A companion to Virginia Woolf by Jessica Schiff Berman (ed.)

By Jessica Schiff Berman (ed.)

"A better half to Virginia Woolf is an intensive exam of her lifestyles, paintings, and a number of contexts in 33 essays written via best students within the field"--


A better half to Virginia Woolf is a radical exam of her existence, paintings, and a number of contexts in 33 essays written by way of major students within the field. Read more...

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Woolf 1975: 32–33) In a note in Three Guineas Woolf describes the labor of various maids as chaperones of Victorian ladies, and imagines that the maids brood on their resentment of the patriarchal system “in the darkness of the beetle-haunted basement […] It is much to be regretted that no lives of maids, from which a more fully documented account could be constructed, are to be found in the Dictionary of National Biography” (ch. 2, n. 36). In a sense, Leslie Stephen helped to preserve “The Maid’s Room” (comparable to Jacob’s Room) by leading the effort to establish the memorial museum.

I spent an hour looking at pots and carpets in the museums the other day, until the desire to describe them because like the desire for the lusts of the flesh. (1976: 285) Writing thus becomes a form of word painting. Woolf also seems to have been offering Fry her own version of “The Artist’s Vision” – the title of the essay he published in 1919, in which he explored the relationship between forms and colors as “a whole field of vision” (Fry 1920: 34). In this essay, as in his earlier “An Essay in Aesthetics,” Fry repeatedly used the phrase “solid objects,” a term which Woolf deployed for the short story as a genre.

Even more than Gordon Square, the Fitzroy Square phase was experienced as a transformation, as if for the first time in human history respectable men and women could talk openly about sex, including homosexuality. For a young, unmarried woman to live with her brother and to entertain various unmarried male friends was unheard of. It was a further move away from the vertical regulation of South Kensington, toward a more horizontal and fluid interaction among peers. Woolf recollected both that “Everything was on trial” and opening up, and that she felt suppressed by the homosexual coterie (Lee 1996: 203, 209, 239).

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