Moments and Metamorphoses: Virginia Woolf's Greece

by Rowena Fowler
Moments and Metamorphoses: Virginia Woolf's Greece
Rowena Fowler
Comparative Literature
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Moments and Metamorphoses: Virginia Woolf's Greece

". . . hel-e we are at \lonl\\ Hoilw. X. Greece i\ pr~.ceptit)l)

melting: ju\t lot- a moment Engl,~ntl X. (;reece \tc~otl \itit.

11\ \id?. C'I( I1 11it1ch ellll\c.netl I)! tlir. othel-."

[)!(I!\ 4: 100, 15 \1~\ l9?12

HE GREEKS HLIUNTED M'OOLF. Her essa\ "On Not Knoli- lng Greek" st1 esse, both their nloof~less n11d t~~lfarrliliarit, arld our ig~lora~lce of ho~v and ~vhv their

of how their minds ~vorked, literature M~S

iiritterl; ns n iiolrlnrl, she found the111 Inore prilnitive, puz~ling,and alluring than their legitimate male heirs in Cambridge and Bloornsbury collld irrlagine. "\Vhen I thirlk ofthe Greeks I thirlk of therrl as naked black rnen," says hliss Alllan in TIir 1'4\'(1g~011t (1 14), "~vhich is quite incorrect, I'rn sllre."' let M'oolf's essay also conveys a profou~ld sense of i~ltirnac\ and recognition. Picked up through private study rather than beaten in at public school, Greek ~vorked its way into her irnaginatio~~,

elusive but persistent: "how Greek sticks, darts, eels in X1 out!" (Ilic~rj5: 236, 11 Septelnber 1939). X solid "grounding" gave lvay to shifting and unbidde~~ rnornents of insight: ''.Istrange thing-when yo11 corne to think of it-this love of Greek, flourishing in such obsc,urity, distorted, discouraged, yet leaping out, all of a sudden" (lcccob'~ Koorrz 126). Her first Greek essay (now lost) was to have bee11 called "Magic Greek"; it explored the close~less Let unknoiiableness of the Greeks, the "veil" she still felt bet~veen her and the ancient texts. There

' For "On \'ot Kno\ving (;reekM I ha\e cotlsr~lted hot11 tlie fil-it KI-iti\h t>ditioti (Hog.i~-tli PI-es\. 192.5) nntl the tit-it .\met-ic;in etlition (H,II-caul-t. Ki-,ice. 11)'L.i) of 7lir ('OII!I~~I!Krtr(ir~.,a\ \\(>I1 n\ \Voolf'\ proof rol.~.cctiotis fol- the first .\iliericnii rdirion, \\hiCli ,it-e tie\\. ill the FI-nnce\ Hoopel- (.ollection ar Sm111i (,ollrge. (2~1ot.itioliiI~I.Cfl.olll tlir fil-\t .\iiler~c~i~~

etlitioli. Reft.1.eilces to \Voolf '\ nolels alici

(;!~!I!IYI\ PI): .I lji(~,yr(~/)/!)

to .I 1<iiti1111i/ OIIP'\Oii'!!.TIIIPI~ <~i>dI~~I,~PI ~ite to tlic fi~-\t (H'II~o~II-~.

KI-;I( e) Amel-ic ,111 t,tlition\.\lled mnntl\ct il)t\ nl e cited \\it11 tlleii. ;ic(ession ni~iiihei\ (\lH: .Ilonl\ 1 lot~\ePnl)el-\; Kri-g: I lcntn \\'. .~ntl .\lhet-t .\. Bet-g (:ollec tion). Permi\sioti to cll~otc 11-om r~npul~li\hecl k i\ XI ,tntetl hv kind 1)r'l-


iiii\\ior~ of tlie So( let\ of .ir~tIic)ti ~iitlie I.itr.t-~~~-v of [lie l~\t~ite of

Rcp~-r\c~it'itive \'il.gir~i'~\Voolf.


follolved a prose sketch ("XLTision of Greece"), a story fragrrlent, a dialogue, and a review ("The Perfect Language"), before the ma-jor essay, "On Not Kno~ving Greek."' hlagic, vision, dialogue, perfec- tion, elusiveness: Greek is the perfect language, which lve can never truly knolv.

M'oolf's England and her Greece enlivened each other through a lifelong encounter that began with her first Greek lesson in October 1897 and lvas interrupted only by her death, on the eve of the fall of Greece, in hlarch 1941." In 1900 Greek was her "daily bread, and a keen delight" (Lett~rs 1: 35, June 1900); in the shadow of war, a lifetime later, she lvas still turning naturally to Greek authors: "Trying to anchor rrly mind on Greek. Rather successful" (Llinry 5: 236, 11 Septerrlber 1939). The study of Greek (never, she felt, her "rrlastery" of it) remained a precondition of her intellectual and creative life, of her self-respect as a lvoman and of her fulfillment as a ~vriter. The Greek language held out the possibility of absolute clarity, and yet offered Mholf the alternative eloquence of pure, pre-verbal, non-verbal sound. Her two visits to Greece, in 1906 and 1932, helped her transmute the classical past into personal history and played a role in defining her sense of "Englishness." Ll'oolf's Greek reading and study, including her attelrlpts at editing, trans- lating and teaching, lvere continuous both ~vith her critical and autobiographical writing and-lnost i~nportantly-with her fiction, where she re-accommodated classical myth and naturalized the con- ventions of epic and tragedy. Her dialogue ~vith Greece lvas often carried on in letters and conversations and even in the dialogue form itself. It admits the voices not only of L'Voolf and the ancient and rrlodern Greeks but also of rrlany of the people and texts through which their ~vorlds had been rrlediated: eminent L'ictorians, modern scholars, earlier English writers, and a lvhole-predorni- nantly male-classical and philhellenic tradition.

In an earlier paper on lvorrlen lvriters and the classics, I chvelt too much on the ambivalences in M'oolf's attitude to Greece, on her sense of exclusion, her mockery of conventional scholarship, and the congeries of images in her writing linking the classics, lrlale bonding, sexual violation, war and death. Follolving TValter J. Ong and Edrrlund Leach, I evoked in lurid terlrls the acquisition of Latin and Greek as a male initiation ritual requiring sexual segregation

For "Xlagic Gr-eek" \ee Pnr~iorrcilr ..ippirillrtr 252. 115 Xlarch 190.5; much of thi\ matel-ial 111-obably fotuid its illto \\holf's later- (;I-rek !'~-iting\. Othel- I-eft.r-enct.5: ".A T'ision of Gr-eece" 01H/A23.i); frngmt.ilt of a stor-? (SIII,'K4.e); ".A Dinlogtie L'poil Slount Penrelicus," (;oinplrlr SIiortrrI-irtton I'lr,qti~ici I2bolJ 64-68; "The Pt.r- fect Language," I.~rcc>\2: 114-19.

L~ttprr1:10, 24 0ctobt.r 1897. Set. al\o Leslie Stephen'\ letter- ot 1 Novt.111bt.r 189'7 to Geol-ge I'i'irr. iVoolt for- t~vo yeal-s with \l"ir-r- at the omen‘\ ,Iililex of King's (:allege, and the11 \,~tli (:lard P'lter, befort. starting pr-i\-ate lesson\ \sit11 J;~~iet

Caw in 1902.

and physical suffering, and emphasized the role of a jealously guarded classical education in the forrrlation of intellectual and political elites. I read women's writing in terrns of "subversion," compensation and revenge, their appropriations of the classics as both the syrnbol and instrument of rebellion. Since that time, how- ever, we have learned that the relationship between women and the classical literatures and languages is often considerably rnore conlplicated than this account suggests. We now know nluch rnore about both Ll'oolf's connections with the Greek scholars Janet Case and Jane Ellen Harrison and the rrleaning of the classics for Mholf's contenlporaries and counterparts (HD,Christina Stead), as well as for rnore recent lvornen writers (Fleur Adcock, Margaret .itwood, Sylvia Plath). Recent scholarship, giving readier access to M'oolf's library and n~anuscripts, suggests that her relationship to Greek lvas pervasive and complex. I should like therefore to propose a reading of Ll'oolf and the Greeks that takes its cue from her own version of dialogue, in which ':just for a rrlonlent England and Greece [stand] side by side."

M'oolf's ideal relationship lvith Greece lvas an unattainable corrlbi- nation of nlagic and falniliarity. S.P. Rosenbaurn has sholvn that it lvas from her Greek studies that M'oolf first began to lvork out her idea of the "cornrnon reader" and the "cornrnon mind" (143). She wondered if she could share colnrnon ground lvith the Greeks, assinlilating then1 to everyday experience (as symbolized by the homely potato): "M'hether it is possible to {read,/know) Greek 8c dig potatoes?" (l<IH/BP.q). She lacked the unselfconscious facility of a natural scholar like Janet Case, who "reads Greek with one hand, while she slices potatoes lvith the other" (Letters 2: 446, 4 November 1920). M'oolf's professional scholars tend tolvards the pathetic or rancorous: old (or young-old) rrlen with unappealing critical appa- ratus and desiccated emotions such as Richard Bentley ("Outlines," Essays 4), Ll~nbroseRidley and Mr. Pepper (T~P

11'oyagr Out), l'Ir. Bankes (To th~ Lighthousr), Sopwith (jacob's Room), Edlvard Pargiter (7'lze Y~ars), even Neville (Thr Wa-ors). She was scathing about the kind of scholarship that strained after sorne utilitarian "legacy" or "rrlessage": "I detest pale scholars with their questioning about life, and the message of the classics, and the bearing of Greek thought upon nlodern problelns" (Lrtt~rs 1: 386, 19 February 1909). Her olvn experience of the connection betlveen Greece and England was unsystelnatic, intermittent, unbiddable: by turns dazzling and puzzling. She lvas capable of an alrrlost physical empathy: "I think I see for a ~nornent how our rrlinds are all threaded together-how any live nlind today is of the very same stuff as Plato's 8c Euripides . . . It is this common mind that binds the whole ~vorld together." This sense of the transhistorical continuities of human thought comes by way of an intensely felt bodily excitelnent-"as though the phrsical stuff of rrlr braln itere expanding, larger & larger" (Pass/o~lcrtr,ipp~~ntltr

178, 1903) Occasionall, she lends her characters her orzn flash of insight, as in the scene of Ed~ard at Oxford studring the .-l~t1go'0rzf~

He I-e,itl: ant1 m,rtle 'i 110rc: the11 he ~.e;itl ngait~..Ill so1111(l\ \\ere hlottetl our. He \,I\\ nothing t1~1t the Greek in tront of him. Bur ,IS lie hi\ hra~n gl-atl~~all~

\\ lie \\,IS conscior~cof comething cl~~ickening ,III(I tifilltelling ill h~\fol.eI~e,~d.

