Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Avant-Garde traces
the dynamic emergence of Woolf's art and thought against
Bloomsbury's public thinking about Europe's future in a period
marked by two world wars and rising threats of totalitarianism.
Educated informally in her father's library and in Bloomsbury's
London extension of Cambridge, Virginia Woolf came of age in the
prewar decades, when progressive political and social movements
gave hope that Europe "might really be on the brink of becoming
civilized," as Leonard Woolf put it. For pacifist Bloomsbury, heir
to Europe's unfinished Enlightenment project of human rights,
democratic self-governance, and world peace -- and, in E. M.
Forster's words, "the only genuine movement in English
civilization" -- the 1914 "civil war" exposed barbarities within
Europe: belligerent nationalisms, rapacious racialized economic
imperialism, oppressive class and sex/gender systems, a tragic and
unnecessary war that mobilized sixty-five million and left
thirty-seven million casualties. An avant-garde in the
twentieth-century struggle against the violence within European
civilization, Bloomsbury and Woolf contributed richly to interwar
debates on Europe's future at a moment when democracy's triumph
over fascism and communism was by no means assured.
Woolf honed her public voice in dialogue with contemporaries in
and beyond Bloomsbury -- John Maynard Keynes and Roger Fry to
Sigmund Freud (published by the Woolfs'Hogarth Press), Bertrand
Russell, T. S. Eliot, E. M. Forster, Katherine Mansfield, and many
others -- and her works embody and illuminate the convergence of
aesthetics and politics in post-Enlightenment thought. An ambitious
history of her writings in relation to important currents in
British intellectual life in the first half of the twentieth
century, this book explores Virginia Woolf's narrative journey from
her first novel, The Voyage Out, through her last,
Between the Acts.
Subjects: Language & Literature
You do not have access to this book on JSTOR. Try logging in through your institution for access.
Log in to your personal account or through your institution.
Table of Contents
Export Selected Citations
Export to NoodleTools
Export to RefWorks
Export to EasyBib
Export a RIS file
(For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...)
Export a Text file