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Leonard Virginia Woolf: A Literary Partnership Hardcover – 1 Sep 1992


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 265 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice-Hall (1 Sep 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031209082X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312090821
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 17.1 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,745,496 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Garth Winter on 23 May 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is a very odd book! I have come across it after twenty-odd years, and I'm sure it must have seemed outdated even as it appeared. Written by a South African, Cambridge-educated Professor in Australia, it clearly required a great deal of first-hand research which one assumes was motivated by at least interest in, and probably close involvement in, his subjects, but Alexander's chief concern seems to be to produce a hatchet job on Virginia Woolf in particular. He starts from the twin briefs of arguing that there was no such thing as Bloomsbury (rather shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted, I would have thought), and demonstrating that Leonard and Virginia Woolf influenced each other's writing. (If they had lived together for thirty years and had *not* influenced each other's writing, that might have been worth a look. . .) Alexander is also very keen to argue that apart from perhaps two books, Virginia Woolf was a very mediocre writer. Good luck with that one. I wonder what she'd done to annoy him? Well, one answer to that is probably that she eluded him, that he failed to understand her at every turn, and he decided to take it out on her. At no stage does he pick up her idiom, or recognise her admittedly idiosyncratic humour. It really is as if he's operating in a language foreign to him. And when faced with the choice of interpreting her writings or actions or personality in one of two ways -- let's call them the right one and the wrong one -- he unerringly and determinedly plumps for the wrong one, the one not remotely backed up by the material. Seriously, if you're a Bloomsbury completist, by all means give this a read, but otherwise don't bother.Read more ›
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