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Main page » Non-Fiction » The Artist, Society & Sexuality in Virginia Woolf's Novels

The Artist, Society & Sexuality in Virginia Woolf's Novels


This book explores the relationship between aesthetic productivity and artists' degree of involvement in social and sexual life as depicted in Virginia Woolf's novels. Ann Ronchetti locates the sources of Woolf's lifelong preoccupation with the artist's relationship to society in her family heritage, her exposure to Walter Pater and the aesthetic movement, and the philosophical and aesthetic interests of the Bloomsbury group. Placing Woolf's characters between the opposed Western representations of the artist as ivory-tower recluse and of the artist immersed in life's sacred fount, Ronchetti traces an evolution from the retiring aesthetes of the earliest novels to the socially and sexually engaged artists of the later novels. At the same time, Woolf's artist-figures are increasingly outsiders, reflecting her growing preference for artistic anonymity and her evolving political consciousness, which privileges outsider status for what she believes to be its more objective view of society.

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Tags: aesthetic, Woolfs, Virginia, artists, relationship