Contradictory Woolf

BookContradictory Woolf

Contradictory Woolf

Clemson University Press


June 1st, 2012

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Contradictory Woolf is a collection of essays selected from approximately 200 papers presented at the 21st Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf, hosted by the University of Glasgow. The theme of contradiction in Woolf's writing, including her use of the word 'but', is widely explored in relation to auto/biography, art, philosophy, cognitive science, sexuality, animality, class, mathematics, translation, annotation, poetry, and war. Among the essays collected in this volume are the five keynote addresses—by Judith Allen, Suzanne Bellamy, Marina Warner, Patricia Waugh, and Michael Whitworth—as well as a preface by Jane Goldman and an introduction by the editors.

Notes on Contributors: Judith Allen leads the Virginia Woolf Reading Group at Kelly Writers House at the University of Pennsylvania. Her book, Virginia Woolf and the Politics of Language, was published by Edinburgh University Press in 2010. Her chapter on “Feminist Politics” will be included in Virginia Woolf in Context, forthcoming from Cambridge University Press, and she is currently writing a monograph on Woolf and Montaigne for Cecil Woolf ’s Bloomsbury Heritage Series. Suzanne Bellamy is an Australian artist and writer, currently completing a PhD at the University of Sydney. Website: Ian Blyth is an Honorary Research Fellow in the School of English, University of St Andrews, and a member of the Editorial Board for the Cambridge Edition of the Works of Virginia Woolf, for which he is co-editing Orlando (with Suzanne Raitt). His published works include Hélène Cixous: Live Theory (2004), and various articles on Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West. Stella Bolaki is a Lecturer in the School of English at the University of Kent. She is author of Unsettling the Bildungsroman: Reading Contemporary Ethnic American Women’s Fiction (2011) and has published articles in MELUS, Mosaic and Textual Practice. She is currently writing a monograph on cross-genre illness narratives, and she is co-editor, with Sabine Broeck, of a forthcoming collection of essays on Audre Lorde’s transnational legacy. Wayne Chapman is Professor of English at Clemson University, editor of Th e South Carolina Review, and executive editor of Clemson University Digital Press. His most recent book is Yeats’s Poetry in the Making: “Sing Whatever Is Well Made” (Palgrave Macmillan 2010). With Janet M. Manson, he is the co-author of An Annotated Guide to the Writings and Papers of Leonard Woolf (2006) and co-editor of Women in the Milieu of Leonard and Virginia Woolf: Peace, Politics, and Education (1998). John Coyle is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Glasgow. His main interests lie in the field of modernist and postmodernist literature from an international perspective. He has published articles on F. Scott Fitzgerald, Alain-Fournier, Proust, and Joyce, and has edited two introductory studies on Joyce. Kristin Czarnecki is an associate professor of English at Georgetown College. Her work has been published in the Journal of Modern Literature, the Journal of Beckett Studies, College Literature, and the CEA Critic, among others. Her current project involves Kristevan analyses of the novels of Jean Rhys. Claire Davison-Pégon is Professor of Literature and Translation Studies at the Universite d’Aix-Marseille, and is the current president of the French Virginia Woolf Society. Madelyn Detloff is Director of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Associate Professor of English at Miami University (OH). Her published work includes The Persistence of Modernism: Loss and Mourning in the 20th Century and several essays on Woolf, modernism, queer studies, and/or feminist studies. Rebecca DeWald is a PhD student in English Literature and Hispanic Studies at the University of Glasgow. She is researching Jorge Luis Borges’ approach to and practice of translation and its impact on Translation Studies as a whole. Jeanne Dubino is Professor of English at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. She most recently published the edited volume Virginia Woolf and the Literary Marketplace (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010). Lois J. Gilmore is Professor of Language & Literature at Bucks County Community College in Newtown, Pennsylvania. She received her PhD from Temple University with a dissertation entitled “Modernist Primitive: Art and Ethnography in Modern British Literature.” Her current research interests include Virginia Woolf and African art, along with Marianne Moore and fashion. Diane F. Gillespie, Professor Emeritus of English at Washington State University, is author of The Sisters’ Arts: The Writing and Painting of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell and of numerous essays, most recently chapters for Bonnie Kime Scott’s Gender in Modernism, Maggie Humm’s Edinburgh Companion to Virginia Woolf and the Arts, and Helen Southworth’s Virginia and Leonard Woolf: The Hogarth Press and the Networks of Modernism. She is editor of Woolf ’s Roger Fry: A Biography and of The Multiple Muses of Virginia Woolf as well as co-editor of Julia Stephen’s writings, the selected papers volume