This volume analyses Virginia Woolf’s novels through a philosophical lens, providing an interpretive overview of her works through Hans-Georg Gadamer’s hermeneutic ontology. The text argues that interpretation itself is the central subject matter of Woolf’s novels: in order to understand these novels in all of their complexity and depth, it is both useful and helpful to comprehend the interpretive pillars that inform these narratives. Indeed, interpretation became a central theme during the Modernist movement, and Woolf’s novels took part in this conversation. For his part, Gadamer was in important voice in these discussions, dedicating his life’s work to the concept of interpretation. Gadamer focused on the universality of interpretation, arguing that it is inescapable and irrevocably bound up with existence. In many ways, Woolf’s novels represent an enactment of Gadamer’s philosophy, as they emphasize the radical questionability of the world—what this interpretive imperative requires of its participants and the potential yield that may result. On the other end, Gadamer’s philosophy acquires a concrete praxis when applied to Woolf’s novels. His philosophy hinges on the universality of interpretation as it manifests itself in daily existence; the literary text and its interpretation participate in this universality and is shaped by it.
Born in Louisville, Kentucky, the author grew up home-schooled and an avid reader of literature. He went on to study Spanish at Earlham College, travelling in Mexico, studying in Spain and expanding his horizon. From there he attended graduate school at the University of Louisville, where he continued to study Spanish and travel the world. Upon graduating, he decided to continue his studies at the University of Louisville and pursue his Ph. D. in Interdisciplinary Humanities. This book represents the culmination of his time with that program.