >ordinary h'man things> -2""0, in contrast to his previo'sly fiery 'n&orldliness ->!orn !lind, deaf, and d'm!, to the ordinary things> ?1#F@0, indicates a s'!tle modification &ithin. ,ames, >the image of stark and 'ncompromising severity,> &ho fro&ns >at the sight of h'man frailty> -1#0 and &ho fantasi8es on the !oat trip to the lightho'se that his father &ill, at any moment, !ecome self5ind'lgent and tyrannical -2F"0, finds himself !eing praised for his seamanship and relents. Cam admires her father -"#%0. The imm'nity he learned from his &ife has given him the strength to resist feeding on his children in order to fill his inner emptiness. =o& he can n'rse others and deserve their love. Until this moment, *ily has clearly !een am!ivalent a!o't Ar. Kamsay, mothering, and art, alternately desiring Ars. Kamsay and re;ecting her, e4tolling her o&n artistic vision and ridic'ling it. +hen she first reali8es that she !oth admires +illiam -a >genero's, p're5hearted, heroic manQ> ?"9@0 and despises him -he is 'nsympathetic to dogs, spoiled !y a valet, and f'ssy &ith food0, *ily asks herself an important B'estion: ho& is it possi!le to hear one:s >o&n voice saying &itho't prompting 'ndenia!le, everlasting, contradictory things> -E#0C B't she does not arrive at an ans&er< her tho'ght spins 'ntil it e4plodes >of its o&n intensity> -E10. 7m!ivalence cannot !e resolved &hen it is dealt &ith in the cocoon of private tho'ght. *ily:s inner &orld lacks 'nity, and so her early attempts at painting are painf'l, her relationships conflicted, and her self5image that of an >old 1 2$E 1 maid> &ho neither desires nor feels desira!le -22$0. *ove and marriage seem like frighteningly real invasions, feeding >on the treas're of the ho'se, greedily> -2$106Ars. Kamsay:s fec'nd, n'rt'ring self. *ater, *ily consoles herself that she >need never marry any!ody> and feels an >enormo's e4'ltation> -2$20, ;'st as Kachel 3inrace feels impenetra!le to assa'lt in her hatred of Kichard (allo&ay. The &orld makes demands< *ily holds on, holds herself !ack, and admires +illiam:s love for Ars. Kamsay !eca'se it makes no demands. Dnly 'nder s'ch tight sec'rity can she feel >gratit'de> for >this :rapt're: . . . for nothing so solaced her, eased her of the perple4ity of life, and mirac'lo'sly raised its !'rdens> as a love that does not task self -FE0, a vision that does not have to !e made real. Painting, ho&ever, reB'ires a vision that is !oth magical and real, and it is painf'l precisely !eca'se it e4poses her inner vision >&hich a tho'sand forces did their !est to pl'ck from her> -"20, among them her o&n voice saying contradictory things. Thinking concept'ally a!o't art and relegating h'man relations to the realm of the insincere is safe, !'t it cannot p't the s'ndered fragments !ack together: *ily cannot see herself 'ntil she spatiali8es, in the mirroring circ'it of artist and canvas, her inner &orld. 7s an artist and psychoanalyst, Aarion Ailner, notes, the !locked artist:s pro!lem is !oth !ipolar and circ'lar. 2t is comprised not only of endo&ing the o'tside &orld &ith one:s o&n dream and so giving it desira!ility, coming to !elieve that &hat it offers is &hat one &ants, !'t also the reverse pro!lem of coming to !elieve that the o'tside &orld &ants &hat one has to give. D!vio'sly this !elief can !e very precario'sly esta!lished< and it is impeded, not only !y inner do'!ts a!o't

one:s &ish to give, do'!ts of the strength of one:s love and constr'ctive &ishes as compared &ith one:s hate and envy and greed, !'t also !y act'al fail'res of one:s s'rro'ndings to need &hat one has to give.?22@ *ily sees the o'ter &orld as hatef'l and finds that it resists her painting it so long as Ar. Kamsay em!odies villainy, so long as he threatens the only so'rce of n'rt're and goodness in her life: the mythologi8ed Ars. Kamsay. )he sees her inner &orld as hatef'l and 'n&orthy so long as she fears that her feeding off the ideali8ed mother fig're diminishes !oth Ars. Kamsay and herself. 2t is the >image of the pelican &oman, feeding her !rood &ith her o&n vital s'!stance,> that so depresses *ily and o!sc'res the real Ars. Kamsay -&hose nonmatemal interests *ily cannot imagine0.?2"@ 2f &omen:s selves are meant merely to !e sacrificed, ho& can they tr'ly give, in marriage or in artC The creative act, in *ily:s o&n 1 2$. 1 &ords, is >to feel simply that:s a chair, that:s a ta!le, and yet at the same time, 2t:s a miracle, it:s an ecstasy> -"##0. B't in the presence of the Kamsays she feels either that the chair is degraded or that the miracle is ta&dry, !eca'se her !ipolar o!;ect5relations prevent her from having a creative relationship &ith e4terior o!;ects. *ily feels st'ck !et&een asserting the goodness of her o&n vision against Ar. Kamsay:s realism and accepting reality:s goodness eno'gh to risk contact. )he str'ggles against re;ecting reality o'tright and painting merely an a!stract scene, !'t she also str'ggles against >her o&n inadeB'acy, her insignificance,> &hich degrades imagination.?2E@ Ailner arg'es that every artist faces the same !ipolar conflict: he or she >has to reckon not only &ith one:s hate of the e4ternal &orld, &hen it fails to live 'p to one:s e4pectations, !'t also hate of oneself &hen one similarly fails.>?2.@ +hen &e cannot make the &orld desira!le thro'gh o'r dreams -and depression interferes &ith this f'ndamental f'nction of imagination to make perceptions of the &orld personally meaningf'l0, &e despise the &orld and o'rselves. *ily seems to reali8e this &hen at last she 'nderstands her hostility to&ard Tansley: Ger o&n idea of him &as grotesB'e, *ily kne& &ell, stirring the plantains &ith her !r'sh. Galf one:s notions of other people &ere, after all, grotesB'e. They served private p'rposes of one:s o&n. Ge did for her instead of a &hipping5!oy. )he fo'nd herself flagellating his lean flanks &hen she &as o't of temper. -29"0 Ger hostility is a defensive displacement: she hates Tansley as she hates herself. B't since *ily:s painting is also a prod'ct of her self5&orld relationship, she herself !ecomes art's &hipping !oy. Tansley and the &orld and the canvas are in concert, saying, >+omen can:t &rite, &omen can:t paint> -1"#0. *ily sneers at him, !'t &hen she descri!es her painting as the >resid'e of her thirty5three years, the deposit of each day:s living mi4ed &ith something more secret than she had ever spoken or sho&n,> something >immensely e4citing> -%10, her lang'age reveals that &hat is inside, the prod'ct of the self, is !oth feces and vision, rep'lsive yet attractive, 'n&anted !'t desired. 2n contrast, painting mother and child >&itho't irreverence> -%20 reB'ires an art that gives val'e to e4ternal things !y incorporating the sense that in some 'ncanny &ay the o!;ect itself cosponsors *ily:s aesthetic 'nderstanding. +ishing for a sacred rapport is not eno'gh< the >third voice,> that 'ntho'ght !'t kno&n familiarity 1 2$$ 1 !et&een *ily and the canvas or !et&een *ily and the Kamsays, m'st !e heard in the dialog'e !et&een

