Università degli Studi di Milano, 2013-03-01
The aim of the dissertation is to show Virginia Woolf’s attachment to life, and thus to the genre of biography and life-writing, from three different perspectives. In the first place, Woolf was personally connected to literary life from her birth, being the daughter of Sir Leslie Stephen, the editor of The Dictionary of National Biography. Second, Woolf made biography the substance of her experimental fiction. Third, the genre of biography was the topic of several of her critical writings: she dealt with it when reviewing biographies, or when questioning its literary function and meaning in her essays. In the wake of these considerations, and by taking into account Woolf’s life and literary achievement, my purpose is to propose a different image of Virginia Woolf, less encumbered by the orthodoxy of Modernism and deeply involved in a constant dialogue with the past. Her capability to stride over different epochs and to profit from the classical models in the genre of biography are the main evidences of my assertion. This dissertation is organized into four chapters. The first chapter focuses on the genre of biography, its metaphorical connections, and its historical development from the eighteenth to the twentieth century. The second chapter deals more in detail with modern biography, closing with a section devoted to the controversial relationship between Virginia Stephen and her father, a relevant figure both in her personal and professional experience. In the third chapter, I have considered those literary texts in Woolf’s fictional work which contain valuable hints on the subject of biography. Specifically, I have analysed five works: Night and Day (1919), Jacob’s Room (1922), To the Lighthouse (1927), Orlando (1928), and Flush (1933). The fourth chapter reflects on Woolf’s critical contribution to a theoretical discourse about biography, focusing the attention on her most relevant reviews about biographies written by contemporary and non-contemporary writers, and examining her most outstanding essays concerning the genre. The chapter ends with the analysis of Roger Fry: A Biography (1940), Woolf’s “classical” biography and final achievement within the genre..
diritti: info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
tutor: F. Orestano ; co-tutor: C. Pagetti ; coordinatore: A. Costazza
Settore L-LIN/10 - - Letteratura Inglese

Tesi di dottorato. | Lingua: Inglese. | Paese: | BID: TD16001167