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Title: An Irigarayan reading of Virginia Woolf's novels : the representation of the maternal body through language
Author: Mizuo, Ayako
ISNI:       0000 0001 3412 7833
Awarding Body: Loughborough University
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 2001
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French psychoanalyst Luce Irigaray argues for the significance of sexual difference by way of establishing feminine identity without any sexual hierarchies. By undermining the conventional concept of the feminine in the history of Western philosophy, Irigaray argues that the feminine is irreducible. As a writer in the early twentieth century, Virginia Woolf challenges the traditional concept of feminine identity and its relation to language. Woolf's discussion of an androgynous mind in A Room of One's Own (1929) is an expression of her writerly politics, exploring writing and/about the female body. Drawing on Irigaray's concept of sexual difference, my reading examines Woolf's perception of language as a means of exploring her representation of the maternal body in fiction. The thesis discusses the way in which Woolf materialises the matemal body through language in her novels The Voyage Out, Mrs. Dalloway, The Waves, The Years, Between the Acts, and her feminist essay Three Guineas. My readings, however, is not the supplement of an earlier and popular trend of French feminist readings of Woolf. My thesis represents not only a challenge to the established French feminist perspective of Woolf criticism but also a challenge to the Irigarayan framework itself as it has been deployed in reading Woolf s novels. By so doing, my reading revisits the issue of the matemal body in Woolf scholarship.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Studies in the Creative Arts and Writing not elsewhere classified ; Virginia Woolf's novels ; Luce Irigaray ; Sexual difference ; An androgynous mind ; The tangibility of the maternal body ; Maternal genealogy ; Phallogocentrism