self and o!;ect. To solve her artistic pro!lem of !alancing >the relations !et&een the masses,> *ily m'st refer it to her am!ivalence a!o't the Kamsays. +hat, then, moves *ily o't of her a'tistic &orld into the artisticC 7t the moment of final creation, a >&ave of &hite> appears at the &indo&, d'plicating the shape of Ars. Kamsay and ,ames seen in Part Dne: >Ars. KamsayQ Ars. KamsayQ> ?*ily@ cried, feeling the old horror come !ack6to &ant and &ant and not to have. Co'ld she inflict that stillC 7nd then, B'ietly, as if she refrained, that too !ecame part of ordinary e4perience, &as on a level &ith the chair, &ith the ta!le. Ars. Kamsay6it &as part of her perfect goodness to *ily6sat there B'ite simply, in the chair, flicked her needles to and fro, knitted her reddish!ro&n stocking, cast her shado& on the step. There she sat. 7nd as if she had something she m'st share, yet co'ld hardly leave her easel, so f'll her mind &as of &hat she &as thinking, of &hat she &as seeing, *ily &ent past Ar. Carmichael holding her !r'sh to the edge of the la&n. +here &as that !oat no&C 7nd Ar. KamsayC )he &anted him. -"##0 *ily initially feels the infant:s narcissistic needs and its depressive helplessness to satisfy them. Met this >horror> loses its magnit'de and !ecomes a simple fact, like the e4istence of a chair6differentiated, isolated, !'t real. The a!ility of the self to s'rvive the need, to perceive it as only one need among many, a &ave that &ill event'ally !e gone, def'ses the threat. 9l'ct'ations in mood need not conf'se o'r sense of identity if &e, as someone &ho really e4ists, can B'estion them. Dnce *ily feels !oth real and, in an 'ncanny &ay, invited to paint, Ars. Kamsay sits there >B'ite simply,> not a goddess !'t an o!;ect &ishing to !e painted and a feeling needing to !e e4pressed. B't &here has this ne& strength come fromC 7nd &hy is Ar. Kamsay necessary to *ily:s visionC *ily:s discovery of Ar. Kamsay:s otherness models her 'ltimate discovery of the sponsorship she seeks in art6the sensation that she has !een invited to paint. Kamsay:s version of reality denigrates the val'e of artistic imagination !eca'se it denies the e4istence of the >third voice> that !eckons s'!;ect5o!;ect f'sions. 9or him, all o!;ects are impersonal, silent, dead, amena!le only to ordering in a linear progression from 7 to L. 2ronically, !eca'se he regards all s'!;ect5o!;ect relations as man5made, he can never achieve his goal of o!;ectivity, for every idea he has m'st !e merely imposed !y himself. Ge cannot get !eyond the s'!;ective limitations of >K> 1 2$F 1 6Kamsay himself6&hich o!sc're and negarivi8e the o!;ect &orld, creating >a &orld of impossi!le loneliness, so that he craves his &ife:s sympathy.>?2$@ Beca'se Kamsay:s vision is never invited !y the o!;ects he st'dies !'t only opposes them, as a stake driven into a channel defies the &aves rather than !eing invited to ride them, !oth his inner and his o'ter &orld are impoverished. Kamsay is the polar opposite of )eptim's, &ho feels victimi8ed !y inscr'ta!le meanings called 'p from o!;ects against his consent. 2n psychosis, the >third voice> shrieks from all sides for total, self5annihilating f'sion. Ar. Kamsay hears nothing !'t his o&n voice< he is to !e pitied, not feared. *ily:s anger, then, m'st !e a reaction to &hat she hates in herself: the isolated ego that inhi!its creativity !y t'rning other people into o!;ects6red'cing them 0ith irreverence. The reconciliation on the island of good !oots not only relieves *ily of the !'rden of resisting Kamsay:s o!;ectifying ego !'t also ;olts her into considering his otherness! a reality that no longer conforms to her a'tistic dreams !'t demands a ne& dream, a ne& vision, to incorporate the changed o!;ect. =o longer can Ar. Kamsay serve as devil, Ars. Kamsay as goddess incarnate for >private

needs.> Painting makes the private p'!lic, gives it form, and so foregro'nds 'ne4amined >needs.> Ten years earlier, &hen Tansley:s egotism denied *ily:s validity as an artist, she had felt >her &hole !eing !o&, like corn 'nder a &ind>< she had retreated into a private &orld and tho'ght only of the a!stract form of her portrait: >2 m'st move the tree to the middle< that matters6nothing else> -1"#0. =o& she paints fl'ently, like a s&immer alternately dominating the c'rl of a &ave and !eing carried along !y it -2".0. The transformation comes &hen she lets go of the fear that she &o'ld !ecome the d'pe of art and its !ipolar rhythm: +ith a c'rio's physical sensation, as if she &ere 'rged for&ard and at the same time m'st hold herself !ack, she made her first B'ick decisive stroke. The !r'sh descended. 2t flickered !ro&n over the &hite canvas< it left a r'nning mark. 7 second time she did it6a third time. 7nd so pa'sing and so flickering, she attained a dancing rhythmical movement, as if the pa'ses &ere one part of the rhythm and the strokes another, and all &ere related< and so, lightly and s&iftly pa'sing, striking, she scored her canvas &ith !ro&n r'nning nervo's lines &hich had no sooner settled there than they enclosed -she felt it looming o't at her0 a space. (o&n in the hollo& of one &ave she sa& the ne4t &ave to&ering higher and higher a!ove her. . . . 2t &as an e4acting form of interco'rse anyho&. -2"./"$0 1 2$% 1 The pa'ses here are not merely depressive hoardings !'t incorporations of ne& material &hich, moment !y moment, are transformed into !r'sh strokes< the !r'sh strokes are not only manic pro;ections !'t also responses to the demands of the canvas. +hen *ily does s'ffer a !lock a page later, it is !eca'se she momentarily remem!ers Tansley reminding her that the &orld may not &ant the gift of her inner life. B't she resists the temptation to act on a depressive !elief and instead concentrates on the canvas ->for the mass loomed !efore her>0. 2n so doing she e4periences an 'ncanny f'sion compara!le to Ars. Kamsay:s &ith the lightho'se. Hven the imagery of fec'ndity is the same: Then, as if some ;'ice necessary for the l'!rication of her fac'lties &ere spontaneo'sly sB'irted, she !egan precario'sly dipping among the !l'es and 'm!ers, moving her !r'sh hither and thither, !'t it &as no& heavier and &ent slo&er, as if it had fallen in &ith some rhythm &hich &as dictated to her. . . . Certainly she &as losing conscio'sness of o'ter things, and her name and her personality and her appearance, and &hether Ar. Carmichael &as there or not, her mind kept thro&ing 'p from its depths, scenes, and names, and sayings, and memories and ideas, like a fo'ntain sp'rting over that glaring, hideo'sly diffic'lt &hite space, &hile she modelled it &ith greens and !l'es. -2"F/"%0 +hen this !ipolar rhythm, co5sponsored !y the canvas, is aligned &ith manic5depressive o!;ect5 relations, !o'ndaries dissolve and reform. +oolf:s version of artistic creativity resem!les Aarion Ailner:s report of ho& painting made her feel >&hole>: 2t &as the discovery that &hen painting something from nat're there occ'rred, at least sometimes, a f'sion into a never5!efore5kno&n &holeness< not only &ere the o!;ect and oneself no longer felt to !e separate, !'t neither &ere tho'ght and sensation and feeling and action. . . . ?T@ ho'ght &as not dro&ned in feeling, they &ere someho& there together. Aoreover, &hen this state of concentration &as really achieved one &as no longer a&are of oneself doing it, one no longer acted from a centre to an o!;ect as remote< in fact, something B'ite special happened to one:s sense of self.?2F@ Ailner feels as if the pieces of herself -tho'ghts, feelings, conscio'sness, 'nconscio'sness0 are !ro'ght

