‘Too uncompromising a figure to be so disposed of’ : Virginia Woolf and/on Olive Schreiner

Munslow Ong, J ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3200-683X 2021, '‘Too uncompromising a figure to be so disposed of’ : Virginia Woolf and/on Olive Schreiner' , English Studies in Africa . (In Press)

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Abstract

In her 1925 review of an edited collection of Olive Schreiner’s letters, Virginia Woolf described Schreiner as ‘too uncompromising a figure to be so disposed of’. Prompted by this intriguing comment, this article brings Woolf’s late-1920s writings into conversation with Schreiner’s novels and letters in order to trace personal and textual connections between the two authors. Comparative analysis of Schreiner’s The Story of an African Farm (1883) and Woolf’s To the Lighthouse (1927) and Orlando (1928) reveals similarities and confluences in their novelistic structures, experimental temporalities, allegorical representations, use of natural imagery, and in the central and unifying linear motifs that are used to hold together the novel forms. Additional modernist aesthetic and political links are provided by depictions of sex- and gender-crossing characters in Orlando, The Story of an African Farm and Schreiner’s From Man to Man (1926), as well as by the feminist arguments and role of ‘Shakespeare’s sister’ in From Man to Man and Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own (1929). The article concludes by arguing that Woolf and/on Schreiner provides evidence towards a claim for South Africa as a pioneering site of modernist innovation, and thereby contributes to new understandings of the development of global modernisms.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media > Arts, Media and Communication Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: English Studies in Africa
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 0013-8398
Funders: Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Depositing User: JM Munslow Ong
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2021 09:25
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2021 09:41
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/62070

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