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On Being Ill

Virginia Woolf, On Being Ill. London : Hogarth Press, 1930.

The members of the Bloomsbury Group shared a keen interest in the new psychological theories emerging in the early twentieth century, especially those of Sigmund Freud. They sought to understand the motivations and undercurrents of everyday life, the fundamental reasons why people behaved as they did. In fiction, biography, essay, painting, and other forms, they dramatized, popularized, and sometimes questioned Freudian notions of the unconscious and the nature of sexuality. The varied perspectives of the members can be seen by juxtaposing On Being Ill , in which Virginia Woolf calls for a literature of illness, acknowledging the human reliance on the health of both the body and the mind, with Roger Fry’s argument for the impenetrability of art by psychoanalysis.

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Last modified December 18, 2008 9:13:46 AM EST