together into a creative relation !y her o!;ectrelations d'ring painting. 7 self5other transaction shapes an intras'!;ective transaction< it is as if !y painting the o!;ect she has incorporated it. *ily, like Ailner, e4periences the pleas're of >finding a !it of the o'tside 1 2$9 1 &orld . . . that &as &illing temporarily to fit in &ith one:s dreams, ?so that@ a moment of ill'sion &as made possi!le, a moment in &hich inner and o'ter seemed to coincide.>?2%@ D't of this f'sion comes an enrichment of the self, !eca'se, like Ars. Kamsay:s lightho'se, the o!;ect &ith &hich she f'ses -the painting, good !oots0 reciprocates< it !ecomes desira!le !eca'se it is !oth an o!;ect and her dream. 7rtistic f'sion makes imagination real &hile still ackno&ledging the o!;ect:s otherness, and this rhythmic integration of manic and depressive perspectives strengthens the self. The transcendence of separateness6like the 'nity gained in the !oat !y the Kamsays &orking together to&ard a common goal6replicates the e4perience of s'ccessf'l &eaning. Both *ily and the remaining Kamsays carry o't Ars. Kamsay:s original, promised voyage. They have s'rvived her death. The restoration of Ars. Kamsay, the gro&th of those left !ehind, their ne& independence: all of this recapit'lates and redeems her lost mothering. The !ody of the mother has !een demystified< it is no longer seen as the only so'rce of n'rt're and sta!ility. The father has !een reclaimed< he is no& >her> father -Diar ": 19E0, a contemporary &hose moody mis!ehavior can !e seen in a more forgiving light. Clinical research sho&s that children of mood5disordered parents often s'ffer from identification &ith the ill parent and may &ish to !ecome >magic helpers,> o!sessively trying to order their parent:s chaotic &orld.?29@ 2f +oolf:s repeated e4plorations of variations of her parents: marriage in fiction is akin to &orking at !eing a magic helper, then in this novel she has s'cceeded and so has &on her o&n release6saving, not them, !'t herself. *ily and Ar. Kamsay s'rvive a second &eaning !y discovering so'rces of strength &ithin themselves, and &ith self5&orth come imm'nity and !eneficial o!;ect5 relations.?"#@ 7s a prerepresentational perception, the line *ily dra&s do&n the middle of her canvas to !alance t&o masses may sym!oli8e the canvas itself -as a kind of meta5art0, or *ily -to schematici8e her psychodrama0, or the >third voice> &e hear &hen an e4acting form of interco'rse is s'ddenly replaced !y an easy, ;oyf'l integration of fragments into a &hole. 2ts possi!le referents do not matter< the line need only give form to the ten'o's !o'ndary !et&een dilation and contraction, pro;ection and intro;ection. 7rt and mood s&ings are tied to each other, not to the loss of the mother. +oolf:s o!session &ith her mother ended &hen she reali8ed that the a!sence she felt co'ld never have !een filled !y ,'lia. +oolf no longer desired to sacrifice her a'tonomy for the sake of !ecoming a child again. 9'llness came &ith fiction. 1 2F# 1

"") *I 0o Not Ano+ Altogether .ho I Am* The l'ralit& of Intras'3Be(ti%e Life in !e Waves
2 think, often, 2 have the happiest of lives, in having discovered sta!ility. =o& one sta!le moment vanB'ishes chaos. B't this 2 said in The *ightho'se. -Diar ": 1E10

9rom the start, +oolf planned The Waves to !e a diffic'lt &ork. 1rlando had !een >mere childs play> -Diar ": 2$E0, an e4ercise in >contin'ity P narrative, P ho& to keep the realities at !ay. B't 2 p'rposely avoided of co'rse any other diffic'lty. 2 never got do&n to my depths P made shapes sB'are 'p, as 2 did in The *ightho'se> -Diar ": 2#"0. =o& +oolf planned to eliminate all &aste, deadness, s'perfl'ity: to give the moment &hole< &hatever it incl'des. )ay that the moment is a com!ination of tho'ght< sensation< the voice of the sea. +aste, deadness, come from the incl'sion of things that dont !elong to the moment< this appalling narrative !'siness of the realist: getting on from l'nch to dinner: it is false, 'nreal, merely conventional. -Diar ": 2#90 H4ternal references &ere to !e s&ept aside. +hat she aimed for &as >an a!stract mystical eyeless !ook: a playpoem> -Diar ": 2#"0. Keaders have !een ha'nted !y these three ad;ectives, especially e eless , &hich seems to deny the da88ling descriptions that flood the novel. B't eyes also reveal the seer in the act of seeing, esta!lishing reciprocal o!;ect5relations. The infant looks into the mother:s eyes !oth to kno& her and to kno& himself< !y her reaction he forms his first self5image. 7n >eyeless> novel, then, is 'nresponsive< it does not accommodate itself to o'r needs as readers for 'nity or g'idance. +e are treated not as a'dience !'t as eavesdroppers, listening to voices that are not speaking to 's. +oolf prepared herself to &rite an eyeless !ook !y &ithdra&ing from social relations: 2 am going to enter a n'nnery these ne4t months< P let myself do&n into my mind< Blooms!'ry !eing done &ith. 2 am going to face certain things. 2t is going to !e a time of advent're P attack, rather lonely P painf'l 2 think. B't solit'de &ill !e good for a ne& !ook. -Diar ": 2190 1 2F1 1 This is B'ite a different voice from that of the +oolf &ho feared imagining )eptim's:s madness. The t'rning point had come t&o years earlier. Dn )eptem!er 1., 192$, at Kodmell Go'se, +oolf recorded a short5lived depression, &hich she entitled >7 )tate of Aind>: +oke 'p perhaps at ". Dh its !eginning its coming6the horror6physically like a painf'l &ave s&elling a!o't the heart6tossing me 'p. 2:m 'nhappy 'nhappyQ (o&n6Iod, 2 &ish 2 &ere dead. Pa'se. B't &hy am 2 feeling thisC *et me &atch the &ave rise. 2 &atch. 3anessa. Children. 9ail're. Mes< 2 detect that. 9ail're fail're. -The &ave rises0. Dh they la'ghed at my taste in green paintQ +ave crashes. 2 &ish 2 &ere deadQ 2:ve only a fe& years to live 2 hope. 2 cant face this horror any more6-this is the &ave spreading o't over me0. This goes on< several times, &ith varieties of horror. Then, at the crisis, instead of the pain remaining intense, it !ecomes rather vag'e. 2 do8e. 2 &ake &ith a start. The &ave againQ The irrational pain: the sense of fail're< generally some specific incident, as for e4ample my taste in green paint, or !'ying a ne& dress, or asking (adie for the &eek end, tacked on. 7t last 2 say, &atching as dispassionately as 2 can, =o& take a p'll of yo'rself. =o more of this. 2 reason. 2 take a cens's of happy people P 'nhappy. 2 !race myself to shove to thro& to !atter do&n. 2 !egin to march !lindly for&ard. 2 feel o!stacles go do&n. 2 say it doesn:t matter. =othing matters. 2 !ecome rigid P straight, P sleep again. . . . (oes everyone go thro'gh this stateC +hy have 2 so little controlC -Diar ": 11#/110 +oolf:s recollection here resem!les *ily:s e4perience in her str'ggle to paint. Both m'st face an

