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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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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 18 January 2020

“Q. And Babies? A. And babies”

“Q. And Babies? A. And babies”

On Pacifism, Visual Trauma, and the Body Heap

Chapter:
(p.68) “Q. And Babies? A. And babies”
Source:
Interdisciplinary/Multidisciplinary Woolf
Author(s):

Conor Tomás Reed

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9780989082624.003.0009

This chapter examines the politics of the photograph in Three Guineas in relation to contemporary representational strategies for political protest. The image of the body heap in wartime—the gruesomely iconic pile of dead, frequently unarmed civilians—is thoroughly embedded in modern social consciousness, returning again and again as a kind of chorus to history's cacophonies. In Three Guineas, her 1938 work of radical feminist pacifism, Virginia Woolf describes the experience of receiving photographs from the embattled Spanish Republic during its revolution and civil war, which “the Government sends with patient pertinacity about twice a week.” The chapter considers Woolf's construction of a recognition of horrors into a verbal narrative so as to stop the cycle of visual trauma, which can in turn rupture the expectation of endless war and mass death from which we both distance and shackle our sense of selves.

Keywords:   war, politics, photographs, Three Guineas, political protest, body heap, pacifism, visual trauma, mass death

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