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Title: Re-Presenting Virginia Woolf : the critical afterlife of a literary icon
Author: Vashist, U.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8502 2267
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis reads Virginia Woolf's "On Not Knowing Greek", an essay first published in 1925, Roger Fry: A Biography (1940), and Between the Acts, her final novel, published posthumously in 1941, in tandem with Brenda Silver's Virginia Woolf Icon (1999), Max Saunders's Self-Impression (2010), and selected, representative, textual manifestations of scholarly and popular cultural appropriations or redefinitions of Woolf's iconicity, particularly from the 1970s to the present. My aims are three-fold. First, to theorize the politically radical potential of Woolf the icon, nexus and symbolic representation of opposition to war, fluidity of gender and sexuality, and representational multiplicity. Second, to conceptualize Woolf's own engagements with iconicity and canonicity. And third, to interlace my reading of Woolf the icon with that of Woolf's treatment of canon and icon, and create a framework through which temporally and spatially expansive New Modernist Studies might read peripheral or marginal, especially colonial and women's, modernist literatures. My first and third chapters acknowledge and investigate the ultimately productive function of Woolf's iconicity: the urgency of debates (academic or otherwise) surrounding her historical identity and textual meanings reiterate and constantly 'make new' the larger 'culture wars' in which figurations of Woolf are imbricated. My second and fourth chapters identify and explore Woolf's own ambivalent treatment of iconicity as intellectually useful yet rhetorically stultifying, as well as the way she negotiates representation (of iconicity and canonicity, as well as more generally), at once 'factual' and 'fictional'. Chapter 5 examines a 1979 representation of Woolf's incomplete essay "Anon" alongside her representation of the way patterns of language use can both enable and pre-empt anonymous, decontextualized, 'empty' speech or utterances, and the ethical, aesthetic implications of either the adoption or the resistance of anonymity. My concluding chapter gestures toward methodologies for reading Woolf's textual and contextual encounters with writers who occupy peripheral positions with relation to canonical modernism(s).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available