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“Fiction is like a spider's web," wrote the great Modernist Virginia Woolf, "attached ever so lightly perhaps, but still attached to life at all four corners.” This course conducts an intensive study of Woolf’s major works of fiction and nonfiction and their impact on literary Modernism in order to examine the relationship between Woolf’s writings, the Victorians that preceded her, and the Modernists that surrounded her. We will trace the arc of Woolf’s work throughout her career, considering both its experimental and its more conventional aspects, particularly in light of her additional literary endeavors (such as the Hogarth Press), the literary movements and artistic developments surrounding her (such as the Bloomsbury group), and the reception of her work throughout the twentieth century. Together, we will aim to 1) understand the fundamental theories of literature and culture set forth by Woolf in her essays and exemplified by her fiction; 2) consider methods for reading and understanding Woolf’s fiction, calling into question some of the canonical categories and interpretations that have dominated Woolf studies thus far; 3) examine Woolf’s own understanding of her fiction and the fiction of others—of where she saw her work in terms of literary history—as set forth by her reviews and in her essays, letters, and diary entries; and 4) begin to investigate Woolf’s legacy as it is expressed in contemporary cultural production, particularly in films and rewritings, such as Sally Potter’s Orlando and Michael Cunningham’s The Hours. FULFILLS HUMANITIES REQUIREMENTS.
Our distinguished faculty’s publications
Book Texts and Readers in the Age of Marvell by Prof. Chris D’Addario
Book Weaving the Legacy: Remembering Paula Gunn Allen by Prof. Stephanie Sellers
Book The Gates Ajar edited by Prof. Elizabeth Duquette