Ile cnugllt ph~-n\e '~frvr-pht-a\e vx,lrtl\, ii~ tnl\. ...L.irtlr ncgligit~le \\.ortl\ no\\ I el e,~lrti \liade\ ot ~ne,rnit~g, . 1!l-50)

. .(7'11/, ~;,(II\

This spontaneous, transfoririati~~e

spurt of energy is the antithesis 110th of the casual sense of entitlerrlent of the public schoolboy and of the grinding perseverance of th? less privileged: the "Jerv- boy fro111 B~I-rninghatn" stud>-illg Far into the night ~vith a wet to~vel round his head Grrrs 63). Tbolf fantasi7es a painless, instant tnethod of filling the brain with Greek by siphoning it off frorrl one of the keepers of the rn!,steries-Saxon Sydney-Turner, for instance, ~vith his farnous Double Fit-st in the Classical Tripos: "if I could attach a little suckrr to the back of your neck and drink through it ~vithout any effort" (I,rt/rrs 4: 269, 30 Decrinber 1930). Sirrlilarly, North iinagines raiding Ed~vard's store of kno~vledge: "There it Ivas, he thought, locked up in that fine head, the head that Ivas like a Greek bo!.'s head groI1.n r\.hite; the past and poetry. Then ~vhy not prise it open LVhy not share it? LVhat's wrong with hirrl, he thought" (T~P

)>or:\ 408). Greek could catch fire and come alive, but in the Ivrong hands it Ivas cold and dead; thlls, Neville spends his life as a don running "in and out of' the skulls of Sophocles and Euripides like a rnaggot" ('l'hrz Ilir7lrs 71).

Ll'oolf al~vays claiined to be inept at grarnrrlar, which she fount1 "hopelessly dull" (P(rssio~icctr l.l,f),f)r~~ztic~

231, 2 February 1905). The children in 7%~Ililrlrc imagine the Latin co~ljugations as colors (Susan and Jinny) or as fluitl fish shapes (Bernard); only Neville, the ftlture scholar, visualizes them as a svsternatic structure (20-21). M'oolf's Greek teacher Janet Case ,judged her Greek exercises "detestable": "she saw that In!. foundations Ivere rotten ...S:bade tne start with the \.cry first exercise-upon the proper use of the article-~vhich I had hitherto used t\-ith the greatest iinpropriety" (Pnssiontrtr ;ippr~'0rrticr 183, 1903). In the end, though, rt.ith Casc's help, "the masterpieces of Greek drarrla \\ere stormed, ~vithout grarrnnar, ~vithout accents."' 12'oolf rarely used accents or I~reathings (though she Ivas punctilious ~vhen tvriting for publication, as her proof corrections show) and never marked scansion: "The lack of a sound universit!. training has al~vays made it irrlpossible for tne to distinguish between an iambic and a dactyl" ("Letter to a Young Poet" 697). She needed to read Greek quickly, even if inaccurately; when reading Greek ~vith her, her father, Leslie Stephen, put grarn-

(Ji~ote(l ti0111 iVoolf'\ 7 IIIIO\ ol~iri~;~rvot (:<I\C, I-~IT(I.ill .ille~:see <rl\o TIII 1111itIl.

rnar aside and \vent straight for the sense (E~scrjs 1:129). Her Greek reading notebooks record process, pace and sensation; a success- f~ll reading al~vays rapid; a disappointing one slow or distracted.

7'Iir Birds, for example, is "Read at a gallop"; and with TIir Bcrtchnr "The difficulty of reading Greek is not the ~vords, but getting the fling of the sentence entire-as it leaves the mouth. I arn al~vays being knotted up." Her reading needed to keep up with the action, ~vhich,in her favorite plays such as the ,+lntigonr, Ivas "much quicker -more terrific. One wants to read on." She felt in the 7>crchininr "The words flickering out"; of the Ordipuc Colonruc, she records that "no language can move more quickly, dancing, shaking, all alive hut controlled" (Berg Rh'l .19). Less impressionistically than in the notebooks, hut rnaking the same point, she Tvrote in "The Perfect Language" that "It is important to read quickly, if only because the friction of speed creates in the reader the arro- gant. . . belief that he kno~vs precisely ~vl~at

Xescl~ylus meant" (E;SS(I~.F

2:1 15).

Woolf read as a ~vriter,Ivit11 an eye to craft, hut also as a responsive, sometimes resistant, reader, with a tendency to ascribe naturalistic and transhistorical motives and emotions to ancient texts. In Book 3 ofthe Od\.rrr~, . . rumor circulates "LTery like Cornish villages" (Berg KN1.23). Along ~vith the Tvomen of the Pargiter family she could enter into the part of Xntigone: a woman buried alive, a brother unhllried.'She could judge .intigone "the perfect type of heroic woman: unflinching K-uncompromising" (Berg RN1.19), hut on another reading he dismayed by Xntigone's un~vavering attachment to her father and brother and dismissive tone to her sister: "her bitterness to Isrnene is allvays unpleasant" (hlHiB2.o). L2bolf \<-as also struck by other tragic heroine$, especially De-janeira (Trccchiniccr) and Electra (Corj~lzori); she particularly noted the Tvay that Electra affiliates herself to her father rather than her mother and is tough- ened hut not clirninished by restrictive conventions: "Electra lived a far more hedged in life than the women of the mid L'ictorian age, hut this has no effect upon her, except in making her harsh K-splendid. She could not go out for a walk alone; wit11 11s it would he a case of a maid K-a hansom cab" (Uinry 1:18:i, 19 .iugust 19 18). Setting her reading notebooks alongside the texts she was studying Ive can see what caught her interest and where she disagreed with or went beyond the scholarly authorities; in her notrs on the Ion of Euripides, for illstance, she copies .i.T'V. Ierrall's translation of (:reusals confession, adding in her own words, "This is a lovely excla~~lation will not anslver his charge of cruelty, one line

-she sho~vs how unutterably she had felt it" (MH/X.21). Woolf could

' On \\ooll's llsr of Antigone ser,Josrph ant1 Oltlfirl~l: oil thr t~iii~l~ried

brothrrill pit-tic ul,~t- we 5telnt.1. ( 1411. For the ,-irr/~,gorrr'is "anti-t,~\rist prop,ig,tnda" see ~'/III,I, 124, I .?8-3<1.



also find herself brought up short by cultural ancl historical dis- tance-particularly, as in the Ajnx and the Philoctetes, hy Greek notions of law, justice and honor. She felt for the wounded ancl isolated Philoctetes hut was alienated by arrns ancl armor; in her notes to the Ajnx she suggests we imagine sorne substitute to which the present-day reader can attach an equivalent value. Of all Greek drama FVoolf returned most often to the Agnrnernnon of .\eschylus, reading and misreading with verve: "Read the Xgamemnon, ancl see whether, in process of time, your sympathies are not almost entirely with Clytemnestra. Or consider the married life of the Carlyles" (ETT~~J


During her lessons with Janet Case, LVoolf was combative (her own word for herself was "contradictious"); the two women were intellectually ancl temperamentally poles apart ancl disagreed over the direction and purpose of studying Greek literature, as later they would disagree over Woolf's own writing. Woolf played the part of ungrammatical hut nubile pupil to Case's crabbed scholar: "I read a very lovely description of a rnaiden in Euripides (?) . . . how the maiden hangs like ripened fruit within the orchard . . .I paused ~vithsome literary delight in its beauty. Not so Miss Case. 'The use of the instrumental genitive in the 3rd line is extremely rare"' (Pnssio~tnte Apprentice 183, 1903). The scene seerns familiar; the scholar reducing passion to a grammatical gloss is a comrnon topos in literature and biography. T'Ve can, though, reconstruct this exchange, instrumental genitive ancl all, as it took place over the SU;D;DI~'CP.F

of 'ieschylus in G.T. Tucker's edition. The passage in ques- tion (11. 966-73), an erotic evocation of virginity and defloration, is textually obscure, and the footnotes wrestle with ripening fruit, opening doors, and men who cannot stop themselves plundering. The older woman may already have had some idea of Woolf's sexual distress, though it was some years before FVoolf explicitly confided in Case her half-brother's sexual approaches (Letters 1: 472, ?23

July 1911).

Woolf later carne to appreciate that scholarship, ethics, ancl polit- ical activism were interdependent in Case's life, that her Greek studies were the source for, and an integral part of, her radicalism: "Her Greek was connected with many things. It was connected . . . with the life, wit11 the politics of her clay. She found time for cornmittees, for the Suffrage . . . for all the causes that were ad- vanced ancl in clispute."~Voolf wrote this in her obituary for Case in 1937, that is, at exactly the time she was exploring her own rela- tion to the classics ancl to politics; thus, in her notebooks for Three Guinen.s a quotation frorn the Antigo~tr is filed next to a contempo- rary parallel, the E~~rning reaction to the pacifist hlayoress

Stn~tdnrd's of Wool\vich: "Mayoress Tlhuld Not Darn Socks for LVar: Speech Upsets .\rsenal Employees" (hIH/BlG.f).

Fittingly, FVoolf's own earliest voluntary service to a "cause" was her series of adult education lectures at Morley College. This could be seen as an extension of her family's tradition of philanthropy, but it is characteristic of Woolf that instead of visiting the sick she chose to teach working women Greek mythology. .\cutely alvare of class contradictions, she hoth patronized ancl admired her students, just as later she rvould amhivalently cornmend George Gissing, the lower-class philhellene for whorn "the columns of the Parthenon . . . still rose above the fogs and the fried-fish shops of the Euston Road" (The Secorzd Common Re~~der

244). Ironically, LVoolf's lectures coincided exactly with the Cambridge ballot on keeping Greek com- pulsory for all undergraduates. Tlholf and her brother Thoby clis- cussed the issue heatedly before Thoby went up to cast his vote, unavailingly, against. Xs she set off to teach her Greekless women, "Greek," she noted, "is still compulsory" (Pnssionnte Apprentice 238, 3 March 190.5).

