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Virginia Woolf And The Bloomsbury Avant-Garde

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Overview

Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Avant-Garde traces the dynamic emergence of Woolf's art and thought against Bloomsbury's public thinking about Europe's future in a period marked by two world wars and rising threats of totalitarianism. Educated informally in her father's library and in Bloomsbury's London extension of Cambridge, Virginia Woolf came of age in the prewar decades, when progressive political and social movements gave hope that Europe "might really be on the brink of becoming civilized," as Leonard Woolf put it. For pacifist Bloomsbury, heir to Europe's unfinished Enlightenment project of human rights, democratic self-governance, and world peace--and, in E. M. Forster's words, "the only genuine movement in English civilization"-- the 1914 "civil war" exposed barbarities within Europe: belligerent nationalisms, rapacious racialized economic imperialism, oppressive class and sex/gender systems, a tragic and unnecessary war that mobilized sixty-five million and left thirty-seven million casualties. An avant-garde in the twentieth-century struggle against the violence within European civilization, Bloomsbury and Woolf contributed richly to interwar debates on Europe's future at a moment when democracy's triumph over fascism and communism was by no means assured.

Woolf honed her public voice in dialogue with contemporaries in and beyond Bloomsbury-- John Maynard Keynes and Roger Fry to Sigmund Freud (published by the Woolfs'Hogarth Press), Bertrand Russell, T. S. Eliot, E. M. Forster, Katherine Mansfield, and many others--and her works embody and illuminate the convergence of aesthetics and politics in post-Enlightenment thought. An ambitious history of her writings in relation to important currents in British intellectual life in the first half of the twentieth century, this book explores Virginia Woolf's narrative journey from her first novel, The Voyage Out, through her last, Between the Acts.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Times Literary Supplement - Jim Stewart

Froula pursues her task passionately in a book which is energetic and likeable.

Modernism / Modernity - Vera Neverow

Christine Froula's Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Avant-Garde is a timely and valuable contribution to Woolf studies emphasizing Woolf's relation to the political, aesthetic, and feminine milieu of her own era and beyond.

Virginia Woolf Miscellany - Helen Southworth

Provocative... intensely optimistic... Impressive body of work on Woolf and modernism... Provides a fresh and challenging set of readings.

Chicago Tribune - Julia Keller

Froula's book brims with fresh historical and political insights... [Her] book is crucial.

Virginia Woolf Bulletin - Janfarie Skinner

This major new book is a significant and substantial addition to [Froula's] contribution to Woolf studies.

Woolf Studies Annual - Jane Garrity

Froula's fascinating new book... makes a timely contribution to modernist scholarship.

Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature - Jessica Berman

What a pleasure to read Froula's smart, wide-ranging, and often exquisite book.

In-between - Christine Reynier

We can be grateful to Christine Froula for this most stimulating study which significantly broadens the scope of Woolf's work.

Choice

In this brilliant, indeed indispensable, study, Froula (Northwestern Univ.) places Woolf's major works in the context of Bloomsbury as a modernist movement...Essential.

Virginia Woolf Miscellany
Provocative... intensely optimistic... Impressive body of work on Woolf and modernism... Provides a fresh and challenging set of readings.

— Helen Southworth

Chicago Tribune
Froula's book brims with fresh historical and political insights... [Her] book is crucial.

— Julia Keller

Virginia Woolf Bulletin
This major new book is a significant and substantial addition to [Froula's] contribution to Woolf studies.

— Janfarie Skinner

Woolf Studies Annual
Froula's fascinating new book... makes a timely contribution to modernist scholarship.

— Jane Garrity

Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature
What a pleasure to read Froula's smart, wide-ranging, and often exquisite book.

— Jessica Berman

In-between
We can be grateful to Christine Froula for this most stimulating study which significantly broadens the scope of Woolf's work.

— Christine Reynier

Modernism/Modernity
Christine Froula's Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Avant-Garde is a timely and valuable contribution to Woolf studies emphasizing Woolf's relation to the political, aesthetic, and feminine milieu of her own era and beyond.

— Vera Neverow

Choice

In this brilliant, indeed indispensable, study, Froula (Northwestern Univ.) places Woolf's major works in the context of Bloomsbury as a modernist movement...Essential.

Times Literary Supplement
Froula pursues her task passionately in a book which is energetic and likeable.

— Jim Stewart

Modernism / Modernity

Christine Froula's Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Avant-Garde is a timely and valuable contribution to Woolf studies emphasizing Woolf's relation to the political, aesthetic, and feminine milieu of her own era and beyond.

— Vera Neverow

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231134446
  • Publisher: Columbia University
  • Publication date: 1/1/2005
  • Series: Gender and Culture Series
  • Pages: 436
  • Product dimensions: 1.13 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 6.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Christine Froula is professor of English, comparative literature, and gender studies at Northwestern University and a past president of the International Virginia Woolf Society. Her extensive publications include Modernism's Body: Sex, Culture, and Joyce.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Preface1. Civilization and "my civilisation": Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Avant-Garde2. Rachel's Great War: Civilization, Sacrifice, and the Enlightenment of Women in Melymbrosia and The Voyage Out3. The Death of Jacob Flanders: Greek Illusion and Modern War in Jacob's Room4. Mrs. Dalloway's Postwar Elegy: Women, War, and the Art of Mourning5. Picture the World: The Quest for the Thing Itself in To the Lighthouse6. A Fin in a Waste of Waters: Women, Genius, Freedom in Orlando, A Room of One's Own, and The Waves7. The Sexual Life of Women: Experimental Genres, Experimental Publics from The Pargiters to The Years8. St. Virginia's Epistle to an English Gentleman: Sex, Violence, and the Public Sphere in Three Guineas9. The Play in the Sky of the Mind: Between the Acts of Civilization's MasterplotIndexNotes

Columbia University Press

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