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The Edinburgh Companion to Virginia Woolf and Contemporary Global Literature$
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Jeanne Dubino, Paulina Pajak, Catherine W. Hollis, Celiese Lypka, and Vara Neverow

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781474448475

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474448475.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 05 December 2021

From Julia Kristeva to Paulo Mendes Campos: Impossible Conversations with Virginia Woolf

From Julia Kristeva to Paulo Mendes Campos: Impossible Conversations with Virginia Woolf

Chapter:
(p.96) 5 From Julia Kristeva to Paulo Mendes Campos: Impossible Conversations with Virginia Woolf
Source:
The Edinburgh Companion to Virginia Woolf and Contemporary Global Literature
Author(s):

Davi Pinho

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474448475.003.0006

This chapter discusses the concept of the name ‘Virginia Woolf’ as a ‘signature’. While Julia Kristeva uses Woolf's name in About Chinese Women as a signature for the summation of depression and suicide, Brazilian cronista Paulo Mendes Campos's lyrical review of Virginia Woolf's Orlando presents the name as a signature that gestures towards interminable movements of life and makes fiction an element of permanent novelty. In this sense, Campos finds contemporaneity with Woolf, thus momentarily escaping the limiting reality of his own place in time. Campos’s essay ends with the word ‘life’. Even when death is at the heart of a sentence (‘I can’t go on’), life is its final word. The task of this chapter is to bring Kristeva and Campos into coexistence with Woolf’s final philosophy, as presented in Woolf’s autobiographical essay ‘A sketch of the past’, and also to make Kristeva and Campos our contemporaries in an undulant conversation about writing and life, not death – for it is interesting that conversation implies coexistence in its etymological roots: -con (with) -versari (to turn), which together form the Latin verb conversare, to turn round and round and round, and its deponent conversari, to live with, dwell together.

Keywords:   Virginia Woolf, ‘A sketch of the past’, ‘Signature’ in literature, Julia Kristeva, About Chinese Women, Paulo Mendes Campos, Brazilian Crônica

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