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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 06 | volume II | January, 1999



                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 06January, 1999

A Room of One's Own: Subversion and Seduction

or: The Woman With Many Heads

p. 1
Maja Bojadžievska

1. Virginia

    Exactly seventy years have passed in October 1988 since October 1982, when Virginia Woolf started her short journey to Cambridge to give the two lectures on the subject; “women and the novel”, in front of a female's student audience, from the Newnam and Girton colleges. On her very first lecturing, she travels to Cambridge in the company of her sister, the painter Venessa Bell, the granddaughter Angelica and her intimate friend Victoria Mary Sackville-West, a famous author of few bestsellers herself and also a model for the main character in Woolf's most successful novel “Orlando”. On her second presentation in the women's colleges, her husband, Leonard Woolf, accompanies Virginia. These two lectures will be the framework of her brilliant essay A Room of One's Own that she will finish up with right after, in extremely short period of time, while staying in a hospital for 8 weeks in February and March 1929. These two lectures at Girton and Newnam, according to the circumstances, are strong and highly authentic statement in their essence, therefore supporting the feminist “struggle” in the year in which the women in England finally won the right to vote. In difference to this, A Room of One's Own must be seen not only as a feminist libel, but also as a huge classical work of the feminist criticism, which has transformed the political strategy, into a text. Moreover, it is a text that gives voice to the real woman's “difference” – the difference that has been condemned to silence for ages.
    In 1928, Virginia Woolf turned 46, and after publishing the novel “Towards the lighthouse” in 1927, she became a well known, though not a very popular author. The publishing of the novel “Orlando” in 1928, is followed by a huge (and unexpected) success: until December, that same year, it was sold in 7000 copies and it underwent its third edition. Thomas Elliot highly respects Virginia Woolf in his essay on English literature in the influential Nouvelle Revue Francaise; the first French translations from Sharl Moron are coming out; she wins the only reward she has ever received – Femina-Vie Heureuse for the novel “Towards the lighthouse”. Again, Woolf creates a public political statement out of the receiving of the reward, concerning the fact, that she is not coming from an institution based upon patriarchal social order (whose rewards she has constantly rejected), but from an institution

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