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Genius and Ink: Virginia Woolf on How to Read Reviews

Genius and Ink: Virginia Woolf on How to Read by Virginia Woolf

Genius and Ink: Virginia Woolf on How to Read

Virginia Woolf

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1 review

Imprint: TLS Books
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 28 Nov 2019
ISBN: 9780008355722

FOREWORD BY ALI SMITH WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY FRANCESCA WADE Who better to serve as a guide to great books and their authors than Virginia Woolf?

  • The GuardianBook of the Day
3 stars out of 5
Aida Edemariam
21 Dec 2019

"How did the young critic Virginia Woolf become the famous novelist? This book provides an answer"

Her sense of reader and writer in their physical selves – their age, their illness or health, their social and geographical context, their individual memory and experience, and especially their emotional development – yields valuable dividends. This is never more true than when she is considering the effect of gender. So there’s George Eliot, “the grave lady in her low chair”, punished by overwhelmingly male critics for not being charming – “a quality … held to be supremely desirable in women”. (Eliot’s failing, for Woolf, lay in her heroines, who contained more of the intellectual life force of their creator than she believed their provincial settings could allow.) Or Charlotte Brontë, whose novels are a “superb gesture of defiance”. Or Aurora Leigh, crippled by the limitations imposed on its feminine creator. Calling Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poem “a masterpiece in embryo” is no idle choice of words.