irrational horror6of fail're, emptiness, sterility6!efore they are a!le to >march !lindly for&ard.> +oolf s'rvives the &aves of depression that threaten to dro&n her !y &atching >as dispassionately as ?she@ can> &hat eng'lfs her, !y B'estioning mood &hen it affects cognition and self5eval'ation. )he e4ploits the phenomenon of >do'!le a&areness> to gain perspective: one part of her &atches the other part feeling depressed. To maintain s'ch openness to pain, she tries to let go in the face of dro&ning, instead of holding on defensively. *ily relinB'ishes her hatred of Tansley and opens herself 'p to the li!erating acceptance of chaos o'tside and in, e4citedly, nervo'sly, sB'irting paint onto the canvas. +oolf lets go of her despair and B'estions its validity: >+hy am 2 feeling thisC> The tactic she 'ses to avoid !ecoming the d'pe of depression is to em!race more perceptions, more impressions, as creative readers are sensitive to their responses to the te4t. Kather than !e over&helmed 1 2F2 1 !y the content of mood, its message of fail're, she splits her attention !et&een the content of mood and its shape as a 0ave! a transparent deformation of the seemingly smooth s'rface of e4perience. The despair !ecomes >vag'e,> less pers'asive, and at last passes. By f'lfilling her mother:s &ish to sink do&n completely, +oolf can rise 'p again refreshed. By creating another part of her self -like 7lcorn and Bracher:s >alien s'!;ect>0 to read her depression as a different kind of e4perience from the one it forcef'lly and narro&ly presents, she can isolate despair. 2n effect, she e4ploits *eonard:s schemati8ation other !reakdo&ns6that she &as insane in only one5B'arter of her mind6!y 'sing the other three5B'arters to detect, B'estion, and s'rvive the >mad> domain. +oolf has learned to deal &ith mood s&ings !y B'estioning changes in !eliefs and interpretations6in effect d'plicating the techniB'es of modern cognitive psychotherapy. (epressives can alleviate some of their distress !y recogni8ing and correcting overly negative >a'tomatic tho'ghts> that arise as a res'lt of the depression. 7 n'm!er of approaches, com!ining cognitive and !ehavioral techniB'es, are 'sed, incl'ding >reattri!'tion> -revie&ing the facts to sho& that the patient:s self5!lame is not deserved0, >ind'ced fantasy> -envisioning happy moments, so that despair is seen as temporary0, >la!eling> -foc'sing attention on the patient:s 'se of negatively loaded &ords or phrases as self5description and enco'raging more !enign synonyms0, and >redefining of goals> -setting reasona!le goals that &ill reinforce self5confidence0.?1@ 2n dealing &ith her self5deval'ation +oolf 'ses variations of all fo'r methods. 2n reattri!'tion, she lists her s'pposed fail'res6her childlessness, her taste in green paint6 and detects the irrationality of magnifying their importance, reali8ing that the pain is, in reality, >vag'e> and inappropriately >tacked on> to specific incidents. 2n ind'ced fantasy, she thinks of other people:s relative states of happiness and 'nhappiness to resist depression:s a!ility to seem >never5ending> and 'niversal. 2n la!eling, she shifts her attention a&ay from negatively loaded &ords ->fail're,> >horror,> >dead>0 to&ard phrases of active agency ->take a p'll of yo'rself,> >2 !race myself to shove>0 to remind herself that she is not po&erless. 7nd she redefines her goals, telling herself that no fail're matters so m'ch in life that she deserves death. Gaving separated self from her depressed mood, she can e4ert some self5control: nothing matters e4cept &hat she allo&s to matter. Hssentially, she m'st fight for the freedom to think o'tside of her mood. )he cannot destroy the &ave, !'t, conversely, it cannot destroy her 'nless she !elieves it can. *ike *eslie and Ar. Kamsay, +oolf sets 'p reason and free &ill 1 2F" 1 as her g'ides, for she kno&s that mood5ind'ced emotions are 'ntr'st&orthy. )he m'st rely on other parts of the self to co'nter this despair. B't she is caref'l to avoid her father:s defensive rationality<

instead, she allo&s herself to sink &hen the flood of emotion is too strong, opens herself 'p to all e4periences so that she can st'dy them. By com!ining elements of !oth her parents: responses to moods, +oolf has, in effect, discovered a prophylactic therapy for mild and or nonpsychotic mood s&ings, in &hich she retains some control over her thinking. *ike Ar. and Ars. Kamsay, she negotiates !et&een moods to esta!lish a limited sense of imm'nity. =egotiating &ith parts of the psyche acting singly or independently led +oolf to vie& conscio'sness, not as a 'nity, !'t as a de!ate !et&een psychic states or agencies. 2ndeed, this approach &o'ld nat'rally have occ'rred to her &hen, d'ring her psychotic !reakdo&ns, she heard these agencies as voices that damned her, e4alted her, or 'rged her to commit >acts of folly> against her &ill. 2n 19#E she o!eyed acc'satory voices and thre& herself o't a &indo&< later she reali8ed that they &ere >only my imagination> -#etters 1: 1E20. 2n 192E she heard >the voices of the dead> -Diar 2: 2%"0. 7t Kodmell she recogni8ed her depression for &hat it &as: a feeling that &as only a part of herself, something that she co'ld attempt to manage. The voices &ere part of her, even tho'gh her !reakdo&ns gave them a seemingly separate a'thority. +oolf !ecame conscio's of the affinity !et&een &riting and madness !eca'se in !oth mania and creativity, &ords are p't together &ith s'ch rapidity that the ego cannot track ho& the operation is performed. +riting the last &ords of The Waves! +oolf e4perienced s'ch >intensity P into4ication that 2 seemed only to st'm!le after my o&n voice, or almost, after some sort of speaker -as &hen 2 &as mad0. 2 &as almost afraid, remem!ering the voices that 'sed to fly ahead> -Diar E: 1#0. 7 manic5 depressive has e4tensive e4perience of alien feelings and spontaneo'sly generated scripts of elation or despair, and so +oolf &as intrig'ed !y the transparent line !et&een her o&n voice and the other voices she co'ld imagine. Hngaging them in dialog'e, detecting and contradicting them, esta+lishing a relationship 0ith the, , made possi!le the sort of integration that &as mediated a'tomatically !y normality !'t &as denied to her. 7s early as Dcto!er of 192$, +oolf !egan thinking a!o't The Waves as a >dramatisation of my mood at Kodmell> -Diar ": 11E0, of >a mind thinking> -": 2290 in all its pl'rality, rather than the cohesive narration of a story. )he considered >7'to!iography> as a title -": 2290, !'t then a!andoned it !eca'se the specific details &ere not to come from her 1 2FE 1 childhood -": 2"$0. Kather, she &anted to &rite the 'niversali8ed a'to!iography of any mind thinking, for a >scientific> p'rpose rather than a !iographic one:?2@ to e4press her !elief that creative tho'ght incorporates elements of manic and depressive cognitive styles. +oolf split 'p intras'!;ective e4perience into si4 voices delivering dramatic soliloB'ies, si4 mood5congr'ent points of vie&. They live a common life, >r'nning homogeneo'sly in P o't, in the rhythm of the &aves,> sometimes sharing tho'ghts, images, and ling'istic style -Diar ": "120, !'t each interprets differently, according to a predominant mood that colors !oth their inner and o'ter &orlds and so irrevoca!ly separates them. The agitated )'san !arricades herself against loss to compensate for her o&n &orthlessness. 9or Khoda, the helpless self !egins dissolving as soon as it is !orn. =eville acts o't his depression thro'gh self5 m'tilation. To *o'is, life is an enemy, a !east to !e fo'ght. 7n e4alted, iridescent &orld &elcomes the manic ,inny, re&arding her enlivened senses &ith intense pleas're and gaiety. The self5conscio's Bernard r'minates 'pon all these disparate e4periences, constantly reshaping them into narratives that B'ickly fall apart, for nothing permanent can hold together this dynamic confederation -that >B'eer conglomeration of incongr'o's things>0 of a mind at &ork -5ranite and ;ain+o0 19/2#0. Constant movement &ithin conscio'sness reB'ires more fle4i!ility than a single voice can long provide.

