Date of Award

4-17-2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

First Advisor

Dr. Randy Malamud - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Paul Schmidt

Third Advisor

Dr. Lee Anne Richardson

Abstract

Considered mostly ancillary to her fiction, Virginia Woolf’s prolific career in literary criticism has rarely been studied in its entirety and in its own right. This study situates her in the common critical practices of her day and crystallizes basic tenets and a critical theory of sorts from her critical journalism published 1904–1928: the author argues that Woolf does not advocate a policing role for the critic, but rather that critics foster art in collaboration with readers and writers. Finally, this work discusses Woolf’s appeal to writers to invest all their energy in improving their skills in character portrayal to adequately depict all classes and genders in order to invent a new kind of psychological fiction.

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