On 28 March, 1941, at the height of Hitler's victories during the Second World War, Virginia Woolf filled her pockets with stones and drowned herself in the River Ouse near her home in Sussex. At the time of her death some voices in the press attacked her for showing cowardice in the face of the enemy and for setting a bad example to the general population. Woolf's suicide has been the subject of controversy for the media, for literary scholars, and for her biographers ever since.
Just when it may seem that nothing else could be said about Virginia Woolf and the ambiguous details of her suicide, Afterwords provides an entirely fresh perspective. It makes available to a wide readership for the first time letters sent to Leonard Woolf and Vanessa Bell (Virginia Woolf's sister) in the aftermath of the event. This unique volume brings together over two hundred letters from T. S. Eliot, H. G. Wells, May Sarton, Vita Sackville-West, Edith Sitwell, E. M. Forster, Radclyffe Hall, and many others, including political figures and religious leaders. In addition, informative annotations reveal the identities of many unexpected condolence-letter writers from among the general public.
In her introduction, editor Sybil Oldfield confronts the contemporary controversy over Woolf's suicide note, arguing that no one who knew Woolf or her work believed that she had deserted Britain. The ensuing collection of letters supports Oldfield's assertion. In elegant prose that rises to the stature of the occasion, these writers share remembrances of Virginia Woolf in life, comment on the quality of her work and her antifascist values, and reveal previously unknown facets of her capacity for friendship.
A richly deserved tribute to the life of an extraordinary woman as well as a testimony to the human capacity for sympathy, Afterwords is essential reading for anyone interested in the life, death, and enduring impact of Virginia Woolf.
This insightful volume extends feminist critical studies of twentieth-century women writers as it examines the complex ways female subjectivity experiences and is shaped by gender and power in literary texts. Because of the ways ambivalence and contradiction operate in the works of Woolf, Barnes, and Duras, to read them is to able to interrogate and thus more fully understand the ways our own subjectivity are constructed in relation to complex configurations of desire, loss, sexuality, power, vulnerability, and violence.
Kaivola has worked out a strikingly original means of reading difference—and reading differently—in order to account for what has been inexplicable in different literary texts by women. All Contraries Confounded seeks to problematize feminist theory that celebrates resistance in fiction by women, for it questions the ability of dominant modes of feminist critical theory to recognize and address fully the forms of contradiction and ambivalence that riddle women's writings—and women's lives.
Although women and men have different relationships to language and to each other, traditional theories of rhetoric do not foreground such gender differences. Krista Ratcliffe argues that because feminists generally have not conceptualized their language theories from the perspective of rhetoric and composition studies, rhetoric and composition scholars must construct feminist theories of rhetoric by employing a variety of interwoven strategies: recovering lost or marginalized texts; rereading traditional rhetoric texts; extrapolating rhetorical theories from such nonrhetoric texts as letters, diaries, essays, cookbooks, and other sources; and constructing their own theories of rhetoric.
Focusing on the third option, Ratcliffe explores ways in which the rhetorical theories of Virginia Woolf, Mary Daly, and Adrienne Rich may be extrapolated from their Anglo-American feminist texts through examination of the interrelationship between what these authors write and how they write. In other words, she extrapolates feminist theories of rhetoric from interwoven claims and textual strategies. By inviting Woolf, Daly, and Rich into the rhetorical traditions and by modeling the extrapolation strategy/methodology on their writings, Ratcliffe shows how feminist texts about women, language, and culture may be reread from the vantage point of rhetoric to construct feminist theories of rhetoric. She also outlines the pedagogical implications of these three feminist theories of rhetoric, thus contributing to ongoing discussions of feminist pedagogies.
Traditional rhetorical theories are gender-blind, ignoring the reality that women and men occupy different cultural spaces and that these spaces are further complicated by race and class, Ratcliffe explains. Arguing that issues such as who can talk, where one can talk, and how one can talk emerge in daily life but are often disregarded in rhetorical theories, Ratcliffe rereads Roland Barthes’ "The Old Rhetoric" to show the limitations of classical rhetorical theories for women and feminists. Discovering spaces for feminist theories of rhetoric in the rhetorical traditions, Ratcliffe invites readers not only to question how women have been located as a part of— and apart from—these traditions but also to explore the implications for rhetorical history, theory, and pedagogy.
Mia Spiro's Anti-Nazi Modernism marks a major step forward in the critical debates over the relationship between modernist art and politics. Spiro analyzes the antifascist, and particularly anti-Nazi, narrative methods used by key British and American fiction writers in the 1930s. Focusing on works by Djuna Barnes, Christopher Isherwood, and Virginia Woolf, Spiro illustrates how these writers use an "anti-Nazi aesthetic" to target and expose Nazism’s murderous discourse of exclusion. The three writers challenge the illusion of harmony and unity promoted by the Nazi spectacle in parades, film, rallies, and propaganda. Spiro illustrates how their writings, seldom read in this way, resonate with the psychological and social theories of the period and warn against Nazism’s suppression of individuality. Her approach also demonstrates how historical and cultural contexts complicate the works, often reinforcing the oppressive discourses they aim to attack. This book explores the textual ambivalences toward the "Others" in society—most prominently the Modern Woman, the homosexual, and the Jew. By doing so, Spiro uncovers important clues to the sexual and racial politics that were widespread in Europe and the United States in the years leading up to World War II.
Scholars of James Joyce offer critical analysis of his work Ulysses. Five essays interpret the character of the novel; four deal with the literary style of presentation, the last focuses on the problems of translation.
Contributors: Robert R. Boyle, S.J.; David Hayman; Richard M. Kain; Darcy O’Brien; Weldon Thornton; Erwin R. Steinberg; William M. Schutte; Fritz Senn; H. Frew Waidner; and the editors.
In this impressively interdisciplinary study, Evelyne Ender revisits master literary works to suggest that literature can serve as an experimental laboratory for the study of human remembrance. She shows how memory not only has a factual basis but is inseparable from fictional and aesthetic elements. Beautifully written in accessible prose, and impressive in its scope, the book takes up works by Proust, Woolf, George Eliot, Nerval, Lou Andreas-Salome, and Sigmund Freud, getting to the heart of essential questions about mental images, empirical knowledge, and the devastations of memory loss in ways that are suggestive and profound. Architexts of Memory joins a growing body of work in the lively field of memory studies, drawing from clinical psychology, psychoanalysis, and neurobiology as well as literary studies.
"An important, cogently argued, subtle and rich study of a topic of great interest."
--Mieke Bal, University of Amsterdam
"A work of literary studies positioned at the intersection of tradition and innovation. Evelyne Ender's book brings fashionable cultural concerns to bear on traditional literary texts-her superb pedagogical skills lure and guide the reader through the most difficult psychoanalytical concepts."
