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Virginia Woolf's Novels and the Literary Past$
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Jane de Gay

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780748623495

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748623495.001.0001

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Bringing the Literary Past to Life in Between the Acts

Bringing the Literary Past to Life in Between the Acts

Chapter:
(p.186) Chapter 7 Bringing the Literary Past to Life in Between the Acts
Source:
Virginia Woolf's Novels and the Literary Past
Author(s):

Jane de Gay

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748623495.003.0007

This chapter discusses Between the Acts, one of Woolf's novels that was written during the Second World War. This novel summarises a form of English society that was about to disappear, and reflects an awareness of the risks and dangers in looking back to the literary past and in writing a new work during a crucial point in world history. The discussion shows that Woolf turned to Samuel Coleridge's ideas on unity and integrity in order to solve the various interruptions she faced, as well as to think through the problems concerning the social roles of artists during times of war.

Keywords:   English society, Second World War, Between the Acts, literary past, Samuel Coleridge, unity and integrity, interruptions, social roles

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