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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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A Spirit in Flux: Aestheticism, Evolution and Religion

A Spirit in Flux: Aestheticism, Evolution and Religion

Chapter:
(p.162) Chapter 13 A Spirit in Flux: Aestheticism, Evolution and Religion
Source:
Sentencing Orlando
Author(s):

Todd Avery

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474414609.003.0014

In this chapter, Todd Avery takes the sentence ‘Orlando it seemed had a faith of her own’ as a prompt to explore the many expressions of spirituality and religion in the text. He traces through Orlando an unconventional, anti-institutional form of ‘Woolfian worship’ indebted to Walter Pater’s aestheticism and Charles Darwin’s evolutionary theory. Engaging multiple intersections between modernism and theology, Avery argues that ‘the spirituality of Orlando emerges from a deep wonder before the mystery, strangeness, and absurdity of life’. Avery’s reading illuminates the revelatory potential of Woolf’s writing.

Keywords:   aestheticism, evolution, Charles Darwin, modernism, religion, theology, Walter Pater

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