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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"Capturing and Creating the Modern," a project from the British Library, provides a group of excellent articles covering many early twentieth-century modernist works, including T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land and "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prefrock," the short stories of Katherine Mansfield, James Joyce's Dubliners, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Ulysses, Virginia Woolf's novels, W.H. Auden's poetry, and much more. Introductory, close reading, and thematic articles by recognized experts in their subjects, and links to manuscript drafts in British Library's archive.

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 New York 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. 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, with short summaries of the most important books of the year.

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."


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

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.

Stone, Wilfred. "Some Bloomsbury interviews and memories." Stone recounts his personal meetings, in 1957 and 1965, with some of the figures of Bloomsbury still living, including G. E. Moore, David(Bell) Garnett, Angelica Garnett, Clive Bell, F. L. Lucas, Patrick Wilkinson, Noel Annan, and Leonard Woolf. Twentieth Century Literature Summer 1997 [free at jstor].

A review of Louise DeSalvo's Virginia Woolf: The Impact of Childhood Sexual Abuse on Her Life and Work (1989). "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," notes the reviewer. New York Times, 23 July 1989.

literary criticism

Ames, Christopher. "Carnivalesque comedy in Between the Acts." "Surely Woolf's humor has escaped many readers," Ames notes. Twentieth Century Literature Winter 1998 [free at jstor]

Anspaugh, Kelly. "Blasting the bombardier: another look at Lewis, Joyce, and Woolf." Anspaugh notes that "if Virginia Woolf is the modernist critics love to love - at least contemporary critics - then Wyndham Lewis is the modernist critics love to hate." Twentieth Century Literature Fall 1994 [free at jstor].

Bain, Alexander. "Cosmopolitics of modernism." Novel: A Forum on Fiction Spring 2002 [preview or purchase at jstor].

Benzel, Kathryn N. "Reading readers in Virginia Woolf's Orlando: A Biography "Reading Orlando: A Biography or, for that matter, any of Virginia Woolf's novels becomes a venture into uncertain terrain where the reader must sign on with the writer to discover the text's construction and thus a path, not necessarily an easy one, to its meaning." Style Summer 1994 [questia subscription service].

Blair, Kirstie. "Gypsies and lesbian desire: Vita Sackville-West, Violet Trefusis, and Virginia Woolf," Twentieth Century Literature Summer 2004 [free at jstor].

Burns, Christy L. "Re-dressing feminist identities: tensions between essential and constructed selves in Virginia Woolf's Orlando." Twentieth Century Literature Fall 1994 [free at jstor].

Collier, Patrick. "Virginia Woolf in the Pay of Booksellers: commerce, privacy, professionalism, Orlando." Twentieth Century Literature Winter 2002 [free at jstor].

Cramer, Patricia. "Virginia Woolf's matriarchal family of origins in Between the Acts." Twentieth Century Literature Summer 1993 [free at jstor].

Cyr, Marc D. "A conflict of closure in Virginia Woolf's 'The Mark on the Wall.'" Studies in Short Fiction Spring 1996 [questia sub ser].

Doyle, Laura. "'These Emotions of the Body': intercorporeal narrative in To the Lighthouse." Twentieth Century Literature Spring 1994 [free at jstor].

Fernald, Anne. "A Room of One's Own, personal criticism, and the essay." Twentieth Century Literature Summer 1994 [free at jstor].

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].

Handley, William R. "The housemaid and the kitchen table: incorporating the frame in To the Lighthouse." Twentieth Century Literature Spring 1994 [questia sub ser].

Hankins, Leslie Kathleen. "A splice of reel life in Virginia Woolf's 'Time Passes': censorship, cinema and 'the usual battlefield of emotions.'" Criticism Winter 1993 [digital commons download].

