The Phantom Table: Woolf, Fry, Russell and the Epistemology of Modernism

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This study is a major reappraisal of Virginia Woolf's relationship to Bloomsbury and the aesthetic and philosophical developments of her time. Through extensive archival research, Ann Banfield offers the first full analysis of Woolf's engagement with the theories of a remarkable trinity of thinkers: G. E. Moore, Bertrand Russell, and Roger Fry.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Ann Banfield has written a book of great size in every respect. Large in ambition, vast in research, commanding in its control of many difficult texts and many formidable arguments, it will become a major resource not only for Woolf scholarship, but for all those interested in Modernist studies. This book is a major achievement." Michael Levenson

"The range and depth of Banfield's knowledge is never in doubt; neither is her commitment to modernist thought." Albion

"Banfield's book is without question a stunning achievement, a massive, well-researched compendium of analytic philosophy, modernist aesthetics, and Woolf scholarship." Philosophy and Literature

"[The Phantom Table's] importance extends beyond its historical account of Woolf's aesthetics, for in tracing the dance of ideas among Woolf, Russell and Fry, Banfield offers a fresh persepctive on both the problem of the subject in twentieth-century thought and art and Bloomsbury's philosophical and creative solutions..." Women's Review of Books

"The Phantom Table deserves to be read, to be argued with, to be integrated into that mosaic of critical discussion that is the dynamic field of Woolf studies, and, more largely, of modernist studies." Woolf Studies Annual

"A poetic book....opens new directions in the consideration of Woolf as a serious philosophical novelist." Virginia Woolf Miscellany

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521773478
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 452
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 1.14 (d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations; Preface; List of abbreviations; 1. Introduction: table talk; Part I. Subject and Object and the Nature of Reality: 2. The geometry in the sensible world: Russell's analysis of matter; 3. The world seen without a self: Woolf's analysis of matter; 4. Solus ipse, alone in the universe; 5. The dualism of death; Part II. Principia Aesthetica: 6. Fry's granite and rainbow: post-impressionism and impressionism; 7. How to describe the world seen without a self?; 8. The modern elegy; Notes; Bibliography; Index.

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