Virginia Woolf and the Power of Story

A Literary Darwinist Reading of Six Novels


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About the Book

From novels to films, our everyday lives are filled with stories that comfort and connect us and enable new ways of thinking. One of the most innovative writers in modern history, Virginia Woolf, changed the landscape of fiction and challenged our notions of what it means to be human. Her novels invite readers to envision a world in which stories have the power to effect positive change.
This book explores the phenomenon of Story as practiced by Woolf, interpreting her work in the context of literary Darwinism—a critical approach focusing on patterns of innate human behavior.

About the Author(s)

Linda Nicole Blair is a senior lecturer in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington, Tacoma. She teaches first year composition and literature and music, and lives in Port Orchard, Washington.

Bibliographic Details

Linda Nicole Blair
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 228
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6439-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2721-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Prologue 1
Part One: Theory of Story
Introduction: Virginia Woolf and the Evolutionary
Power of Story 3
Chapter One: The Evolutionary Power of Story 29
Part Two: Practice of Story
Chapter Two: The Power of Story to Comfort:
Jacob’s Room and To the Lighthouse 55
Chapter Three: The Power of Story to Connect:
Mrs. Dalloway and Between the Acts 90
Chapter Four: The Power of Story to Create:
Orlando and The Waves 134
Part Three: The Past, Present and Future of Story
Chapter Five: The Power of Story in Human Survival 171
Epilogue: The Story of Our Future 191
Chapter Notes 197
Bibliography 205
Index 215