Dorothy Richardson's novel cycle Pilgrimage, completed in 1938, continues to be marginalised despite the fact that in the past decade several monographs and many articles addressing the issues of gender, genre and modernism have been published. Her work has been recuperated from oblivion primarily as a voice of feminine modernism, but the philosophical underpinnings are still overlooked. Mapping this early modernist text against our postmodern interest in real and imagined geographies, Bronfen addresses the question of how identity is formed as a result of corporeal and cultural positioning.
The book is divided into three parts, each concerned with one aspect of subject formation and location. The first part explores concrete spaces and how these are psychically encoded and how they produce a sequence of sites that ultimately allow the protagonist, Miriam, to construct a coherent story about her own development as a writer. The second part analyses Richardson's use of spatial metaphor: where boundaries between herself and communities she would like to belong to, but ultimately rejects, are repeatedly drawn. Bronfen also explores Richardson's key narrative techniques of the use of spatial tropes involving creativity, textualisation, communication and sexuality. In the final part, Pilgrimage itself is presented as a textual space, a narrative tapestry where the juxtaposition of events is given preference over narrative temporal sequence.
Part I Actual Material Spaces
1. Locations of passage and habitation
2. The spirit of the place
3. Three modes of emplacement: Absorption in space, movement through space, contemplation space
4. In search of lost space
Part II Metaphorical spaces
5. World-making as a cognitive process
6. The spatiality of psychic states
Part III Textual Space - Spatial Textuality
7. The space of literature
8. When the tapestry hangs complete: March Moonlight
Appendix: Critical literature on Dorothy Richardson
Bibliography -- .