April 28, 2009
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v2.1 Reference

Virginia Woolf

An MFS Reader

Edited by Maren Linett
As the most canonical woman writer of modern English literature, Virginia Woolf has become central to our conceptions of literature, modernist theory, the arts, feminism, and social analysis. The interdisciplinary examinations in this anthology explore Woolf's major novels, her key essays, and the literary tropes that unify her writings.

The essays in the first section look at Woolf's acute analyses of literary imagining: her explorations of the ways fact, vision, and language interact to create both perceived reality and its representation in fiction. In the second part, the contributors focus on Woolf's social vision, considering how groups respond to traumatic events and treating both the hazards and the comforts of community. The third section brings together seven of the most challenging accounts of Woolf's ethical and political imagination, reflecting upon her representations of other minds, in particular the minds of those who differ from her according to early twentieth-century notions of class, race, and empire. An afterword by Mark Hussey sketches possible future directions for studies of her work.

This revealing collection sheds new light on one of Britain's most innovative writers. It will be a welcome addition to the library of any scholar of modernism and can easily be adapted for courses on Woolf and modern literature.

About the Author

Maren Linett is an associate professor of English at Purdue University and the author of Modernism, Feminism, and Jewishness.


"A thoughtfully designed and very teachable volume . . . Both a treasure-trove of pedagogical resources and a refreshing reminder of the continuity of scholarship."—Woolf Studies Annual

"This anthology allows us to browse through a range of twenty articles from five decades of scholarship, revisiting familiar pieces and considering for the first time work which even the most dedicated follower of Woolf studies might well have missed."—Virginia Woolf Bulletin

"For those readers experiencing, in the words of one of the essayists collected here, 'the vertigo of reading Woolf for the first time' this ensemble of pieces from Modern Fiction Studies may have a steadying effect. At the same time, it may introduce them to another kind of instructive dizziness, namely that induced by the busy whirl of Woolf criticism . . . It is good to remind ourselves of the literary-aesthetic, and literary-critical, reasons for which Woolf has been found important—a purpose well served by Maren Linett's collection."—Modern Language Review

9780801891175 : virginia-woolf-linett
464 Pages
$76.00 USD