New Essays in Ecofeminist Literary Criticism

By Glynis Carr | Go to book overview

Writing the Real: Virginia Woolf
and an Ecology of Language

L. Elizabeth Waller

Listen, listen, I'm forever saying,
Listen to the river, to the hawk, to the hoof,
to the mockingbird, to the jack-in-the-pulpit
then I come up with a few words, like a gift.

—from [Stars,] Mary Oliver

I think then that my difficulty is that I am writing to a rhythm
and not a plot. Does this convey anything? And thus, though the
rhythmical is more natural to me than the narrative, it is com-
pletely opposed to the tradition of fiction and I am casting about
all the time for some rope to throw the reader.

—Virginia Woolf to Ethel Smyth

ECOFEMINIST literary criticism, in the process of diversifying what literature speaks, what language implies, assumes that the more-than-human world is always present; [nature] is not spiritually, physically, or semantically separate from human culture. Dimerging from traditional literary criticism or philosophical inquiry, ecofeminism, when applied to literature, submerges both the writer and the reader within an earthtexL The initial, participatory practice of engaging in the more-than-human world creates a desire to express differently. The writer may reconsider identity, place, and meaning in ways that question the source of language and the narrative qualifications for speaking subjects.

As a reader, Virginia Woolf 's life work invited me into a real world, inventing what seems to me an [ecological dialogue] of human characters engaged directly, and profoundly, with nonhuman characters. Josephine Donovan writes of Woolf and others that the unfielding search to find the real reveals [a proto-ecofeminist desire to liberate the 'thing,' the literal, the natural, the absent referent— which is conceived as a presence, a thou—from domination by falsilying, destructive signifiers.]1 Yet despite several insightful essays2 on

-137-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
New Essays in Ecofeminist Literary Criticism
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 194

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.