In spite ofJanet Case's efforts, FVoolf continued throughout her life to feel a lack of grarnrnatical "foundation," not just in uncler- standing Greek, hut in forging her own style of English. To Clive Bell, who had criticized a draft of The Vo~ccge Out, she wrote: "I see all you say of my looseness-great gaps are in all my sentences, stitched across ~vith conjunctions-and verbosity-and emphasis. If I had had a good grounding in Greek I might have clone better" (L~tters1: 330, 6 May 1908). It is tempting to read this ironically, as a rejection of Bell ancl a covert defense of her olvn unclassical syn- tax, especially as she so often uses images of se~ving for ~vornen's alternative modes of creativity. But she had made unequivocally a similar point in her essay "The Feminine Note in Fiction" ( 1905), predicting that ~vomen's ~vriting will improve with readier access to the Greek and Latin classics and their "sterner view of literature": "having blurted out her message somewhat formlessly, she [the woman ~vriter] will in due time fashion it into perrnanent artistic shape" (E.F.FCC;T

l:16). The contrasts are already established het~veen concrete and permanent underpinnings and a culpable "looseness" -a problern of style ancl expression triumphantly solved in To the Lighthouse.

The English style of "On Not Knowing Greek" is itself founded on the same contrast: an assured and shapely account of gaps and inadequacies, an intuition of meanings that lie 'lust on the far side of language." Ed~vard Bishop has sho~vn how LVoolf's handling of metaphor ancl syntax in this essay is both extravagant ancl firmly anchored (hoth "shifting" and "solid," to use FVoolf's olvn terms), creating a dialogue in the minds of both writer and reader, and pivoting on a series of clisclairners. .\lmost half the paragraphs begin ~vith "but" or "yet" or ~vith the characteristically M'oolfian pseuclo- secluential "for": "For it is vain ancl foolish to talk of kno~ving Greek,"

the essay begins. Greek authors are evoked through metaphors for their style, frorn "Sappho ~vith her constellations of ac!jectives" to "Sophocles gliding like a shoal of trout smoothly and quietly, appar- ently motionless, and then nith a flicker of fins off and a~vay" (50). ,]ottings from the reading notebooks-about the cruelty, starkness, spareness, abruptness of the (;reeks-are carried over into the essay ~vithout much re-~vorking; the distance between the Greeks and us, as IVoolf sees it, is increased b!. interpretative blurring or a haz!. softening of outline. Individual Greek ~vords are starkly highlighted -0ahaaaa, Bdva~oq,dveoq, ba~rjp, a~hfivq-(transliterated ancl italicized in the American edition) ancl (:assandrals "naked cry"

(11. 1056-<37) stands untranslated: T TO TO TOT ndno~66. dj 'nohhov, 5 'nohhov."

LVhat effect does untranslated Greek (here or in the no\.els) have on the reader? To thcx Greekless reader it appears as abstract visual pattern, t\-pographicallv set apart, unassilililable to the surround- ing text. Those Ivith some Greek may ~nake out so~lnds and take in approximate meanings: only a fc.~ \\ill pick up the connotations of the original language. TVoolf herself knew all these responses. Clarissa Dallo~vay "drearns of great Creek letters stalking round the room" ( Thp Iby~g~ only kno~vs English

011f .53);Septimus Smith (~vho translations) pictures and feels Greek as fixgmentary parings, "hard, ~vhite, imperishable ~vords" (,\I~,F.

.hllo70(1~ 10.5). In Tloolf's oIvn mouth, Greece is a taste, a flavor, as it is for Jacob: "~vhen one's rinsed one's mouth with every literature in the \<-orld . . . it's the flavour of Greek that remains" (J(/roO',\ ROOMI

125). Huge hunches of grapes in the Peloponnese drew fro111 her one of the fe~v hlodern Creek words she recorcls herself st~ccessfully speaking: "Stafeele [a~a$6h~]staf'eele-I cried" (f'(~'c,riountr A/)j~r.rntirr318, 14September 1906). She heard the demotic language as a corrupted, hut sed~lctive,"babble": ".Ilanguage one doesn't understand is al~vays unaccented, sibyllant, oft, Jvavy, unidentifiable \<-it11 ~vords" (Tlicrrj

4: 99. 10 Rlay 1932). The magic misspelling of "sibyllant" el-en hints at an oracular polver.

L2bolf \<-as al\<-a7s dra~vn to the inexplicable effects of language and languages. She found Ho~ner's scene of Nawsicaa playing ball in Book 6 of the 0tljssr.v "quite be!.ond the translator, & ~vorthlooking into for that reason" (Berg KN 1.25). But she also felt the frustration of the uninitiated ~vhell scholars take ref~lge in untrans- latabili~y: "'Translate it,' he said. Ed~varcl shook his head. 'It's the language,' he said" ( 7'11~ I>rrr., 41 4). Her reading notes often corn- nlent 011 the style of the translation (if she is using an English or French 1-ersion) and confidently fault even the nlost respected scholars: RelijarninJo\r-ett's Plato is "not happil) rendered" (hIH/.IPl) . Reading the C/zot;l,hor.i, she feels that "almost all .I. [Xeschylus's] epithets profit b! a literal translation" (Berg .\I 19), and she generally aclrrlires the direct but subtle versions of .I.T'V. l'errall. On the other hand,,J.ll . llackail's fondness for \vorcls like "wan" ill his translations from the Greek .Intholog) sound too vague and Pre-Raphaelite and so can "flootl a whole page for the English reader ~vith the wrong associatio~ls ("The Perfect Language," E\.rcis.\1:1 18). \\'here hlackail is languid and flo~very, K.C. Jehb is "stiff', safe, prosaic," reducing resonant phrases to "separate and uncongenial accuracies"; Woolf remembered Jebb coming to visit her parents and "there and then saw and perhaps said that he had the soul and innumerable legs of a black beetle" (Lrttr~rc 2: 221, 2.5 February 1918). \2'hen a marvelous Sophoclean ~vorcl-echo (.-Intigo)l~, 1. 943) is dissipated in English paraphrase she ~vrites: "TQV ~ua~p~ava~p~aaaa

becornes in Jehh because I feared to cast aIvav tlle fear of Heaven 8;. thus the \\hole force is lost" (hIH/B2.o). Of the fa~notls chorus in Jehh's Antigonr ("1,ove unconqueretl . . ." etc.-11. 781 ff) she conlments: ".Itr-anslation gets the stresses all lvrong, the importance [sic.] ~vorcls ...The ~veight is altered: it slips much too snloothly slips along insignifi- cantly compared with the Greek'' (;\IH/B2.o). Xsi~nilar exarnple of enfeeble~nent in the English is the example she chooses for "On Not bho~ving Greek," this tirne fro111 Jebh's E;lrctrcr: "thee, ~vho evermore weepest in thy rocky tornh." TVhen Sara in Thr Gc17-rskips "quickly and inacc~lrately" through her cousin's ct.rernonio~~s

and stuff!, ,4ntig011~

("done into English verse by Ed~varcl Pargiter," 1:33), \\'oolf puts together "from the litter of broken ~vords" a po~verful re-enactment of the ~vhole pla!- in less than a page.

"The Perfect Language," a re\ie\r- of L\'.R. Paton's Loeh edition of' the (;reek Antholog), begins ~vith a tribute to the L.oeb library of classical texts, renlindirlg 11s of their in1pac.t on the early t~ventieth-centl~r) "anlateur" reader as Woolf

conlrnon reader-the calls hirn here-~vho has been given the "gift of freedom" and rnacle "respectable" by these plain-text, bilingual edition.; (E~sn?.c 2: 114). Parallel texts create and display particular kinds of dialogue. Before I.oeh started p~lblishing in 19 12, Greek texts were typically printed ~vith editorial and explanator) notes taking up to t~vo-thirds of the page (Woolf offers a ferninist account of this "vast deposit of notes" in all endnote to her o\r-11 Thrrr (iuinvns 273 n. 31). Older editions offered Latin, rather than English, trarlslatio~ls of tlie Greek; \\here translations Tvere in English they might not he on the facing page hut in all appendix, so that yo11 had to read ~vith one finger ill the hack of the hook, or at a desk \\-it11 a clictionar!. or crib at hand. I\'ith Loeh, the "anlateur" could read a ~vhole pla) at a time, "~vith his feet on the fender." Both 1,eonarcl and \'irginia \2'oolf had been brought up under the old dispe~lsation, hut 1.eonard bought all the 1,oebs as they carne out; much used and annotated by him, they had a special place in the "Xpple Koorn" at Monks Ilouse. \'irginia, ho~veler,for the no st part rrmainecl lo),al to her old editions.

In 1922 M'oolf set about making her own "edition" of the Agclmemnorl of .\eschylus (Berg KN3). She had watched the pla) being edited, years before, by the Cambridge scholar Walter Headlam," and had also admiredJanet Case's attractively produced .\lcline House edition of the P).onwthrus Bound. She began b) cutting out the Greek text frorn an old Blonlfield edition and pasting it onto the right-hand side of a blank notebook. She then copied LTerrall's translation from all appendix in his 1889 edition onto the left-hand page: copied, hut-she stressed-"carefully gone into by me" (Diccrj2: 21<3, 3 December 1922). The English for individual hard \I-ords has been written in. The "edition" is not full) annotated hut includes conlrnents, usually following L'errall, 011special points, such as the untranslatable ornino~lsness of the "purple path" (rrop$dpa< rra~0v) of the doornecl .\ganlernnon: "It is to the e)e of the Queen [Clytemnestra] as though he already walked in blood . . ."

What impressio~l did this rcaclirlg and study leave on the st)le and form of Il'oolf's fiction? (:an Ive discern a Greek influence in the connotations of her ~vords or the shape of her sentences? In an original and suggestive study, Idris Xnderso~l has traced the Greek optative mood through the characteristicall) ~vistful verbal forrns expressive of non-fulfillment and fulfillment in the novels. Other grammatical and syntactic features native to Greek hut lacking or unusual in English-verbal aspect, for instance, or the vocative case-ma!-also be latent in M'oolf's prose. Individual words ("tyranny," "reverenced," suppliant") re-assernhle the mental and enlotional world of the tragedians 011 behalf of a British sister and daughter: "For the!. must fight tyranny to the death, she thought. Of all human qualities she reverenced justice most. Her brother Ivas most god-like, her father rnost suppliant" (7bthe Lightllouse 2.51).

