Virginia Woolf: The Will to Create as a Woman


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Early life and influences

In , while Virginia Woolf was alive and building her career as a woman writer, Ruth Gruber published a seminal essay on the novelist that is now seen as the first feminist interpretation of Woolf's writings and life. Seventy years after its original publication, Gruber's seminal critique is available once again, with new material that makes it more relevant for readers today. Virginia Woolf: The Will to Create as a Woman includes several previously unpublished letters exchanged between Woolf and Gruber, and a new introduction in which Gruber recalls her meeting with the English writer, examining the questions surrounding Woolf's bi-polar illness and anti-Semitism.

In this groundbreaking assessment of Woolf's philosophy, influences, and style, Gruber laid the groundwork for a generation of future feminist analyses. She cogently examines Woolf's concept of gender and her literary influences, adeptly discussing how Woolf constructed a feminine writing style in a realm dominated by men.

Orlando: A Biography (1928)

Above all, she shows how Woolf consciously strove to create as a woman. Virginia Woolf's experimental prose and her struggles with mental illness have made her an enduringly provocative figure, and today, more than sixty years after her suicide, Woolf's writing continues to fascinate and inspire readers. Convert currency. Add to Basket. Book Description Basic Books. Condition: New.

A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf

Born in in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Ruth was always precocious. She received her B. Early in her studies there, she was asked by a professor if she would consider reading the work of Woolf, and embark on a doctoral thesis about her. Ruth did complete the work in less than a year, successfully defended her thesis, and was awarded a Ph. Upon her return to the U. Louis [the same ship that seven years later would be denied sanctuary at ports in the US and Cuban] an attractive Brooklyn girl of twenty years stepped ashore bearing a coveted degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

Virginia Woolf

She is now the youngest Doctor of Philosophy in the world. Ruth sent a copy of the published book to Woolf in London, thus beginning a lengthy correspondence between the two women that culminated in Ruth paying a visit to Woolf at her Bloomsbury home that year.

Ruth was greeted at the parlor door by husband Leonard. The meeting is covered in detail in both of the above books, but suffice it to say that a somewhat awkward conversation followed, with Virginia stretched out on a rug in front of the fireplace.


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Ruth wondered, Is that what Virginia Woolf had thought of me? With the discovery of this new material, Ruth and I began to discuss reissuing her thesis, surrounding it with the letters and a new Introduction in which she would grapple once and for all with the meaning of her long-ago encounter with Woolf and its aftermath.

A Room of One's Own - Wikipedia

Also in that year Virginia Woolf: The Will to Create as a Woman was published in the expanded edition we had envisioned. Like the letters, the thesis was reproduced in facsimile, which in this case meant we were able to reprint the gorgeous letter-press typesetting that Tauchnitz had struck for the book in I learned of her constant fear that she was going insane.


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  • Those two love letters. They helped restore the admiration I had for her when I was nineteen and just discovering her genius. I realized that she had lived her entire life with a will to create as a woman. That was the most important lesson she taught me. In , I reread my dissertation in the light of that new understanding, underlining paragraphs that mean as much to me now as they did when I wrote them more than seventy years ago.

    In future writings about Ruth Gruber for this blog, I will chronicle many of her other achievements. For now, let it suffice to say that after Ruth would continue her worldwide study of women. Philip, I enjoyed your post. January 29, at pm. Sow I just have to hope it comes up as as a trivia question. And, sorry Grad, but I have read To the lighthouse two or three times and I love it. And I read Orlando a long time ago a liked it. For some reason though I have never finished Mrs Dalloway. Dalloway is marvelous.

    Philip Turner philipsturner said:. For those interested in more on the two women, and what I learned about their work editing the book, I invite you to follow this link, for a piece I wrote on them. Philip, thank you for your wonderful comment!

    Orlando: A Biography 1/2 - Virginia Woolf [Audiobook ENG]

    I enjoyed reading the piece on Gruber that you linked too and will have to get my hands on her early books you mention. She seems a most remarkable woman. Danielle said:. January 30, at pm.

    Top 10 landmarks in gay and lesbian literature

    If she was right in her thinking. This sounds good—thanks for sharing it! Danielle, Gruber could never confirm whether or not Woolf read her dissertation but in one of the letters Woolf does say something like she had someone else read it and they said it was good. VW is a challenging read and even though she has always paid off for me, I never have read her just for the heck of it, she is always a conscious decision.

    Tags Ruth Gruber. Like this: Like Loading Stefanie said: February 4, at am. Vanessa said: January 28, at am. Nazia said: January 29, at am. I love reading her books Like Like. Stefanie said: February 5, at am. One of my favorite writers. Grad said: January 29, at am. Philip Turner philipsturner said: January 29, at pm. Danielle said: January 30, at pm.

    Virginia Woolf: The Will to Create as a Woman Virginia Woolf: The Will to Create as a Woman
    Virginia Woolf: The Will to Create as a Woman Virginia Woolf: The Will to Create as a Woman
    Virginia Woolf: The Will to Create as a Woman Virginia Woolf: The Will to Create as a Woman
    Virginia Woolf: The Will to Create as a Woman Virginia Woolf: The Will to Create as a Woman
    Virginia Woolf: The Will to Create as a Woman Virginia Woolf: The Will to Create as a Woman
    Virginia Woolf: The Will to Create as a Woman Virginia Woolf: The Will to Create as a Woman
    Virginia Woolf: The Will to Create as a Woman Virginia Woolf: The Will to Create as a Woman

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