The Unknown Virginia Woolf

Front Cover
Since its first publication in 1978, Roger Poole's The Unknown Virginia Woolf has achieved recognition as one of the classic studies of Woolf's life and work. Poole revised the conventional view of Woolf as 'mad' by treating her breakdown as socially intelligible. The theme of madness was reconceived in order to provide an intellectual biography that traced Woolf's fear and resentment to her childhood and adolescence. Poole uses the phenomenological concept of embodiment to address the concealed intentionality that lies behind apparently deviant behaviour. He shows how Woolf's challenge to accepted conventions of communication, in both her life and work, is an appeal for meaning. Long considered radical and iconoclastic, this book now occupies a central place in Woolf, gender, and modernist studies. This new edition includes a specially written preface evaluating recent developments in Woolf studies, literary theory and contemporary feminist criticism.
 

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Contents

The unknown Virginia Woolf
1
Rosyflowered fruit tree and beak of brass
7
The body the mirror Gerald and George
21
The terrors of engagement
33
Full bellies dull minds
54
What exactly do you mean by that?
59
Leonards three problems
74
The ordeal of 1912
103
Forbade childbirth penalised despair
167
The birds talking Greek
173
Was Septimus Smith insane?
185
Virginias embodiment
198
Fuhrer Duce Tyrant
216
Incompatibility
232
oak and triple brass were around her breast
246
Death by shrapnel or death by water
259

Butter cream and eggs and bacon
127
Virginias own view negated and disconfirmed
137
Taboo against eating guilt
148
Conspiracy
159
Bibliographical note
280
Bibliography to the fourth edition
283
Index
287
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