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Virginia Woolf and the Materiality of TheorySex, Animal, Life$
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Derek Ryan

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780748676439

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748676439.001.0001

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Sexual Difference in Becoming: A Room of One’s Own and To the Lighthouse

Sexual Difference in Becoming: A Room of One’s Own and To the Lighthouse

(p.58) Chapter 2 Sexual Difference in Becoming: A Room of One’s Own and To the Lighthouse
Virginia Woolf and the Materiality of Theory

Derek Ryan

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter focuses on sexual difference in A Room of One’s Own and To the Lighthouse. The first half of the chapter stages a dialogue between Woolf’s much-discussed theory of ‘androgyny’, Braidotti’s ‘nomadic subject’ (which she distances from the notion of androgyny), and Deleuze and Guattari’s ‘becoming-woman’ (which they themselves find evidence of in A Room of One’s Own) - three concepts with distinct relationships to the materiality of sexual difference but with shared concerns. Starting with a brief overview of the conflicting responses to Woolf’s androgyny, it goes on to draw out some of the continuities and dissonances between these theories, emphasising the importance of each to contemporary feminist debates. The second half of this chapter analyses Woolf’s handling of subjects and objects, bodies and environments, in To the Lighthouse by forming creative links between this novel and Deleuzian concepts of the ‘rhizome’, ‘smooth’ and ‘striated’ spaces, and ‘becoming’.

Keywords:   Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own, To the Lighthouse, sexual difference, androgyny, becoming-woman, feminism, Rosi Braidotti, Gilles Deleuze

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