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By the time she composed , first published in the US in October 1940, she was driven by real fear of the future, her anxiety surfacing in the violent imagery of this angry, convoluted attack on the twin evils of oppression and militarism.“Let us try to drag up into consciousness the subconscious Hitlerism that holds us down,” she writes.
Clarke brings fresh light to Woolf's essays and enriches them with variations.
This penultimate volume forms part of an indispensable, unique collection from one of our greatest writers. After her father's death in 1904 Virginia and her sister, the painter Vanessa Bell, moved to Bloomsbury and became the centre of ‘The Bloomsbury Group’.
The exception is her writing on the visual arts: in this volume her re-evaluation of her friend Roger Fry and the “racket and din” of post-impressionism shows her at her best, but her worst is here too in the occasional whiff of the school debating society ( .).
This is the sixth and final annotated volume of Woolf’s complete essays, edited (as was volume 5) by Stuart Clarke. “The old problem, how to keep the flight of the mind, yet be exact,” she mused in 1940.
More troubled still are her late writings on politics, conceived as Britain began its march towards war.
Essays Of Virginia Woolf Volume 3
This volume reprints for the first time in the face of rising panic; tries too hard to argue her case (sometimes ignoring logic in the process); writes too much; fails on clarity and relevance; but wins eventually, and brilliantly, on the sheer anguish of her prose.
This is not to say she didn’t produce some major essays – she did, of course – but to acknowledge her limitations as an essayist.
Her readers almost always go to her reviews and articles to learn more about Woolf the novelist, not to benefit from her authority on Turgenev, or Coleridge, or Congreve, which underlines the secondary quality of her criticism.
She also maintained an astonishing output of literary criticism, short fiction, journalism and biography.
On 28 March 1941, a few months before the publication of her final novel, Between the Acts, Virginia Woolf committed suicide.