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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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A Carnival of the Grotesque: Feminine Imperial Flânerie in Virginia Woolf’s “Street Haunting” and Una Marson’s “Little Brown Girl”

A Carnival of the Grotesque: Feminine Imperial Flânerie in Virginia Woolf’s “Street Haunting” and Una Marson’s “Little Brown Girl”

Chapter:
(p.102) A Carnival of the Grotesque: Feminine Imperial Flânerie in Virginia Woolf’s “Street Haunting” and Una Marson’s “Little Brown Girl”
Source:
Virginia Woolf and Her Female Contemporaries
Author(s):

Jessica Kim

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9781942954088.003.0014

This paper demonstrates the operation of feminine imperial flânerie, or engagement with the imperial figure in the context of the traditionally male urban pastime of leisurely street-walking, in Virginia Woolf’s short story “Street Haunting” and Una Marson’s poem “Little Brown Girl” as they register related responses to a socially abject identity ever-hovering on the horizon of each writer’s attempts at self-identification as gendered subjects in their work. Specifically, the abject figure serves as a litmus test for each androgynous narrator’s choice to either assimilate with or self-differentiate from traditional national masculine perspectives of hegemonic cultural and political discourse. Each writer’s either sympathetic or distancing treatment of the imperial abject subject in the context of a potentially liberating flâneurial setting thus enacts a specific response to the question of British women modernists’ own degree of otherness as newly arrived observers under the auspices of the national patriarchal imperial complex.

Keywords:   Virginia Woolf, Una Marson, flânerie, feminine, imperial, abject, gender, nation, modernism

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