--Nelly Furman, Cornell University
Evelyne Ender is Professor of French Studies, University of Washington. She is the author of Sexing the Mind: Nineteenth-Century Fictions of Hysteria.
The Bloomsbury circle has long preoccupied writers, critics, and the general public alike. For many years its focal point was Charleston Farmhouse in Sussex, home to Vanessa and Clive Bell and Duncan Grant. A Cézanne in the Hedge brings together thirty firsthand reminiscences of the Charleston, vividly and amusingly evoking its creativity—and eccentricity. Childhood memories from Quentin Bell, Angelica Garnett, and Nigel Nicholson are interspersed with appraisals of the work of Bloomsbury members such as Roger Fry, Maynard Keynes, and Virginia Woolf and of their contribution to twentieth-century British art and thought. The finale is a childhood spoof written by Virginia Woolf entitled "A Terrible Tragedy in a Duckpond."
The condition of our public discussions about literary and cultural works has much to say about the state of our democracy. Classrooms, newspapers, magazines, Internet forums, and many other places grant citizens a place to hold public discourses—and claim a voice on national artistic matters.
Rosa A. Eberly looks at four censorship controversies where professionals asserted their authority to deny citizen critics a voice—and effectively removed discussion of literature from the public sphere. Eberly compares the outrage sparked by the publication of James Joyce's Ulysses and Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer with the relative quiescence that greeted the much more violent and sexually explicit content of Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho and Andrea Dworkin's Mercy. Through a close reading of letters to the editor, reviews, media coverage, and court cases, Eberly shows how literary critics and legal experts defused censorship debates—and undercut the authority of citizen critics—by shifting the focus from content to aesthetics and from social values to publicity.
"Polhemus sketches several distinctions between nineteenth- and twentieth-century novelists and concludes that what most characterizes the nineteenth century, from the perspective of the twentieth, is the tendency in its comic fiction to criticize and to undermine the dogma and institutions of religion and to put faith instead of the existence of the comic perspective. Comic Faith is a virtuoso performance of impressive stature; I suspect the book will be influential for many years to come."—John Halperin, Modern Fiction Studies
Marcel Proust, Virginia Woolf, and Vladimir Nabokov transformed the art of the novel in order to convey the experience of time. Nevertheless, their works have been read as expressions of a desire to transcend time—whether through an epiphany of memory, an immanent moment of being, or a transcendent afterlife. Martin Hägglund takes on these themes but gives them another reading entirely. The fear of time and death does not stem from a desire to transcend time, he argues. On the contrary, it is generated by the investment in temporal life. From this vantage point, Hägglund offers in-depth analyses of Proust’s Recherche, Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, and Nabokov’s Ada.
Through his readings of literary works, Hägglund also sheds new light on topics of broad concern in the humanities, including time consciousness and memory, trauma and survival, the technology of writing and the aesthetic power of art. Finally, he develops an original theory of the relation between time and desire through an engagement with Freud and Lacan, addressing mourning and melancholia, pleasure and pain, attachment and loss. Dying for Time opens a new way of reading the dramas of desire as they are staged in both philosophy and literature.
In this groundbreaking book, Jessica Martell investigates the relationship between industrial food and the emergence of literary modernisms in Britain and Ireland. By the early twentieth century, the industrialization of the British Empire’s food system had rendered many traditional farming operations, and attendant agrarian ways of life, obsolete. Weaving insights from modernist studies, food studies, and ecocriticism, Farm to Form contends that industrial food made nature “modernist,” a term used as literary scholars understand it—stylistically disorienting, unfamiliar, and artificial but also exhilarating, excessive, and above all, new. Martell draws in part upon archives in the United Kingdom but also presents imperial foodways as an extended rehearsal for the current era of industrial food supremacy. She analyzes how pastoral mode, anachronism, fragmentation, and polyvocal narration reflect the power of the literary arts to reckon with—and to resist—the new “modernist ecologies” of the twentieth century.
Deeply informed by Martell’s extensive knowledge of modern British, Irish, American, and World Literatures, this progressive work positions modernism as central to the study of narratives of resistance against social and environmental degradation. Analyzed works include those of Thomas Hardy, E. M. Forster, Virginia Woolf, Joseph Conrad, George Russell, and James Joyce.
In light of climate change, fossil fuel supremacy, nutritional dearth, and other pressing food issues, modernist texts bring to life an era of crisis and anxiety similar to our own. In doing so, Martell summons the past as a way to employ the modernist term of “defamiliarizing” the present so that entrenched perceptions can be challenged. Our current food regime is both new and constantly evolving with the first industrial food trades. Studying earlier cultural responses to them invites us to return to persistent problems with new insights and renewed passion.
Approaching the study of literature as a unique form of the philosophy of language and mind—as a study of how we produce nonsense and imagine it as sense—this is a book about our human ways of making and losing meaning. Brett Bourbon asserts that our complex and variable relation with language defines a domain of meaning and being that is misconstrued and missed in philosophy, in literary studies, and in our ordinary understanding of what we are and how things make sense. Accordingly, his book seeks to demonstrate how the study of literature gives us the means to understand this relationship.
The book itself is framed by the literary and philosophical challenges presented by Joyce’s Finnegans Wake and Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations. With reference to these books and the problems of interpretation and meaning that they pose, Bourbon makes a case for the fundamental philosophical character of the study of literature, and for its dependence on theories of meaning disguised as theories of mind. Within this context, he provides original accounts of what sentences, fictions, non-fictions, and poems are; produces a new account of the logical form of fiction and of the limits of interpretation that follow from it; and delineates a new and fruitful domain of inquiry in which literature, philosophy, and science intersect.
All of us remember our First Love. In this brilliant and often passionate book, Maria DiBattista shows that the yearning for the freshness of First Love, and the sadness of that yearning, are central to modern literature. DiBattista offers a sweeping and wholly original reinterpretation of modern fiction, allowing us to see the romantic affections that lie behind the seemingly most ironic of modernist texts.
DiBattista argues that modernity reinvented First Love as a myth of creative initiative, as its characteristic response to a pervasive sense of historical belatedness. Anxious that its own creations can never be more than diminished forms of mightier originals, modernity idolizes First Love as the beginning that can never be repeated. First Love hence epitomizes the dream of a new self-incarnation. From Turgenev's First Love to the formative works of Virginia Woolf, Gertrude Stein, E. M. Forster, and Vladimir Nabokov, First Love confirms the birth of an artistic vocation. For modern men and women intent on becoming the original authors of their own lives, First Love becomes paradigmatic of those life-altering moments that transform the undifferentiated sequence of days into a fateful narrative.
DiBattista focuses on the enunciation of First Love in the fiction of Thomas Hardy, D. H. Lawrence, James Joyce, and Samuel Beckett. In reading their works, DiBattista dramatically revises the accepted view of irony as the dominant tone of modernism. First Love constitutes, she shows, a new apprehension of the world characterized not by the frigid distances of irony but by a belief in the creative individual who may begin the world anew, as if for the first time.
