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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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“beauty, simplicity and peace”: Faithful Pacifism, Activist Writing, and The Years

“beauty, simplicity and peace”: Faithful Pacifism, Activist Writing, and The Years

(p.63) “beauty, simplicity and peace”: Faithful Pacifism, Activist Writing, and The Years
Virginia Woolf: Writing the World

Charles Andrews

Liverpool University Press

This essay discusses how Woolf’s pacifism is a deeply-held conviction that remained intact even when its supposed “effectiveness” had been debunked. Pacifism animates much of Woolf’s intellectual and creative labors of the 1930s. A praxical dimension of Woolf’s pacifist thought takes shape in several forms—the public lecturing and polemical writing she did on peace despite her reluctance to formally join any particular organization; the ways she (along with Leonard Woolf) created a network of artists, intellectuals, and activists who regularly engaged with political concerns; and her fiction writing, which sought high artistic quality along with anti-war contentions. This essay argues that The Years challenges the frame of war with sophistication and subtlety, enacting a narrative pacifism.

Keywords:   Virginia Woolf, Pacifism, Narrative, The frame of war, The Years

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