Death Comes to the Party: Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway

01 June 2021

Charlotte Hallahan, University of East Anglia

In 1925, Woolf heard news of her friend Jacques Raverat’s death at a party. Afterwards, in her diary, she wrote: ‘I do not any longer feel inclined to doff the cap to death. I like to go out of the room talking, with an unfinished casual sentence on my lips’.[1] In Mrs Dalloway (1925), the solemn news of Septimus Warren Smith’s death interrupts Clarissa Dalloway’s party. But Clarissa sees Septimus’ death as a license to live, to return to her party (to, perhaps, ‘go out of the room talking’). In Woolf’s party, we see the curious meeting of life and death, where death holds the ability to give life order and meaning.

Continue reading “Death Comes to the Party: Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway”

‘Virginia Woolf’s ‘entanglements’ vs. Lacanian Psychoanalytic Criticism’

8 February 2020

Marie Allègre, University of Birmingham

In her 1929 essay ‘Phases of Fiction’, Woolf writes: ‘[t]he enormous growth of the psychological novel in our time has been prompted largely by the mistaken belief […] that truth is always good; even when it is the truth of the psychoanalyst and not the truth of imagination’.[1] Is ‘the truth of the psychoanalyst’ hospitable enough for ‘the truth of imagination’ to emerge?

Continue reading “‘Virginia Woolf’s ‘entanglements’ vs. Lacanian Psychoanalytic Criticism’”

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