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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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Artist at a Crossroads

Artist at a Crossroads

(p.205) 9 Artist at a Crossroads
Virginia Woolf's Modernist Path

Barbara Lounsberry

University Press of Florida

Woolf’s 1928 diary offers the reflections of an artist at a juncture: “some uneasy sense, of change,” she writes in her first entry. Orlando’s completion and surprise success dominates this diary. However, the problem is what to write next. The artistic crossroads Woolf faces in November involves nonfiction and fiction, the external and the internal, and the will to explore. Woolf both probes and resolves the tension in two November diary entries. One answer is to refine her turn-and-turn-about tack. She will allow works of “talent” to relieve her works of “genius.” More importantly, she will try “to saturate every atom” to reach a deeper mix. Her loose-leaf diary experiment ends with the first 1929 diary, the final diary in her second, lean modernist stage. If Orlando unfurled across the 1928 diary, the first 1929 diary resounds with A Room of One’s Own. However, Woolf also readies herself for her coming battle with The Waves. She will need her courage as she begins “a time of adventure and attack, rather lonely and painful.” But her diary continues to help her; in fact, she moves at the end to give it even firmer life in a bound diary book.

Keywords:   1928 diary, 1929 diary, artistic crossroads, loose-leaf diaries, bound diary book, Orlando, A Room of One's Own, The Waves, nonfiction, fiction

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