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Sentencing OrlandoVirginia Woolf and the Morphology of the Modernist Sentence$
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Elsa Högberg and Amy Bromley

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474414609

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474414609.001.0001

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Introduction: Sentencing Orlando

Introduction: Sentencing Orlando

(p.1) Introduction: Sentencing Orlando
Sentencing Orlando

Elsa Högberg

Amy Bromley

Edinburgh University Press

The introduction advocates for a focus on individual sentences as a fruitful way to read Woolf. It contextualises this approach by outlining the critical history of Orlando, and discusses Woolf’s theorising of the literary sentence in A Room of One’s Own, where Woolf’s emphasis on shape and form converges with her discussion of a gender and genre politics of the sentence. The introduction makes claims for Orlando as enacting this politics aesthetically, and therefore as especially suited for a study of the form and structure (morphology) of its sentences in the wider context of modernist aesthetics. It attends to the legal and discursive meanings of the word sentence, as a way into Orlando’s subversive treatment of reading practices, censorship, sexuality, gender and race – all of which are examined in this volume. The introduction also considers the stakes involved in reading Woolf alongside the new aestheticist critical practices currently shaping the field of modernist studies, delineating thereby the volume’s aim to open up further avenues for exploring a morphology of the modernist sentence.

Keywords:   aesthetics, critical history, introduction, modernism, morphology, politics, sentences

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