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‘Valeur absolue’ ou ‘valeur critique’ : de la valeur en littérature selon Virginia Woolf 

Abstract : According to Virginia Woolf, the art of reading consists in combining the reader’s innocent pleasure with the necessity to discriminate;it requires that we should get to terms with “the question of the book’s absolute value for us” (Essays V, 580);ultimately, it is a critical activity that teaches us how literature builds for the reader, and thanks to the reader, the understanding of what literary value is, even if the notion of “value” is never considered as a fixed, unquestioned category:“yes;there is always a reason for writing a book;and often, surprisingly often, there is something of value in it. But what, I ask myself turning the pages of the faded volume, what sort of value have they?and have they got it in common?” (Essays IV, 476). As it examines five of Woolf’s famous essays on reading, writing, and the critic’s role —“Hours in a Library” (1916), “Reading” (1919), “On Re-Reading Novels” (1922) “How Should One Read a Book?” (1926) et “Byron and Mr Briggs” —this paper follows Woolf’s personal critical itineraryfrom the library to literature, from the portrayal of the individual reader to the more theoretical notion of the “common reader”, from literary value as inevitably contingent to literature as the site of the poetic understanding and critical knowledge ofits value.
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Contributor : Anne Besnault Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, July 13, 2021 - 3:34:13 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, March 2, 2022 - 4:58:02 PM


  • HAL Id : hal-02374937, version 1



Anne Besnault. ‘Valeur absolue’ ou ‘valeur critique’ : de la valeur en littérature selon Virginia Woolf . TIES - Revue de littérature, textes, images et sons, Groupe de recherches Textes, Images et Sons 2018, Valeur / Valeurs, pp.6-15. ⟨hal-02374937⟩



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