MA (Master of Arts)
Date of Award
Committee Chair or Co-Chairs
Katherine Weiss, Mark Baumgartner
This thesis examines the way in which the fictional biographies of Virginia Woolf, Orlando and Flush, prefigure central tenets of postmodern fiction. To demonstrate the postmodern elements present in Orlando and Flush, this thesis focuses on how the fictional biographies exhibit three postmodern characteristics: concern for historiography, extensive use of parody, and the denaturalization of cultural assumptions. Born from Woolf’s desire to revolutionize biography by incorporating elements of fiction alongside historical fact, these two novels parallel later works of historiographic metafiction in several key respects. Woolf’s extensive use of parody in Orlando and Flush prefigures how postmodern parody foregrounds the many ways in which all narratives are inherently constructions. Woolf also expresses a postmodern attitude by denaturalizing cultural assumptions about sexual difference and social class. When taken together, these three traits reveal how Orlando and Flush possess an ontological philosophy indicative of postmodern literature.
Thesis - Open Access
Castle, Jacob C., "Virginia Woolf’s Fictional Biographies, Orlando and Flush, as Prefigures of Postmodernism" (2016). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 3158. https://dc.etsu.edu/etd/3158
Copyright by the authors.