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Reading Virginia Woolf

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With grace and style, noted Woolf critic and biographer Julia Briggs reconsiders the author's work from imaginative and unexpected angles, spanning her early fiction experiments to her late short story "The Symbol" and from the most to the least familiar of her novels, such as the neglected Night and Day.

Briggs investigates links between Woolf and writers like Byron and Shakespeare, her fascination with transitional places and moments, her ambivalent attitudes toward "Englishness" and censorship, and her methods of writing and revision. She examines the differences between the original British and American editions of Woolf's texts and the lesser-known changes she made after publication. Briggs's lively and engaging style will appeal to scholars and general readers alike.

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Editorial Reviews

Times Literary Supplement
[An] elegant collection.

— Sally Bayley

Vara Naverow
All of the essays are intriguing, providing rare, inspired, and provocative readings of Woolf's work.
Times Literary Supplement - Sally Bayley
[An] elegant collection.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780748624355
  • Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
  • Publication date: 8/22/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Julia Briggs is professor of English literature and women's studies at De Montfort University, United Kingdom.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : 'such absences!' 1
1 Virginia Woolf reads Shakespeare : or, her silence on Master William 8
2 'The proper writing of lives' : biography versus fiction in Woolf's early work 25
3 Night and day : the marriage of dreams and realities 42
4 Reading people, reading texts : 'Byron and Mr. Briggs' 63
5 'Modernism's lost hope' : Virginia Woolf, Hope Mirrlees and the printing of Paris 80
6 The search for form (i) : Fry, formalism and fiction 96
7 The search for form (ii) : revision and the numbers of time 113
8 'This moment I stand on' : Virginia Woolf and the spaces in time 125
9 'Like a shell on a sandhill' : Woolf's images of emptiness 141
10 Constantinople : at the crossroads of the imagination 152
11 The conversation behind the conversation : speaking the unspeakable 162
12 'Sudden intensities' : frame and focus in Woolf's later short stories 172
13 'Almost ashamed of England being so English' : Woolf and ideas of Englishness 190
14 Between the texts : Woolf's acts of revision 208
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