Keaders feel helpless in the disconnected >mind> of the novel. *ike +oolf at Kodmell, &e m'st learn to let go of the desire to find an a'thoritative voice< a part of 's m'st vie& the chaos dispassionately, accepting the conflicting assertions of si4 points of vie& that can !e neither proved nor disproved. Khoda:s s'icidal despair, ,inny:s promisc'o's ecstasies, and )'san:s agitated possessiveness6as responses to life each represents some >tr'th> that is val'a!le, tho'gh they are all provisional. Conscio'sness is an 'nspecified !lend of all si4< +oolf leaves it to 's to decide ho& to read this mind -for this is &hat &e m'st learn to do &ith o'r o&n minds0. Conf'sed and 'ng'ided, &e forge ahead, !'ffeted and provoked !y a novel &ritten >to a rhythm not to a plot> -Diar ": "1$0. +oolf felt that the rhythmical form &as >more nat'ral> to her than the narrative, tho'gh she admitted that its >inchoate> -#etters E: 29E0 B'alities &ere >completely opposed to the tradition of fiction and 2 am casting a!o't all the time for some rope to thro& to the reader> -#etters E: 2#E0. B't she resisted tidying 'p too m'ch !y r'nning >all the scenes together . . . so as to make the !lood r'n like a torrent from end to end,> achieving >a sat'rated, 'nchopped, completeness< changes of scene, of mood, 1 2F. 1 of person, done &itho't spilling a drop> -Diar ": "E"0, &resting control of the reading a&ay from the reader, &ho m'st e4perience a mind:s &ell and ill disco'rses &itho't red'ction. 2n a letter &ritten ;'st after the novel &as p'!lished, +oolf considered this pro!lem of m'ltiplicity and 'nity: Aany people say that ?The Waves @ is hopelessly sad6!'t 2 didnt mean that. . . . B't 2 did mean that in some vag'e &ay &e are the same person, and not separate people. The si4 characters &ere s'pposed to !e one. 2:m getting old myself62 shall !e fifty ne4t year< and 2 come to feel more and more ho& diffic'lt it is to collect oneself into one 3irginia< even tho'gh the special 3irginia in &hose !ody 2 live for the moment is violently s'scepti!le to all sorts of separate feelings. Therefore 2 &anted to give the sense of contin'ity, instead of &hich most people say, no yo':ve given the sense of flo&ing and passing a&ay and that nothing matters. Met 2 feel things matter B'ite immensely. +hat the significance is, heaven kno&s 2 cant g'ess< !'t there is significance6that 2 feel over&helmingly. -#etters E: "9F0 Ger concern a!o't the disconnectedness, in Mrs. Dallo0a , of the scenes !et&een the sane and the insane once again emerges: can contin'ity and diff7rance !e reconciled or even represented in a single te4tC To 'nderscore the pro!lem, +oolf has Bernard plainly state the pro!lem of identity:> ?2@ t is not one life that 2 look !ack 'pon< 2 am not one person< 2 am many people< 2 do not altogether kno& &ho 2 am6,inny, )'san, =eville, Khoda, or *o'is: or ho& to disting'ish my life from theirs> -2F$0. 2f identity someho& gro&s o't of many voices, the reader faces the formida!le task of connecting them in order to sense the collective, incl'sive psyche. Dn a less a!stract level, The Waves contains several formal and stylistic devices that help convey a sense of psychic contin'ity: 7ll the lang'age in the !ook has the same remarka!le sensitivity to rhythm and metaphor, the same characteristics of repetition and alliteration, even sometimes the same 'se of rhyme, e'phony, and assonance. 2n fact, the separate voices often dra& on the same !ody of imagery.?"@ Unity of conscio'sness is f'rther 'nderscored !y the artificiality of the dramatic5soliloB'y techniB'e. This is especially evident in the childhood scenes, &here infants report their perceptions &ith s'ch sophistication that the disco'rse !ecomes a litany:

>+hen the smoke rises, sleep c'rls off the roof like a mist,> said *o'is. >The !irds sang in chor's first,> said Khoda. >=o& the sc'llery door is 'n!arred. Dff they fly. Dff they fly like a fling of seed.> -1#/110 1 2F$ 1 These voices, neither spoken nor tho'ght, are !est descri!ed as >ver!ali8ed +eing ,>?E@ em!odiments of different intras'!;ective transactions that together compose conscio'sness. There remains, ho&ever, a constant tension among these si4 voices that live s'ch separate inner lives yet speak &ith a common voice. 9rom the start, the novel foc'ses on ho& even sense perceptions of the same e4perience can mean B'ite different things: >2 see a ring,> said Bernard, >hanging a!ove me. 2t B'ivers and hangs in a loop of light.> >2 see a sla! of pale yello&,> said )'san, >spreading a&ay 'ntil it meets a p'rple stripe.> >2 hear a so'nd,> said Khoda, >cheep, chirp< cheep, chirp< going 'p and do&n.> >2 see a glo!e,> said =eville, >hanging do&n in a drop against the enormo's flanks of some hill.> >2 see a crimson tassel,> said ,inny, >t&isted &ith gold threads.> >2 hear something stamping,> said *o'is. >7 great !east:s foot is chained. 2t stamps, and stamps, and stamps.> -90 The characters define themselves in terms of ho& they see the &orld. Hach child:s perception esta!lishes leitmotifs that are repeated thro'gho't the novel. Bernard:s ring sym!oli8es his B'est for a lang'age to enclose the fl'4 of e4perience. )'san:s sla! of yello& e4emplifies her tendency to see life in simplistic terms, as love or hate, possession or re;ection.?.@ =eville:s masochism sit'ates him as a fragile drop menaced !y others. ,inny:s crimson tassel &ith gold threads prefig'res her self5ind'lgent life of ecstatic sensations. )eeing is the more analytical sense, fi4ing, immo!ili8ing &ith a stare< hearing is passive, omnidirectional, and v'lnera!le, and only Khoda and *o'is hear their first impressions. Khoda does not identify the so'rce of the so'nd she hears, and later in life she feels persec'ted !y a &orld that also el'des her. *o'is cannot see the &aves crashing on the !each and &orries that an angry !east is chained, reading into the perception &hat &ill !e his lifelong preocc'pation &ith order and safety. 7ltho'gh the voices long to share closer ties, to !ecome one, their irreconcila!le perspectives only &iden the gap !et&een them. Hven in childhood )'san:s free8ing possessiveness disting'ishes her from ,inny and her carefree relations &ith others. Catching sight of ,inny kissing *o'is, )'san retreats into self5hatred: >=o& 2 &ill &rap my agony inside my pocket5handkerchief. 2t shall !e scre&ed tight into a !all. 2 &ill go to the !eech &ood alone, !efore 1 2FF 1 lessons. 2 &ill not sit at a ta!le, doing s'ms. 2 &ill not sit ne4t ,inny and ne4t *o'is. 2 &ill take my ang'ish and lay it 'pon the roots 'nder the !eech trees. 2 &ill e4amine it and take it !et&een my fingers. They &ill not find me. 2 shall eat n'ts and peer for eggs thro'gh the !ram!les and my hair &ill !e matted and 2 shall sleep 'nder hedges and drink &ater from ditches and die there.> -1"/1E0

