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This is a book about "Virginia Woolf": the face that sells more postcards than any other at Britain's National Portrait Gallery, the name that Edward Albee's play linked with fear, the cultural icon so rich in meanings that it has been used to market everything from the New York Review of Books to Bass Ale to the Communist Party in Rome. Brenda R. Silver uncovers and analyzes the extensive representations of Virginia Woolf that have circulated in Anglo-American culture for the past thirty-five years. The proliferation of Virginia Woolfs in both high and popular culture, she argues, has transformed the writer into a "star" whose image and authority are persistently claimed or challenged in debates about art, politics, gender, the canon, class, feminism, and fashion.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226757452
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/1999
  • Series: Women in Culture and Society Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 373
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Introduction: The Versioning of Virginia Woolf 1
Pt. 1 Negative Encounters: The "Intellectual" Media 33
Prelude. Anger and Storytelling: Whose Story Counts? 37
Sect. 1 The Columbia Stories 40
Sect. 2 The New York Review of Books 53
Sect. 3 How the Greats Are Fallen 68
Pt. 2 Starring Virginia Woolf 77
Take 1 Production Notes 79
Take 2 Time: Virginia Woolf Joins the "All-Star Literary Vaudeville" 87
Take 3 A Writer's Diary and the "Real" Virginia Woolf 97
Take 4 Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Virginia Woolf Becomes a Household Name 102
Take 5 Quentin Bell's Biography and Historical Products Inc.: Family Portraits 117
Take 6 Virginia Woolf's Face 128
Take 7 British Graffiti: Me, I'm Afraid of Virginia Woolf and Sammy and Rosie Get Laid 152
Take 8 Tom & Viv & Virginia & Edith & Ottoline & Vita & Carrington ... 174
Take 9 Fashion Stills 188
Pt. 3 Doubled Movements 209
Move 1 The Politics of Adaptation; or, The Authentic Virginia Woolf 211
Move 2 The Monstrous Union of Virginia Woolf and Marilyn Monroe 236
Afterword: Virginia Woolf Episodes 273
Notes 285
Index 337
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