Virginia Woolf and the Arts, and Cicely Hamilton’s play Diana of Dobson’s. Amanda Golden is a Visiting Scholar at Emory University’s Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry where she also served as the Post-Doctoral Fellow in Poetics. She is completing her book manuscript, Annotating Modernism: The Reading and Teaching Strategies of Sylvia Plath, John Berryman, and Anne Sexton. With the poet David Trinidad she is also editing an essay collection, “This Business of Words”: Reassessing Anne Sexton (2013). She is the Book Review Editor of Woolf Studies Annual and co-edited a special issue of the Virginia Woolf Miscellany on Woolf and Plath (2007). Jane Goldman is Reader in English Literature at the University of Glasgow. She is a General Editor of Cambridge University Press Edition of the Writings of Virginia Woolf and author of The Feminist Aesthetics of Virginia Woolf: Modernism, Post-Impressionism and the Politics of the Visual (Cambridge UP, 1998), Modernism, 1910-1945: Image to Apocalypse (Palgrave, 2004) and The Cambridge Introduction to Virginia Woolf (Cambridge UP, 2006). She is editing Woolf ’s To the Lighthouse for Cambridge, and is currently writing a book, Virginia Woolf and the Signifying Dog. She is co-editor, with Bryony Randall, of Cambridge UP’s forthcoming volume Virginia Woolf in Context (2012). Oren Goldschmidt is a D.Phil student at the University of Oxford. His thesis on “Virginia Woolf and Community” examines the rich intellectual context behind Woolf ’s explorations of personal relationships and community, as well as her specifically literary responses to the problems they entail. Leslie Kathleen Hankins is Professor of English at Cornell College, where she teaches a variety of experimental courses. She has published essays on modernism and film in The Gender Complex of Modernism (2007), Woolf Studies Annual (2009), and J’accuse: the 1919 Newly Restored DVD by Flicker Alley (2008). Most recently, she has published essays in The Edinburgh Companion to Virginia Woolf and the Arts (2010), and Approaches to Teaching Virginia Woolf ’s Mrs. Dalloway (2010). Maggie Humm is Professor of Cultural Studies in the School of Arts and Digital Industries at the University of East London. Her work on Woolf includes: Modernist Women and Visual Cultures: Virginia Woolf, Vanessa Bell, Photography and Cinema (2002); Snapshots of Bloomsbury: the Private Lives of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell (2006); and Th e Edinburgh Companion to Virginia Woolf and the Arts (2010). She is currently researching Virginia Woolf ’s writings on art. Karen L. Levenback, former President and (before that) Secretary-Treasurer of the [International] Virginia Woolf Society, taught at George Washington University for more than fifteen years and is Book Review Editor of the Virginia Woolf Miscellany and Archival Liaison for the IVWS Archive, which is housed at the University of Toronto. She is also Archivist/Librarian at the Franciscan Monastery, Washington, DC. Gill Lowe is Senior Lecturer in English at University Campus Suffolk. She edited Hyde Park Gate News, juvenilia written by Vanessa Thoby and Virginia Stephen, and has published articles in international journals about Woolf and life-writing. Laci Mattison, a doctoral candidate at Florida State University, will complete her dissertation, “From Modernism to Transnationality: Virginia Woolf, H.D., Yoko Tawada and Ethical De/territorializations of Subjectivity,” in 2012. She is co-editor (with S.E. Gontarski and Paul Ardoin) of a forthcoming collection Understanding Bergson, Understanding Modernism (Continuum, 2013) and co-editor (with Derek Ryan) of a forthcoming special issue of Deleuze Studies on Deleuze, Woolf and modernism (2013). Makiko Minow-Pinkney is Professor of Modern Literary Studies at the University of Bolton. Her publications includes Virginia Woolf and the Problem of the Subject (1987, 2010), Virginia Woolf and December 1910 (forthcoming 2012), and many articles and chapters on Woolf, literary theory and modernism. Vara Neverow is Professor of English and Women’s Studies. Her most recent publications include essays in Virginia Woolf and the Literary Marketplace, edited by Jeanne Dubino (Palgrave, 2010), The Edinburgh Companion to Virginia Woolf and the Arts, edited by Maggie Humm (Edinburgh UP, 2010), and The Theme of Peace and War in Virginia Woolf ’s Writings, edited by Jane Wood (Edwin Mellen Press, 2010). She is the managing editor of the Virginia Woolf Miscellany (2003-present), organized the second Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf, and co-edited the first three volumes of the Selected Papers of the conference with Mark Hussey. Claire Nicholson is part-time Lecturer in English Literature and PhD student at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, where she is working on a thesis entitled “In Woolf ’s Clothing.” She has presented conference papers in a variety of contexts including BBC Wales, the British Library and the London College of Fashion. In October 2011 she coorganised a two-week public festival in Cambridge on Virginia Woolf. Sowon S. Park teaches English at Oxford University. Her publications on Woolf are “Apostolic Minds and the Spinning House: Jane Ellen Harrison and Virginia Woolf’s Discourse of Alterity,” in Women: A Cultural