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Virginia Woolf: Writing the World$
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Pamela L. Caughie and Diana L. Swanson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780990895800

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780990895800.001.0001

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“Shakespeare’s Sister”: Woolf in the World Before A Room of One’s Own

“Shakespeare’s Sister”: Woolf in the World Before A Room of One’s Own

(p.122) “Shakespeare’s Sister”: Woolf in the World Before A Room of One’s Own
Virginia Woolf: Writing the World

Susan Stanford Friedman

Liverpool University Press

This essay suggests a way of reading Virginia Woolf’s iconic tropes that sees their iconic nature and functioning not as a point of origin but rather as part of a wider, even potentially world-wide discourse for which she remains central, but only as part of the story. This essay critiques the center-periphery or diffusionist models of power relations in the world, the very model that ends up making so-called Western feminism the dominant originator of discourse that must be set aside, challenged, attacked, and so forth to be relevant to the rest of the world. It suggests that we read A Room of One’s Own in the context of texts, such as those by Swarnakumari Devi, in the world that came before Woolf created those iconic phrases. In short, this essay proposes a way of reading Woolf in the world before Woolf was in the world.

Keywords:   Virginia Woolf, A Room of Ones Own, Swarnakumari Devi, Rabindranath Tagore, Western feminism, Iconic tropes, Transnational literary genealogy

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