Il'oolf certainly absorbed Greek models of form and genre: finish- ing the Porticc in ten days in 190.5, she concluded that she had already anticipated rnost of xristotle, perhaps because it had heen so thoroughly incorporated into the European literar) tradition: ".\ great deal of this seems to rlle cornmon property now" (Berg Rh'1.2.5). Three forrnal conventions from ancient Greek literature, all of them anti-naturalistic, a~vk\vardly foreign to the modern reader or spectator, enjoy a radical rene~val in M'oolf's novels: the reporting of action, the Socratic dialogue, and, most rnenlorabl), the chorus.

IVoolf Tvas sometimes irritated by the convention of reporting offstage action: "there is always a messenger arriving," she grumhled,

" Headlam. uith \\-Ilom IVoolf ronductcd ;In intrl-n~ittrnt fli~.tation in her ?all! t\\.entiri. wai 11-u\ted I\-ith comc of \\'oolf '\ r;l~-l\ nianu\r~-ipts and in I-etu1.11 prom- isrtl to cied~cate hi\ .Igci~~ir~r~,io~rto 11rr; he d~edIn I!lOX, and an ~nromplete .mtl defecti~e edition !\a\ ~)ul,li\h~d l!l:iX (;c.o~-ge rhomton discov-

posthumou\l\. In c.~-t,dHc;ldl;un't 1ro1-king notci ant1 \\as ;~hlc to publi\h hit full edition 01 the Ovr\tri/~.

failing to get into her stride 111 the opening scene of the O~dlpz~s

RPX, oi again, "M'11\ are there al\\ars inessenger s h-nurses to announce catastrophe;" (Berg RN1 19) And let she caine to appr eclat? the resonance of riolcnt or tr ngic e\ents that ne do not see happening clirectl\ The deaths of Jacob 111Jntob'r Room nnd of PI ue nnd Mrs Rarnsa~ in To th~ Ilghthol~s~,a\ \\ell 'IS the snicide of Rhoda 111 The, a1 e i epoi tecl almost 111 passing M'illiarn Her rnan likenise suggests that Ne\ille's telegi am announcing the death of Pel cir a1 iecalls Aeschrlus "'He is dead,' said Ne\ille 'He fell His horse tripped He uas thro\\n'" (lhe LZaz~rc 131) The inanner of M'oolf's own death no\\ adds a particular poignant\ to he1 coininent on the cleat11 of Dejaneira in the lrathznzne "woinen alwals go irldoor s to kill thenlsel\esn (Bug RN1 19)

Towards the Dialogues of Plato FVoolf felt both attraction and suspicion, ther i eminclecl he1 of her bi others and their ('anlbridge friends and uere also indelibl\ associated \\it11 ineinories of her father and of famil\ life at '22 H\de Park Gate (b,ssngs 1 129. i2rlon~ents of Hrzng 177). She had kno\\n iroin Plato ("since I t\as sixteen or so") about nlale hornosexualit\, appi opi iatelr, it \\as at a clinner partr that she fiist regaled her audience nith earnest allusions to sodornl (Ll.lom~~ltr

of Bring 104, 174). In M'ooli's fii st published dia- logue, trio woinen, bus\ einbioidering par rots, feel nt libcrt\ to speculate, since "thcr e is no gentleinan piesent," hou Gieek women uould ha\e spent a net moining, oi the dnrk hours between tea and dinner "Judzth The mornings ne\ei are \\et in Athens Then the\ don't drink ten ,41111 Ah, that explains1" ("ATalk About Illemoils," Etrnjc 3 180-81) The all-nlale indoor norlcl of the clia- logues is infiltrated, but not rner el\ replicated parrot-fashion "'leu 111t.11' Where uoulcl \ou be if it weren't for the wornen"" exclaims Mrs. Thor nbui \, "'Read the Tjmpoczum,' snicl Riclle\ gr irnl\" ( I hr Tblnge .Put 199) FVoolf read the 5)mposzum-and the Phaedruc, the Protngornr, and the Futhgphron-in Gieek -Her nine pages of notes on the 5)mpos~un~,

dating iroin a concerltrated period of stud\ 111 the suinmer of 1908, offer a detailed coininentnrr on the emotional atnlosphere of the e\ening banquet, the ebb and flou of talk. and, especiall\, the iri esistible, maddening pre5ence of the srinposiar ch "He [4lcibiacles] feels all Socrates' grandeur-\et uishes the man dead sornetinles-such is the conflict he raises in the bodies of his folloueis" (MH/A 21) It is as if Mr Rarnsa\ hinlself is beginning to take shape "Such ner e the extreines of emotion that Mr Rarnsa~ excited in 111s children's breasts" (To th~ I ~ghthoz~s~


In lo thr Lzghthoure, M'oolf conducts he1 01\11 dialogue with Plato M'her eas her husband buries 111s head in his "little [Plato] with the shin\ corer mottled like a plo~er's egg" (289, 1111s Ramsar pre-


\ltIz'.A21 arirl \1tIz'B2.rl: Pro/((,qi~f(~\: LfH;.IZl: E~iti~~~l~~i~t~: us see I.)ons.

Berg KSI .L'.i. On the i1npo1-tnncrof rhr I'hci~ci~

sides over her o~vl1 loving banquet.'Jeali Wyatt has explored the tvals in I\-hich \Voolf's novel rervritrs Plato's themes: at the heart of the dinner partv,/banquet is the quest tor- kno~vledge tlirough love and for pet-nlanence b1 ~vay of rnotrirntar!. unit\. TVoolf's under- standing of artistic for111 (1.ily.s painting) is quite different fi-0111 Plato's "Forms" in that it is recol-?red and recreated fi-orn moments in ordinary life rather than existing iticlepende11tl\~ of hurnan con- sciousness. And whereas Plato irnagined Socr-ates as Eros, Xlcibiades as Dionysus. LYoolf' transforms Mrs. Ramsa! into Aphrodite, L4~~gustus

Car-rnichael into Poseidon. The cliners/s!~mposiasts are bt-ought together by Mrs. Ramssiv's gifts of food, \\.ine, conversation and co~lrt4hip. stinlulatecl bv Paul aticl Illinta's erotic disco\er\ of each other. 40 that Lil! can glinipse "in the midst of chaos" her own abstract vision of' love and beaut\.

It Ivas in the Greek chorus, holve1t.r. that Tl'oolf discovered the 111ode of expression her art demanded: ;I collecti1.e. anonymous voice bevoncl the indi~idual. subjecti1-c, or omniscient voice of the no\.elist. The chor~s no longrr belongs on the stage but in the novel. \\.her-e, as ";\l~va~.s

in imaginative literattu-c . . . the need ofthat voice i.; making itself felt" ("011 Kot Kno~ving (;reek" 47).Tl'e can trace FVoolf's search for an alter-natile to \.ictorian narrative conventions fl-om her use of a single chor-ic figure (hlr-s. LIcNabb in 10thp Lighf- holrsc.), to her- choruses of 1,it.d~ and of re1.elcrs ( 7'hr llirvc.s), of care- takers' children ( '/'//? )i~ccrr),and of villagers (Hct?clrr~zth~~4c.t.c).

The Greek chot-11s is both singular ;i11(1 plural, individual and comrn~lnal;transcencling gender. it is performed by men tvho often speak as 1vorncn: it call be both ecstatic and conlnlonplace, ancl sim~~ltaneo~lsl!.

inside and outside the action; it witnesses terrible events but evokes an ideal ~torld bevond human suffering. Lastly. it is suprernel! eloquent but, to the English ear, ~~nintelligible. "broken syllables," magic chant. Tl'oolf's I-eacling notes show she could be pll/rlecl arid alienated b\ the rituals of the chorus. "These old rnen got up nit11 i\? K-fin\-n skins" (Berg RS1.19). She first appreciated the choric odes in ternls of sotund ancl feeling rather than o\.erall meaning or drarnatic fiunction: in the .-lj~r.~

of Sophocles the char-uses "have a ro~lgh kind of'beal~tt K-pathos . . . a music of ~vorcis-tr-anscencling meaning" (1111 /.I21) ; in Xristophanes' Fvogs the! have "sonle 11.1-ic beaut!." as \\ell as "a rude boisterous kind of joking, rnostly about parts of the bod\- not ustlall!. nlentioned" (IllH/ A"). In the great odes ofthe .-lrltigorrr "tht. daule K-the splendour :it-e in thc ~vorcls ~vhetherkno~vnot- not" (\IH/B'L.o); but, although tht. choruses of the Llr~tigoi/~

are "unfot.gettable,"" "It is," she notes, "d~ff~cult us has upon n pla\

to see cxactl\ nhat bearlng a cho~ ' (Berg RNI 19) Her ~151ts to the (:ntnb~iclge (IreeL 111;1\s (in 1!)00 and nga~n 111 1903)111 obablr h~nde~ecl

I atllet thnn helped he1 at\nl eness of 11hnt the chor LI~could ha\e been, 01 one dn\, In he1 ttct~on. rn~ght be- come The (:an~br~clge nn estnb11sht.d

(,reek pin\ \+as (nncl ~ernn~ns) erent The procluct~ons M'oolf sau \+?I e pr esentetl incloo~ s, nrt~fi- c1a1l.i l~t, to an aud~ence in erening dress The Agnnz~mnon of Xesch\ll~s\\asPIocl~~cecl111 1C)OOin a nntu~ alist~cstrle, \\ithout masks ancl t\ith elabornte props nnd pninted scene1 \. The Clreek \+as pro- nounced 111 the trnd~t~onnl

Engl~sh na\ The nctols t\ere all men, ?\en so "the ~mpersonnto~ to be I nthe~

s of the nlnle pnl ts see~ned 111 nt ease 111 the11 a~nlou~" 7) The

("'Aganlenlnon' nt (,anib~~dge" C1\ ternnestr a of MI F.L 1uc'is t\ns generallr adrn~recl b\ the I ellel\ers, tho~1g11 "Max" (Bee~bohrn) ~erna~necl the

un~rrlpressed b\ el101 (1s of "gre~-heal ded u11dt.1 grnduntes." M'oolf I emernber ed ancl sto~eda\$a\ such incongrLlities "Seerns n long tlrlle since he acted In the Greek plar, . in a toga," sa\5 Ed\+ard of a fat lall~+a\ magnate In n nh~tet\alstcont (rh~ Kwr\ 412) The cho~ us in Th~Hodr of Xr ~stopl~anes. In 1903, nppn~

p~od~lcecl entl\ sang ancl dancecl to g~nceful effect and rnannged the11 gauze u111gs "nlost sk11tull.i ", ~f the corn~c b~lslnesst\as some~\hat o~erclone,"th~s13'1s a \enla1 excess and test~f~ecl " 'No bonder M'oolf

to the enthusinsm of the pln~ers belie\ed that pln~s are better reacl than seen ("C111 Not I(llo~\ing Greek" 46)

