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Virginia Woolf's Modernist PathHer Middle Diaries and the Diaries She Read$
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Barbara Lounsberry

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813062952

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813062952.001.0001

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Jealousy, Illness, and Diary Rescue

Jealousy, Illness, and Diary Rescue

(p.51) 3 Jealousy, Illness, and Diary Rescue
Virginia Woolf's Modernist Path

Barbara Lounsberry

University Press of Florida

Can a diary help heal and restore? Emphatically. In her 1921 diary Woolf faces two foes. The first is physical and mental exhaustion, a danger that will arise periodically across her life. In 1921, Hogarth Press work takes the time previously given to her diary—to her peril. In early January, she gives over her diary’s “casual half hours after tea” to Russian lessons for Hogarth Press translations of Chekhov, the Tolstoys, and more. The Woolfs also devote the year to printing Bloomsbury works, making the months ripe for rivalry—for literary envy of several shades. Woolf falls ill after hearing of James Joyce’s “prodigious” novel, Ulysses; however, once more she turns to her diary for rescue: to medicine herself. The diary becomes an anodyne, “a comforter” or “reliever of pain.” During this time, Woolf links arms with (and salutes) another literary doctor: Anton Chekhov. She draws the title of the only short story collection she publishes in her life, the 1921 Monday or Tuesday, from Chekhov’s Note-book[s], published the same month by the Hogarth Press.

Keywords:   1921 diary, Hogarth Press, Bloomsbury, jealousy, envy, illness, James Joyce, Ulysses, Anton Chekhov, Monday or Tuesday, Note-book

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