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Vita and Virginia: The Work and Friendship of V. Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf (Paperback)
  • Vita and Virginia: The Work and Friendship of V. Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf (Paperback)
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Vita and Virginia: The Work and Friendship of V. Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf (Paperback)

(author)
£41.99
Paperback 210 Pages / Published: 25/02/1993
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This book examines the creative intimacy between Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf, interpreting both their relationship and their work in the light of their experience as married lesbians. The contradictions and conflicts of their situation are worked out through the construction of different narratives of femininity, in letters, novels, diaries, and other texts. Vita and Virginia looks at the two women's continual renegotiation of what it means to be female, and suggests that the mutual exchange of different versions of 'womanhood' is crucial to the development of their friendship. Orlando, for example, was Virginia Woolf's way of threatening Sackville-West with the extent of her own knowledge about her, as well as the celebratory love-letter it is usually assumed to be. The book also offers readings of both women's autobiographical texts, and a long-overdue study of Vita Sackville-West's work as a biographer and a novelist. Emphasizing also wider contexts, this study examines the links between homosexual desire and literary innovation, public politics and private lives. It provides an invaluable perspective on the relations between sexuality and feminism in modernism.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198122777
Number of pages: 210
Weight: 289 g
Dimensions: 216 x 139 x 13 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Quotation from letter to author from Nigel Nicholson, Sackville-West's son: `When I finished your book, I cried aloud, "Phew!" And Phew meant that I wish I had written it. It seems to me remarkable that someone who never knew Vita and Virginia can understand them so much better than me, who knew both well. And I think of you spending all these years writing, researching, contemplating, finding so much that I have never read, never imagined, and coming up with a book that is a marvel of condensation and commitment.'
This book is fascinating ... a wonderful gust of fresh air * Jane Dunn, Literary Review *
Raitt explores this fascinating relationship in terms of order construction, biography and, above all, of the published work it generated, ... the value of Vita and Virginia lies not in the questions that it answers, but in those that it stimulates us to ask. * Julia Briggs, The Times Literary Supplement *
Vita & Virginia is stuffed with good things, insights into the social contexts in which these women were working; discussion of the fluidity of identity, particularly sexual identity, which makes Raitt reluctant to constrict anyone within a rigid category ... in the dusty harvest of feminist/lesbian/Woolfiana this is a wonderful gust of fresh air. Free of dogma, tolerant of variety, generous-spirited and non-judgemental, it has not deformed Vita and Virginia to serve its own ends. Its sheer intelligence winnows the corn. * Jane Dunn, Literary Review, March 1993 *
Suzane Raitt's excellent study captures the vital spark of this love affair behind both writers' published work. * Patrick Garland, Weekend Telegraph *
entrancing book ... This book casts fresh light on some of Woolf's work and is one of the first serious studies of SW as both biographer and novelist * Time Out *
Once again Raitt offers some thought-provoking possibilities ... Raitt probes some interesting topics, and provides thoughtful insights. * Mary Zajac, West Virginia University, College Literature *
an extensive, serious, much-needed treatment of Sackville-West's writing ... One of the book's strengths is its effectively and succinctly uniting literary and psychological analysis ... Vita and Virginia successfully combines literary, psychological, and historical analysis to offer telling insight into the work and friendship of these two important women. * Panthea Reid, Louisiana State University, English Literature in Transition 1880-1920, Volume 38:1 1995 *

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