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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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“People Must Marry”: Queer Temporality in Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield

“People Must Marry”: Queer Temporality in Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield

(p.157) “People Must Marry”: Queer Temporality in Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield
Virginia Woolf and Her Female Contemporaries

Kate Haffey

Liverpool University Press

This chapter explores the queer temporalities at work in the fiction of Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield. The analysis draws from the work of queer theorists who have shown the various ways in which sexuality and temporality are enmeshed, from the life schedules deemed healthy for child-rearing to the bildungsroman structure that charts the passing of time as a progression from childhood through adolescence to mature adult heterosexuality. In the fiction of both Woolf and Mansfield, normative temporalities such as these are constructed in order to be questioned, interrupted, or dismantled. This chapter specifically analyses the queer narrative temporality in Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse and Katherine Mansfield’s “At the Bay.” In both Woolf’s novel and Mansfield’s story, the seeming inevitability of marriage functions as a starting point through which each author develops her own unique configuration of queer time.

Keywords:   Queer, Temporality, Katherine Mansfield, Virginia Woolf, Marriage

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