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Becoming Virginia WoolfHer Early Diaries and the Diaries She Read$
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Barbara Lounsberry

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780813049915

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813049915.001.0001

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Embracing the Unconscious

Embracing the Unconscious

(p.81) 5 Embracing the Unconscious
Becoming Virginia Woolf

Barbara Lounsberry

University Press of Florida

Virginia Woolf’s ghostly, haunted 1905 Cornwall Diary and the 1906 to 1908 Great Britain Travel Diary that follows it display her growing trust in her unconscious as both a reservoir and compositor. This trust leads to the first diary signs of unwilled, spontaneous invention (in 1906) and of her “scene-making” gift (in 1907). Woolf reads and reviews three works in 1907 and 1908 that showcase for her further the protean diary form. The Diary of William Allingham, the Victorian poet who knew her family, plants the seed for Freshwater and more. Leaves from the Note-books of Lady Dorothy Nevill displays the merits of scrapbook-keeping and lays the path toward “Miss Omerod” in “Lives of the Obscure,” and to Cassandra Otway and Mrs. Hilbury in Woolf’s novel Night and Day, while Lady Charlotte Bury’s Diary of a Lady-in-Waiting introduces an odious letter-writing politician named Whitbread, who will reappear in Woolf’s novel Mrs. Dalloway.

Keywords:   unconscious, spontaneous invention, Cornwall diary, Great Britain travel diary, William Allingham, Lady Dorothy Nevill, Lady Charlotte Bury, Diary of a Lady-in-Waiting

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