Virginia Woolf Against Empire

Phillips, Kathy J.

Published by Univ of Tennessee Pr, 1994
ISBN 10: 0870498339 / ISBN 13: 9780870498336
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Synopsis: From her first book to her last, Virginia Woolf consistently satirized British society. Only in recent years, however, has Woolf been recognized as a political thinker, let alone one with a sophisticated grasp of complex ideologies. In Virginia Woolf against Empire, Kathy J. Phillips makes a major contribution to the growing recognition of Woolf as a cultural commentator.
Phillips argues that Woolf satirizes social institutions largely through incongruous juxtapositions that link empire making, militarism, and gender relations. One of Woolf's key insights, Phillips shows, is her exposure of a pervasive cultural image that equates women and land - a metaphor resulting from her culture's displacement of sexuality onto militarism and the transference of the individual's need to be included into an all-embracing empire. As Woolf's novels demonstrate, the metaphor works in both directions: to corrupt the relation of men to women with possessiveness and to turn England's relation to its colonies into a kind of substitute for sexual gratification.
A unique feature of this study is Phillips's investigation of how Leonard Woolf's books on colonialism specifically influenced Virginia Woolf's novels and vice versa. Virginia Woolf drew her concepts of political systems and theories from her husband's anti-imperialist writings. Phillips also shows how specific factual details from Leonard Woolf's books help to illuminate some of Virginia Woolf's metaphors and allusions.

About the Author: Kathy J. Phillips is professor of English at the University of Hawaii, Manoa.

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Title: Virginia Woolf Against Empire
Publisher: Univ of Tennessee Pr
Publication Date: 1994
Book Condition: Very Good
Edition: 1st.

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