A Ghost in Trieste
Joseph Cary University of Chicago Press, 1993 Library of Congress DG975.T825C37 1993 | Dewey Decimal 914.539304929
Gem of the Adriatic, Trieste sparkled and beckoned through the pages of poets and novelists. Drawn there in search of literary ghosts, of the poet Umberto Saba and the novelists Italo Svevo and James Joyce, Joseph Cary found instead a city with an imaginative life of its own, the one that rises, tantalizing from the pages of this book. The story of Cary's travels, A Ghost in Trieste, is also a tale of discovery and transformation, as the bustling world of port and airplane, baggage and trams and trains becomes the landscape of history and literature, language and art, psychoanalysis and the self.
Here is the crossroads of East and West. A port held in turn by the Romans, the Venetians, the Austrians, the Germans, the Slavs, and finally the Italians, Trieste is the capital of nowhere, fertile source of a unique literary florescence before the First World War. At times an exile home and an exiled city. "I cannot claim to have walked across it all,:" wrote Saba, the poet of Trieste in 1910 of the city Cary crosses and recrosses, seeking the poetry of the place that inspired its literary giants. Trieste's cultural and historical riches, its geographical splendor of hills and sea and mysterious presence unfold in a series of stories, monologues and literary juxtapositions that reveal the city's charms as well as its seductive hold on the writer's imagination. Throughout, literary and immediate impressions alike are elaborated in paintings and maps, and in handsome line drawings by Nicholas Read.
This "clownish and adolescent Parsifal," this Trieste of the "prickly grace," this place "impaled in my heart like a permanent point," this symbol of the Adriatic, this "city made of books" — here the book remakes the city. The Trieste of allusions magically becomes a city of palpable allure, of warmth and trying contradictions and gritty beauty. Part travel diary, part guide book, part literary history, A Ghost in Trieste is a brilliant introduction to an extraordinary time and place. In Joseph Cary, Trieste has found a new poet, and readers, a remarkably captivating companion and guide.
The assumptions that literary criticism and philosophy are closely linked—and that both disciplines can learn much from each other—lead David White to examine key passages in James Joyce’s novels both as a philosopher and as literary critic. In so doing, he develops a thesis that Joyce’s attempt to capture the mysterious process whereby perception and consciousness are translated into language entails a fundamental challenge to everyday notions of reality. Joyce’s stylistic brilliance and virtuosity, his destruction of normal syntax and meaning, “shock one into a new reality.” In the book’s final section, White examines the subtle relation between literary language and human consciousness and traces parallels between Joyce’s stylistic experimentation and Wittgenstein’s and Husserl’s ideas about language.
In this book, one of modernism's most insightful critics, Jane Marcus, examines the writings of novelists such as Virginia Woolf, Nancy Cunard, Mulk Raj Anand, and Djuna Barnes-artists whose work coincided with the end of empire and the rise of fascism before the Second World War. All these writers delved into the "dark hearts" of imperialism and totalitarianism, thus tackling some of the most complex cultural issues of the day. Marcus investigates previously unrecognized ways in which social and political tensions are embodied by their works.
The centerpiece of the book is Marcus's dialogue with one of her best-known essays, "Britannia Rules The Waves." In that piece, she argues that The Waves makes a strong anti-imperialist statement. Although many already support that argument, she now goes further in order to question the moral value of such a buried critique on Woolf's part. In "A Very Fine Negress" she analyzes the painful subject of Virginia Woolf's racism in A Room of One's Own. Other chapters traverse the connected issues of modernism, race, and imperialism. In two of them, we follow Nancy Cunard through the making of the Negro anthology and her appearance in a popular novel of the freewheeling Jazz Age. Elsewhere, Marcus delivers a complex analysis of A Passage to India, in a reading that interrogates E. M. Forster's displacement of his fear of white Englishwomen struggling for the vote.
Marcus, as always, brings considerable gifts as both researcher and writer to this collection of new and reprinted essays, a combination resulting in a powerful interpretation of many of modernism's most cherished figures.
In this landmark study of James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, Luca Crispi and Sam Slote have brought together fourteen other leading Joyce experts in a genetic guide to one of the twentieth century’s most intriguing works of fiction. Each essay approaches Finnegans Wake through novel perspectives afforded by Joyce’s preparatory manuscripts. By investigating a work through its manuscripts, genetic criticism both grounds speculative interpretations in an historical, material context and opens up a broader horizon for critical and textual interpretation.
The introduction by Luca Crispi, Sam Slote, and Dirk Van Hulle offers a chronology of the composition of Finnegans Wake, an archival survey of the manuscripts, and an introduction to genetic criticism. Then, the volume provides a chapter-by-chapter interpretation of Finnegans Wake from a variety of perspectives, probing the book as a work in progress. The fruit of more than two decades’ worth of Wakean genetic studies, this book is the essential starting point for all future studies of Joyce’s most complex and fascinating work.
Author E. Joseph Sharkey uses the philosophies of language of Hans-Georg Gadamer and Ludwig Wittgenstein to counter the skepticism in question by showing that a language grounded in history instead of the transcendent is grounded nevertheless.
For nearly three quarters of a century, the modernist way of reading has been the only way of reading James Joyce—useful, yes, and powerful but, like all frameworks, limited. This book takes a leap across those limits into postmodernism, where the pleasures and possibilities of an unsuspected Joyce are yet to be found.
Kevin J. H. Dettmar begins by articulating a stylistics of postmodernism drawn from the key texts of Roland Barthes, Mikhail Bakhtin, and Jean-François Lyotard. Read within this framework, Dubliners emerges from behind its modernist facade as the earliest product of Joyce’s proto-postmodernist sensibility. Dettmar exposes these stories as tales of mystery, not mastery, despite the modernist earmarks of plentiful symbols, allusions, and epiphanies. Ulysses, too, has been inadequately served by modernist critics. Where they have emphasized the work’s ingenious Homeric structure, Dettmar focuses instead upon its seams, those points at which the narrative willfully, joyfully overflows its self-imposed bounds. Finally, he reads A Portrait of the Artist and Finnegans Wake as less playful, less daring texts—the first constrained by the precious, would-be poet at its center, the last marking a surprising retreat from the constantly evolving, vertiginous experience of Ulysses.
In short, The Illicit Joyce of Postmodernism explores what happens when the extra-literary pronouncements of Eliot, Pound, and Joyce, as well as Joyce’s early critics, are set aside and a new, “unauthorized” Joyce is allowed to appear. This postmodern Joyce, more willful and less easily compartmentalized, stands as a counterpoint to the modernist Joyce who has perhaps become too familiar.