Se\e~theless. something carne th1 ough 111 these pl ocluct~ons "I shall nelel fo~get the Ant~gon~ (:anlblidge \ears ago,

I sat\ it nt and it's haunted me e\er s~nce," lnslsts \Irs. Dallo\\ar 111 Thp t?11(1g1> Out "I don't knot+ n \+orcl of (,leek, but I coulcl listen to ~t fo~ e\e~--" (46) '" Heating a \$hole pla~ in G~eek. uh~ch for M'oolf uould ha\e nleant catching nlan\ of the words but not ~~nderstnnd- 111g the \\hole, ch~nlecl \\~thhe1 fnsc~nat~on sound u~thout or

u~th be\oncl meariing. Thnt both the pla\s she nttended \\ele 1algel.i sung to rnus~c b\ Hubert Pnl r 1 ma\ also hn\e helpecl her to imag- lne the chor~c rolce as song or chant She nrrer forgot the

' The onl\ rctere~icc to I\c1olf'\ haxilig seeti tlie .4grtrrirttiriori is ,in inscr~ption I)\ Tlrohv 111 ;i co11~ of Fox'\ Hook of .\lot/~tt Ire g,i\e 1ic1 ,is kt 11rcsrnt. "Siunrlar Sol.. 18th 1~100, hring rlir d;i\ ,ifre1 tlic prrfor~ii;rnte of thr '.Ag,t~ncmnol~'

ol .Ac\c.h\l~~\ at (:~i~iil>sicigr." State L'~iivc~,\it~,

(Tlir l)ook i\ lro\t ill rlir collv( ti011 01 \l'aslii~igto~n \Vooll'\ Ivttr~s ~inc~itio~i111~1i\to 1,1\it ('ct~irl>~-icigr Ijirr/\ (I-I,//(,~\

lrr~, to \tar 7'111, I: 107, it~i(Iatvrl: l:lO<l, Y7 Sor~c~~il>cr~l<jO:31, For tlir I~CI.I~\\

01 7.110 IIitd\ \re r. FOI- tliv lii\to~-I01 rlie !>I-onitnci,ition of G~rck ill Fngland are .Allr~r, .-ll~pvndiu.A.


111 .!lf~/~r~~/~to~i(i \A\\: "131 tlic \\;r\,

tliv (;~rrk pI,t\ i\ tlir olnc \Vooll l~c~\c,ll 1 r\<i\ \0 fc,i~-fi~ll\ 111 tlrc .A~,tmc~ii~io~i at (:rt~lil)~-~rlgc drtv. I \\is11 \ot~'d

~litrre\trd the otlntx~. re11 lnv all 'iI>o~tt ir" (.Jlf~/j rlit,

trt/~ro\iri11) 1 itgittiri 11iro// 31). .Alrlio~~gl~

cli,t~igi~ig to thr \t~ii,gr~i'""~ \ul)\cqucnt rclr~-r~ic.t~ to

in 7'hr~ Ih>o,yf~ Oiit (13) ~iruddiec(:l:~~i\\~i'\ C:Irtr1111rr\t1~t.~t 1~11.1ri\Iic\A prrtcst fo~ tire qt~ot>ttio~n Iro111 o~i(, of \~'ooll's f'i\o~-it? (1101 11srs (.itltl~~lrll'.

11. :3:32-:37).


and of course 111 Thr B?rds she heard, fol the fil st tirne, birds talk~ng Greek I'

What other experiences fed M'oolf's urlderstanding of the Greek drama7 In September 1906 she stood in the theater at Epidailri~s and felt the continuity of the circular outdoor space-"the grey seats scooped out of the hillside, with wide air & courltry all round" (Pnssionatr Apprrntirr 330 725 September)-with the landscape beyond it and the community in which it played a central role. 111 the Greek theater of Syracuse in Sicily she saw a play rehearsed- "Medea in a sulphur-coloured wig, and Alcestis, in a bowler and overcoat . . . It was rather beautiful" (Lrttr):~ 3: 363, 13 April 1927)- and in Athens she and Leonard sat in the theater of Dionysos: "we said that Sophocles, Euripides & Xristopharles milst have sat here" (Lliarj 4: 98, 8 hlay 1932).

I11 the early 1920s, in preparation for writing "011 Not Knowing Greek," M'oolf read Jane Ellen Harrison's Anrirnt Art and Ritual, with its even-handed sympathy both for the chorus of "doddering and pottering old men" (121) and for the alienated modern spec- tator." ll7oolf absorbed from Harrison insights about the way Greek ritual conventions embody archetypal emotions and states of rnind; the enigmatic presence of Harrison herself presides over A Room of Onr's Orr~n, working her ritual nlagic on the vegetation and the seasons in the garden of "Ferrlhanl," the \vomen's college (27-28). Harrison refers to the chorus as "undiffererltiated," a word that woilld become a keynote of Till? Itkups and is used in M'oolf's most explicit evocation of the chorus: "the old rnen or wornen who take no active part in the drarna, the ~lndifferentiated voices who sing like birds in the pauses of the wind; who can comment, or sum up, or allow the poet to speak hinlself or supply, by contrast, another side to his conception" ("On Not Knowing Greek" 46-37).

Although Harrison was sure "the old choral dance" coilld never be revived, she also believed that rnodern art may still bear traces of its "collective, social origin." (Harrison cites iirllold Berlllett in this regard, perhaps picking the wrong author but irlstinctively cor- rect in lookirlg for these traces in the novel rather than in drama.) Indeed, the fashion for verse drarna in the 1930s offered M'oolf anlple examples of how not to transplant Greek choruses. We see

" In "Old Bloornsbr~r~" of Brillg I ti?) Ili~olf rr~iiemt)er\ hearing birdb

(.\lu~~ir~itc singing in Greek during hel- illncs\ in the \uniliier ot 1901. She haw 7'hr Blrci~in L1rcernt)t.r 190.0,. Fol- an account ol'solne of the man! iliterpl-rtations of thebe Grrek- \penking hil-ds srr Hel-mione Lee (195-97).Qlrotat~on\ '11-e from the Kicklr! Rogel\ pa1-allel test of 7'1i1~8i1t/\. IVoolf studied in 1921 (Silvrl- 101 1.

~ihicli " For Hal-I-i\on's influence on Iholt see Kohin\on. Hoffiii,~n, h1,likn. ,tnd Sliattuck.

her becoming more sure of her ow11 methods through her reac- tions to Eliot's plays, which she hated. Sa~renej Agonistes was "a kind of C:rippen, in a mask"; the choruses from The Rock were "tainted" (Dicirj 3: 261, 12 November 1933; Lrttrrs 5: 31.5, 10July 1934). ,2/lurdpr in thr Ccithedml felt chilled and dead, but also queasy: "came away as if I'd been rolling in the ash bin; and somehow filled my mouth with the bones of a decaying cat thrown there by a workhouse drab"

(Letters 5: 442, 13 November 1935). By the time she saw The Fcimilj Reunion she simply had nothing to say (Dinrj 5: 21 1, 29 March 1939). The problem was essentially one of embodimerlt: "The truth is when he [Eliot] has live bodies on stage his words thin out, and no rhetoric will save them" (Lettrr,~ .5: 448, 1 December 1935). Her dis- cussion of ;\furrier in the Ckthrdml rnodlilates rlati~rally into a reflec- tion on her own current project, The I'rtlr,s: "I think what is wanted is for some actress to make plays in which people are like ourselves only heightened; what is so bad [in Eliot] is the complete break between the acting, the words and the scenery. . . I am almost dazed with writing my book; and think it would be better acted" (L~tters

5: 444-45, 17 November 193.5). Of course, Il'oolf didn't write T~P I'rnrs as a play, but she did write a chori~s-of the caretakers' children, who utter a kind of raucous prophecy, a blelld of Greek and nursery rhyme, fragments, as ,%my Richlirl (268) has described them, "not only of an ancient tongue, but of a future tongue" (cf. hlarcus 49) :

Etho 1x1s~) tt"1111o hai Fai donk to tlr do.


Reading M'oolf's rlovels alongside "OnNot Knowing Greek" and in the light of her comments on Eliot we call see that she had al- ready solved the problenl of embodying the "general and poetic" without breaking the rnovenlent of the whole. I11 ;\fr,s. Dcillozuny the London sparrows blend a kind of Euripidean jubilation with the detached compassion of Aristopharles' chorus in their famous Parabasis: ~~~UXETET~VVOGV TOISdL0avd~o~qrjpTv, TOTS aiiv ioGolv.. .Boa ydcp iv0dd' io~ivaioxpdc ~i?vdpy ~pa~odp~va~. T~OT~ nap' 4pTv TOTULV 6pv~o~v~a)\a.

TT~VT'io~iv ("Listen with care to the birds of the air, the ageless, the deathless. . . A11 that here is reckoned shameful, all that here the laws condenln,/M'ith the birds is right and proper, yo11 may do it all with them." Thr Birds,

11. 688, '75<5-.56). I11 Ll'oolf,

.\ \pal-ro\v perched on the r'tiling oplx)\ite thirped Septilllur. Septil~ius. to111 01fivr tillirs ovrl- and MCII~011. dra\\ing its note5 oirt, to sing frrshly and piercingl~ in Greek uortis ho\v there is no crime anti, joinrti h\ another \p'irro\\, tllev ~alig in \oice\ ~xolongrd anti piercing in Greek \\orcis, froni trees in the rnentio\\ of life t~evonda river \\.here the drati \valk, ho\\ there i\ no de,ith. ('11-2.i)

I11 To thr I2ig/~fhouse, an elderl) Scottish woman replaces the elders,


attendants and ser-1-ing women of the (;reek tragic chorus. "Time p.asses" thanks to her dodderirlg and pottering presence and her

. .

wordless song, which is both contemporal-y and timeless: "As she lurched . . . and leered . . . she sang" (196). I11 nlarluscl-ipt Mrs. McNabb "chanted," but in the published text she is explicitly ,lot a Greek chorus: rather, she is "something not inspired to go about its work with digrlifiecl ritual or solemn chantirlg" (209). Tl'oolf also replaced her classical-sounding "eleg!." with a~humctrum "dirge." The manuscript claims a classical, ~~rli\.ersali~irlg

role for llr-s. 1lcNabb-"the voice of the <indomitable> principle of life, & its power to persist" or "what in moments of high great enlotion great poets have saidm-and there are even echoes of Sophoclean choruses in "how it was not good, not happy. . . this world" (TOthe 1-ighthouse: Thp Origi~t~l I)t.oft 162-63). The published novel, on the other hand, grounds Mrs. SlcNabb's song in a more specific context-modern. ~lrball.cornn~urlal,and already old-fash- ioned: "something on the stage." "the old music hall song" (197).

