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Contradictory Woolf$
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Derek Ryan and Stella Bolaki

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780983533955

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780983533955.001.0001

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“But…I had said ‘but’ too often.” Why “but”?

“But…I had said ‘but’ too often.” Why “but”?

(p.1) “But…I had said ‘but’ too often.” Why “but”?
Contradictory Woolf

Judith Allen

Liverpool University Press

This chapter explores the repeated difference of Virginia Woolf's use of the word “but,” as well as her parentheses and ellipses, in A Room of One's Own, and of key terms in Three Guineas (1938) including the word “word” itself. Drawing on insights by Mikhail Bakhtin, Hayden White, and Gilles Deleuze, it analyzes the interaction between text and context, with particular emphasis on the complicated and contradictory celebration of words in Woolf's writing. It also considers the relationship between Woolf's “multifaceted” language and her continually multiplying readers. It suggests that Woolf's writings about words both express and enact her politics, while questioning the language used to communicate to the public.

Keywords:   text, context, A Room of One's Own, Three Guineas, Mikhail Bakhtin, Hayden White, Gilles Deleuze, language, words

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