Humility

Oh, my poor edition of Mrs. Dalloway needs another thirty or so footnotes before it can go into production. I was asked, among other things, to comb through the entire print run of the Virginia Woolf Bulletin of Great Britain in case I missed anything.

One thing I missed: this 2007 review of my first book:

This very attractively produced volume runs to just 168 pages of text and aims to 'investigate the relation between these two facts' (my italics). These 'facts' are that Woolf read 'widely and with passion' and that 'she was also an unusually subtle feminist thinker'. While the former may be pretty self-evident one wonders what sort of 'fact' is the latter, as it contains at least two subjective judgements. The first is that Woolf was an unusually subtler thinker and that she was a feminist one. Fernald goes on to assert that Woolf was 'one of the best-read writers in the history of English literature'; all very easy judgements to make when no comparative evidence is presented on any of these three assertions. Who are the unsubtle feminist thinkers and who are the poorly-read writers one wonders.

Ouch.

Later:

This analysis...reminds one of Anna Snaith's Virginia Woolf: Public and Private Negotiations...a much better written and lucidly argued account.

Moving right along.