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wealhtheow

wealhtheow

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The Theory of the Leisure Class (Modern Library Classics)
Thorstein Veblen, Alan Wolfe
Virginia Woolf - Nigel Nicolson I should have just read Hermione Lee's biography. Nicolson is a son of Vita Sackville-West, as he never tires of telling us, and milks his moments with Woolf, and his mother's connection, for all they're worth. He spends far more time on Vita than Woolf's husband Leonard or sister Vanessa, which I felt a rather poor choice.

Nicolson provides a good deal of information about her inner life--his time spent editing her letters was well spent. But he clearly disagrees with Woolf's opinions, and spends several pages telling us so every time her pacifism or feminism comes up. His reasons for disagreeing are poorly thought out and not well supported (apparently "women...had little cause for complaint" in Woolf's era, because after all, did not Woolf herself become something of a success? So how bad could the sexism possibly be? Ridonkulous.), but he nevertheless quotes HIS OWN PIECE from 1979 to show how silly Woolf's feminism was. Excuse you, Nicolson, you who have spent your whole life riding on your mother's literary and social successes. He's pretty awful about Woolf's possible childhood sexual assault, as well. Nicolson is in a huff that her half-brothers are accused by modern biographers to have assaulted Woolf, even though Woolf herself has said they did. Here's Nicolson in his own words, "In recollection, Virginia made more of a drama of the affair than the facts justify." For fucks sake!

My rage at Nicolson's constant inclusion of Sackville-West and his own uncertain claims aside, I did enjoy this book for its descriptions of the Bloomsbury group and for the tidbits of Woolf's writing. She was a true genius.