Virginia Woolf and the Real World

Alex Zwerdling, Author University of California Press $0 (374p) ISBN 978-0-520-05684-8
The majority of Woolf studies produced in the wake of the 1970s discovery of her unpublished diaries, memoirs and letters cast Woolf through her esthetics, use of literary tradition, exploration of the psyche and ""dark side''as an ``ivory tower'' introvert. In this lively and closely argued study, University of California professor Zwerdling (Yeats and the Heroic Ideal, etc.) aims at a more balanced view, stressing Woolf's social vision. Through a detailed examination of such themes as feminism, class, money, politics and war, he demonstrates forcefully that her major workfrom Jacob's Room to Between the Acts (with the exception of The Waves, whose intense subjectivity Woolf herself considered a dead end)exhibits a ``dialogue between public and private voices.'' Since Zwerdling is more intent on characterizing than evaluating that often ironic dialogue, however, he does relatively little to substantiate his estimate of Woolf as a major writer. (June 2)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
Paperback - 375 pages - 978-0-520-06184-2
Ebook - 375 pages - 978-0-520-90861-1
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