Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 1
  • Cited by
    This chapter has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Nünning, Vera 2017. “A Theory of the Art of Writing”: Virginia Woolf’s Aesthetics from the Point of View of Her Critical Essays. English Studies, Vol. 98, Issue. 8, p. 978.

    ×
  • Print publication year: 2000
  • Online publication date: May 2006

5 - Virginia Woolf's essays

Summary

The conversation Virginia Woolf has been having with her readers for nearly a hundred years now (her first publication was in 1904) has gone on changing, as conversations do. As a pioneer of reader-response theory, Virginia Woolf was extremely interested in the two-way dialogue between readers and writers. Books change their readers; they teach you how to read them. But readers also change books: 'Undoubtedly all writers are immensely influenced by the people who read them.' Writers must adapt to changing conditions. Books alter as they are re-read: 'Even things in a book-case change if they are alive; we find ourselves wanting to meet them again; we find them altered' ('The Modern Essay', 1922, 1925, E4, p. 220). They are read differently by different generations: 'In 1930 we shall miss a great deal that was obvious to 1655; we shall see some things that the eighteenth century ignored.' Readers, therefore, need always to be aware of themselves not as isolated individuals, but as part of 'a long succession of readers', joining in the conversation.

Recommend this book

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this book to your organisation's collection.

The Cambridge Companion to Virginia Woolf
  • Online ISBN: 9780511999406
  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CCOL0521623936
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to *
×