Bringing the Literary Past to Life in <i>Between the Acts</i>

Jane de Gay

in Virginia Woolf's Novels and the Literary Past

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780748623495
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651849 | DOI:
Bringing the Literary Past to Life in Between the Acts

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This chapter discusses Between the Acts, one of Woolf's novels that was written during the Second World War. This novel summarises a form of English society that was about to disappear, and reflects an awareness of the risks and dangers in looking back to the literary past and in writing a new work during a crucial point in world history. The discussion shows that Woolf turned to Samuel Coleridge's ideas on unity and integrity in order to solve the various interruptions she faced, as well as to think through the problems concerning the social roles of artists during times of war.

Keywords: English society; Second World War; Between the Acts; literary past; Samuel Coleridge; unity and integrity; interruptions; social roles

Chapter.  12363 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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