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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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Rhythms of Revision and Revisiting: Unpicking the Past in Orlando

Rhythms of Revision and Revisiting: Unpicking the Past in Orlando

(p.56) Chapter 4 Rhythms of Revision and Revisiting: Unpicking the Past in Orlando
Sentencing Orlando

Jane de Gay

Edinburgh University Press

In this chapter, Jane de Gay invites us to explore a sentence in which Orlando as a Victorian woman writer is urged by the ‘spirit of the age’ to reconsider a few poetic lines she has just written. Voicing a passage from Sackville-West’s The Land (1926), these lines express a barely hidden lesbian eroticism, which is, paradoxically, intensified by intertextual allusions to canonical male writers. Addressing questions of censorship and self-censorship, de Gay demonstrates how Orlando’s sentences, with their accretions of past literary styles, encourage a nonlinear reading movement that ultimately affirms the free expression of same-sex desire.

Keywords:   canonisation, censorship, intertextuality, lesbian, poetics, reading, sexuality, tradition, Vita Sackville-West

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