It is in T/M \liiz!~s that Tl'oolf wea\-es the choric voice most closely into her text. The novel is all chorus, trarlscelldillg the choric style of an!. irldivid~lal Greek dramatist. The voices are divided bet~veen the six individual speakers, an untlifferentiated "comml~nity" to which the six do not belong, and the birds, who ~vordlessly play out the te~lsioll between communal and solitary expression. "'The birds sang in chorms first,' wid Rhoda"; but with dawning self- conscio~~s~less,

"one sings . . . alone" (1 0-1 I), "Outside the undif- ferentiated forces roar" (2.5.5). Bernard in particular fears the lonelirless of soliloquy ("Tl'e who have sung like eager birds each his o1\-11 song," 123) and is "drawn irresistibly to the sound of the chorus charltirlg its old, chanting its almost wordless, almost sense- less song" (246). The com~nunity is terrifying-rai~cw~s, hearty, heartless, anonyrnol~s-but also seducti~e: "The sound of the chorus came across the Lvater and I felt leap up that old impulse, which has moved me all my life, to be thrown up and down or1 the roar of other people's voices, singirlg the same song" (278-79). Its allure is both atavistic and modern, its utterances non-verbal, pure (but not mellifluous) so~lnd: "wheels: dogs; men shouting; church bells" (27), drunken revelry with smashing china (9l), city traffic (135), or "some wild carol . . . a hunting song" (243). The "boasting boys" who haunt Bernard not onl!. make noises in ~~nison

but, like a Greek chorus, also haw a shared body la~lgl~agr,

"all turrlirlg their heads the same wa\," (2333):on the sports field or the river "All di\.isiorls are merged-the!, act like one ~nan" (91). In Thp Ili17~~5

\l'c)olf dis- solves soliloqu>. and chorus into a new language, courlterpointing the comforting, threatening, ~vordless sounds of "ordiilar~." people ill social gr-oups wit11 the r.oices of indi~.itluals i11 isolation: "ttoic~ fogpfhpt: (is if (011\ci011sof co1)t/1nt1io11.\hif),t107o (1107te . . . " (73).

The Greek past is also present in Woolf's characters, their rela- tionships and resonarlces. Anyorle in her circle might be trans- formed into a classical figure: she saw Thoby Stephen and Rupert Brooke as Greek gods,Janet Case as a "noble Xthena," even Grizzle the dog as ,%;ax (Diary 2: 31 1, 1.5 August 1924). Characters in her fiction-in particular, beai~tiful males-are pictured as Greek statues: from Ralph, with "the brow of a young Greek horseman" (Sight andDaj 227) to Edward, "a Greek boy on a frieze" (Thr Ears 49, .53). Ralph himself tests whether Katherine is beautiful by con- sillting his "book of photographs from the Greek statues; the head of a goddess." Making LIP his mind, and "Shutting the book of Greek photographs . . . he ran downstairs" (385-86). Helen Xmbrose and Mrs. Ramsay are both beautiful after the Greek fashion, though Helen's "was much warmer than a Greek face" (Thr b'qagr Out 13). Percival, the splendid and obtuse servant of empire, is any Greek hero ("Alcibiades, Xjax, Hector") and none, starldirlg only for him- self (Tlzr l'l;zvrs 181). It will be left to Bernard, the unheroic, to fling himself against oblivion with Ajax's words 3 @&CITE O~V~TE: "0Death!" (Sophocles, Ajax, 1. 854; Thr IVa71rs 297). Three particu- larly instri~ctive examples of Woolf's mythical method, of Greek correspondences invoked in a spirit of celebration, tragedy and irony, are Mrs. Ramsay as Demeter, Septimus Srnith/Evans as the dead soldier of the iinthology, and Doctors Holmes and Bradshaw as the Erirlyes, or "Kindly Orles."

Since Joseph Blotner's pioneering essay on mythic patterns in To thr Lighthousr, marly scholars have corltributed to a discussion of the novel in terms of Greek myth, and specifically in terms of the relationship of Mrs. Ramsay and Lily to Derneter and her lost/found daughter, Persephone (see also Barr, Taylor, Stewart, and Frazer). Charles Tansley imagines Mrs. Ramsay walking through the fields "LVith stars in her eyes and veils in her hair, with cyclarnen and wild violets" (2.5). The "Tirne Passes" section, in this reading, erlcom- passes both history (the Great War, the General Strike) and the trans- formation of the earth through the cycle of seasons (the descent to the Under\vorld). Mrs. Ramsay is identified with flowers and fruit- fulness but also with darkness and loss. The perfect bowl of fruit at the center-piece of the dinner table is not a shrunken, parodic bathos, like hlr. Ei~gerlides' currants in Tlzr llhstr Lnnd; it elljoys an equal and simultarleous existence with its classical avatar/foreru1111er, the corrlucopia. Woolf's elegy for her dead mother finds a balance between loss, resistance and reconciliatiorl through the alterna- tion of illumination and shadow (the lighthouse).

111 "Clrs. Dcillownj Greece casts a different kind of shadow, as the home of the fallen warrior, the place from which Evans, his corn- rade killed in the war, haunts the shrll-shocked Septimus: "The dead were in Thessaly, Evans sang, among the orchids" (105-6). The uniform headstones of the War Graves Cornrnissiorl merge into the "hard, white, imperishable words" of a classical ode; a London park becomes the remembered battlefields of the Greek Anthology."' Regent's Park is peopled with classical figures and imbued with the Greek si~pernatural: pipe-playing shepherd boys (103), dryads, sirens, bacchantes-benevolent or mischievous figures watched over by one of the Fates, an old nilrse, impassively knitting (83, 85, 88). Septimus cannot be saved by his wife's kindness, for she and her Italian sisters are also Fates: "That was the doom prolloullced in Milan when he came into the room and saw them ci~ttirlg out buckram shapes with their scissors; to be alone forever" (220). Because M'oolf's reading notes on the Chorphori of Aeschyli~s share a note- book with her working notes for ;\fr.r. Dallowa?, critics have paid special attention to the strands of vengeance and propitiation in the novel. Septirnus is pursued by the Erinyes-male versions of the Furies in the shape of the doctors Holmes and Bradshaw, iln- kindly brutes with "red rlostrils" (223): "For that made Septimus cry out about humarl cruelty-how they tear each other to pieces. The fallen, he said, they tear to pieces" (213).

Septimi~s'sdisordered mind claims the powers of metamorphosis to transform and be transformed. But M'oolf is less concerned with explicit allusiorls and classical parallels than with keeping alive the suggestive insights of the metamorphic tradition. Her most delib- erate and self-conscioi~s exploration of the mode of metamorphosis is Orlando, which offers a critique of and escape from the Ovidian mode. As Orlando changes sex and century, as coi~ntries and sea- sons overlap and merge, L2holf returns continually to the tapestry that we first see stirred by an Elizabethan breeze: the woven tale of Daphne (13). Sarah Brown has explored the intricacies of the Ovidian metamorphosis in Orlando,showing how such trallsforrnatiolls blur the boundaries of male and female, of historical period, of writer, text and There is no record of M'oolf's having read Ovid, and there are 110 references to him in her writings. Nevertheless, she knew how his infli~erlce imbued the English Renaissance; next to the Greeks she loved the Elizabethans, and Brenda Silver (15-16) has sho\vz.n how often M'oolf planned her schemes of reading so as to bring the two into juxtapositior1. Orlarzdo is the text in which she brings the two literatures together in dialogile and ultimately sepa- rates them. As a mall and a poet, Orlando composes the kind of classicizirlg pieces dear to the Elizabethans: "The Death of Ajax,"

"' For the identitication of a pal-ticulnl- rpitaph fl-om the (;~-rrk hnthologv srr 1-athnm. Thessal! and dentti are nl\o linked in another porn1 fro111 thr .\ntholog?. Sirnonides' "Epitaph on a Thr\sdlian Hound." IVoolt krpt well-nsed copies of Jlnckail's t)ilingu,ll edition of the .\nthologv at t)oth her Srrssrx and 1.ondon hornes.

" L'n~firl~lishedpnprr on O~lrcr~iioand ttir .\lrtc~~~iorli/loirr,pnl-t of n forthcoming monogr;\pti on Ovid and English literarrrre. Set, nl51) Skrrl~k~.

"The Birth of Pyrami~s" (76).To his Ovidian imagination, the grass darkens "like a flight of girls fleeing the embraces of hairy satyrs frorn enchanted woods" (102). He defends his style to his friend Greene, who believes "the great age of literature was the Greek; the Elizabethan was inferior," because it was "marked by precious con- ceits and wild experiments-neither of which the Greeks \v011ld have tolerated for a moment" (88-89). Leaving Elizabethan England, Orlando travels to Greece and C;onstantinople; as a woman and a gypsy she affronts male prohibitions, even grazing her goats "on the slopes of Mount Athos" (1.50). Throi~ghout, L2holf nati~ralizes the pastoral and the supernatural; there is something decorative and over-elaborated in Elizabethan metamorphosis which she both emulates and mocks. Daphne flies through the book and is still flying in the present-day episode. It is Orlando who is metamor- phosed-into a wornan, but first into a tree, an English oak.

