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The Cambridge Introduction to Virginia Woolf (Cambridge Introductions to Literature)

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  28 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
For students of modern literature, the works of Virginia Woolf are essential reading. In her novels, short stories, essays, polemical pamphlets and in her private letters she explored, questioned and refashioned everything about modern life: cinema, sexuality, shopping, education, feminism, politics and war. Her elegant and startlingly original sentences became a model of ...more
Paperback, 170 pages
Published October 9th 2006 by Cambridge University Press (first published January 1st 2006)
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Apr 11, 2013 rated it liked it
Hmmm... highly inadequate as far as depth is concerned. Really, I can get more off the internet just by googling.
Not much to see here, people, let's move on...

Sadly it's very short. It spans quite a few subjects, for instance a short bio, and some background and a short treatment of most of her works, but each of them not treated in much depth.

On the other hand, it certainly deserves at least 3 stars because it is quite adequate in scope, if not in depth.

So, if you don't know a thing about Virg
Seyed Mohammad
Aug 18, 2014 rated it liked it
An extensive and informative survey of Woolf's work. However, It is not as insightful as one might expect. Each section contains helpful suggestions for further reading.
I think I would have got a lot more from this had I been an English literature student rather than a general interest reader looking for context and background before reading Woolf's works. For that reason, I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt with four stars instead of the rough three stars I otherwise would have gave it if it hadn't been aimed specifically at students.

My main problem about the whole thing was how dry it was. The language used is clearly meant to make it more concise but by c
Andria Caputo
Nov 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Great introduction to the works, themes and concerns in Woolf's extensive body of prose. Obvisouly, you should look elsewhere to find more indepth analysis and critiques of her works, but I found this particularly usefull to class the more substantial works that should be read to work my way through her novels and essays. As always, the Cambridge University Press never disappoints.
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“The Bloomsbury Group has been characterised as a liberal, pacifist, and at times libertine, intellectual enclave of Cambridge-based privilege. The Cambridge men of the group (Bell, Forster, Fry, Keynes, Strachey, Sydney-Turner) were members of the elite and secret society of Cambridge Apostles. Woolf’s aesthetic understanding, and broader philosophy, were in part shaped by, and at first primarily interpreted in terms of, (male) Bloomsbury’s dominant aesthetic and philosophical preoccupations, rooted in the work of G. E. Moore (a central influence on the Apostles), and culminating in Fry’s and Clive Bell’s differing brands of pioneering aesthetic formalism. ‘The main things which Moore instilled deep into our minds and characters,’ Leonard Woolf recalls, ‘were his peculiar passion for truth, for clarity and common sense, and a passionate belief in certain values.’
Increasing awareness of Woolf’s feminism, however, and of the influence on her work of other women artists, writers and thinkers has meant that these Moorean and male points of reference, though of importance, are no longer considered adequate in approaching Woolf’s work, and her intellectual development under the tutelage of women, together with her involvement with feminist thinkers and activists, is also now acknowledged.”
“Leslie Stephen died in 1904. In that year his children retreated to Wales for a period and then travelled in Italy. Vanessa and Virginia went on to Paris, where they met up with Clive Bell. On returning to London, Virginia suffered
a severe, suicidal breakdown.”
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