Title

Consolation Refused: Virginia Woolf, The Great War, and Modernist Mourning

Publication Title

Modern Fiction Studies

Publication Date

Spring 2004

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.1353/mfs.2004.0002

Keywords

mourning, bereavement, Great War

Disciplines

English Language and Literature | Literature in English, British Isles | Psychological Phenomena and Processes | Psychology | Social Psychology and Interaction

Abstract

This essay argues that Woolf's engagement with the war's legacy prompted her to represent a new kind of mourning practice, one that spurns consolation and closure. In critiquing the consoling rhetoric of God, king, and country, Jacob's Room articulates a politics and ethics of mourning linked to Woolf's feminist aims. To the Lighthouse turns the question of consolation back upon Woolf's own medium, showing how a female painter deconstructs the notion of redemptive art and represents a perpetual mourning of loss.

Publisher

Johns Hopkins University Press

Publisher Location

Baltimore, MD


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