Virginia Woolf and the Victorians

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Cambridge University Press, Nov 15, 2007 - Literary Criticism
Criticism of Woolf is often polarised into viewing her work as either fundamentally progressive or reactionary. In this 2007 book, Steve Ellis argues that her commitment to anxiety about modernity coexists with a nostalgia and respect for aspects of Victorian culture threatened by radical social change. Ellis tracks Woolf's response to the Victorian era through her fiction and other writings, arguing that Woolf can be seen as more 'Post-Victorian' than 'modernist'. He explains how Woolf's emphasis on continuity and reconciliation related to twentieth-century debates about Victorian values, and he analyses her response to the First World War as the major threat to that continuity. This detailed and original investigation of the range of Woolf's writing attends to questions of cultural and political history and fictional structure, imagery and diction. It proposes a fresh reading of Woolf's thinking about the relationships between the past, present and future.
 

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Contents

Night and Day
12
Mrs Dalloway
43
To the Lighthouse
78
The Years
110
the final works
140
Conclusion Reclaiming the shadows
171
Notes
181
Index
207
Copyright

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Page 21 - The past only comes back when the present runs so smoothly that it is like the sliding surface of a deep river. Then one sees through the surface to the depths.

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