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Virginia Woolf and the Professions

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 (ISBN-13: 9781139991124)

This book explores Virginia Woolf's engagement with the professions in her life and writing. Woolf underscored the significance of the professions to society, such as the opportunity they provided for a decent income and the usefulness of professional accreditation. However, she also resisted their hierarchical structures and their role in creating an overspecialised and fragmented modernity, which prevented its members from leading whole, fulfilling lives. This book shows how Woolf's writing reshaped the professions so that they could better serve the individual and society, and argues that her search for alternatives to existing professional structures deeply influenced her literary methods and experimentation.

• One of the first book-length studies on a female modernist writer and the professions • Draws on a range of new historical material and sources hitherto not used in Woolf studies • Provides a new historical perspective with which to understand Virginia Woolf and her work

Contents

1. The ethics and aesthetics of medicine; 2. Virginia Woolf, amateurism and the professionalisation of literature; 3. Reconfiguring professionalism: Lily Briscoe and Miss La Trobe; 4. Translating the fact of the professions into the fiction of vision: The Years and Three Guineas; 5. A balancing act: Between the Acts and the aesthetics of specialisation.

Review

'… Chan competently explores related issues of money, war, feminism, democracy and social class.' Kathy Chamberlain, Virginia Woolf Bulletin

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