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211 found in the Brotherton Collection at the University of Leeds, in the British Museum or in the Cambridge University Library, the three major collections of Gosse's letters. Thwaite also includes a limited and partially annotated chronological bibliography of Gosse's works. Unfortunately, it is of limited use because it does not contain his periodical articles, foreign language publications, nor works merely edited or introduced by him; even with these omissions it includes over ninety book length publications and evidences Gosse's great productivity. This biography is perhaps of primary importance as a panoramic view of Victorian literary society and of one man's climb up the ladder of its complex literary hierarchy. As we follow that journey, we gain valuable insights into the lives of countless literary figures of more profound importance than Edmund Gosse, people who were not only his contemporaries but also his friends. He did not fail to at least touch the lives of every English literary figure and some of the most important European figures of the Victorian and Edwardian ages. For example, the Book of Gosse, where he proudly recorded the names of those who attended his Sunday afternoon at-homes, lists such divergent guests as John Blaikie, Christine Rossetti, Arthur O'Shaughnessy and Théophile Marzials. Thwaite brings them all to life for us, showing how Gosse influenced many well-known figures of the age and how he in turn was influenced by them. Marcia M. Harper Northern Illinois University 8. FEMINIST CRITICISM ON VIRGINIA WOOLF Jane Marcus, ed. Virginia Woolf: A Feminist Slant. Lincoln and London: Univ. of Nebraska Press, 1983. $24.95 Virginia Woolf is the perfect subject for feminist criticism , and thus it is understandable that the popularity of Jane Marcus's New Feminist Essays on Virginia Woolf (1981) should have led to yet another critical anthology, Virginia Woolf: A Feminist Slant. As in the previous volume contributors look at Woolf's novels (particularly the early and late novels) as allegories of feminism. Woolf's feminism was even more directly expressed in her personal writings and drafts, central sources for contributors of this anthology. These drafts, diaries, and letters--just published in the later seventies—inspired most of these fresh and interesting essays . Woolf's newly glimpsed personal writings provided feminists with illuminating suggestions of what she called "those psychological puzzles that one notes in the margins of daily life." And for feminists today, as for Derrida and the deconstructionists, "the margins are at the center." 212 Feminist critics make a substantial contribution to Woolf scholarship here, seeing Woolf's mystical, mythical and Marxist ideas as forming the backbone of her work. For too long critics, like Woolf's contemporary E. M. Forster, saw her as "having no great cause at heart." This critical blindness is corrected by the vision of contributors to this book, who highlight Woolf's great cause as the emancipation of women and minorities through socialism, pacifism, and feminism. To change language is to change society, and it is the contention of this book that Woolf's influence has done so, and indeed provided the roots for a new growth of feminist feminine art. While the book successfully proves that thesis, I am not so sure that it fulfills the misleading promise on the dust jacket: "to develop a feminist critical theory using not only the techniques of deconstruction but also the approaches of biography, textual scholarship, and history." This statement seems inconsistent with Marcus's disclaimer in the Preface stating that she would use "other arts than deconstruction." She explains: "The material conditions of Woolf scholarship have determined that we learn other arts than deconstruction; the arts of biography, textual scholarship, history. in Woolf's case, as in that of other women writers, the published texts are less likely to yield their secrets to the deconstructor than are the texts of a male writer." Surely Woolf's texts have more secrets than those of her male contemporaries and call for a feminist hermeneutics such as deconstruction to recuperate Woolf as a radical feminist who had to repress or disguise "thoughts dangerous for publication ." Also, the problematic aspects of "feminist critical theory" are editorially oversimplified...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 211-215
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
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