(espair contracts s'!;ect5o!;ect !o'ndaries 'ntil agony !ecomes more real than self, !ecomes a thing to !e e4amined and hoarded. The image of herself as a hermit mythologi8es )'san:s plight< she identifies &ith her sense of isolation 'ntil it t'rns into something definitive, the only appropriate fate for an 'nloved !eing. +orthlessness ironically !ecomes val'a!le, !eca'se it aptly e4presses her depressed identity. Hveryone needs an identity that corresponds to his or her feelings, even if they are painf'l feelings. )o depressives are st'ck: their fatalism gives them the only contin'ity that >fits> their e4periences. 7s a character, )'san e4presses +oolf:s insight into a pro!lem most depressives and their therapists m'st face: &hy the patient sometimes clings to a self5definition so eminently painf'l. 7ttempts to e4plain a&ay a patient:s self5deval'ations ->2:m a fail're,> >2:m 'nlova!le,> >the &orld is against me>0 as 'nreasona!le or 'nrealistic and arg'ing that his her resistance to change is an 'nconscio's defense cannot s'cceed if the patient:s e4perience and deepest feelings seem to corro!orate these negative interpretations. To fill the emptiness of her degraded self, )'san yearns to possess o!;ects6a h's!and, children, the farm6and feel all the fierce maternal emotions ->2 &o'ld fell do&n &ith one !lo& any intr'der> &ho &o'ld harm her yo'ng, >making of my o&n !ody a hollo&, a &arm shelter for my child to sleep in> ?1F2@0, as if family &ere a treas're trove to !e hoarded inside herself. (epressed, )'san feels >de!ased and hide5!o'nd !y the !estial and !ea'tif'l passion of maternity> -1"20. Aotherhood has given f'll rein to her &ish to >desire one thing only,> !'t it is a thing that ,$st then +eco,e hatef$l . Preparing herself to find a h's!and after finishing school, she kno&s that the gift she &ill !ring to him, her self, is an eB'ivocal !lessing: >)omething has formed, at school, in )&it8erland, some hard thing. =ot sighs and la'ghter< not circling and ingenio's phrases. . . . +hat has formed in me 2 shall give him. . . . 2 shall !e like my mother, silent in a !l'e apron locking 'p the c'p!oards> -9%/990. )'san instit'tionali8es her self5contempt in marriage ->+hat shock can loosen my la!orio'sly gathered, relentlessly pressed5do&n lifeC> ?191@0, &hich f'rther s'ffocates her: 1 2F% 1 >Met sometimes 2 am sick of nat'ral happiness, and fr'it gro&ing, and children scattering the ho'se &ith oars, g'ns, sk'lls, !ooks &on for pri8es and other trophies. 2 am sick of the !ody, 2 am sick of my o&n craft, ind'stry and c'nning, of the 'nscr'p'lo's &ays of the mother &ho protects, &ho collects 'nder her ;ealo's eyes at one long ta!le her o&n children, al&ays her o&n.> -1910 *o'is spec'lates that >to !e loved !y )'san &o'ld !e to !e impaled !y a !ird:s sharp !eak, to !e nailed to a !arnyard door> -12#0 like an old stoat. Hndlessly h'ngry, she devo'rs &hat she possesses and feels devo'red in t'rn. *ove !ecomes a cancero's knot, for her degraded self5image makes h'rtf'l o!;ects desira!le. Hm!racing the agony that depression deems appropriate, she lives o't its self5f'lfilling prophecy. B't there are different levels and kinds of depression, as +oolf &ell kne&. 2n the character of Khoda, +oolf e4plores s'ch severe po&erlessness and helplessness that all reality seems hostile and invasive ->*ife, ho& 2 have dreaded yo'. . . . 2 have !een stained !y yo' and corr'pted>0. Paranoid, Khoda fears everything: people in general ->hideo's,> >sB'alid,> smelly ?2#"@0, p'rs'ing her do&n endless paths in dreams -2%0< people at parties, >thro&ing faint smiles to mask their cr'elty>< doors opening ->terror r'shes inQ>0< her o&n friends ->7 million arro&s pierce me. )corn and ridic'le pierce me> ?1#./$@0. *ike )eptim's, Khoda feels c't off from a &orld that is degraded and dangero's !eca'se it is eval'ated !y a pervasive nihilism she cannot B'estion or control. (epression can !ecome so severe that its perspective cannot !e differentiated from or detected !y the individ'al:s capacity for >normal> thinking. )elf5hatred, frigidity, and paranoid del'sions a!o't a hostile &orld spring 'p as totali8ing e4planations,

