Imagining Virginia Woolf: An Experiment in Critical Biography

Imagining Virginia Woolf: An Experiment in Critical Biography

by Maria DiBattista
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691138125

ISBN-13: 9780691138121

Pub. Date: 12/29/2008

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Where other works of literary criticism are absorbed with the question--How to read a book?--Imagining Virginia Woolf asks a slightly different but more intriguing one: how does one read an author? Maria DiBattista answers this by undertaking an experiment in critical biography. The subject of this work is not Virginia Woolf, the person who wrote the

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Overview

Where other works of literary criticism are absorbed with the question--How to read a book?--Imagining Virginia Woolf asks a slightly different but more intriguing one: how does one read an author? Maria DiBattista answers this by undertaking an experiment in critical biography. The subject of this work is not Virginia Woolf, the person who wrote the novels, criticism, letters, and famous diary, but a different being altogether, someone or something Maria DiBattista identifies as "the figment of the author." This is the Virginia Woolf who lives intermittently in the pages of her writings and in the imagination of her readers. Drawing on Woolf's own extensive remarks on the pleasures and perils of reading, DiBattista argues that reading Woolf, in fact reading any author, involves an encounter with this imaginative figment, whose distinct, stylistic traits combine to produce that beguiling phantom--the literary personality.

DiBattista reveals a writer who possessed not a single personality, but a cluster of distinct, yet complementary identities: the Sibyl of Bloomsbury, the Author, the Critic, the World Writer, and the Adventurer, the last of which, DiBattista claims, unites them all.

Imagining Virginia Woolf provides an original way of reading, one that captures with variety and subtlety the personality that exists only in Woolf's works and in the minds of her readers.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691138121
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
12/29/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

THE DEMON OF READING
Chapter 1. The Figment of the Author 3

Chapter 2. Personalities 14

WOOLF'S PERSONALITIES
Chapter 3. The Sibyl of the Drawing Room 41

Chapter 4. The Author 64

Chapter 5. The Critic 92

Chapter 6. The World Writer 119

Chapter 7. The Adventurer 140

EPILOGUE
Chapter 8. Anon Once More 169

Notes 173

Index 191

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