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Rebecca West and the Origins of A Room of One's Own

Rebecca West and the Origins of A Room of One's Own <jats:p> This essay argues that Virginia Woolf's treatment of the wellsprings of valid art in A Room of One's Own (1929) is significantly indebted to Rebecca West's exploration of similar questions in “The Strange Necessity” (1928). Noting substantial evidence that Woolf was familiar with West's text by the time she wrote Room, the essay observes that both authors argue for the power of material conditions in art-making even as they work to deflect charges of succumbing to a reductive or soul-deadening materialism. In mounting this proactive defense, West relies in part upon a peripatetic narrator whose reflections on art are interwoven with savorings of quotidian experience; Woolf adapts this device to the distinct but cognate purposes of Room. </jats:p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Modernist Cultures Edinburgh University Press

Rebecca West and the Origins of A Room of One's Own

Modernist Cultures , Volume 9 (2): 186 – Oct 1, 2014

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
© Edinburgh University Press 2014
Subject
Articles; Film, Media and Cultural Studies
ISSN
2041-1022
eISSN
1753-8629
DOI
10.3366/mod.2014.0083
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

<jats:p> This essay argues that Virginia Woolf's treatment of the wellsprings of valid art in A Room of One's Own (1929) is significantly indebted to Rebecca West's exploration of similar questions in “The Strange Necessity” (1928). Noting substantial evidence that Woolf was familiar with West's text by the time she wrote Room, the essay observes that both authors argue for the power of material conditions in art-making even as they work to deflect charges of succumbing to a reductive or soul-deadening materialism. In mounting this proactive defense, West relies in part upon a peripatetic narrator whose reflections on art are interwoven with savorings of quotidian experience; Woolf adapts this device to the distinct but cognate purposes of Room. </jats:p>

Journal

Modernist CulturesEdinburgh University Press

Published: Oct 1, 2014

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