fictional variations of a f'ndamental, 'nintelligi!le emptiness, locating in the identifia!le real &orld &hat act'ally remains cloaked in mood. Khoda:s v'lnera!ility vividly dramati8es the ins'!stantiality of the deeply depressed self. D!;ects deny her very e4istence. )he feels e4cl'ded &hen she finds Aiss G'dson:s mathematical form'las incomprehensi!le: >The fig'res mean nothing no&. Aeaning has gone. . . . The &orld is entire, and 2 am o'tside of it, crying, :Dh, save me, from !eing !lo&n for ever o'tside the loop of timeQ:> -21/220. Aeaning is fo'nd &hen self has the po&er to organi8e perception of o'ter facts so that internal schemata coincide &ith the str'ct're of o!;ects. Understanding pres'pposes that the &orld can !e organi8ed and that the self is real eno'gh to create or a'thori8e schemata that ill'minate previo'sly hidden str'ct'res &hich !ring the &orld closer and incl'de the self in their life. Unintegra!le perceptions attack the depersonali8ed, 'na'thori8ed self: 1 2F9 1 >2 am afraid of the shock of sensation that leaps 'pon me, !eca'se 2 cannot deal &ith it as yo' do62 cannot make one moment merge in the ne4t. To me they are all violent, all separate< and if 2 fall 'nder the shock of the leap of the moment yo' &ill !e on me, tearing me to pieces. 2 have no end in vie&. 2 do not kno& ho& to r'n min'te to min'te and ho'r to ho'r, solving them !y some nat'ral force 'ntil they make the &hole and indivisi!le mass that yo' call life. . . . 2 have no face.> -1"#0 +itho't some kind of contin'ity to perception that makes meaning, identity seems to fall apart. Beca'se she lacks a sense of her self as e4isting, Khoda freB'ently casts herself as a faceless person: >That is my face,> said Khoda, >in the looking5glass !ehind )'san:s sho'lder6that face is my face. B't 2 &ill d'ck !ehind her to hide it, for 2 am not here. 2 have no face. Dther people have faces< )'san and ,inny have faces< they are here. Their &orld is the real &orld. The things they lift are heavy. They say Mes, they say =o< &hereas 2 shift and change and am seen thro'gh in a second. . . . They kno& &hat to say if spoken to. They la'gh really< they get angry really< &hile 2 have to look first and do &hat other people do &hen they have done it.> -E"0 The self Khoda:s face represents is >not here,> and so she m'st imitate others: reactions. )he feels depersonali8ed and transparent6a common complaint from depressives, &ho seem not to have the energy to !e responsive or even to recogni8e that a sit'ation calls for an emotional reaction. Beca'se Khoda descri!es the real &orld as !elonging to others, some readers ass'me that she lives in a mystical realm that sed'ces her into s'icide?$@ 6a tempting interpretation, since other characters do tend to see Khoda:s isolation as other&orldliness. B't Khoda herself characteri8es it as a too real >nothingness>: >Therefore 2 hate looking5glasses &hich sho& me my real face. 7lone, 2 often fall do&n into nothingness. 2 m'st p'sh my foot stealthily lest 2 sho'ld fall off the edge of the &orld into nothingness. 2 have to !ang my hand against some hard door to call myself !ack to the !ody.> -EE0 (epressive nothingness is neither a visionary e4perience nor a mystical level of conscio'sness. 7ckno&ledging the solidity of the &orld of her friends, Khoda attri!'tes e4cl'sive val'e to it: their &orld is f'll< hers is empty. Dnly !y to'ching something solid can she get any sense of herself as e4isting, and then it is only a !odily sense< it has no rec'perative meaning for her spirit.

1 2%# 1 ,inny escapes the violent, 'nsavory 'niverse of )'san and Khoda. H'phoric, 'ninhi!ited, and glo&ing, ,inny feels no fear, no limitations. 7&are, as a child, primarily of !odily sensations ->:The !ack of my hand !'rns,: said ,inny, :!'t the palm is clammy and damp &ith de&:> ?1#@0, as an ad'lt she ind'lges in a frenetic, manic p'rs'it of intensified sensory perception ->D'r hands to'ch, o'r !odies !'rst into fire> ?1E#@0. 7ltho'gh depression typically has a >ne'teri8ing effect,> ro'ghly half of manic and hypomanic states have a >polari8ing or enhancing effect on se4'al identity.> Geightened psychomotor activity com!ines &ith enhanced self5esteem and self5confidence to e4aggerate se4'ality.?F@ ,inny sees her !ody >ripple> in the looking glass and feels an ecstatic po&er in movement6>2 move, 2 dance< 2 never cease to move and to dance> -E206tho'gh she never discovers the so'rce of all this energy: >+hat moved the leavesC +hat moves my heart, my legsC> H4pansive in mood, she kisses *o'is to re;'venate him6 >7nd 2 dashed in here, seeing yo' green as a !'sh, like a !ranch, very still, *o'is, &ith yo'r eyes fi4ed. :2s he deadC: 2 tho'ght, and kissed yo', &ith my heart ;'mping 'nder my pink frock like the leaves, &hich go on moving, tho'gh there is nothing to move them. =o& 2 smell gerani'ms< 2 smell earth mo'ld. 2 dance. 2 ripple. 2 am thro&n over yo' like a net of light. 2 lie B'ivering fl'ng over yo'.> -1"0 6as if the mere to'ch of her magical !ody co'ld create life. )ince, in a manic state, &ielding po&er seems effortless, it is no &onder that some manics !elieve they are cond'its for Iod or that they are someho& pl'gged into the energies and p'rposes of =at're -consider +alt +hitman:s >2 )ing the Body Hlectric>0. +oolf emphasi8es the energy of ,inny:s &orld !y constant 'se of action ver!s in descriptions of her: >*ook, &hen 2 move my head 2 ripple all do&n my narro& !ody< even my thin legs ripple like a stalk in the &ind. 2 flicker !et&een the set face of )'san and Khoda:s vag'eness< 2 leap like one of those flames that r'n !et&een the cracks of the earth< 2 move, 2 dance< 2 never cease to move and to dance.> -E20 Ger e4'ltation in movement affects her perceptions. ,'st as, to e4plain her !o'ndless energy and sense of &ell5!eing, she imagines that her >!lood m'st !e !right red, &hipped 'p, slapping against ?her@ ri!s,> so too the o!;ects she sees are highly energi8ed: >There is nothing staid, nothing settled in this 'niverse. 7ll is rippling, all is dancing< all is B'ickness and 1 2%1 1 tri'mph> -E$0. )he perceives her !ody as >incandescent,> as if a stream is po'ring thro'gh it, >a deep ride fertilising, opening the sh't, forcing the tight5folded, flooding free> -.F0. 7t social occasions she is &itty and grandiose, dra&ing men to her !y the p're force of her personality, giving herself 'p to the >rapt're> of !eing >m'ch admired, my dress !illo&ing aro'nd me> -$"0. Dther people do not frighten her, as they do Khoda< rather, they stim'late her dilated self5confidence and her enhanced sense of po&er: >They are an4io's to make a good impression. 2 feel a tho'sand capacities spring 'p in me> -1#20. 2n mania, self and !ody are one and s'!stantial: >The torments, the divisions of yo'r lives have !een solved for me night after night, sometimes only !y the to'ch of a finger 'nder the ta!lecloth as &e sat dining6so fl'id has my !ody !ecome, forming even at the to'ch of a finger into one f'll drop, &hich fills itself, &hich B'ivers, &hich flashes, &hich falls in ecstasy.> -2210 B't +oolf is a&are that e'phoria has its dra&!acks. 7ltho'gh ,inny glo&s &ith a physical magnetism,

