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Virginia Woolf, the War Without, the War WithinHer Final Diaries and the Diaries She Read$
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Barbara Lounsberry

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780813056937

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813056937.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

Hitler Darkens the Waters

Hitler Darkens the Waters

(p.249) 8 Hitler Darkens the Waters
Virginia Woolf, the War Without, the War Within

Barbara Lounsberry

University Press of Florida

By 1938, Hitler “had taken over and was dictating the narrative of European history,” Rosenfeld notes. Virginia Woolf's books—including her diary—offer a counter narrative. In March, as Hitler marches into Austria, Woolf finishes Three Guineas. Through her acute sensitivity, she captures the precise world state with a haunting diary image: Hitler and Stalin are “like drops of dirty water mixing” (D 5: 129). Her challenge from 1938 onwards becomes how to keep moving—how to escape being drawn into the mud. In August, as the world waits, suspended, as Hitler pauses at Czechoslovakia’s door, she takes heart from the newly found Diary of the Reverend Francis Kilvert, the Victorian vicar (and poet) from the river Wye. His diary's “gipsy beauty” lives again in the character Mrs. Manresa in Woolf's final novel Between the Acts—as do his amusing cows. Kilvert gives Woolf a lush natural human voice amid the welter of war.

Keywords:   1938 Diary, Hitler, Stalin, Czechoslovakia, Reverend Francis Kilvert, Between the Acts, Mrs. Manresa, Wales, Counter narrative

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