• Hall of Mirrors: Radclyffe Hall's The Well of Loneliness and Modernist Fictions of Identity

    Author(s):
    Laura Green (see profile)
    Date:
    2003
    Group(s):
    LLC 20th- and 21st-Century English and Anglophone, TC Sexuality Studies
    Subject(s):
    English literature, Gay and lesbian literature, Literature and psychology, Queer theory
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    gender, identity, sexuality
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6DK60
    Abstract:
    Virginia Woolf’s well known distaste for the generic and aesthetic instability of Radclyffe Hall’s novel The Well of Loneliness (1928) finds echoes in more recent responses, even as the novel remains an anchor of a lesbian literary canon. I demonstrate that Hall’s novel does indeed exhibit generic and psychological instability, as a Victorian novel written in the Modernist period and as a text that draws its model of identity from sexology within a cultural context of Freudian ideas. I argue, however, that this instability is not an aesthetic weakness or a sign of retrogression. Rather, I emphasize the novel’s intertextual construction and show that Hall addresses both the difficulty and the necessity of producing narratives of identity. In rooting identity in narrative, she is part of novelistic and psychological traditions stretching from Victorian through Modernist literature and beyond.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    License:
    All Rights Reserved

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