Bloomsbury, Modernism, and the Reinvention of Intimacy

, J. W. Bloomsbury, Modernism, and the Reinvention of Intimacy. Cambridge UP, 2011.

On the one hand, they doubted the ‘naturalness’ of Victorian ideas about ‘maleness’ and ‘femaleness,’ but on the other hand they understood the value of monogamy and marriage and the value of these institutions to what Freud called the ‘middle-class social order.’ This ambivalence was a primary source of the writers’ aesthetic strength; Virginia Woolf, D. H. Lawrence and others brought the paradoxes of modern intimacy to life, wrestling with them on the page. Combining literary criticism with forays into philosophy, psychoanalysis, sociology and the avant-garde art of Vienna, this volume offers a fresh account of the reciprocal relations between historical modernity and artistic modernism.

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