As a diary writer imagines shadow readers rifling diary pages, she tweaks images of the self, creating multiple readings of herself, fixed and unfixed. When the readers and potential readers are husbands and publishers, the writer maneuvers carefully in a world of men who are quick to judge and to take offense. She fills the pages with reflections, anecdotes, codes, stories, biographies, and fictions. The diary acts as a site for the writer’s tension, rebellion, and remaking of herself.
In this book Martinson examines the diaries of Virginia Woolf, Katherine Mansfield, Violet Hunt, and Doris Lessing’s fictional character Anna Wulf, and shows that these diaries (and others like them) are not entirely private writings as has been previously assumed. Rather, their authors wrote them knowing they would be read. In these four cases, the audience is the author’s male lover or husband, and Martinson reveals how knowledge of this audience affects the language and content in each diary. Ultimately, she argues, this audience enforces a certain “male censorship” which changes the shape of the revelations, the shape of the writer herself, making it impossible for the female author to be honest in writing about her true self.
Even sophisticated readers often assume that diaries are primarily private. This study interrogates the myth of authenticity and self-revelation in diaries written under the gaze of particular peekers.
From Ulysses to Finnegans Wake, James Joyce’s writings rank among the most intimidating works of literature. Unfortunately, many of the books that purport to explain Joyce are equally difficult. The Critical Lives series comes to the rescue with this concise yet deep examination of Joyce’s life and literary accomplishments, an examination that centers on Joyce’s mythical and actual Ireland as the true nucleus of his work.
Andrew Gibson argues here that the most important elements in Joyce’s novels are historically material and specific to Ireland—not, as is assumed, broadly modernist. Taking Joyce “local,” Gibson highlights the historical and political traditions within Joyce’s family and upbringing and then makes the case that Ireland must play a primary role in the study of Joyce. The fall of Charles Stewart Parnell, the collapse of political hope after the Irish nationalist upheavals, the early twentieth-century shift by Irish public activists from political to cultural concerns—all are crucial to Joyce’s literary evolution. Even the author’s move to mainland Europe, asserts Gibson, was actually the continuation of a centuries-old Irish legacy of emigration rather than an abandonment of his native land.
In the thousands, perhaps millions, of words written about Joyce, Ireland often takes a back seat to his formal experimentalism and the modernist project as a whole. Yet here Gibson challenges this conventional portrait of Joyce, demonstrating that the tightest focus—Joyce as an Irishman—yields the clearest picture.
A provocative history of Ulysses and the Easter Rising as harbingers of decolonization.
When revolutionaries seized Dublin during the 1916 Easter Rising, they looked back to unrequited pasts to point the way toward radical futures—transforming the Celtic Twilight into the electric light of modern Dublin in James Joyce’s Ulysses. For Luke Gibbons, the short-lived rebellion converted the Irish renaissance into the beginning of a global decolonial movement. James Joyce and the Irish Revolution maps connections between modernists and radicals, tracing not only Joyce’s projection of Ireland onto the world stage, but also how revolutionary leaders like Ernie O’Malley turned to Ulysses to make sense of their shattered worlds. Coinciding with the centenary of both Ulysses and Irish independence, this book challenges received narratives about the rebellion and the novel that left Ireland changed, changed utterly.
James Joyce and the Philosophers at Finnegans Wake explores how Joyce used the philosophers Nicholas Cusanus, Giordano Bruno, and Giambattista Vico as the basis upon which to write Finnegans Wake. Very few Joyce critics know enough about these philosophers and therefore often miss their influence on Joyce's great work. Joyce embraces these philosophic companions to lead him through the underworld of history with all its repetitions and resurrections, oppositions and recombinations. We as philosophical readers of the Wake go along with them to meet everybody and in so doing are bound "to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy" of our souls the "uncreated conscience" of humankind. Verene builds his study on the basis of years of teaching Finnegans Wake side by side with Cusanus, Bruno, and Vico, and his book will serve as a guide to readers of Joyce's novel.
Literary studies of James Joyce, perhaps more so than those of any other author, have been enriched by important developments in literary theory in the last twenty-five years. Noting a curious gap in this scholarship, M. Keith Booker brings the work of Mikhail Bakhtin, unquestionably one of the most important literary theorists of this century, to bear on Joyce's relationship to six of his literary predecessors. In clear and readable prose, Booker explores Joyce's dialogues not only with Homer, Dante, and Shakespeare, his three most obvious predecessors, but with Rabelais, Goethe, and Dostoevsky, three literary figures important in Bakhtin's theoretical work.
These six writers provide the opportunity to examine Joyce's work with regard to several of Bakhtin's most important concepts. If Homer represents the authority of epic, Rabelais represents for Bakhtin the subversive multivocal energies of carnivalesque genres. As opposed to his description of Dante's attempts to escape from historicity, Bakhtin figures Goethe as the epitome of engagement with the temporality of everyday history. And Bakhtin's generic denial of polyphony in the works of Shakespeare contrasts with Bakhtin's identification of Dostoevsky as the most polyphonic writer in all the world of literature.
Together, Booker's comparative readings suggest a Joyce whose works are politically committed, historically engaged, and socially relevant. In short, they suggest a Joyce whose work differs radically from conventional notions of modernist literature as culturally elitist, historically detached, and more interested in individual psychology than in social reality.
M. Keith Booker is Professor of English, University of Arkansas.
Joyce, Chaos, and Complexity
Thomas Jackson Rice University of Illinois Press, 1997 Library of Congress PR6019.O9Z78455 1997 | Dewey Decimal 823.912
Thomas Rice compellingly argues that James Joyce's work resists postmodernist approaches of ambiguity: Joyce never abandoned his conviction that reality exists, regardless of the human ability to represent it.
Placing Joyce in his cultural context, Rice first traces the influence of Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometries on Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. He then demonstrates that, when later innovations in science transformed entire worldviews, Joyce recognized conventional literary modes of representation as offering only arbitrary constructions of this reality. Joyce responded in Ulysses by experimenting with perspective, embedding design, and affirming the existence of reality. Rice contends that Ulysses presages the multiple tensions of chaos theory; likewise, chaos theory can serve as a model for understanding Ulysses. In Finnegans Wake Joyce consummates his vision and anticipates the theories of complexity science through a dynamic approximation of reality.
Sheds new light on James Joyce's use of sexual motifs as cultural raw material for Ulysses and other works
Joyce/Foucault: Sexual Confessions examines instances of sexual confession in works of James Joyce, with a special emphasis on Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Ulysses. Using Michel Foucault's historical analysis of Western sexuality as its theoretical underpinning, the book foregrounds the role of the Jesuit order in the spread of a confessional force, and finds this influence inscribed into Joyce's major texts. Wolfgang Streit goes on to argue that the tension between the texts' erotic passages and Joyce's criticism of even his own sexual writing energizes Joyce's narratives-and enables Joyce to develop the radical skepticism of power revealed in his work.
Wolfgang Streit is Lecturer, Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich.
