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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/7558

Title: An irigarayan reading of Virginia Woolf's novels: the representation of the maternal body through language
Authors: Mizuo, Ayako
Keywords: Virginia Woolf's novels
Luce Irigaray
Sexual difference
An androgynous mind
The tangibility of the maternal body
Maternal genealogy
Phallogocentrism
Issue Date: 2001
Publisher: © Ayako Mizuo
Abstract: French psychoanalyst Luce Irigaray argues for the significance of sexual difference by way of establishing feminine identity without any sexual hierarchies. By undermining the conventional concept of the feminine in the history of Western philosophy, Irigaray argues that the feminine is irreducible. As a writer in the early twentieth century, Virginia Woolf challenges the traditional concept of feminine identity and its relation to language. Woolf's discussion of an androgynous mind in A Room of One's Own (1929) is an expression of her writerly politics, exploring writing and/about the female body. Drawing on Irigaray's concept of sexual difference, my reading examines Woolf's perception of language as a means of exploring her representation of the maternal body in fiction. The thesis discusses the way in which Woolf materialises the matemal body through language in her novels The Voyage Out, Mrs. Dalloway, The Waves, The Years, Between the Acts, and her feminist essay Three Guineas. My readings, however, is not the supplement of an earlier and popular trend of French feminist readings of Woolf. My thesis represents not only a challenge to the established French feminist perspective of Woolf criticism but also a challenge to the Irigarayan framework itself as it has been deployed in reading Woolf s novels. By so doing, my reading revisits the issue of the matemal body in Woolf scholarship.
Description: A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University. If you are the author of this thesis and would like to make it openly available in the Institutional Repository please contact: repository@lboro.ac.uk
Version: Closed access
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/7558
Appears in Collections:Closed Access PhD Theses (English and Drama)

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