Virginia Woolf: Experiments in Character

by Eric Sandberg


"Boldly takes up the problem of character and characterization in Woolf’s novels. Rightly insists that a deep-seated concern with character and character creation runs throughout Woolf’s work, from her earliest book reviews to her latest fiction, providing a focus for understanding Woolf’s development as a writer. ...An unusual, but oddly satisfying book. The individual readings are thorough, nuanced, and closely detailed. Sandberg is to be commended ... Sandberg has written a thoughtful, meticulous, and convincing study of Woolf’s novels." – Woolf Studies Annual

"A thoughtprovoking investigation of Virginia Woolf’s sustained interest in character and experiments with characterization throughout her literary career. This book takes in a range of Woolf’s short stories and novels across seven well-researched chapters. In his introduction, Sandberg presents his project as a reclamatory one, outlining the various ideological and linguistic ‘attacks on character’ since the 1980s. This introduction does an excellent job of explaining why this neglect of character has been especially acute in Woolf scholarship. ... The first chapter is amongst the most successful in the book, reading Woolf’s early reviews and essays on writers including Henry James, Elizabeth Robins, George Gissing, and Dostoevsky for evidence of her preoccupation with character and her thinking about good characterization and bad. ... Thoughtprovoking chapters follow on The Voyage Out, Jacob’s Room, Mrs Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, The Waves, and Between the Acts, each including thorough and imaginative close readings." - Modern Literature


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