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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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Twists of the Lily: Floral Ambivalence in the Work of Virginia Woolf and Georgia O’Keeffe

Twists of the Lily: Floral Ambivalence in the Work of Virginia Woolf and Georgia O’Keeffe

Chapter:
(p.36) Twists of the Lily: Floral Ambivalence in the Work of Virginia Woolf and Georgia O’Keeffe
Source:
Virginia Woolf and Her Female Contemporaries
Author(s):

Elisa Kay Sparks

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9781942954088.003.0006

Building on recent scholarship such as Amy King’s Bloom, this chapter complicates the simple identification of female and floral beauty, revealing with particular reference to Virginia Woolf and Georgia O'Keeffe how modernist women artists re-coded flower imagery to express gender conventions covertly. Woolf’s floral imagery can be informatively compared with Georgia O’Keeffe’s similarly complicated deployment of flowers as a challenge to over-simplistic Freudian interpretations of her work; both women self-consciously manipulated, reversed, and sometimes deconstructed traditional floral symbolism in an effort to create a new female rhetoric of modernism.

Keywords:   Virginia Woolf, Georgia O'Keeffe, Flowers, Gender, Freud 

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