Virginia Woolf: Lesbian Readings

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Overview

The last two decades have seen a resurgence of critical and popular attention to Virginia Woolf's life and work. Such traditional institutions as The New York Review of Books now pair her with William Shakespeare in promotional advertisements; her face is used to sell everything from Barnes & Noble books to Bass Ale.

Virginia Woolf: Lesbian Readings represents the first book devoted to Woolf's lesbianism. Divided into two sections, Lesbian Intersections and Lesbian Readings of Woolf's Novels, these essays focus on how Woolf's private and public experience and knowledge of same-sex love influences her shorter fiction and novels. Lesbian Intersections includes personal narratives that trace the experience of reading Woolf through the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s. Lesbian Readings of Woolf's Novels provides lesbian interpretations of the individual novels, including Orlando, The Waves, and The Years.

Breaking new ground in our understanding of the role Woolf's love for women plays in her major writing, these essays shift the emphasis of lesbian interpretations from Woolf's life to her work.

Eileen Barrett is Associate Professor and Chair of the English Department at California State University, Hayward.

Patricia Cramer is Assistant Professor of English and Director of Women's Studies at the University of Connecticut, Stamford.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Eileen Barrett and Patricia Cramer have put together an excellent collection of original articles which demonstrates the range of lesbian literary scholarship as a field and the important nuance and insight it is contributing to our knowledge of Woolf's life and writing in particular."

-Woolf Studies Annual,

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Eileen Barrett is Associate Professor and Chair of the English Department at California State University, Hayward.

Patricia Cramer is Assistant Professor of English and Director of Women's Studies at the University of Connecticut, Stamford.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
A Note on the Text
Abbreviations
Contributors
1 Introduction 3
2 A Lesbian Reading Virginia Woolf 10
3 The Pattern behind the Words 21
4 "The Gift of a China Inkpot": Violet Dickinson, Virginia Woolf, Elizabeth Gaskell, Charlotte Bronte, and the Love of Women in Writing 37
5 Reading Influences: Homoeroticism and Mentoring in Katherine Mansfield's "Carnation" and Virginia Woolf's "Moments of Being: 'Slater's Pins Have No Points'" 57
6 Lesbian Modernism in the Shorter Fiction of Virginia Woolf and Gertrude Stein 78
7 The Death of Sex and the Soul in Mrs. Dalloway and Nella Larsen's Passing 95
8 Introduction 117
9 "The Things People Don't Say": Lesbian Panic in The Voyage Out 128
10 Unmasking Lesbian Passion: The Inverted World of Mrs. Dalloway 146
11 Bringing Buried Things to Light: Homoerotic Alliances in To the Lighthouse 165
12 Orlando: "A Precipice Marked V": Between "A Miracle of Discretion" and "Lovemaking Unbelievable: Indiscretions Incredible" 180
13 Rhoda Submerged: Lesbian Suicide in The Waves 203
14 "Pearls and the Porpoise": The Years - A Lesbian Memoir 222
15 Entering a Lesbian Field of Vision: To the Lighthouse and Between the Acts 241
Works Cited 259
Index 277
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