Modernism, Memory, and Desire: T. S. Eliot and Virginia Woolf

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  • Edition: Revised
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-01-26
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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T. S. Eliot and Virginia Woolf were almost exact contemporaries, readers and critics of each others' work, and friends for over twenty years. Their writings, though, are rarely paired. Modernism, Memory, and Desire proposes that some striking correspondences exist in Eliot and Woolf's poetic, fictional, critical, and autobiographical texts, particularly in their recurring turn to the language of desire, sensuality, and the body to render memory's processes. The book includes extensive archival research on some mostly unknown bawdy poetry by T. S. Eliot while offering readings of major work by both writers, including The Waste Land, 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock', Orlando, and To the Lighthouse. McIntire juxtaposes Eliot and Woolf with several major modernist thinkers of memory, including Sigmund Freud, Friedrich Nietzsche, Henri Bergson, and Walter Benjamin, to offer compelling reconsiderations of the relation between textuality, remembrance, and the body in modernist literature.

Table of Contents

Illustrationp. viii
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
An unexpected beginning: sex, race, and history in T. S. Eliot's Columbo and Bolo poemsp. 10
Mixing memory and desire: rereading Eliot and the body of historyp. 39
Eliot, eros, and desire: "Oh, do not ask, 'What is it?'"p. 75
T. S. Eliot: writing time and blasting memoryp. 101
Virginia Woolf, (auto)biography, and the eros of memory: reading Orlandop. 119
Other kinds of autobiographies: sketching the past, forgetting Freud, and reaching the lighthousep. 147
Remembering what has "almost already been forgotten": where memory touches historyp. 180
Epiloguep. 209
Notesp. 214
Indexp. 248
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