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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

Virginia Woolf and French Writers: Contemporaneity, Idolisation, Iconisation

Virginia Woolf and French Writers: Contemporaneity, Idolisation, Iconisation

Chapter:
(p.371) 20 Virginia Woolf and French Writers: Contemporaneity, Idolisation, Iconisation
Source:
The Edinburgh Companion to Virginia Woolf and Contemporary Global Literature
Author(s):

Anne-Laure Rigeade

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474448475.003.0021

This paper addresses the question of Woolf’s reception in France through a typology of its three aspects and features: contemporaneity, idolisation, iconisation. First, ‘contemporaneity’ refers not only to a historical coincidence between two writers or thinkers living at the same period of time but also to a form shared sensibility that can disrupt the chronology. Thus, Nathalie Sarraute considered Virginia Woolf her contemporary and came to transform her into a writer of the sixties. Second, ‘idolisation’ coincides mainly with the feminist reception of Virginia Woolf in the seventies-eighties when, in some French writers’ works, admiration became adoration, fascination, and even sanctification. This section of the chapter focuses on the examples of Anne Bragance’s La Dame sur le piédestal and Cecile Wajsbrot’s Une vie à soi in particular. Finally, the third type of reception converts Virginia Woolf into an icon (“iconisation”): she is no more a goddess in this process, but a trace in our collective memory. Anne-James Chaton’s biofiction, Elle regarde passer les gens, exemplifies particularly what is called here iconisation.

Keywords:   Virginia Woolf, Woolf’s French reception, Nathalie Sarraute, Anne Bragance, Cecile Wajsbrot, Anne-James Chaton, Tel Quel, Contemporaneity in literature, Idolisation in literature, Iconisation in literature

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