For James Joyce, perhaps the most crucial of all human faculties was memory. It represented both the central thread of identity and a looking glass into the past. It served as an avenue into other minds, an essential part of the process of literary composition and narration, and the connective tissue of cultural tradition. In Joyce’s Book of Memory John S. Rickard demonstrates how Joyce’s body of work—Ulysses in particular—operates as a “mnemotechnic,” a technique for preserving and remembering personal, social, and cultural pasts. Offering a detailed reading of Joyce and his methods of writing, Rickard investigates the uses of memory in Ulysses and analyzes its role in the formation of personal identity. The importance of forgetting and repression, and the deadliness of nostalgia and habit in Joyce’s paralyzed Dublin are also revealed. Noting the power of spontaneous, involuntary recollection, Rickard locates Joyce’s mnemotechnic within its historical and philosophical contexts. As he examines how Joyce responded to competing intellectual paradigms, Rickard explores Ulysses’ connection to medieval, modern, and (what would become) postmodern worldviews, as well as its display of tensions between notions of subjective and universal memory. Finally, Joyce’s Book of Memory illustrates how Joyce distilled subjectivity, history, and cultural identity into a text that offers a panoramic view of the modern period. This book will interest students and scholars of Joyce, as well as others engaged in the study of modern and postmodern literature.
“Joyce’s Book of the Dark gives us such a blend of exciting intelligence and impressive erudition that it will surely become established as one of the most fascinating and readable Finnegans Wake studies now available.”—Margot Norris, James Joyce Literary Supplement
In 1914, James Joyce published Dubliners, a collection of short stories depicting life in Dublin at the turn of the century. One hundred years later, readers and critics alike continue to return to this book, Joyce's first major work. One of these critics is Jack Morgan, whose study Joyce’s Cityoffers refreshing readings on the occasion of the Dubliners centennial.
Joyce’s City examines these now classic stories, a number of which are regarded as without equal in English literature, in terms of their historical and political contexts and often from markedly original perspectives. Morgan demonstrates, for example, the influence of American literature on “The Dead”--notably Washington Irving’s influence—and also traces the rich vein of Gothicism prevalent in Joyce’s work from Dubliners through Ulysses.
While evidencing copious research and extensive literary knowledge, Joyce’s City is set forth with a clarity that makes it as pleasurable to read as it is informative.
For decades, James Joyce’s modernism has overshadowed his Irishness, as his self-imposed exile and association with the high modernism of Europe’s urban centers has led critics to see him almost exclusively as a cosmopolitan figure.
In Joyce’s Ghosts, Luke Gibbons mounts a powerful argument that this view is mistaken: Joyce’s Irishness is intrinsic to his modernism, informing his most distinctive literary experiments. Ireland, Gibbons shows, is not just a source of subject matter or content for Joyce, but of form itself. Joyce’s stylistic innovations can be traced at least as much to the tragedies of Irish history as to the shock of European modernity, as he explores the incomplete project of inner life under colonialism. Joyce’s language, Gibbons reveals, is haunted by ghosts, less concerned with the stream of consciousness than with a vernacular interior dialogue, the “shout in the street,” that gives room to outside voices and shadowy presences, the disruptions of a late colonial culture in crisis.
Showing us how memory under modernism breaks free of the nightmare of history, and how in doing so it gives birth to new forms, Gibbons forces us to think anew about Joyce’s achievement and its foundations.
Literary Identification from Charlotte Brontë to Tsitsi Dangarembga, by Laura Green, seeks to account for the persistent popularity of the novel of formation, from nineteenth-century English through contemporary Anglophone literature. Through her reading of novels, memoirs, and essays by nineteenth-, twentieth-, and twenty-first-century women writers, Green shows how this genre reproduces itself in the elaboration of bonds between and among readers, characters, and authors that she classifies collectively as “literary identification.” Particular literary identifications may be structured by historical and cultural change or difference, but literary identification continues to undergird the novel of formation in new and evolving contexts.
The two nineteenth-century English authors discussed in this book, Charlotte Brontë and George Eliot, established the conventions of the novel of female formation. Their twentieth-century English descendants, Virginia Woolf, Radclyffe Hall, and, Jeanette Winterson, challenge the dominance of heterosexuality in such narratives. In twentieth- and twenty-first-century narratives by Simone de Beauvoir, Jamaica Kincaid, and Tsitsi Dangarembga, the female subject is shaped not only by gender conventions but also by colonial and postcolonial conflict and national identity..
For many contemporary critics and theorists, identification is a middlebrow or feminized reading response or a structure that functions to reproduce the middle-class subjectivity and obscure social conflict. However, Green suggests that the range and variability of the literary identifications of authors, readers, and characters within these novels allows such identifications to function variably as well: in liberatory or life-enhancing ways as well as oppressive or reactionary ones.
During the years leading up to her marriage with Leonard Woolf in 1912, the year in which she finished The Voyage Out and sent it to be published by her cousin at Duckworth’s, the future Virginia Woolf was teaching herself how to be a writer. While her brothers were sent first to private schools, then to Cambridge to be educated, Virginia Stephen and her sister Vanessa were informally educated at home. With this background, how did she know she was a writer? What were her struggles? How did she teach herself? What made Miss Stephen into the author Virginia Woolf?
Miss Stephen’s Apprenticeship explores these questions, delving into Virginia Woolf ’s letters and diaries, seeking to understand how she covered the distance from the wistful “I only wish I could write,” to the almost casual statement, “the novels are finished.” These days, the trajectory of a writer very often starts with studying for an MFA. In Woolf ’s case, however, it’s instructive to ask: How did a great writer, who had no formal education, invent for herself the framework she needed for a writing life? How did she know what she had to learn? How did she make her own way?
Novelist Rosalind Brackenbury explores these questions and others, and in the process reveals what Virginia Woolf can give to young writers today.
Michelle Zerba’s Modern Odysseys explores three major writers in global modernism from the Mediterranean, Anglo-European Britain, and the Caribbean whose groundbreaking literary works have never been studied together before. Using language as an instrument of revolution and social change, C. P. Cavafy, Virginia Woolf, and Aimé Césaire gave expression to the forms of human experience we now associate with modernity: homoeroticism, transsexuality, and racial consciousness. More specifically, Zerba argues that Odyssean tropes of diffusion, isolation, passage, and return give form to works by these writers but in ways that invite us to reconsider and revise the basic premises of reception studies and intellectual history.
Combining close readings of literary texts with the study of interviews, essays, diaries, and letters, Zerba advances a revisionary account of how to approach relationships between antiquity and modernity. Instead of frontal encounters with the Odyssey, Cavafy, Woolf, and Césaire indirectly—but no less significantly—engage with Homer’s epic poem. In demonstrating how such encounters operate, Modern Odysseys explores issues of race and sexuality that connect antiquity with the modern period.
