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Interdisciplinary/Multidisciplinary Woolf$
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Ann Martin and Kathryn Holland

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780989082624

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780989082624.001.0001

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“Full of Experiments and Reforms”

“Full of Experiments and Reforms”

Virginia Woolf, John Maynard Keynes, and the Impossibility of Economic Modeling

Chapter:
(p.20) “Full of Experiments and Reforms”
Source:
Interdisciplinary/Multidisciplinary Woolf
Author(s):

Alice Keane

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9780989082624.003.0003

This chapter examines the economic theories of John Maynard Keynes and their relationship to Virginia Woolf's emphasis on indeterminacy and Bloomsbury's larger questioning of value. Much of Bloomsbury's fiction takes economics as a central concern—for example, Woolf's Night and Day and The Years, as well as E. M. Forster's Howards End and A Passage to India, and Leonard Woolf's early anti-imperialist novel The Village in the Jungle. This is even more characteristic of Bloomsbury's essays and polemics, including Woolf's A Room of One's Own and Three Guineas. The chapter then considers the connection between Keynesian macroeconomics and Bloomsbury's philosophy and literature. It also explores why, and to what effect, as Woolf reflects upon the interplay of economics and literature, she repeatedly foregrounds contradiction, complexity, and irreducible vagueness. Finally, it discusses language, vagueness, and the acknowledgment of uncertainty in Woolf's attempts at economic modeling.

Keywords:   economic theories, John Maynard Keynes, indeterminacy, Bloomsbury, value, macroeconomics, economics, contradiction, economic modeling

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