Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)

A selective list of literary criticism for the English novelist, reviewer, and essayist Virginia Woolf, favoring signed articles by recognized scholars and articles published in peer-reviewed journals

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introduction & biography

NY Times articles from 3 April 1941 ["Virginia Woolf believed dead"] and 19 April 1941 ["Virginia Woolf's body found"].

Mepham, John. "Virginia Woolf." A substantial introduction to Virginia Woolf. Also, Spurr, Barry. The Bloomsbury Group (1904-1939), whose members included Virginia Woolf, her sister, the artist Vanessa Bell, Virginia Woolf's husband, the writer Leonard Woolf, the artist Duncan Grant, the art critic Roger Fry, the novelist E. M. Forster, and the biographer Lytton Strachey. Literary Encyclopedia [subscription service].

The NY Times archives on Virginia Woolf contain extensive material, including newspaper articles and reviews from her novels "Mrs. Dalloway" (1925); "The Common Reader" (1925); "To The Lighthouse" (1927); "Orlando" (1928); "The Waves" (1931); "The Years" (1937); "Between The Acts" (1941); "The Captain's Death Bed and Other Essays" (1950), reviewed by Katherine Anne Porter; "A Writer's Diary" (1954), reviewed by Elizabeth Bowen.

"The Virginia Woolf of 'The Hours' Angers the Real One's Fans." By Patricia Cohen in the New York Times, 15 Feb. 2003.

Selected Bindings by Virginia Woolf. An online exhibit from the personal library of Leonard and Virginia Woolf. Special Collections of Washington State Univ.

The International Virginia Woolf Society Bibliography. The Society publishes online its annual bibliographies from 1996-2001, a complete list of all books, journal articles, book chapters, dissertations and theses on Virginia Woolf for the year; with short summaries of the most important books of the year.

Charleston: An artist's home and garden. The web site for the Charleston, the home of Virginia Woolf's sister, Vanessa Bell, and a gathering place for the artists, writers and intellectuals of the Bloomsbury Group, a group that included Clive Bell, David Garnett, Maynard Keynes, Virginia and Leonard Woolf, E.M. Forster, Lytton Strachey, Roger Fry, and Duncan Grant.

literary criticism

DeSalvo, Louise. Virginia Woolf: The Impact of Childhood Sexual Abuse on Her Life and Work (1989). A review in the NY Times, which begins, "The danger in analyzing lives and literature according to selective evidence or a single set of experiences is that the essential spirit of people and their creative products can suffer severe misinterpretation if tucked neatly into Procrustean beds. Such a reductionist reading is at the heart of Louise DeSalvo's thesis in Virginia Woolf: The Impact of Childhood Sexual Abuse on Her Life and Work."

Fulton, Lorie Watkins. "'A direction of one's own': alienation in Mrs. Dalloway and Sula [and Toni Morrison, William Faulkner]. African American Review 40, 1 (Spring 2006) pp 66-77 [questia subscription service].

Lewis, Wyndham. "Virginia Woolf: "Mind" and "Matter" on the Plane of a Literary Controversy." An old essay by Wyndham Lewis, on idealists and materialists in English literature, which casts Woolf as the exemplary idealist. "In the present chapter I am compelled, however, to traverse the thorny region of feminism, or of militant feminine feeling. I have chosen the back of Mrs. Woolf--if I can put it in this inelegant way--to transport me across it. I am sure that certain critics will instantly object that Mrs. Woolf is extremely insignificant--that she is a purely feminist phenomenon--that she is taken seriously by no one any longer today, except perhaps by Mr. and Mrs. Leavis--and that, anyway, feminism is a dead issue."

Poresky, Louise A. Cather and Woolf in Dialogue: The Professor's House and To the Lighthouse [and Willa Cather]. On the influence of the two authors upon each other. Papers on Language and Literature 44, 1 (Winter 2008) [questia subscription service].

Scott, Lynda. "Similarities Between Virginia Woolf and Doris Lessing." On the two authors' shared distrust of, and fascination with, the workings of memory and their construction of a personal sense of selfhood. Deep South 3, 2 (Winter 1997).

Tetterton, Kelly. "Virginia Woolf's Orlando: The Book as Critic." A brief paper on the paperback book covers of the editions of Orlando, and what they reveal about critical perceptions of the book. Conference paper, 1995.

Whitworth, Michael H. "Logan Pearsall Smith and "Orlando." Whitworth shows that the character of Nick Greene in "Orlando" was partly based on Logan Pearsall Smith. The Review of English Studies 55, 221 (Sept. 2004) pp 598-604 [first page only, jstor].

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