Virginia Woolf is one of the foremost writers of this century, yet surprisingly this biography is the first to fully explore the relationship between her troubled life and her novels, essays, book reviews, letters, and diaries - celebrated works that made her such a noted literary figure. All her life Woolf struggled with sadness that threatened to overwhelm and destroy heVirginia Woolf is one of the foremost writers of this century, yet surprisingly this biography is the first to fully explore the relationship between her troubled life and her novels, essays, book reviews, letters, and diaries - celebrated works that made her such a noted literary figure. All her life Woolf struggled with sadness that threatened to overwhelm and destroy her. In many ways her writings were attempts to counteract these powerful feelings and to grasp the healing forces of life. This was her central reason for writing: to investigate and curb her fascination with death and, at the same time, to capture the vitality of existence. The paradox was that such affirmation inevitably brought her back to the subjects she knew best: the destructiveness of men, the burdens of the past, and the fragility of life. In this absorbing biography James King examines how the raw material of Woolf's daily existence was transformed into art, and he pays close attention to her search for forms of writing that encompass a new feminist aesthetic. Virginia Woolf sheds new light on this daring, impetuous, tormented artist, who strove relentlessly to find the right words to capture life's insubstantiality and its vibrancy....
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Virginia Woolf Reviews
King derives his information from an immense number of letters, books, and grocery lists, by doing so he sketches a marvellous image of Virginia Woolf in all her dark, womanly, cheerful, and depressed facets.
I like the Bloomsbury artists, though they did get around quite a bit by anyone's standards, not to mention the prevailing norms of fin-de-siecle England. I mean at the point at which you can look around a crowded room and half of the people present are either your current or past lovers, I should think there would certainly be some complications that would tend to interfere with the craft. "Bohemian" and "avant-garde" don't even begin to describe it. But if you admire Virginia Woolf as a writer and can get past some of the rather bizarre constructs of the Bloomsbury artists' relationships--which, after all, aren't really the point--then this book is worth a read, with one caveat: I think the author takes a somewhat unseemly pleasure in attempting to unearth--and in speculating (arguably unjustly) on the existence of--certain alleged skeletons in Woolf's and others' closets. Rather an out-of-bounds thing to do I think, cheap and sensationalistc.
First American Edition