restricted access Orienting Virginia Woolf: Race, Aesthetics, and Politics in To the Lighthouse
Abstract

Wide-ranging aesthetic and political racialisms inform Virginia Woolf's narrative technique in To the Lighthouse (1927), producing radical departures from literary tradition. In dismantling patriarchy's social and novelistic conventions, To the Lighthouse extends the English formalist doctrines that lauded autotelic art-forms from East Asia, Africa, and South America. The novel's narrative fluidity and abstraction re-invent the racial philosophies of Roger Fry's formalist tract Vision and Design (1920), as well as the racially marked modernité of the Omega Workshops' art-objects. The well-known feminist politics and formalist aesthetics that answer this novel's questions depend on the often-overlooked narrative position of racial identity.


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