Review (Spring 2011) and “Suffrage and Virginia Woolf: ‘The Mass behind the Single Voice,’” The Review of English Studies vol. 56 (Feb 2005). Amber K. Regis completed her PhD at Keele University and is Visiting Lecturer at the Universities of Chester and Liverpool John Moores. Her research interests include nineteenth and twentieth-century life writing and the representation of lives across different media. She has published work on Virginia Woolf, Vita Sackville-West and John Addington Symonds, and is currently at work on a book-length study of Victorian experiments in auto/biography. Jocelyn Rodal is a PhD candidate at the University of California, Berkeley. Her dissertation examines overlaps and commonalities between modernist literature and contemporaneous modernist mathematics, using mathematical conceptions of meaning to renegotiate and theorize formalism in literature. Derek Ryan recently completed his PhD at the University of Glasgow. His chapter on “Woolf and Contemporary Philosophy” will be published in Cambridge UP’s Virginia Woolf in Context (2012) and he is co-editor (with Laci Mattison) of a forthcoming special issue of Deleuze Studies on Deleuze, Woolf and Modernism (2013). Currently, he is completing his book manuscript, Virginia Woolf and the Materiality of Theory: Sex, Animal, Life. Kathryn Simpson is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Birmingham. Her research focuses primarily on modernist women’s writing and contemporary fiction. She has published on Virginia Woolf (including Gifts, Markets and Economies of Desire in Virginia Woolf, Palgrave 2008), Katherine Mansfield and David Mitchell. She is reviews editor for Katherine Mansfield Studies and Vice-president of the International Virginia Woolf Society. Angeliki Spiropoulou is Lecturer in European Literature and Theory at the University of the Peloponnese, Greece. She is author of the monograph, Virginia Woolf, Modernity and History: Constellations with Walter Benjamin (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010). She has co-edited volumes on contemporary Greek fiction, feminism, and Walter Benjamin, and has published essays on critical theory, Woolf, Benjamin and other modern writers, such as Wilde, Kafka, Proust, Brecht and Barnes, in Greek and English-language journals. She is currently co-editing a special issue of the European Journal of English Studies on “Gender Resistance.” Sara Sullam studied in Milan, Berlin and Berkeley. She holds a degree in English and German and a PhD in English. She has published articles on Joyce, Woolf, and William Carlos Williams and she is vice-director of Enthymema, a review of literary theory and translation. She is now a postdoc at Milan University. Katharine Swarbrick is lecturer in French at Edinburgh University and specialises in Lacanian psychoanalytic theory. She has published on a range of French authors of the 18th and 20th centuries, theories of the avant-garde, and gender and sexuality. Marina Warner is a writer of fiction and cultural history. Her most recent book is Stranger Magic: Charmed States and the Arabian Nights. She is Professor of Literature at the University of Essex, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the British Academy, and was awarded CBE for services to literature in 2008. Patricia Waugh is Professor in Modern English Literature at Durham University. She has written several books and numerous essays on modernism and post-war literature, literary theory and fiction, and intellectual history. She is currently completing two books, The Naturalist Turn: Rethinking Literary Moderns Thinking and the Blackwell History of the Post-war Novel: Neo-Modernist Fictions. She is also an investigator on two large collaborative interdisciplinary projects across literature, science and medicine: Tipping Points (on complex systems thinking) and Hearing the Voice (on the phenomenology of auditory verbal hallucinations). Michael H. Whitworth is a lecturer in the Oxford English Faculty, and Tutorial Fellow at Merton College, Oxford. He is currently editing Night and Day for CUP and Orlando for Oxford World’s Classics. Janet Winston is an Associate Professor of English at Humboldt State University in northern California. She is the author of Woolf ’s To the Lighthouse (2009), part of Continuum Books’ Reader’s Guides series on key texts in literature and philosophy. She is currently completing a project focused on contemporary art and performance inspired by To the Lighthouse. Sam Wiseman is a PhD candidate in English Literature at the University of Glasgow. His work focuses on the role of cosmopolitanism and modernist experimentalism in reimaginings of the English landscape during the interwar period. Cecil Woolf is the nephew of Leonard Woolf by Leonard’s youngest brother, Philip. He was fourteen when his Aunt Virginia died and had paid many visits to his uncle and aunt in the country and in London. Later, like Duncan Grant, he was a tenant in Leonard’s London house. Following in the steps of Leonard and Virginia, he set up his own independent literary publishing house in 1960. Cecil Woolf Publishers have published, among many publications, the Bloomsbury Heritage monographs, which celebrate the life, work and times of the loomsbury Group. He is married to the acclaimed biographer, Jean Moorcroft Wilson.