The result of the interaction between Bloom and Dedalus, Kimball argues as a central tenet in her unique reading of Ulysses, is the gradual development of a relationship between the two protagonists that parallels C. G. Jung’s descriptions of the encounter between the Ego and the Shadow in that stage of his theoretical individuation process called "the realization of the shadow." These parallels form a unifying strand of meaning that runs throughout this multidimensional novel and is supported by the text and contexts of Ulysses.
Kimball has provided the first comprehensive study of the relationship between Jungian psychology and Joyce’s Ulysses. Bucking critical trends, she focuses on Stephen rather than Bloom. She also notes certain parallels—synchronicities—in the lives of both Jung and Joyce, not because the men influenced one another but because they speculated about personality at the same historical time. Finally, noting that both Jung and Joyce came from strong Christian backgrounds, she asserts that the doubleness of the human personality fundamental to Christian theology is carried over into Jung’s psychology and Joyce’s fiction.
"On or about December 1910" human character changed, Virginia Woolf remarked, and well she might have. The company she kept, the Bloomsbury circle, took shape before the coming of World War I, and would have a lasting impact on English society and culture after the war. This book captures the dazzling world of Bloomsbury at the end of an era, and on the eve of modernism.
Peter Stansky depicts the vanguard of a rising generation seizing its moment. He shows us Woolf in that fateful year, in the midst of an emotional breakdown, reaching a turning point with her first novel, The Voyage Out, and E. M. Forster, already a success, offering Howards End and acknowledging his passion for another man. Here are Roger Fry, prominent art critic and connoisseur, remaking tradition with the epochal exhibition "Manet and the Post-Impressionists"; Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant beginning their most interesting phase as artists; Lytton Strachey signing the contract for his first book; and John Maynard Keynes entering a significant new stage in his illustrious career.
Amid the glittering opulence and dismal poverty, the swirl of Suffragists, anarchists, agitators, and organizers, Stansky--drawing upon his historical and literary skills--brings the intimate world of the Bloomsbury group to life. Their lives, relationships, writings, and ideas entwine, casting one member after another in sharp relief. Even their Dreadnought Hoax, a trick played on the sacred institution of the navy, reveals their boldness and esprit. The picture Stansky presents, with all its drama and detail, encompasses the conflicts and sureties of a changing world of politics, aesthetics, and character.
The Open Work
Umberto Eco Harvard University Press, 1989 Library of Congress BH39.E29213 1989 | Dewey Decimal 111.85
More than twenty years after its original appearance in Italian, The Open Work remains significant for its powerful concept of "openness"--the artist's decision to leave arrangements of some constituents of a work to the public or to chance--and for its striking anticipation of two major themes of contemporary literary theory: the element of multiplicity and plurality in art, and the insistence on literary response as an interactive process between reader and text. The questions Umberto Eco raises, and the answers he suggests, are intertwined in the continuing debate on literature, art, and culture in general.
This entirely new edition, edited for the English-language audience with the approval of Eco himself, includes an authoritative introduction by David Robey that explores Eco's thought at the period of The Open Work, prior to his absorption in semiotics. The book now contains key essays on Eco's mentor Luigi Pareyson, on television and mass culture, and on the politics of art. Harvard University Press will publish separately and simultaneously the extended study of James Joyce that was originally part of The Open Work, entitled The Aesthetics of Chaosmos: The Middle Ages of James Joyce. The Open Work explores a set of issues in aesthetics that remain central to critical theory, and does so in a characteristically vivid style. Eco's convincing manner of presenting ideas and his instinct for the lively example are threaded compellingly throughout. This book is at once a major treatise in modern aesthetics and an excellent introduction to Eco's thought.
James Joyce began his literary career as an Irishman writing to protest the deplorable conditions of his native country. Today, he is an icon in a field known as "Joyce studies." Our Joyce explores this amazing transformation of a literary reputation, offering a frank look into how and for whose benefit literary reputations are constructed.
Joseph Kelly looks at five defining moments in Joyce's reputation. Before 1914, when Joyce was most in control of his own reputation, he considered himself an Irish writer speaking to the Dublin middle classes. When T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound began promoting Joyce in 1914, however, they initiated a cult of genius that transformed Joyce into a prototype of the "egoist," a writer talking only to other writers.
This view served the purposes of Morris Ernst in the 1930s, when he defended Ulysses against obscenity charges by arguing that geniuses were incapable of obscenity and that they wrote only for elite readers. That view of Joyce solidified in Richard Ellmann's award-winning 1950s biography, which portrayed Joyce as a self-centered genius who cared little for his readers and less for the world at war around him. The biography, in turn, led to Joyce's canonization by the academy, where a "Joyce industry" now flourishes within English departments.
The original version of Proust, Mann, Joyce in the Modernist Context strove to show how a kindred encyclopedic drive and sacramental sense informed their responses to the epochal trauma, yielding three distinct and monumental visions of the human estate by the 1920s.
The Real, The True, and The Told: Postmodern Historical Narrative and the Ethics of Representation, by Eric L. Berlatsky, intervenes in contemporary debates over the problems of historical reference in a postmodern age. It does so through an examination of postmodern literary practices and their engagement with the theorization of history. The book looks at the major figures of constructivist historiography and at postmodern fiction (and memoir) that explicitly presents and/or theorizes “history.” It does so in order to suggest that reading such fiction can intervene substantially in debates over historical reference and the parallel discussion of redefining contemporary ethics.
Much theorization in the wake of Hayden White suggests that history is little better than fiction in its professed goal of representing the “truth” of the past, particularly because of its reliance on the narrative form.While postmodern fiction is often read as reflecting and/or repeating such theories, this book argues that, in fact, such fiction proposes alternative models of accurate historical reference, based on models of nonnarrativity. Through a combination of high theory andnarrative theory, the book illustrates how the texts examined insist upon the possibility of accessing the real by rejecting narrative as their primary mode of articulation. Among the authors examined closely in The Real, The True, and The Told are Virginia Woolf, Graham Swift, Salman Rushdie, Art Spiegelman, and Milan Kundera.
In this book, Robin Hackett examines portrayals of race, class, and sexuality in modernist texts by white women to argue for the existence of a literary device that she calls “Sapphic primitivism.” The works vary widely in their form and content and include Olive Schreiner’s proto-modernist exploration of New Womanhood, The Story of an African Farm; Virginia Woolf’s high modernist “play-poem,” The Waves; Sylvia Townsend Warner’s historical novel, Summer Will Show; and Willa Cather’s Southern pastoral, Sapphira and the Slave Girl. In each, blackness and working-class culture are figured to represent sexual autonomy, including lesbianism, for white women. Sapphic primitivism exposes the ways several classes of identification were intertwined with the development of homosexual identities at the turn of the century. Sapphic primitivism is not, however, a means of disguising lesbian content. Rather, it is an aesthetic displacement device that simultaneously exposes lesbianism and exploits modern, primitivist modes of self-representation. Hackett’s revelations of the mutual interests of those who study early twentieth-century constructions of race and sexuality and twenty-first-century feminists doing anti-racist and queer work are a major contribution to literary studies and identity theory.
