A Hoard of Floating Monkeys: Creativity and Inhuman Becomings in Woolf's Nurse Lugton Story

Deleuze and Guatarri Studies 7 (4):515-536 (2013)
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This essay analyses how Virginia Woolf's critically under-examined children's story about Nurse Lugton connects the becoming-artistic of writing to animal becomings. Examining the links between creativity and the other-than-human via Gilles Deleuze and Elizabeth Grosz, I claim that the ‘animation’ of the stitched animal figures on Nurse Lugton's ‘canvas’ reveals that art is the enlivenment of vibratory and affective qualities, as opposed to a monumentalising of symbols or concepts. Moreover, the curtain in Woolf's story should be read as creative materiality itself, its folds participating in the self-varying dynamism of the virtual and actual. My analysis of the two published versions of the story, and their accompanying illustrations, outlines an affirmative bio-poetics at the heart of Woolf's aesthetic project and suggests that Woolf's creative sources are embedded in inhuman, biological forces



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A thousand plateaus: capitalism and schizophrenia.Gilles Deleuze - 1987 - London: Athlone Press. Edited by Félix Guattari.
The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex.Charles Darwin - 1898 - New York: Plume. Edited by Carl Zimmer.
Difference and repetition.Gilles Deleuze - 1994 - London: Athlone Press.
Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things.Jane Bennett - 2010 - Durham: Duke University Press.

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