Virginia Woolf and the Great War

TitleVirginia Woolf and the Great War
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsLevenback, Karen L.
Number of Pages208
PublisherSyracuse University Press

Virginia Woolf (1882–1941) was a civilian, a noncombatant during the First World War. Unlike the war poet Wilfred Owen (1893-1918), who fought in the war, she had not seen "God through mud." Nevertheless, her experience and memory of the war became a touchstone against which life itself was measured. This volume focuses on Woolf's war consciousness and how her sensitivity to representations of war in the popular press and authorized histories affected both the development of characters in her fiction and her nonfictional and personal writings. Woolf understood that there was no immunity from the ravages of war, even for civilians. The author's readings of Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, and The Years, in particular—in the contest of the operation of collective memory in the postwar period are at the center of this book, which emphasizes Woolf's position as a war novelist and thinker whose insights and writings anticipate our most current progressive theories on war's social effects and continuing presence.

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