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Night and Dayby Virginia Woolf
Synopses & Reviews
Katherine Hilbery, torn between past and present, is a figure reflecting Woolf's own struggle with history. Both have illustrious literary ancestors: in Katherine's case, her poet grandfather, and in Woolf's, her father Leslie Stephen, writer, philosopher, and editor. Both desire to break away from the demands of the previous generation without disowning it altogether. Katherine must decide whether or not she loves the iconoclastic Ralph Denham; Woolf seeks a way of experimenting with the novel for that still allows her to express her affection for the literature of the past.
This is the most traditional of Woolf's novels, yet even here we can see her beginning to break free; in this, her second novel, with its strange mixture of comedy and high seriousness, Woolf had already found her own characteristic voice.
"Night and Day"'s protagonist, Katherine Hilbery, torn between past and present, is a figure reflecting Virginia Woolf's own struggle with history. Both have illustrious literary ancestors and both desire to break away from the demands of the previous generation without disowning it altogether.
About the Author
Rachel Shteir is Associate Professor and Head of the Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism Program at the Theatre School of DePaul University. She has written for The New York Times, The Nation, and the Chicago Tribune.
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