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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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Desiring Statues1 and Ambiguous Sexualities in Jacob’s Room

Desiring Statues1 and Ambiguous Sexualities in Jacob’s Room

(p.27) Desiring Statues1 and Ambiguous Sexualities in Jacob’s Room
Interdisciplinary/Multidisciplinary Woolf

Vara Neverow

Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines Virginia Woolf's allusions to sculpture and Greco-Roman figures that link death and desire, as well as desirability in Jacob's Room, through monuments of absence created and viewed in diverse historical moments. The multiple references to statuary in Jacob's Room have generated significant scholarly response over the years, and much of the prior discussion of statuary has focused on the elegiac. For instance, Kathleen Wall contends that “Greek art (and by association, statuary) is used to figure forth Jacob Flanders's mortality and other characters' sense of loss.” The rest of this chapter considers the eroticism apparent in specific statues and argues that most (if not all) references to statuary are imbued with complex nuances of desire. It also suggests that much of the statuary is directly associated with Jacob, particularly to his sexual allure and sexual ambiguity in the novel.

Keywords:   sculpture, death, desire, Jacob's Room, statuary, eroticism, statues, sexual allure, sexual ambiguity

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