Volume 5, Issue 12, Spring 2010
The Woolfs and Internationalism
This article contends that no understanding of Virginia Woolf’s fiction is complete without an examination of the political environment in which Woolf operated, particularly with regard to the perennially vexing but urgent question of international relations. Leonard Woolf’s involvement with the creation of the League of Nations and his lifelong commitment to internationalist politics bear direct relevance to Woolf’s novels, which further that same project by enlarging the political imagination and by demonstrating the profound, if often overlooked, interconnectedness of human activity. It is through this mixing of registers–the politics of the abstractly large and the mundanely small–that Virginia Woolf’s fiction resonates most powerfully and carries its strongest anti-nationalistic charge.