Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-5f95dd588d-gcwpv Total loading time: 0.265 Render date: 2021-10-28T22:14:27.358Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

8 - Woolf’s feminism and feminism’s Woolf

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 July 2010

Susan Sellers
Affiliation:
University of St Andrews, Scotland
Get access

Summary

Feminism, both as a theoretical analysis of gender inequality and oppression and as a political movement, has used literary texts extensively in making and disseminating its meanings. Literary and literary-critical texts were central to 'second-wave' feminist politics and the movement for 'women's liberation' in the late 1960s and 1970s, laying many of the foundations for the developments in feminist and gender criticism and theory that have changed literary studies so radically. The significance of literature for feminism also gives a particular place to those writers whose work spans both feminist polemic and fiction or poetry, including Mary Wollstonecraft, Simone de Beauvoir, Adrienne Rich and, preeminently, Virginia Woolf.

The relationship between Virginia Woolf and feminism, feminism and Virginia Woolf is, as the title of my chapter suggests, a symbiotic one. On the one hand, Woolf's feminism - which includes not just her explicit feminist politics but her concern and fascination with gender identities and with women's lives, histories and fictions - shaped her writing profoundly. On the other, feminist criticism and theory of the second half of the twentieth century have fundamentally altered the perception and reception of a writer who, in Anglo-American contexts at least, had largely fallen out of favour by the 1950s and 1960s. The immediate post-war generation tended to perceive Woolf's as an essentially pre-war sensibility. In the decades that followed, women critics and academics creating new feminist approaches found Woolf speaking very directly to their concerns, in the first-person address (albeit one in which the 'I' is diffuse and multiple) of A Room of One's Own or in the voice or voices that seemed to speak out from Woolf's newly available essays, letters, diaries and memoirs.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2010

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)
6
Cited by

Send book to Kindle

To send this book to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Send book to Dropbox

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×