Simone de Beauvoir, Virginia Woolf and the Maternal

Book chapter


Humm, M. 2007. Simone de Beauvoir, Virginia Woolf and the Maternal. in: Giorgio, A and Waters, J (ed.) Women's Writing in Western Europe: Gender, Generation and Legacy Cambridge Scholars Press. pp. 170-185
AuthorsHumm, M.
EditorsGiorgio, A and Waters, J
Abstract

In this book chapter originally presented as a plenary paper at the International Conference ‘Contemporary European Women Writers: Gender and Generation, March 30th to 1 April 2005 held by the University of Bath, Professor Humm discusses
writings of Virginia Woolf and Simone de Beauvoir as a maternal legacy for British feminist critics and activists. The chapter focuses on a crucial year for feminists in the 1970s: 1972 which saw the first publication of the paperback of The Second Sex. It touches on de Beauvoir’s debt to Woolf, and de Beauvoir’s literary critiques of masculinity and the maternal in The Second Sex, as well as British feminist reception of de Beauvoir and Woolf in that year. Woolf’s famous injunction in a Room of One’s Own that a woman writer “thinks through her mothers”, Woolf’s recovery of the lost mother in “A Sketch of the Past”, The Voyage Out, and Lily Briscoe’s reparative painting in To The Lighthouse are often cited as Woolf’s maternal imaginary. The chapter tells another story about maternal presences in Woolf’s own domestic photographs and in some professional photographs taken of Woolf, as well as Woolf’s debt to her mother Julia’s writing, particularly Julia’s Notes From Sick Rooms.

KeywordsSimone de Beauvoir; Virginia Woolf; maternal; photography
Book titleWomen's Writing in Western Europe: Gender, Generation and Legacy
Page range170-185
Year2007
PublisherCambridge Scholars Press
Publication dates
PrintMay 2007
Publication process dates
Deposited29 Oct 2009
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10552/355
Additional information

Citation:
Humm, M. (2007) ''Simone de Beauvoir, Virginia Woolf and the Maternal’’ In: Giorgio, A, Waters, J (eds.) Women's Writing in Western Europe: Gender, Generation and Legacy, Cambridge Scholars Press 2007 pp 170-185..

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