Woolf Outside Reading List

(See schedule and sign-up list for dates when these are due.  See guidelines  for expectations and requirements.
All of these are available from me.



Woolf’s essays are extremely valuable for understanding her work and her place in modern literature.  I have scanned selected essays and will provide copies for everyone to read, although I am making this optional.  You may choose to give your outside reading report on one of these essays, or choose instead from the Criticism list of articles about Woolf novels.

§         “Modern Fiction” from Common Reader (1921) – Woolf’s most quoted essay, “a manifesto of literary modernism” (Hussey 162); sets up the “Georgians” (her own generation of novelists) vs. the “Edwardians” (H.G. Wells, Arnold Bennett, John Galsworthy) regarding the definition of “life” and how the novel records it:  “Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from beginning to end” (Woolf CE2 106).

§         “Thoughts on Peace in an Air Raid” from New Republic (1940), rpt. Collected Essays (4 vols, 1966-67) – a gender analysis of war and what women can do to stop war.




Everyone reads one article from this list and reports on it to the class.  I have extra copies of these that you may borrow (but I want them back). You may request permission to report on an article not on this list. 

You must choose an outside reading about a book OUTSIDE your book group. 


Mrs. Dalloway

  1. Abel, Elizabeth.  "Narrative Structure(s) and Female Development: The Case of Mrs. Dalloway."  The Voyage In: Fictions of Female Development. Ed. Elizabeth Abel, Marianne Hirsch, and Elizabeth Langland.  Hanover, NH: U P of New England, 1983. 161-85.


  1. Mezei, Kathy.  "Who is Speaking Here?  Free Indirect Discourse, Gender, and Authority in Emma, Howards End, and Mrs. Dalloway." Ambiguous Discourse: Feminist Narratology & British Women Writers.  Ed. Kathy Mezei.  Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 1996.  66-92. 


  1. Miller, J. Hillis.  "Mrs. Dalloway: Repetition as the Raising of the Dead."  Modern Critical Views: Virginia Woolf. Ed. Harold Bloom.  New York: Chelsea House, 1986.  169-190.  Reprinted from Fiction and Repetition:  Seven English Novels.  Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1982. 


  1. Ruotolo, Lucio.  "Mrs. Dalloway: The Unguarded Moment."  Virginia Woolf: Revaluation and Continuity.  Ed. Ralph Freedman and Maria DiBattista.  Berkeley: U of California P, 1980. 141-160. 

To the Lighthouse

  1. Auerbach, Erich.  "The Brown Stocking."  Mimesis.  Princeton, NJ:  Princeton U P , 1946.  16-34.  Rpt. Bloom (and elsewhere; this is probably the most often reprinted article about TTL).


  1. Levy, Eric.  "Woolf’s Metaphysics of Tragic Vision in To the Lighthouse."  Philological Quarterly 75:1(1996):  109-32. 


  1. Lilienfeld, Jane.  "’The Deceptiveness of Beauty’:  Mother Love and Mother Hate in To the Lighthouse."  Twentieth Century Literature 23 (1977):345-373.


  1. Nussbaum, Martha C.  “The Window: Knowledge of Other Minds in Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse. New Literary History 26:4(1995):731 53.




  1. Caughie, Pamela L.  "Virginia Woolf's Double Discourse."  Discontented Discourses:  Feminism/ Textual Intervention/ Psychoanalysis.  Ed. Marleen S. Barr and Richard Feldstein.  Urbana: U of Illinois P, 1989. 41-53.  Rpt. McNees, vol. 2.


  1. Hankins, Leslie Kathleen. “Orlando:  ‘A Precipice Marked V’: Between  ‘A Miracle of Discovery’ and ‘Lovemaking Unbelievable, Indiscretions Incredible.’”  Virginia Woolf: Lesbian Readings.  Ed. Eileen Barrett and Patricia Cramer.  New York: New York UP, 1997.  180-202.


  1. Moore, Madeline.  "Orlando:  An Imaginative Answer."  The Short Season Between Two Silences: The Mystical and The Political in the Novels of Virginia Woolf.  London: George Allen & Unwin, 1984.  93-115.  Rpt. McNees, vol. 2.



  1. London, Bette.  “Guerrilla in Petticoats or Sans-Culotte?  Virginia Woolf and the Future of Feminist Criticism.”  Diacritics 21 (1991):11-29.

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