The modern novel, so the story goes, thinks poorly of mere description—what Virginia Woolf called “that ugly, that clumsy, that incongruous tool.” As a result, critics have largely neglected description as a feature of novelistic innovation during the twentieth century. Dora Zhang argues that descriptive practices were in fact a crucial site of attention and experimentation for a number of early modernist writers, centrally Woolf, Henry James, and Marcel Proust.
Description is the novelistic technique charged with establishing a common world, but in the early twentieth century, there was little agreement about how a common world could be known and represented. Zhang argues that the protagonists in her study responded by shifting description away from visualizing objects to revealing relations—social, formal, and experiential—between disparate phenomena. In addition to shedding new light on some of the best-known works of modernism, Zhang opens up new ways of thinking about description more broadly. She moves us beyond the classic binary of narrate-or-describe and reinvigorates our thinking about the novel. Strange Likeness will enliven conversations around narrative theory, affect theory, philosophy and literature, and reading practices in the academy.
The Subaltern Ulysses
Enda Duffy University of Minnesota Press, 1994 Library of Congress PR6019.O9U6383 1994 | Dewey Decimal 823.912
The Subaltern Ulysses was first published in 1994. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
How might an IRA bomb and James Joyce's Ulysses have anything in common? Could this masterpiece of modernism, written at the violent moment of Ireland's national emergence, actually be the first postcolonial novel? Exploring the relation of Ulysses to the colony in which it is set, and to the nation being born as the book was written, Enda Duffy uncovers a postcolonial modernism and in so doing traces another unsuspected strain within the one-time critical monolith. In the years between 1914 and 1921, as Joyce was composing his text, Ireland became the first colony of the British Empire to gain its independence in this century after a violent anticolonial war. Duffy juxtaposes Ulysses with documents and photographs from the archives of both empire and insurgency, as well as with recent postcolonial literary texts, to analyze the political unconscious of subversive strategies, twists on class and gender, that render patriarchal colonialist culture unfamiliar.
Ulysses, Duffy argues, is actually a guerrilla text, and here he shows how Joyce's novel pinpoints colonial regimes of surveillance, mocks imperial stereotypes of the "native," exposes nationalism and other chauvinistic ideologies of "imagined community" as throwbacks to the colonial ethos, and proposes versions of a postcolonial subject. A significant intervention in the massive "Joyce industry" founded on the rhetoric and aesthetics of high modernism, Duffy's insights show us not only Ulysses, but also the origins of postcolonial textuality, in a startling new way.
Enda Duffy is assistant professor of English at the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Aware of the act of writing as a temporal process, many modernist authors preserved numerous manuscripts of their works, which themselves thematized time. Textual Awareness analyzes the writing processes in James Joyce's Finnegans Wake, Marcel Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu, and Thomas Mann's Doktor Faustus and relates these to Anglo-American, French, and German theories of text. By relating theory to practice, this comparative study reveals the links between literary and textual criticism.
A key issue in both textual criticism and the so-called crisis of the novel is the tension between the finished and the unfinished. After a theoretical examination of the relationship between genetic and textual criticism, Dirk Van Hulle uses the three case studies to show how?at each stage in the writing process?the text still had the potential of becoming something entirely different; how and why these geneses proceeded the way they did; how Joyce, Proust, and Mann allowed contingencies to shape their work; how these authors recycled the words of their critics in order to inoculate their works against them; how they shaped an intertextual dimension through the processing of source texts and reading notes; and how text continually generated more text.
Van Hulle's exploration of process sheds new light on the remarkable fact that so many modernist authors protected their manuscripts, implying both the authors' urge to grasp everything and their awareness of the dangers of their encyclopedic projects. Textual Awareness offers new insights into the artificiality of the artifact?the novel?that are relevant to the study of literary modernism in general and the study of James Joyce, Marcel Proust, and Thomas Mann in particular.
Dirk Van Hulle is Assistant Professor of English and German Literature, University of Antwerp.
Since its original publication in 1970, Ulysses: the Mechanics of Meaning has become one of the most talked about, cited, and respected of commentaries on Joyce's classic work. Its compact format and its crisp, lucid style make David Hayman's book an essential one for all new readers of Ulysses. For this new edition Hayman has added a convenient chapter-by-chapter account of the action and a substantial afterword extending and amplifying ideas presented in the original edition and briefly summarizing the current critical scene. This makes the book of additional value both to sudents and to the many Joyce scholars who have long depended on the Prentice-Hall edition, now out of print.
In a major rethinking of the functions, methods, and aims of narrative poetics, David Herman exposes important links between modernist and postmodernist literary experimentation and contemporary language theory. Ultimately a search for new tools for narrative theory, his work clarifies complex connections between science and art, theory and culture, and philosophical analysis and narrative discourse. Following an extensive historical overview of theories about universal grammar, Herman examines Joyce’s Ulysses, Kafka’s The Trial, and Woolf’s Between the Acts as case studies of modernist literary narratives that encode grammatical principles which were (re)fashioned in logic, linguistics, and philosophy during the same period. Herman then uses the interpretation of universal grammar developed via these modernist texts to explore later twentieth-century cultural phenomena. The problem of citation in the discourses of postmodernism, for example, is discussed with reference to syntactic theory. An analysis of Peter Greenaway’s The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover raises the question of cinematic meaning and draws on semantic theory. In each case, Herman shows how postmodern narratives encode ideas at work in current theories about the nature and function of language. Outlining new directions for the study of language in literature, Universal Grammar and Narrative Form provides a wealth of information about key literary, linguistic, and philosophical trends in the twentieth century.
James Joyce’s Ulysses is a modern version of Homer’s Odyssey, but Joyce—who was a better scholar of Latin than of Greek—also was deeply influenced by the Aeneid, Virgil’s epic poem about the journey of Aeneas and the foundation of Rome.
Joyce wrote Ulysses during the Irish War of Independence, when militants, politicians, and intellectuals were attempting to create a new Irish nation. Virgil wrote the Aeneid when, in the wake of decades of civil war, Augustus was founding what we now call the Roman Empire. Randall Pogorzelski applies modern theories of nationalism, intertextuality, and reception studies to illuminate how both writers confronted issues of nationalism, colonialism, political violence, and freedom during times of crisis.
Ira Nadel Reaktion Books, 2016 Library of Congress PR6045.O72Z825 2016
Virginia Woolf was one of the most significant literary figures of the twentieth century—a major literary stylist and a lyrical novelist whose stream-of-consciousness approach in iconic books such as Mrs Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, and Orlando would inspire generations of writers to follow. She was also one of the first to address the injustices of gender disparity and the ravages of World War I at home. Uncovering new details about Woolf’s life and the places she inhabited, this engaging biography offers fresh insights into her works and legacy, focusing on the ways place and imagination intertwine in her writing.
