Virginia Woolf's Jacob's Room - Jacob Flanders, Many Things to Many Readers

Virginia Woolf's Jacob's Room - Jacob Flanders, Many Things to Many Readers

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Virginia Woolf's Jacob's Room - Jacob Flanders, Many Things to Many Readers


Listless is the air in an empty room, just swelling the curtain; the flowers in the jar shift.

One fibre in the wicker arm- chair creaks, though no one sits there. - Jacob's Room

The year 1922 marks the beginning of High Modernism with the publications of T. S. Eliot's The Wasteland, James Joyce's Ulysses, and Virginia Woolf's Jacob's Room. Woolf's novel, only her third, is not generally afforded the iconic worship and critical praise so often attached to those works of her most famous male contemporaries. Jacob's Room is seldom suggested as one of Woolf's best fiction; the novel has not generated the same encomia as her recognized masterpieces Mrs. Dalloway, Between the Acts, and The Waves. But Jacob's Room is indeed a revolutionary work in its original technical mastery, its mournful historicity, and its evocative tone. The novel is Woolf's manifesto in fiction of her unique enterprise to create character beyond the one-to-one mimetic method of conventional Victorian and Edwardian realism. Uniquely self-conscious and conscious of self, Woolf was attracted to exploring new modes of characterization, fictional consciousness, and epistemology. She is especially interested in exploring the nature, communication, and limits of fictional knowledge. Woolf's idiosyncratic mode of characterization in Jacob's Room is the epistemological complement in fiction to Eliot's formula for emotional expression in poetry, the objective correlative. While Eliot's description of the ideal artistic technique tries to be concise and formulaic, a direct mimetic correspondence, Woolf's technique is symbolic and metaphoric, collective, indefinite, and infinitely more ...


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...Merry. "Virginia Woolf's Between the Acts: Fascism in the Heart of England." Virginia Woolf Miscellanies: Proceedings of the First Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf. Ed. by Mark Hussey and Vara Neverow-Turk. Lanham, MD: Pace University Press, 1992. pp. 188-191.

Ruddick, Sara. "Private Brother, Public World." New Feminist Essays on Virginia Woolf. Ed. by Jane Marcus. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1981. pp. 185-215.

Schug, Charles. The Romantic Genesis of the Modern Novel. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1979.

Woolf, Virginia. The Essays of Virginia Woolf. Volume III. 1919-1924. Ed. by Andrew McNeillie. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1988.

-----. Jacob's Room. New York: The Penguin Group, 1998.

-----. The Letters of Virginia Woolf. Volume II. 1912-1922. Ed. by Nigel Nicholson. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1976.

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