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Virginia Woolf and Heritage$
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Jane deGay, Tom Breckin, and Anne Reus

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781942954422

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781942954422.001.0001

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Woolf’s Imaginarium: Exploring Virginia Woolf’s Legacy to Contemporary Polish Culture

Woolf’s Imaginarium: Exploring Virginia Woolf’s Legacy to Contemporary Polish Culture

(p.236) Woolf’s Imaginarium: Exploring Virginia Woolf’s Legacy to Contemporary Polish Culture
Virginia Woolf and Heritage

Paulina Pająk

Liverpool University Press

In recent years, the popularity of Virginia Woolf’s oeuvre has substantially increased in Poland. There has been little prior attempt to explain this phenomenon, although it could be beneficial to comparative literature and feminist studies. Therefore, the aim of the paper is to examine the significance of Virginia Woolf’s legacy to contemporary Polish culture, as well as the possible causes of the “Woolf’s Renaissance”. As Urszula Terentowicz-Fotyga has pointed out, until the late 1980s., Woolf remained relatively unknown and perceived as a minor modernist writer. Yet, the third phase of her reception (1990s-present) has brought a significant change, which finally led to the outburst of translations and popularity of Woolf’s works. One result of this “Woolf’s Renaissance” is the influence of Woolf’s legacy on contemporary literature and feminism in Poland. Woolf’s imaginairum has inspired many women writers, such as Joanna Bator, Sylwia Chutnik, Izabela Morska, and Maria Nurowska. It would seem that the popularity of Woolf among Polish women intellectuals stems from the similarity between her opposition to Victorian patriarchal society and their resistance against the radical Catholic conservatism and nationalism in Poland. Besides, the polyphony of Woolf’s oeuvre and the complexity of her biography invite the writers to enter the intertextual dialogue with the author.

Keywords:   Virginia Woolf, intertextuality, Polish literature

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