How did actually setting foot in Greece as an Englishwoman affect L2holf's sense of the relationship between the two countries? On her two Greek visits, in 1906 and 1932, she ran the gamut of the usual English emotions: anticipation, euphoria, betrayal, speechless- ness, belatedness, bathos, irritation, physical discomfort, love. As Hermione Lee has shown in her brilliant account of the 1906 visit, nowhere else was LVoolf so lost for words and so conscious of her own inarticulateness (229). The country was simply too old, too encrusted with associations, its landscape too harsh and uncom- posed. M'oolf shared and parodied the typical responses of her clas- sically educated companions, their disappointment with the modern inhabitants who could no longer speak their ow11 language properly or measure up to their ow11 history. She tried to envisage the experience in "A \'ision of Greece"; during the trip she kept a diary, and afterwards she mulled it over in a comic dialogue and a fragment of a story. ''AVision" moves from the first shock of disap- pointment to a moment of insight and back again to a more level- headed accommodation with the contemporary. The whole idea of traveling to Greece in the present day was, she decided, incon- gruolls-LVoolf's word is the Platonic "impious": "It seems almost impioi~s"even to think of railway stations and porters at Olympia and Tiryns and Mycenae-those "sacred" names (hIH/A23.i). Greece, after all, ceased to exist "irl about the year one A.D." (a common assumption among non-Greeks) and "what railway can possibly bridge that gap?" The modern Greeks crowd and jostle beneath the Acropolis "talking a <foreign> lisping in a foreign tongue, & the curved noses & the swarthy cheeks proclaim them Turks & <barbarians> strangers <beside the straight> for there can be no kinship <can there be> between thern & the straight fea- tured & grave eyed men and wornen who seem still to rule the <city> land even in their effigies." At night, however, with the "terrible wounds" of the rrlodern city obscured, "the august ghosts come forth once more." Re-peopling iithens, 12i1olf places at the center not "grave rnerl" and their "beautiful boys" bi~t the statue of Xthena. "the maiden goddess" with her olive crown and wreath of wild flowers. Hers is a distinctly femirlized version of the old gods; Atherla, as figure of wisdom and fernale nobility, remains a potent force, domesticated but not mocked. The vision ends as it began, with an act of impiety: a farmer who is momentarily enchanted with Athena and "half inclined to lay a cabbage as offering at her feet" ends up merely cursing her and dedicates his votive carrot to a male god's shrine.

M'oolf finds it as challerlgirlg to "read" Greece as to "write" it. In the diary, Epidaurus is chaotic, fragmentary, the landscape of the Argolid "too fierce, too precipitoi~s"; she feels at home only when it occasiorlally reminds her of Cornrvall, just as the narrow streets of Athens recall St. Ives. Her mind and gaze are "vagrarlt," focus- ing 011 thyme and lirards rather than sites and statues, though she was moved by some of the sculptures she say, particularly the Hermes of Praxiteles at Olympia. She often breaks off a sentence, declinirlg to "write guide book." At Mycenae, perhaps the most reso- nant site of all because of her involvement with the story of Agalnernnon, she is also most at a loss for words, !et ultimately captures the moment through the most immediate of her associa- tiorls-the Greek language and its literature, erlcompassirlg three senses in as many sentences: "the taste of Homer was in my mouth. . . the words of the poets begirl to sing 8-embody them- selves . . . if statues X3 marble are solid to the touch, so, simply, are words resonant to the ear" (Passionate .-i#v-entire 331, September 1906). At Achrnetaga or1 Euboea and at Salamis she saw archaeolo- gists at work. and in an i~rlpublished fragment of a story she adopts an unusual perspective (never repeated), writing in the first per- son as an imaginary French archaeologist, Thkophile. who dreams of unearthing "pale stone figures" and laying them out in the sun among the insects and herbs of a Greek hillside (MH/B4.e).

In Athens it was harder to bring the past to life; the Acropolis, which M'oolf visited almost every day of her stay, became the tangi- ble center of her visiorl, helping to erase the ugly modern city (Pnssioncctr '4pPr.entic.r 328, September 1906). A long passage in her diary records the hea~?., homesick days she passed in Athens at the bedside of her sister Vanessa, who had fallen ill. 1Voolf describes reading-not a classical text or an English rlovel, but Merirnee's Lettrrs ci lrne inc.onnur, which she found "rather comforting in the cir- ci~mstances" (1,rtten 1: 3'78, 4 Jani~ary 1909). The "inconnue" is a dark-eyed woman who kno~vs Greek but never speaks; the reader has to try to interpret her. Merimke's text reflected back to Tlholf her olvn sense of the unkno\vz.n or unknowable aspects of Greece.

In her ow11 Platonic/Peacockiarl "Dialogue upon hlourlt Perltelicus" M'oolf makes a shapely and witty story frorrl all the pre- conceptiorls, disillusionrnents and incongruities she had experi- enced. A party of Ellglishlnell (there are no ~vornen) goes for an outing or1 donkeys to Pentelicl~s: we mi~st not call them tourists for "Germans are tourists and Frenchmen are tourists but Englishmen are Greeks." The dialogue then hinges on the "tough old riddle of the modern Greek and his position in the world today," as M'oolf explores the ironies of her brothers' attachment to their borrowed ancestors and their condescension to the rrloderrl Greeks, the disin- herited heirs of that idealized classical past. One speaker (sounding like LVoolf's brother Adrian) speaks for the l'ictorian philhellellism which saw ancient Greece as the acme of beauty and culture, tirne- less and never to be equalled. His partner in the dialogue (brother Thoby) counters with an argument which M'oolf later explored in "On Not Knowing Greekv-that no such people existed except as an idealization of the dreams and aspiratiorls of the rrloderrl European irlind: "there is no reason why you should read their writ- i~lgs,fol. have you not written them?" The dialogue is irlterrupted by an apparition, a "great brolvrl form" emerging from the bushes. A bear? I11 fact, an Orthodox monk, whose gaze sparks a visiorl of connectedness anti contirluity across tirne: "the Greeks, that is Plato and Sophocles and the rest, were close to them. . . and breathed the same air as that which kissed the cheek and stirred the vine." Her brothers' condescension to the disappointing natives is expi- ated by a demotic ~ahlarripaspoken "as a Greek to a Greek." Thus bidding the 111orlk good evening, the English descend in the sudden dusk to Athens.

Yli~cli of'the 1906visit found its way into Jarobis Room, where chap- ters 12 and 13 are set in Greece, a destination to which, as Mary Koutsoudaki argues, everything in Jacob's background and upbring- ing has tended. The quest forJacob, who call never be apprehended directly, is channeled through his philhellellisrrl and all that it si~g- gests about his attitudes to art and literature, to male friendship, to women, to Englarld, and to his fate, his death. At Cambridge, Greek is privilege, beauty, homosociality; in Londorl, at the British Museurrl, it is the Elgin marbles and the classic authors inscribed 1.01111d the dome of the Reading Room. In Greece itself, philhellen- isrrl is put to the test, and the gap between Jacob and the voice of the narrator fluctuates: Alex Zwerdling has shown how predictable, even banal, are the responses recognizable through the indirect free st!.le as belonging to "Jacob," how corrlplex those of the other \.oice (s) in the dialogue (77). And yet Jacob and Greece are identi- fied; the eleffc fix his death is a darkness over the classic/modern land- scape from ,Athens north to Eltboea and Troy, mingling Ilomeric

memories with the contempornrv catastrophe of Asia Mirlor:" The mainland of Greece rva\ dark: anti sornc\\.hcrc off Euhoca a cloud tn~rst have toucheti the Lvavcs anti spnttcl-cd them-the dolphirl\ circling tieepel- anti tiecpcl- into the scd. l'iolcnt was the wind no\\ rushing tio~v11 the Sea of .\la~-ma~-a

bet\\-ern (-;~-ccccand the plains of Troy. (272-73) On her second visit to Greece, in 1932, Wolf ellcourltered a very different coi~ntry and saw it interpreted by different cornpan- ions; in place of Thoby Stephen, the reticent, classically educated Greek god, she had Roger Fry, the garrulous, puritarlical middle- aged polymath, whose project was Byrantine art. M'ryly, she went along with his disrrlissal of ancient Greece in favor of Byzantium ("Roger raves about the Byzantines," Lrtters 5: 60, 7 May 1932). Her own project was not to bury Greece but to claim it for herself as a way of understanding history and cultural formation; throughout the trip the book was taking shape that was to become Three Guinms. Putting together M'oolf's letters and diary and her biography of Fry, we call overhear her dialogue not only with her traveling com- panions (Leonard M'oolf and Fry's sister hlarjorie came too) and several correspolldellts but also with her olvn history, a younger self defined against the ruins: "but what can I say about the Parthenon-that my 01~11ghost met me, the girl of 23, with all her life to come" (Dia7-g 4: 90, 21 April 1932). In spite of Fry's researches she colltillued to think of Greece as a land lacking a corltirli~ous history; for her, the fourth century B.C. and the present day shared a single and simi~ltarleous existence without intervenirlg epochs. This she contrasted with the layerings and comfortable accretions of English history: "In Greece one was always going back two thou- sand years. Here it was always the eighteenth century. Like every- thing English . . . the past seemed near, domestic, friendly" (Thr Years 196). For M'oolf the two coi~ntries can be reduced to a series of con- trasts-Erlgland, snug, serious, modest, fresh; Greece flippant, flimsy, gimcrack, i~rlaccommodatirlg-but they can also merge into and sustain each other, and M'oolf is not always sure if she is in Greece or London. As in 1906, she notices that Greece becomes magic at dusk; she enjoys the voltn, when, brightly lit, the drabbest Greek town call come into its own. To Fry's painter's eye, Greece was "bare of trees, angular and over-dramatic . . . He admired, he analysed, but he did not fall in love" (Rogrr Fry: A Biographg 281). M'oolf herself felt more passionately, pondering the possibilities of sympathies between people and places arldjokirlg to friends about going to live in Greece-perhaps moving the Hogarth Press to Crete: "I coi~ldlove Greece, as an old woman, so I think, as I once loved Cornwall, as a child" (Diary 4: 917, 8 hlay 1932).

''For \l'oolf's ~unticrstanding of contempora~-v B'llkan politics scc Roeawl


M'oolf's love of England, which she carefully distingilished from a chauvinistic patriotism, is often explored in terms of a contrast between Greece and England, of the differences that might strike someone who is just setting out frorn, or who has recently returned to, one or the other place. The Voyage Out takes a group of English passengers, among them a Greek scholar, on a.journey of discov- ery, growing-up and death aboard the steamer EuPllro.syne. Although their destirlation is ostensibly South America, where they expect to find a scene "much bigger than Italy, and really nobler than Greece" (90), much of IVoolf's first Greek trip, including the hlourlt Perltelicus expedition, finds its way into the novel. The "1911" sectiorl of The Y~ar:sis seen through the eyes of Eleanor, who has been traveling in Southern Europe; life at home seems civilized, friendly, a little smug. The same is true of hlrs. Dallolvay's London, as it appears to Peter M'alsh, fresh from India: green, soft, well-organized (the traffic makes way for ambulances). Yet IVoolf could also be surprised by moments of hornesickrless for Greece, experienced as flashbacks of sensation: looking at a summer moon through a telescope, for instance, she seems to feel the earth shrinking until she is aware of a place "hard blue & white, 011 the other side of the ~vorld; all the palms flashing, & the dance of heat; people sleeping under umbrel- las; great melorls, & donkeys with water skins, men loullgillg ~vithin the limits of hard black shado~vs" (Pussionutr Apfirentice 368, 8 August 1907); or as late as 1938 in Scotland: "Ben Nevis with stripes of snow. The sea. Little boats; feeling of Greece and Cornrvall" (Diary 5:153, 21Jilrle 1938). Her last sight of Greece is through the window of the Orient Express, as the modern train mornerltarily illumi- nates the ancient landscape: "a shepherds hut, & two Inen in long coats lit up by the electric lights of our restaurant car" (Diary 4: 99, 10 May 1932).