Drawing on Woolf’s letters, journals, diaries, autobiographical essays, and fiction, Ira Nadel paints a portrait of the writer in situ, whether in the enclosed surroundings of Hyde Park Gate or the open and free-spirited environs of Gordon Square’s Bloomsbury. He shows how Woolf’s experimental style was informed by her own reading life and how her deeply sensitive understanding of history, narrative, art, and friendship were rendered in her prose. He explores the famous Bloomsbury group of intellectuals in which she was immersed as well as her relationships with fascinating figures such as Vita Sackville-West and Lady Ottoline Morrel. Nadel looks at Woolf’s attitudes toward sex and marriage, analyzes her uncertain social and political views, and, finally, offers a sensitive examination of her mental instabilities and the nervous breakdowns that would plague her for most of her life, up until her suicide in 1941.
A moving account of an exceptional writer who ushered in a new era of literature, this biography perfectly captures the intricate relationship between art and life.
"A stunning, brilliant, absolutely compelling reading of Woolf through the lens of Kleinian and Freudian psychoanalytic debates about the primacy of maternality and paternality in the construction of consciousness, gender, politics, and the past, and of psychoanalysis through the lens of Woolf's novels and essays. In addition to transforming our understanding of Woolf, this book radically expands our understanding of the historicity and contingent construction of psychoanalytic theory and our vision of the potential of psychoanalytic feminism."—Nancy J. Chodorow, University of California at Berkeley
"Virginia Woolf and the Fictions of Psychoanalysis brings Woolf's extraordinary craftsmanship back into view; the book combines powerful claims about sexual politics and intellectual history with the sort of meticulous, imaginative close reading that leaves us, simply, seeing much more in Woolf's words than we did before. It is the most exciting book on Woolf to come along in some time."—Lisa Ruddick, Modern Philology
Virginia Woolf Icon
Brenda R. Silver University of Chicago Press, 1999 Library of Congress PR6045.O72Z87633 1999 | Dewey Decimal 823.912
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. Brenda Silver analyzes Virginia Woolf's surprising visibility in both high and popular culture, showing how her image and authority have been claimed or challenged in debates about art, politics, anger, sexuality, gender, class, the canon, feminism, race, and fashion.
From Virginia Woolf's 1937 appearance on the cover of Time magazine to her current roles in theater, film, and television, Silver traces the often contradictory representations and the responses they provoke, highlighting the recurring motifs that associate Virginia Woolf with fear. By looking more closely at who is afraid and the contexts in which she is perceived to be frightening, Silver illustrates how Virginia Woolf has become the site of conflicts about cultural boundaries and legitimacy that continue to rage today.
In a work that re-investigates archival materials and deploys an innovative theoretical framework, Jean Mills explores the intellectual and political relationship between Virginia Woolf and the Cambridge classicist Jane Ellen Harrison. Virginia Woolf, Jane Ellen Harrison, and the Spirit of Modernist Classicism discovers an intimate connection crucial to Woolf’s professional identity and intellectual and artistic development in Harrison’s controversial, feminist interpretations of Greek mythology. Mills argues that cross-reading Jane Harrison and Virginia Woolf exposes a distinctive relationship between two women intellectuals, one that does not rehearse the linearity of influence but instead demonstrates the intricacy of intertextuality—an active and transformative use of one body of writing by another writer—that makes of Virginia Woolf’s modernism a specifically feminist amplification. This cross-reading reveals a dimension of modernism that has been overlooked or minimized: Mills demonstrates that the questions preoccupying Harrison also resonated with Woolf, who adapted Harrison’s ideas to her own intellectual, political, and literary pursuits.
To an extent, Virginia Woolf, Jane Ellen Harrison, and the Spirit of Modernist Classicism participates in an act of classical recovery. It is an effort to revive and reclaim Harrison’s work and to illustrate the degree to which her cultural, political, and scholastic example informed one of the major modernist voices of the twentieth century.
In Virginia Woolf’s Mythic Method, Amy C. Smith reinvigorates scholarly analysis of myth in Virginia Woolf’s fiction by examining how Woolf engaged social and political issues in her work. Through close readings of Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, and Between the Acts, Smith argues that Woolf develops a paratactic method of alluding to Greek myth that is shaped by the style of archaic oral literature and her intersectional feminist insights. By revising such famously paradoxical figures as the Great Goddess, the Eleusinian deities, Dionysus, Odysseus, and the Sirens, Woolf illustrates the links between epistemological and metaphysical assumptions and war, empire, patriarchy, capitalism, and fascism. At the same time, her use of parataxis to invoke ancient myth unsettles authorial control and empowers readers to participate in making meaning out of her juxtaposed fragments. In contrast to T. S. Eliot’s more prominent mythic method, which seeks to control the anarchy of modern life, Woolf’s paratactic method envisions more livable forms of sociality by destabilizing meaning in her novels, an agenda that aligns better with our contemporary understandings of modernism.
This first feminist book-length comparison of D. H. Lawrence and James Joyce offers striking new readings of a number of the novelists’ most important works, including Lawrence’s Man Who Died and Joyce’s Finnegans Wake.
Cynthia Lewiecki-Wilson argues that a feminist reader must necessarily read with and against theories of psychoanalysis to examine the assumptions about gender embedded within family relations and psychologies of gender found in the two authors’ works. She challenges the belief that Lawrence and Joyce are opposites, inhabiting contrary modernist camps; instead they are on a continuum, with both engaged in a reimagination of gender relations.
Lewiecki-Wilson demonstrates that both Lawrence and Joyce write against a background of family material using family plots and family settings. While previous discussions of family relations in literature have not questioned assumptions about the family and about sex roles within it, Lewiecki-Wilson submits the systems of meaning by which gender is construed to a feminist analysis. She reexamines Lawrence and Joyce from the point of view of feminist psychoanalysis, which, she argues, is not a set of beliefs or a single theory but a feminist practice that analyzes how systems of meaning construe gender and produce a psychology of gender.
Lewiecki-Wilson argues against a theory of representation based on gender, however, concluding that Lawrence’s and Joyce’s texts, in different ways, test the idea of a female aesthetic. She analyzes Lawrence’s portrait of family relations in Sonsand Lovers, The Rainbow, and Women in Love and compares Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man with Lawrence’s autobiographical text. She then shows that Portrait begins a deconstruction of systems of meaning that continues and increases in Joyce’s later work, including Ulysses.
Lewiecki-Wilson concludes by showing that Lawrence, Joyce, and Freud relate family material to Egyptian myth in their writings. She identifies Freud’s essay "Leonardo da Vinci and a Memory of Childhood" as an important source for Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, which portrays beneath the gendered individual a root androgyny and asserts an unfixed, evolutionary view of family relations.