Tag Archives: Bloomsbury Group

Virginia’s Secret

24 Jun

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) is now acclaimed as one of the great innovative novelists of the 20th century. Many of her experimental techniques, such as the use of the stream of consciousness, or interior monologue, have been absorbed into the mainstream of fiction. Her novels have been particularly highly regarded from the 1970s onwards by the new school of feminist criticism. However, the intensity of her creative work was accompanied by mental suffering and ill health. Her often troubled mind seemed to seep into her work from an early age. For example, the story A Terrible Tragedy in a Duckpond, written in Woolf’s teens, revealed her adolescent perception of death and anticipated her own tragic end. Brought up in a highly intellectual circle, The Bloomsbury Group, she developed an impressionistic style of writing in her novels To The Lighthouse (1927), The Years (1937) and Between the Acts (1941), as well as a handful of ghostly short stories, including The Lady in the Looking Glass, Lappin and Lapinova and A Haunted House. Even though her darker work was interspersed with more playful productions, such as Orlando (1928), a fantastic biography which traces the history of the youthful, beautiful and aristocratic Orlando through four centuries and both male and female manifestations, an element of melancholy increasingly pervaded Woolf’s later life and works. The reasons for this have been speculated upon ever since her death.

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