English 203

Graduate Readings: Virginia Woolf

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
2 Spring 2008 Abel, Elizabeth
Abel, Elizabeth
TTh 2-3:30 205 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Woolf, V.: Between the Acts, Jacob�s Room, Moments of Being, Orlando, Mrs. Dalloway, A Room of One�s Own, Three Guineas, To the Lighthouse, The Voyage Out, The Waves, A Writer�s Diary, The Years; Lee, H: Virginia Woolf


This course will examine the evolution of Woolf�s career across the nearly three decades that define the arc of British modernism. This co-incidence will allow us to theorize the shape of a career and of a literary movement, and to re-read that movement through a literary oeuvre that has been cherry picked to illustrate a particular turn within it. As we map the trajectory from Woolf�s apprenticeship works in the teens through the experimental narratives of the twenties to the politically pressured projects of the late thirties, we will explore the textual strategies through which these turns were achieved and the cultural crosscurrents in which they were embedded. We will read Woolf�s critical essays to situate her narrative practice within her commentary on it (as well as within narrative theory generally); we will take advantage of the recently published holograph manuscripts to read published texts in the context of their revisions; we will exploit the proliferation of Woolf biographies to revisit her ambivalence about biography; and we will put pressure on her appropriation and revision by various critical schools and contemporary writers. Two approximately 12-page papers will be required, in addition to seminar presentations that will expand our frames of cultural and critical reference.

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