In this paper I mean to focus on To the Lighthouse and investigate how Woolf develops the relationship between her quest for truth and her investigation into the role of art, as well as her use of visual and spatial strategies. In this novel visuality is all-pervading since painting is widely thematized and exploited as meta-literary discourse in order to shed light upon the motivations and the creative process of literature itself. Painting, seeing and spatial writing are entrusted to women and closely related: seeing is firstly a way of developing awareness of otherness and of establishing relationships (Mrs Ramsay); seeing is then translated into a picture which provides formal wholeness and heals a deep sense of mourning and loss (Lily); the picture is itself contained in, and equals the novel which reaches the same goal by employing similar formal strategies (Woolf). Such relational strategies are all remedial in that they build up union and continuity opposing separation and death.
Stevanato, S. (2008). “'To the Lighthouse': The Remedial Function of the Visual and the Spatial”. In F.M. Loretta Innocenti (a cura di), Pictures of Modernity: The Visual and the Literary in England, 1850-1930 (pp. 129-148). Venezia : Libreria Editrice Cafoscarina.