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Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Avant-Garde: War, Civilization, Modernity
     

Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Avant-Garde: War, Civilization, Modernity

by Christine Froula
 

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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

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.

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

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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231508780
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
02/05/2005
Series:
Gender and Culture Series
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
456
File size:
2 MB

What People are Saying About This

Marianne DeKoven
This is, bar none, the best reading of Woolf's total oeuvre I have ever seen. It will become the standard text of Woolf studies; all future work on Woolf will have to refer to it.

Karen Lawrence
An important book that restores a public voice to Virginia Woolf and Bloomsbury. Froula takes pains to show how Woolf's formal experiments crafted the artist's address to a public who witnessed the drama of the two World Wars and momentous social upheaval. In emphasizing Woolf's rhetorical construction of her audience, Froula links Woolf the writer to the Woolfs as publishers of the Hogarth Press. She admirably charts Virginia Woolf's dual ventures of reforming society and re-forming the genre of the novel.

Brenda R. Silver
Tough-minded, richly detailed, Christine Froula's engaging argument compellingly situates Woolf at the heart of modernism's Enlightenment project. 'Thinking is my fighting,' Woolf wrote; Froula brilliantly does the same, challenging us to take seriously Woolf's provocative assertion that 'this civilisation... depends upon me.'

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.


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