Private Brother, Public World
We have recently become sensitive to daughter-mother and sister relationships. We have always welcomed attention to the powerful effect fathers have on their daughters’ lives. But a girl’s relation to her brothers is relatively uncharted. For Virginia Woolf that relation was profoundly important. When in A Room of One’s Own she asks us to imagine the life of Shakespeare’s sister she asks us to reflect upon a sexual, domestic and political opposition which the very term sister-brother connotes. When, in Three Guineas, she identifies herself as the daughter of an educated man, she is speaking to one of the sons of that privileged class, to a brother and man of power whom a sister has reason both to suspect and to admire. In Night and Day, To the Lighthouse, Flush, The Years and Between the Acts actual and surrogate brother-sister relationships are explored. Woolf herself acknowledged the importance of her brother Thoby for Jacob’s Room and The Waves, the two novels inspired by and often taken to be a tribute to him.
KeywordsPublic World Male Power Sexual Autonomy Dark Pool Male Hero
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 4.Virginia Woolf, ‘The Introduction’, in Mrs Dalloway’s Party, ed. Stella McNichol (London: Hogarth Press, 1973).Google Scholar
- 5.Plato, Phaedrus, trs. R. Hackforth (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1972) p. 96.Google Scholar
- 8.See, inter cilia, Duncan Grant’s memoir in Recollections of Virginia Woolf, ed. Joan Russell Noble (London: Peter Owen, 1972).Google Scholar
- 11.J. W. Graham, ‘Point of View in The Waves: Some Services of the Style’, in Virginia Woolf, ed. Thomas S. W. Lewis (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1975).Google Scholar
- 12.Simone Weil, The Iliad or the Poem of Force, Pendle Hill Pamphlet (Wallingford, Penn.). I am amending some of the phrases in the light of the translation used in the Simone Weil Reader, ed. George A. Panichas (New York: McKay, 1977).Google Scholar