Friday, May 29, 2015

R.I.P. Jane Marcus: May 29, 2015

Jane Marcus, photo of garden flowers and fruits; contributed by Jean Mills
In her 1982 ground-breaking critique of traditional approaches to Virginia Woolf, "Storming the Toolshed," Jane Marcus wrote: "It is an open secret that Virginia Woolf's literary estate is hostile to feminist critics.  There are two taboo subjects: on one hand her lesbian identity, woman-centered life, and feminist work, and on the other, her socialist politics.  If you wish to discover the truth regarding these issues, you will have a long, hard struggle.  In that struggle you will find the sisterhood of feminist Woolf scholarship" (Signs 13.1, p. 628).  The degree to which those two subjects now provide the cornerstones of international Virginia Woolf studies is largely due to Jane Marcus's long, hard years of struggle to document the full political and social context of Woolf's writing.  We are all forever in her debt.

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