Publication details

Influence of Friedrich Nietzsche on Virginia Woolf's Oeuvre



Year of publication 2019
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description The project for the dissertation “The Influence of Friedrich Nietzsche on Virginia Woolf’s Oeuvre” resulted from my reading of Jacob’s Room as a consistent intertextual reference to Nietzsche. Since its first publication in 1922 Jacob’s Room has been predominantly analyzed in relation to its fragmentary form and the elusive portrait of Jacob. As a result, the novel has been accompanied by literary criticism addressing the notion of the impenetrability of modern character, which consequently concealed the possibility of a linear approach of the novel. However, if the echoes of Nietzsche’s metaphors are recovered in the seemingly unrelated passages of the novel, Jacob’s Room can be appreciated for the literary possibilities of Nietzsche’s metaphors which provide nuanced contrasts to the main conflict between the centripetal search for truth and centrifugal ways of art. Because the development of the metaphors in the novel is consistent and intentional, the main value of the dissertation is an author-centric study of an influence of Nietzsche’s critical epistemology on Woolf. The methodology employed so far has consisted of both comparative analysis and biographical research. If the findings from the archives are put into relation to Woolf’s first reference to Nietzsche as well as her interests in the period up to her marriage, Woolf’s initial occupation with Nietzsche corresponds with the rise of his impact on the intellectual circles in England during the late Edwardian period. The paper will address the problem for a researcher to anchor a consistent literary analysis in incomplete biographical context.
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