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Virginia Woolf and Her Female Contemporaries$
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Julie Vandivere and Megan Hicks

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781942954088

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781942954088.001.0001

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“The World is My Country”: Emma Goldman among the Avant-Garde

“The World is My Country”: Emma Goldman among the Avant-Garde

(p.15) “The World is My Country”: Emma Goldman among the Avant-Garde
Virginia Woolf and Her Female Contemporaries

Catherine W. Hollis

Liverpool University Press

This essay argues that Emma Goldman’s deportation from America in 1919, and subsequent loss of citizenship, illustrates by example the truth of Virginia Woolf’s feminist statement from Three Guineas: “as a woman, I have no country.” While Woolf’s Outsider is aware of her provisional citizenship, based on patriarchal institutions like marriage, Emma Goldman experiences the consequences of citizenship via marriage in her own life. This essay contextualizes Woolf’s statement against its source in Thomas Paine’s The Rights of Man, and Goldman’s own use of Paine. The difference between “the world is my country” and “my country is the world” represents the difference between an anarchist anti-state philosophy (Goldman) and a liberal nationalism (Woolf). Nevertheless, Woolf’s vision of an Outsider’s Society is lived out in the experiences of Goldman and of other modernist women who form communities outside patriarchial institutions and relationships.

Keywords:   Anarchism, Anderson, Citizenship, Coleman, Goldman, Outsider, Paine, Women, Woolf

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