it is an egotistical energy that dra&s everything to herself. Ger self5centered imagination is limited to her !ody: >Hvery time the door opens 2 cry :AoreQ: B't my imagination is the !odies ?sic @. 2 can imagine nothing !eyond the circle cast !y my !ody. Ay !ody goes !efore me, like a lantern do&n a dark lane, !ringing one thing after another o't of darkness into a ring of light. 2 da88le yo'< 2 make yo' !elieve that this is all.> -12%/290 Aania da88les !'t misleads, overcoming reality testing !y its sheer energy. Aanics feel they have discovered profo'nd meaning or e4perienced transcendental ;oy &hen in fact they have not gotten !eyond the door of physical senses. ,inny:s >feather5headed carelessness> -..0 ca'ses her teacher, Aiss Aatthe&s, to gr'm!le !eca'se ,inny >cannot follo& any &ord thro'gh its changes. . . any tho'ght from present to past> -E20. )o distracted and ceaseless are her vivified perceptions that she B'ickly creates similes o't of them, !'t &itho't going !eyond the sensations themselves: >Ay hand is like a snake:s skin. Ay knees are pink floating islands. Mo'r face is like an apple tree netted 'nder> -2"0. Beca'se the manic imagination, in its sens'o's e4ercise of self:s po&er, makes myriad ephemeral connections, ,inny:s relationships are only moments of intense, short5lived intimacy, !eginning &ith a sho& of po&er: >2 !egin to feel the &ish to !e singled o't< to !e s'mmoned, to !e called a&ay !y one person &ho comes to find me, &ho is attracted to&ards me, 1 2%2 1 &ho cannot keep himself from me, !'t comes to &here 2 sit on my gilt chair, &ith my frock !illo&ing ro'nd me like a flo&er> -E$0. The &ish to !e singled o't is contingent 'pon someone else:s s'!ordination to the ill'sion of her po&er6her inflated sense of herself is ratified &hen a stranger finds her irresisti!le: >2 am arch, gay, lang'id, melancholy !y t'rns. 2 am rooted, !'t 2 flo&. 7ll gold, flo&ing that &ay, 2 say to this one, :Come.: Kippling !lack, 2 say to that one, :=o.: Dne !reaks off from his station 'nder the glass ca!inet. Ge approaches. Ge makes to&ards me. This is the most e4citing moment 2 have ever kno&n. 2 fl'tter. 2 ripple. 2 stream like a plant in the river, flo&ing this &ay, flo&ing that &ay, !'t rooted, so that he may come to me. :Come,: 2 say, :come.: Pale, &ith dark hair the one &ho is coming is melancholy, romantic. 7nd 2 am arch and fl'ent and capricio's< for he is melancholy, he is romantic. Ge is here< he stands at my side.> -1#2/"0 7s a child she feels fl'id and 'nencompassa!le: >2 do not &ant to !e fi4ed, to !e pinioned> -..0< as an ad'lt, she thro&s herself into the arms of many lovers and glories in their anonymity: >2 do not care for anything in this &orld. 2 do not care for any!ody save this man &hose name 2 do not kno&. . . . This is rapt're< this is relief. The !ar at the !ack of my throat lo&ers itself. +ords cro&d and cl'ster and p'sh forth one on top of another. 2t does not matter &hich. They ;ostle and mo'nt on each other:s sho'lders. The single and the solitary mate, t'm!le and !ecome many. 2t does not matter &hat 2 say. Cro&ding, like a fl'ttering !ird, one sentence crosses the empty space !et&een 's. . . . The veils drop !et&een 's. 2 am admitted to the &armth and privacy of another so'l.> -1#"/E0 7nonymity and intimacy may seem to !e contradictions, !'t, for the manic, intimacy &ith only one person &o'ld !og do&n the splendid e4perience of the !ody:s energy, the mind:s fertility, and the effortless capacity to cross !arriers and to'ch others &ith a perfect -tho'gh, to 's, s'perficial0 sense of f'sion. )i4ty percent of manics e4hi!it increased se4'al desire< some !ecome voracio'sly promisc'o's,

s'cceeding !eca'se the manic personality can !e an appealing and persistent &i8ard &ith &ords. 2t does not seem to matter &hat ,inny says: the &ords come easily, the moment is magic, and the veil drops. The manic delights in physical movement, !ea'ty, and e4perience for its o&n sake, operating, as ,ohn C'stance remem!ers of his o&n manic 1 2%" 1 !reakdo&ns, p'rely on the pleas're principle and an 'ncanny sense of s'!;ect5o!;ect f'sion: Perhaps it can !est !e descri!ed as a >!reach in the !arriers of individ'ality>. +hat Professor Irensted has called, if 2 remem!er rightly, the >sense of estrangement, fencing in a narro&ly limited ego> disappears altogether. The shell &hich s'rro'nds the ego and so often gets harder &ith the years is pierced. The e4perience partakes of the nat're of the goodfello&ship prod'ced !y alcohol< it also constit'tes in some degree a regression to a childish faith and confidence in the !enevolence, the >akinness> of the s'rro'nding &orld. ?%@ Dne of the most interesting feat'res of this e4perience is the light it thro&s on the nat're of the se4'al 'rge in mania. This 'rge is almost entirely impersonal. The B'estion of selecting an attractive girl, &hich normally plays a large part in se4'al advent'res, did not tro'!le me in the least. 2 &as B'ite content to leave it to chance. . . . *ike +hitman, 2 really did feel all &omen to !e >my sisters and lovers.>?9@ The !'rden of conscience, of the >s'per5ego> of 9re'dian theory, is enormo's. 2n mania it is lifted as it &ere !y magic.?1#@ 9orty percent of manics do not e4hi!it an increased se4'al drive, as apparently +oolf did not -tho'gh &e cannot !e s're, if &e consider her playf'lly erotic letters to 3ita0, !'t clearly she 'nderstood that mania e4presses itself in enlivened senses and a dilated self that cannot make a'thentic, personal contact &ith others: =o& my little t'gging P distressing !ook P articles are off my mind my !rain seems to fill P e4pand P gro& physically light P peacef'l. 2 !egin to feel it filling B'ietly after all the &ringing P sB'ee8ing it has had since &e came here. 7nd so the 'nconscio's part no& e4pands< P &alking 2 notice the red corn, P the !l'e of the plain P an infinite n'm!er of things &itho't naming them< !eca'se 2 am not thinking of any special thing. =o& P again 2 feel my mind take shape, like a clo'd &ith the s'n on it, as some idea, plan, or image &ells 'p, !'t they travel on, over the hori8on, like clo'ds, P 2 &ait peacef'lly for another to form, or nothing6it matters not &hich. -Diar ": 2E%0 )ince personality !ecomes a prod'ction, a stagey e4aggeration of desire o't of control, the manic cannot tell &hether an o!;ect 'ncannily invites his responses or &hether desire itself has provided the ill'sion of reciprocation. 7cting 'pon s'ch one5sided 'rges disperses identity and prohi!its tr'e f'sion, &hether se4'al or aesthetic. B't the l're of complete, ecstatic 1 2%E 1 f'lfillment dispels do'!t and inspires the frenetic devotion of a lover &hose !eloved promises !liss that permeates !ody and so'l, earth and stars. Aood states are also divided 'p among the males in the gro'p. *ike Khoda, *o'is feels the arro&s of

other people:s attention aimed at him ->2 s'ffer for all h'miliations>0 and &ants to !e 'nseen to protect himself ->my shivering, my tender, and infinitely yo'ng and 'nprotected so'l. 9or 2 am al&ays the yo'ngest> ?219@0. Unless he is a!le to organi8e them, he is 'na!le to tolerate the discontin'o's and violent perceptions of life. +hen, at Gampton Co'rt, the si4 reassem!le to remem!er Percival, *o'is finds >this moment of reconciliation> to !e >!lack> and intolera!ly painf'l: >+hat is the sol'tion, 2 ask myself, and the !ridgeC Go& can 2 red'ce these da88ling, these dancing apparitions to one line capa!le of linking all in oneC> -2190. B't, altho'gh depressed, *o'is does not retreat into nothingness< he asserts