Virginia Woolf’s learning to hybridize: Laurence Sterne's sneer at generic boundaries

Paolo Bugliani


The paper aims at assessing the treatment that Virginia Woolf the critic reserved to Laurence Sterne, and at highlighting the main sites in Woolf’s ‘Poetics’ where the influence of the Augustan humorist was strongest, i.e. the delicate relation between Life and Literature, and the idea of a Poetry that transcends the limits of verse to encompass prose and prosaic expressions. In order to demonstrate this fruitful filiation, the essays where Woolf dealt directly with Sterne have been analyzed in parallel with other critical pronouncements and/or journal entries where the author developed the metaliterary hints that Sterne’s example roused. 


Virginia Woolf; Laurence Sterne; Life-writing; Hybridity; Literary Genres

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