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Virginia Woolf by John Maze, J. R. Maze

John R. Maze presents a penetrating psychoanalytic reading of Virginia Woolf's novels from first to last. Underlying their elegant, imaginative, mysterious texture there is revealed a network of sibling rivalry, incestuous attraction and exploitation, sexual repulsion, bizarre fantasies, anger, and fatal despair.

Woolf's feminism and pacificism, based on her conscious insight into an authoritarian society, were given passionate conviction by her resentment and irrational guilt over her half-brothers' sexual aggression against her as a vulnerable girl. This found its place in repressed animosity toward her idealized mother, whom she blamed not only for failing to protect her, but also for trying to impose the Victorian female sexist orthodoxy. Deeper still was the childhood conviction that her mother was complicit in the fantasied genital injuries—exacerbated later, she felt, by the males in her life—which prevented her from having children, as her envied sister had. Maze's approach not only reveals the intimate processes of Woolf's imagination, but yields a deeper and richer reading of her texts. An important study for all students and scholars of British 20th-century literature, feminist literary criticism, and critical theory in general.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780313302831
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 11/30/1997
Series: Contributions to the Study of World Literature Series
Pages: 232
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.69(d)
Lexile: 1270L (what's this?)

About the Author

JOHN R. MAZE graduated from the University of Sydney, Australia, where he then lectured on psychoanalytic psychology and other aspects of psychological theory before resigning to become an independent researcher and consultant. Among his earlier publications are works on Woolf and Dostoevsky, as well as collaborative biographies of Harold Ickes and Henry Wallace.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Relevance of Woolf's Life History

The Voyage Out—Images of Love and Death

Night and Day—Retreat from the Brink

Jacob's Room—A Matter of Identity

Mrs. Dalloway—A Questionable Sanity

To the Lighthouse—An Ambiguous Testimonial

The Waves—Quest for Self-Fulfillment

The Years—Aspects of Liberation

Between the Acts—But What Is the Play?

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