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Sentencing Orlando

Virginia Woolf and the Morphology of the Modernist Sentence

Edited by Elsa Högberg, Amy Bromley

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Highlights the interconnected styles and contexts of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando by examining individual sentences

If the line is the privileged semantic unit in verse, we could ask whether the sentence plays the same role in prose. This possibility holds particular relevance for Virginia Woolf’s Orlando: A Biography, which presents an intriguing collage of different sentence styles. The present collection of 16 original essays offers fresh perspectives on Orlando through a unique attention to Woolf’s sentences. By focusing on single sentences in order to address the book’s many interlacing connections between aesthetics and context, it aims to recuperate Orlando as one of Woolf’s most dynamic textual experiments. To what extent does Orlando enact a politics of the sentence? How does Woolf’s manipulation of generic, gendered, sexual and racial boundaries play out on the level of the sentence? These are some of the questions that this timely volume engages. Contributors include: Jane de Gay, Jane Goldman, Vassiliki Kolocotroni, Randi Koppen and Steven Putzel.

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Contents

Introduction by Elsa Högberg and Amy Bromley 11

  1. ‘The Queen had come’: Orgasm and Arrival
  2. Jane Goldman 30

  3. ‘Something intricate and many-chambered’: Sexuality and the Embodied
  4. Sentence

    Anna Frøsig 53

  5. Woolf, De Quincey and the Legacy of ‘Impassioned Prose’
  6. Elsa Högberg 70

  7. Rhythms of Revision and Revisiting: Unpicking the Past in Orlando
  8. Jane de Gay 87

  9. ‘Let us go, then, exploring’: Intertextual Conversations on the Meaning of Life
  10. Sanja Bahun 104

  11. ‘. . . and nothing whatever happened’: Orlando’s Continuous Eruptive Form
  12. Suzanne Bellamy 120

  13. Orlando, Greece and the Impossible Landscape
  14. Vassiliki Kolocotroni 137

  15. Orlando Famoso: Obscurity, Fame and History in Orlando
  16. Angeliki Spiropoulou 154

  17. Bibliographic Parturition in Orlando: Books, Babies, Freedom, and Fame
  18. Alice Staveley 171

  19. The Day of Orlando
  20. Bryony Randall 188

  21. Satzdenken, Indeterminacy and the Polyvalent Audience
  22. Steven Putzel 203

  23. In Amorous Dedication: The Phrase, the Figure and The Lover’s Discourse
  24. Amy Bromley 219

  25. A Spirit in Flux: Aestheticism, Evolution and Religion
  26. Todd Avery 235

  27. Sir Thomas Browne and the Reading of Remains in Orlando
  28. Benjamin D. Hagen 253

  29. The Negress and the Bishop: On Marriage, Colonialism and the Problem of Knowledge
  30. Randi Koppen 268

  31. Orlando and the Politics of (In)Conclusiveness

Judith Allen 284

Aftersentence by Rachel Bowlby

About the Author

Elsa Högberg is a research fellow at Uppsala University. Her research explores literary modernism and the ethics and politics of intimacy. She is the author of Virginia Woolf and the Ethics of Intimacy, forthcoming with Bloomsbury Academic.

Amy Bromley is a PhD student at the University of Glasgow specialising in Virginia Woolf’s short texts. She has published scholarly reviews and articles in The Journal of the Short Story in English, Virginia Woolf Miscellany and Glasgow Review of Books.

Reviews

An exceptional collection of essays with a far-ranging textual and pedagogical approach, interweaving poised close readings and vibrant literary theory, cultural materiality and critical praxis. Embracing the heightened reverence of spirituality and the wild bawdiness of puns, the volume unpacks Orlando’s embedded erotics, disruptive syntax, artful ventriloquy and rapturous breathlessness to become ‘a love letter to all women’.

- Claire Davison, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle

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