Author Information

Derek Ryan is Senior Lecturer at the University of Kent and author of Virginia Woolf and the Materiality of Theory: Sex, Animal, Life (Edinburgh UP, 2013) and Animal Theory: A Critical Introduction (Edinburgh UP, 2015). He has published widely on modernism and animality and is currently completing, with Linden Peach and Jane Goldman, the Cambridge Edition of Woolf’s Flush: A Biography. His most recent book is The Handbook to the Bloomsbury Group (Bloomsbury, 2018), edited with Stephen Ross, and he is Literature Editor for the Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism. Dr Stella Bolaki is Lecturer in American Literature in the School of English at the University of Kent.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Cover 1
Contents 6
Preface 8
List of Abbreviations 17
"But...I had said 'but' too often." Why "but"? 18
Woolf, Context, and Contradiction 28
"Did I not banish the soul?" Thinking Otherwise, Woolf-wise 40
"The Play's The Thing BUT We Are The Thing Itself." Prologue, Performance and Painting. A Multimedia Exploration of Woolf ’s Work in the Late 1930’s and Her Vision of Prehistory 60
Report to the Memoir Club: Scenes from a Colonial Childhood 74
“But somebody you wouldn’t forget in a hurry”: Bloomsbury and the Contradictions of African Art 83
Contradictions in Autobiography: Virginia Woolf's Writings on Art91
“But something betwixt and between”: Roger Fry and the Contradictions of Biography 99
“Can ‘I’ become ‘we’?”: Addressing Community in The Years and Three Guineas105
Woolf's Un/Folding(s): The Artist and the Event of the Neo-Baroque113
Woolf's Contradictory Thinking118
The Feeling of Knowing in Mrs. Dalloway: Neuroscience and Woolf125
“When the lights of health go down”: Virginia Woolf's Aesthetics and Contemporary Illness Narratives132
Kinetic Tropes, Comedic Turns: Dancing To The Lighthouse139
But Woolf was a Sophisticated Observer of Fashion…: Virginia Woolf, Clothing and Contradiction 146
Bi-sexing the Unmentionable Mary Hamiltons in A Room of One’s Own: The Truth and Consequences of Unintended Pregnancies an Calculated Cross-Dressing151
Lacanian Orlando 159
The Bispecies Environment, Coevolution, and Flush167
From Spaniel Club to Animalous Society: Virginia Woolf's Flush175
Ecology, Identity, and Eschatology: Crossing the Country and the City in Woolf 183
“Please Help Me!” Virginia Woolf, Viola Tree, and the Hogarth Press 190
“Am I a Snob?” Well, Sort of: Socialism, Advocacy, and Disgust in Woolf's Economic Writing198
“Come buy, come buy”: Woolf’s Contradictory Relationship to the Marketplace 203
Virginia Woolf and December 1910: The Question of the Fourth Dimension211
Virginia Woolf on Mathematics: Signifying Opposition 219
“A Brief Note in the Margin:” Virginia Woolf and Annotating 226
“Observe, Observe Perpetually,” Montaigne, Virginia Woolf and the “Patron au Dedans” 232
Who’s Behind the Curtain? Virginia Woolf, “Nurse Lugton’s Golden Thimble", and the Anxiety of Authorship239
Virginia Woolf and the Russian Oxymoron 246
“A Dialogue…about this Beauty and Truth”: Jorge Luis Borge’s Translation of Virginia Woolf's Orlando260
“As I spin along the roads I remodel my life”: Travel Films “projected into the shape of Orlando” 267
Travesty in Woolf and Proust 276
Woolf, Yeats, and the Making of “Spilt Milk” 282
Figures of Contradiction: Virginia Woolf's Rhetoric of Genres288
Do Not Feed the Birds: Night and Day and the Defence of the Realm Act 295
Approaches to War and Peace in Woolf: “A Chapter on the Future” 302
Duncan Grant 308
Notes on Contributors311
Conference Program316