A Room of One's Own: Women Writers and the Politics of Creativity

A Room of One's Own: Women Writers and the Politics of Creativity

by Ellen Bayuk Rosenman, Ellen B. Rosenman
     
 

With its theme of autonomy and independence, Virginia Woolf's 1929 essay A Room of One's Own has become part of our modern cultural vocabulary. It was the first literary history of women writers and the first theory of literary inheritance in which gender was the central category. As a theory of women's literature, it presents general ideas and issues through which… See more details below

Overview

With its theme of autonomy and independence, Virginia Woolf's 1929 essay A Room of One's Own has become part of our modern cultural vocabulary. It was the first literary history of women writers and the first theory of literary inheritance in which gender was the central category. As a theory of women's literature, it presents general ideas and issues through which the lives and works of women writers might profitably be read. Woolf (in the persona of narrator) does not offer extended readings of individual literary works but speculates about why and how women wrote as they did - which has proved infinitely more valuable to twentieth-century critics attempting to map out the new terrain of women's literature. A Room of One's Own is much more than a historical landmark of feminist criticism: remarkably, it has served the needs of various strains of feminist criticism, not all of them compatible with each other. In this balanced and insightful study, Ellen Bayuk Rosenman explores the myriad perceptions of a work whose famous title comes from one of its most basic and simple prescriptions: that to fare as a writer in the modern world a woman needs a room of her own and [pound]500 a year. In a broad sense, Rosenman points out, A Room of One's Own analyzes the constraints on women's achievement - the hostile environment in which they write - and the responses, both creative and self-defeating, that this environment provokes. This environment - the historically ordered patriarchy - Rosenman observes as Woolf observed it, from the place of the outsider. Rosenman follows the essay's analysis of what she considers two large and vague words: patriarchy and feminism. In various chapters Rosenman discusses the essay's exploration of sociology of creativity; of male social institutions - namely, Oxford and Cambridge universities and the British Museum - as gateways at which the initiated are separated from the outsiders; and of female creativity and literary history. Rosenm

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780805785944
Publisher:
Cengage Gale
Publication date:
11/01/1994
Series:
Twayne's Masterworks Studies, #15
Pages:
124
Product dimensions:
5.39(w) x 8.53(h) x 0.44(d)

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