Superimposition, pastiche, and allusion are part of the mythical method of Modernism, in ~vl~ich

metamorphosis, the trallsforrnatiorl of and simultalleous existence of ullassimilated modes, is the defin- ing trope. Modernism is often perceived as an elegy for the classical tradition, a gathering of fragments in a last-ditch stand against barbarism. But M'oolf's Greece neither mourns the old myths nor attempts to shore them up. With ingenuity and precision, she con- jures past into present, Athens into London or a mother of eight into a Greek goddess, even though-to give her the last word (frorn "A Dialogue Upon Mount Pente1icus")-"it is no longer within the power of the English mind . . . to see fur grow upon smooth ears and cloven hoofs where there are tell separate toes."


"The 'hgamrmnon' nt C.1mb1-idgc." Rev. of .l~irii~eir~rio~.

Set\ Theatre. (,;lrnh~-itigr.
71tr T~tnrs[Lontlon] 19 SOY.

11100: 7. .lllcn. \V. Sidney. I~JS(:t(ircci:.I (;ic~/irto /A? Ptot~i~iic~niio~i

e)fClrcsocni (;,r~k. (:;imbridgc: (:,lniljr-itlge Ullivel.sit\ Pies';. 1968. .IpprntIix .I. .llle). Henr~ 51. "A Ketliscoveretl Elllog\: \?rginia \\jolt's '5lissj;unet Chsc: C:lassicnl Schol,~r ,~ntl Teacher.'" 7i~rnfirtliC~II/~II>

I.~lrrci/ri~r28 (1982): 290-301 .lnder\on. 1d1-is Kakel-. "The (;l.cek Opt,rti\e in the Xal-I-ntivc Stvlc of 7h //rr 1,lght- tioii\(,." IYrgiiilii iti)u// (it10 11rr li~/i~((,ii(i,.\: //I(, .Scjzl(,i~//~
,I t1i111c11

,S(,/(~/cj(ll'c~/)/vs JIIJ~II
(;orr/r~rrrtr or1 I~iji~n~/i Sew Yorli:

Ilbolf. Ed. I.'ti~ra Da\ic ,ind ,le;inette r\lc\Tica~., Pncc I.niversit\ PI-csc. 1998. 1115-20'L. .lristoplianes. .APllrTO@A.VOYlr OPh'lOE'lr: ?'Ar NII~\ of .4ri\/optici11r\. Trans. Benjamin Bicklc\ Rogers. Lontioli: Grorgv Bell. 1906. Barr. Tina. "Ili~ine Politic';: \'irgini;l lVoolt'\,\orlry toward Eleusi in ?h ihr I-lght- lioirsr." horrr~dnrs 2 20 (I!I93): 12.5-43. Bishop. Ed~vard L.. "lletaphol. and the Sulxc~ sive Process ot'l'irginia l2.oolf's Essal,s." .St>/r21 (11187): ~57:3-88. Blotne~..Jo\ephL. "511 thic Patte~.n\ in 7ii ti!? I.~,qIitho~ire." F'.lfI..4 71 (l9.5ii): .j4i-62,

BI-mvn. Sarah. L'npuhli\lied p'tpc.1. on Otioiido ,trlti the A\lrtci~~~orpho\r\.

p;cl-t of ,I forthcoming monogr,rph on Oviti nntl E~lglisli litr1.;1t~lre. Fo\vlcr. Ko~vena. "On Sot Kno\\ing GI-erl:: The (:1;1ssic\ and the lVornsn of 1.ette1-5." (.'/(es~irc~/,Jn~iti~(i/78 1983): :3:37-49. Fr'17c1.. Jl111e 11. "~\ii\. ~)(I//IJ?I'OY: 47

I'irgitli'I l2'oolf's (;reek \~ovcl."fif~s?at//l ~S/ildi(,s
(1979): 221-28.
T."The 'Birds' ot .\ristoplianes at (:atnhlidge." Rev. of 7%r Rl~ds. Ne\\- The'1tr.e. C:amljritlge. .4t/rr1iirii1ir,iDcct~niljcrl90:3: 7K3. ,]osepli. Gcrlinrd. "The .l~iiijioi~r

as (:ultur;rl Touchatonc: Slatthctv .II-nolcl, Hegel.
CTcorgc Ellot, \'i~-ginia \Voolf. ,i~ld 5lnrgaret Dr-,lbljle." IJ.\lI..4 S(i (19811: 22-:3,5.

Herlnnn. \Villiam. "\.il-ginin \Voolt ,ind the (:l,~s,ic.;: Elel-y Lnglishtnali'\ PI-el-ognti\e Tr,rncmutc>ti into Fictiorl,rl .Art." I>tgitr~cr ilbolf: (:r~itrtr~iiiiI

k,-\.\rc>\. Ed. Elnilir I<.
Gin\hcrs and Lal~l-;~

llos, C;ottlirl~. TI-(,\. SY \Vlii\ton Pr~hli\hing. 11)8:3. 257-68. Hoff~nali. Anrlc C;oloml,. "Dcnictr~-nnd Poeidoli: F~~siorl

illid Di\t;ilice ill Ti] th~
I,I,~/I//I~I~.\I~.".5t11/11r.\III 16 ( 15184): l82-9(i.

t111, .Y~)z~I,/ Koi~tcoudal\i. SIAI-!. "The 'C;leel\',J,rcoh: (;~-erce in I'irgiliia \Voolf's,/ntob'~ KOOIII." I'(~~IIJI\ 2, \~I~FI.

171 I<IJT~(~I?(IJ 1 (,JuI\ ILIXO): 67-7.5, Lat11am.j~icquclinct.11. "Thcssal\ and the '(:olo\\al Figrlrc' in .tlri. l)ci/lor~'n~."

.\/)trs n11d Qilrrir5 214 (I $1651): 26,3-65. Lee. Her-iniorle. I.11g1nin lli~olf. 1.ondorl: C:liatto and IV~ndrls. I!>lI(i. I.rorls. Brelidn. "L'irginia \\oolt nrld P1;ito: Tlie Pl;itonic B,rcl\g~.oruid of,/i(ob',h'oom." t'lntonicin IITI~th~~F~i,q/i\h I~iin,qi~~citco~~, 'irld

td. .Ann,\ B;~l(lr<ili
Sarnh Huttoll.
C;'r~~~hr-~tige: L.~~ivr~-\it\

(;<t111111-1dgc 1'1-~5';. 1!)94, 29iJ-(17. 11ail:a. P;ttric~'t. l-/~,yi~ii(ifTn~r/soi~(:oli 'spi~ acv.

iti)o//'i Bett\ee~i the .Acts ~III(/J~IIII,'\ Ann hl-bor- nnd L.ontion: ;\\IS Kt>.;e,tr-c h Preu. 15187. llarcus. ,l,trle. "Tlrr >i,nr\ ,IS Greek Dralrl,r. 1)oniestic So\rl nlid (;ii//~~rt/iii~cr~~i~~-it~~q.'" B1[1ir/i11<I/ tlir A\-r7~1 1i11k f'1i1~111 15177): 2iti-:301. Rpt. in l'i~g~tii(e

I-i/)~(it>80 (IVi~lte~.
Iloolf rill(/ ihr I.ongiccijir\ of Pntrici1~11~.

Bloomiiigton nlid I~idinn,ipolis: Intiiali,c
L.rliver\it\ Press. 1987. :36-.5ti.

Oldticl(i. Sybil. "\'ir-giiiia \Voolf ;end hiitigoiir-Tliiiihing .-\g,iin\t the (:ru.l-e~it."


/<?7'io7029 (l99ei): 4,;-.77. Kichlin, hm~. "Stliking Back ,rt the (Rom,rn) trnl~il-c: Thr .-\I-tiit as C:l;cisicict in Str,ltl and Other-\." 7'irl\11 Ytrin'lr\ in I~~IIIZIJ~

'5 I.~/~I(I/IIIP1 1 (I CICIL') : 267-87. Rohi~iro~i, "Soiiiethiiig Otld at \l'orL: The I~iflurr~ce of ,J;r~ie

hli~iah~l. Harri\on on /~00111ll/ ()?I?'\ ()71'11." \ ll~llllli\I?)()//: (~ll/l(/l! \lC'Ne?\.

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---. 711rk'ctn?! o/ 1'11.~rr11fi

IlholJ. td. .-\lidl-r\\ SlcNeillie. 4 \.ols. to datr. I.ondon: Tlie Hogartli I're\,, ICIXIi---l'irr I.rt/rr\ <I/ lirglrr~n lli)ol/. Etl. Nigel Nicol\on ;c~iti.lo~rnnc TI-a~~tmanii,


\ols. Xeu k~r-k: tI;ir-court BI-,tce,Jo\;riio\ich. 1975-80. ---"Letter to ;r K~uiigI'oet." Iiilr lici'irr~' 21 ( ICl32): ti<l(i-710. ---.~~r/~tnt)lo!l(iI)! \~lr,y~ti~(i

\ti~u//:,111 ~.'(II/J \i,r\iorl (11''!'/z? \?~)(!gf, 0111 ' t(i. I,oc~i\r
;\. DeSnlvo. Nrrv YorL: Ne\\ Yui-k Puhllc L.ih1-,it-\-. 1CI82.

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---L ~ii~i~bli\hed~iiaiir~\cril~ts.llt>nr-\,\I.. dntl .-\lhert A. Berg (:ollectio~i. New K~1.k Puhlic Lihr-81.1. .-\\tol-. l.enos and Tilrlrn Forlnti,itio~i,. ---L ~ipnhli\heti ~~inn~~script\.

LlonLs I louse I',tpc.r\.\er\it\ of Sussrs.


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