Expert Modernists, Matricide and Modern Culture: Woolf, by L. Cucullu

By L. Cucullu

This ebook hyperlinks the prime innovators of modernism to the cult of the fashionable specialist. In historicizing modernism as a unique mode of information that competes with different kinds of workmanship from legislations to psychology, Lois Cucullu exhibits how 3 modernist experts--Woolf, Forster, and Joyce--used technical options within the novel to exchange reigning Victorian ideals approximately marriage, procreation and the relations. Modernist narratives of realization and our bodies convert the gendered household sphere into a cultured person who provides cultural copy and a contemporary cultural type the centrality as soon as accorded organic replica and the bourgeois loved ones.

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Although enamored of Ralph and attracted to Katharine, Mary receives no obvious rewards by the terms of the novel despite all her public sacrifice and suffrage activism – not even the affection of Katharine’s cast-off suitor, the priggish Rodney, whose attentions are instead transferred to her cousin. The novel proposes instead that a drawing-room successor and emancipated female can be found, even if in this case a male, within the expert class. The fact that the successor is male, I suggest, is secondary to what his example demonstrates, namely, the mobility that expertise makes possible.

In other words, greatness cannot be achieved by the creative intelligence or by intellectual labor alone. Excellence must be well cultivated. It depends on the material goods one is served and one consumes. Within the enclave of the university then, it is the men and not the women whose extravagance 42 Expert Modernists, Matricide, and Modern Culture is indulged. Their refined consumption marks them as members of an elite. Rather than a reward or a privilege, the luxury they enjoy defines who they are.

3: 200) In each, Woolf is not arguing for basic essentials but for the young women to acquire ‘the luxury’ their male contemporaries enjoy as right. One’s sex should not be an impediment to such everyday pleasures like lavish dinners, for consumption of these meals seems to determine later achievement or lack of it in the public sphere. In the same diary entry, she describes the female students of her audience as ‘[i]ntelligent, eager, poor; & destined to become schoolmistresses in shoals’. In other words, greatness cannot be achieved by the creative intelligence or by intellectual labor alone.

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