Front cover image for Virginia Woolf, the war without, the war within : her final diaries & the diaries she read

Virginia Woolf, the war without, the war within : her final diaries & the diaries she read

Barbara Lounsberry (Author)
"In her third and final volume on the modernist writer's diaries, Barbara Lounsberry reveals new insights about Virginia Woolf's courageous last years, from 1929 until her suicide in 1941. Increasingly, Woolf turned to her diary--and to the diaries of others--for support in these years as Europe saw the threat of fascism grow. Lounsberry illuminates Woolf's inner artistic wars as she battled the ever-nearing war without, which bled into Woolf's diary entries. In her final 12 diary volumes, Woolf seeks in commonplace moments and the natural human voice to counter the shrill hysterics of Hitler and Mussolini, their false melodrama of heroes and villains, their tyranny at home and abroad. Lounsberry also explores the diaries of 19 other writers as Woolf read them, including Leo Tolstoy, Dorothy Wordsworth, Guy de Maupassant, Alice James, and André Gide. She shows how writing and reading diaries was both respite from Woolf's public writing and also an inspiration for it. She details how these works and Woolf's own daily records fortified the writer in her struggle with her most difficult work, The Waves. In these years Woolf also relied on diaries as she wrote The Years, Three Guineas, and Between the Acts. Lounsberry offers a new view of Woolf's suicide based on her diaries, which she maintained until four days before her death. The outer war and Woolf's inner life collide in this dramatic conclusion to the trilogy that resoundingly demonstrates why Virginia Woolf has been called "the Shakespeare of the diary." Lounsberry's masterful study is essential reading for a complete understanding of this extraordinary writer and thinker, as well as the development of modernist literature."--Page 4 of cover
Print Book, English, 2018
University Press of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 2018