Virginia Woolf and the Great War

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In Virginia Woolf and the Great War, Karen Levenback focuses on Woolf’s war consciousness and how her sensitivity to representations of war in the popular press and authorized histories affected both the development of characters in her fiction, nonfictional and personal writings. As the seamless history of the prewar world had been replaced by the realities of modern war. Woolf herself understood there was no immunity from its ravages, even for civilians. Levenback’s readings of Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, and The Years, in particular – together with her understanding of civilian immunity, the operation of memory in the postwar period, and lexical resistance to accurate representations of war – are profoundly convincing in securing Woolf’s position as a war novelist and thinker whose insights and writings anticipate our most current progressive theories on war’s social effects and continuing presence.

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