Harris, Susan C. "The ethics of indecency: censorship, sexuality, and the voice of the academy in the narration of Jacob's Room." Harris notes, "although much of the plot of Jacob's Room deals with Jacob's sexual education, the narrative voice is spectacularly reticent when it comes to actually recording his progress. Throughout the novel, anything spoken on the topic of sexual desire or sexual activity is subjected to a very specific and ostentatious kind of censorship that cuts overt discussion of sex or sexual desire out of the text even as it directs the reader's attention to the lacunae left behind." Twentieth Century Literature Winter 1997 [free at jstor].

Haule, J. M. "Virginia Woolf's revisions of The Voyage Out: some new evidence." Twentieth Century Literature Fall 1996.

Hoff, Molly. "The Pseudo-Homeric World of Mrs. Dalloway." Hoff analyzes the purported antagonism of Virginia Woolf to Joyce's Ulysses. Twentieth Century Literature Jan. 1999 [free at jstor].

Hoffman, Michael J. and Ann Ter Haar. "Whose books once influenced mine": the relationship between E.M. Forster's 'Howards End' and Virginia Woolf's 'The Waves.'" Twentieth Century Literature Spring 1999 [free at jstor].

Johnson, George M. "'The Spirit of the Age': Virginia Woolf's response to second wave psychology." Twentieth Century Literature Summer 1994 [free at jstor].

Kane, Julie. "Varieties of mystical experience in the writings of Virginia Woolf." Twentieth Century Literature Winter 1995 [free at jstor].

Littleton, Jacob. "Mrs Dalloway: portrait of the artist as a middle-aged woman." Twentieth Century Literature Spring 1995 [free at jstor].

Lucenti, Lisa Marie. "Virginia Woolf's The Waves: to defer that 'appalling moment.'" Criticism Winter 1998 [free at jstor].

Montgomery, Nick. "Colonial Rhetoric and the Maternal Voice: Deconstruction and Disengagement in Virginia Woolf's The Voyage Out." Twentieth Century Literature Spring 2000 [free at jstor].

Phillips, Brian. "Reality and Virginia Woolf." Hudson Review Autumn 2003 [free at jstor].

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].

Schroder, Leena Kore. "Tales of abjection and miscegenation: Virginia Woolf's and Leonard Woolf's 'Jewish' stories." Twentieth Century Literature Fall 2003 [questia sub ser].

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).

Smith, Craig. "Across the widest gulf: nonhuman subjectivity in Virginia Woolf's Flush." Smith sympathetically reconsiders Flush: A Biography, Woolf's story of the life of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's dog. Twentieth Century Literature Fall 2002 [free at jstor].

Smith, Susan Bennett. "Reinventing grief work: Virginia Woolf's feminist representations of mourning in Mrs. Dalloway and To the Lighthouse." Twentieth Century Literature Winter 1995 [free at jstor].

Swanson, Diane L. "'My Boldness Terrifies Me': sexual abuse and female subjectivity in The Voyage Out." Twentieth Century Literature Winter 1995 [free at jstor].

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.

Vandivere, Julie. "Waves and fragments: linguistic construction as subject formation in Virginia Woolf." Twentieth Century Literature Summer 1996 [free at jstor].

Webb, Caroline. "Listing to the right: authority and inheritance in Orlando and Ulysses" [and James Joyce's Ulysses]. Twentieth Century Literature Summer 1994 [free at jstor].

Westman, Karin E. "The First Orlando: The Laugh of the Comic Spirit in Virginia Woolf's 'Friendships Gallery.'" Twentieth Century Literature Spring 2001 [questia sub ser].

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].

Wirth-Nesher, Hana. "Final curtain on the war: figure and ground in Virginia Woolf's Between the Acts" [second world war]. Style Summer 1994 [free at jstor].

Wussow, Helen. "Virginia Woolf and the problematic nature of the photographic image." Twentieth Century Literature Spring 1994 [questia sub ser].

Zemgulys, Andrea P. "'Night and Day is Dead.'" Twentieth Century Literature Spring 2000 [questia sub ser].

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