Jacob's Room

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Signet Classic, Dec 16, 1997 - Fiction - 204 pages
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"Jacob's Room is Virginia Woolf's experimental third novel, set in England as the country moves inex- orably toward the outbreak of World War I. The text reprinted in this Norton Critical Edition is the first British edition produced by the Woolfs at the Hogarth Press, with the original layout and paragraph spacing." "A generous Contexts section provides extracts from Woolf's diaries and letters as well as comments on the novel from her fellow writers and friends, among them E. M. Forster and T. S. Eliot. Three of Woolf's short stories - "The Mark on the Wall," "Kew Gardens," and "An Unwritten Novel" - are included, allowing readers to trace Woolf's experimentation with the new narrative method she used in Jacob's Room. A fourth short story, "A Woman's College from Outside," was originally intended by Woolf to be Chapter 10 of Jacob's Room and is therefore also reprinted in this volume. Finally, Woolf's classic essay "Modern Novels" provides insight into her literary aesthetic and technique." ""Criticism" is divided into two sections. The first, "Contemporary Reception and Reviews," collects personal responses to Jacob's Room from Lytton Strachey and E. M. Forster as well as eleven reviews from contemporary periodicals. The second, "Critical Essays," offers insightful interpretations by Judy Little, Alex Zwerdling, Kate Flint, Kathleen Wall, and Edward L. Bishop. A Selected Bibliography is also included."--BOOK JACKET.

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Jacob's room

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Woolf's 1922 experimental novel here joins Dover's "Thrift" line of bargain classics. This is still a popular item in lit classes, so have a few extra copies on hand; this is the cheapest way to fill the demand. Read full review

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About the author (1997)

Virginia Woolf was born in London, the daughter of the prominent literary critic Leslie Stephen. She never received a formal university education; her early education was obtained at home through her parents and governesses. After death of her father in 1904, her family moved to Bloomsbury, where they formed the nucleus of the Bloomsbury Group, a circle of philosophers, writers and artists. As a writer, Woolf was a great experimenter. She scorned the traditional narrative form and turned to expressionism as a means of telling her story. Mrs. Dalloway (1925) and To The Lighthouse (1927), her two generally acknowledged masterpieces, are stream-of-consciousness novels in which most of the action and conflict occur beneath a surface of social decorum. Mrs. Dalloway, set in London shortly after the end of World War I, takes place on a summer's day of no particular significance, except that intense emotion, insanity, and death intrude.To the Lighthouse's long first and third sections, each of which concerns one day 10 years apart, of the same family's summer holidays, are separated and connected by a lyrical short section during which the war occurs, several members of the family die, and decay and corruption run rampant. Orlando (1928) is the chronological life story of a person who begins as an Elizabethan gentleman and ends as a lady of the twentieth century; Woolf's friend, Victoria Sackville-West, served as the principal model for the multiple personalities. (The book was made into a movie in 1993.) Flush (1933) is a dog's soliloquy that, by indirection, recounts the love story of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning and their elopement and life in Florence. Her last short novel, Between the Acts (1941), was left without her final revision, but it is, nonetheless, a major representation of a society on the verge of collapse. Having had periods of depression throughout her life and fearing a final mental breakdown from which she might not recover, Woolf drowned herself in 1941. Her husband published part of her farewell letter to deny that she had taken her life because she could not face the terrible times of war. Leonard Woolf also edited A Writer's Diary (1953), which provides valuable insights into his wife's private thoughts and literary development. Equally informative are his own autobiographies, particularly Beginning Again and Downhill All the Way (1967), and The Letters of Virginia Woolf and Lytton Strachey . Virginia Woolf's Granite and Rainbow contains 27 essays on the art of fiction and biography. There are many sidelights on Woolf in the writings, letters, and biographies of other members of her Bloomsbury circle, such as Roger Fry, John Maynard Keynes (see Vol. 3), and Lytton Strachey (see Vol. 3). Also casting much light on her life, thought, and creative processes are The Common Reader (1925), The Second Common Reader (1933), A Room of One's Own (1929), Three Guineas (1938), The Captain's Death Bed and Other Essays, The Death of the Moth and Other Essays (1942), and various collections of her autobiographical writings, diaries, and letters. In addition, in recent years there has been a veritable industry of writers dealing with Woolf and her work.

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