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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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War Shades Life & Work

War Shades Life & Work

(p.272) 9 War Shades Life & Work
Virginia Woolf, the War Without, the War Within

Barbara Lounsberry

University Press of Florida

Though Woolf opposed the darkened waters of the dictators in 1938, in 1939, as the war edges closer, she can’t avoid letting it shade her life and work. On March 22, Madrid “surrender[s]” to the fascists (D 5: 211). The week before, Hitler marches into Prague and proclaims (Woolf writes) that “Czecko-Slovakia has ceased to exist).” Although Woolf's fluidity is affected, she remains bold. In January, she dons the mask of Cleopatra (perhaps ominously) for her brother Adrian's costume party. Using diary form, she starts her memoirs in April. And she continues her inner artistic struggle to resurrect Roger Fry. Across the year, she also seeks life enduring through her own diary—and in many other diaries as well. Some diarists aid her—like her diary-father, Sir Walter Scott. In January, Woolf wishes to also write on the remarkable journals of French painter Eugène Delacroix. However, in August, she finds, in F. L. Lucas's Journal Under the Terror, 1938, an invitation to noble suicide. In the Journals of Charles Ricketts, R. A., the brilliant outsider and friend of Michael Field, which she reads in late December, she meets a diary stopped by war.

Keywords:   1939 Diary, Hitler, F. L. Lucas, Charles Ricketts, Eugène Delacroix, Noble suicide, Memoirs, Roger Fry, Sir Walter Scott

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