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Sites about Night and Day

by Virginia Woolf

Critical sites about Night and Day

“Night and Day Is Dead”: Virginia Woolf in London “Literary and Historic”
“Chelsea provoked Virginia Woolf. In the early twentieth century, the London borough was reputed to be the artistic center of London both because it had been home to eminent Victorian writers and painters and because it was the haunt of Woolf’s so-called ‘bohemian’ contemporaries. To Woolf, Chelsea and Chelseans also signified smugness, capricious and cutting appraisals of art, and worst of all, thorough respectability. However, while “Chelsea” became shorthand for everything Woolf despised about London’s literary world, its provocation also lay in its resemblance to her own literary world. An admixture of innovation and tradition, fashion and stability, bohemianism and social establishment, Chelsea emblematized Woolf’s own compound of traditionalism and iconoclasm, snobbery and fellow feeling–a compound too complexly muddled to be explained away as a divided allegiance between her father’s Hyde Park Gate and her own Bloomsbury. That Woolf placed her 1919 novel Night and Day in Chelsea therefore corroborates the widely held view that this novel worked a transition for her from traditional to experimental fictional forms: in Night and Day, she uses the Chelsea setting to represent a conflict between innovation and imitation, between creative modern writers and the preservative literary establishment–a conflict arguably won out by the heroine’s moving out of Chelsea.”
Contains: Historical Context
Author: Andrea P. Zemgulys
From: Twentieth Century Literature Spring 2000

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Last Updated Apr 29, 2013