chapter  4
16 Pages

'Alien Experiences': Virginia Woolf, Winifred Holtby and Vera Brittain in the Thirties

In1936,duringthedosingstagesofwritingTheYears,Woolfwroteabrief articleon'WhyArtTodayFollowsPolitics'fortheDailyWorker.Shehad beenaskedtoexplain'whyitisthattheartistatpresentisinterested, activelyandgenuinely,inpolitics....Thatthewriterisinterestedinpoliticsneedsnosaying.Everypublisher'slist,almosteverybookthatisnow issued,bringsproofofthefact[that)thenovelistturnsfromtheprivate livesofhischaracterstotheirsocialsurroundingsandtheirpoliticalopinions'(Woolf1993:133).Herexplanationisthatwhilstsocietyisinchaos, theartistcannotremainimmunefromtheconflictsthatbesetit.Thechaos WoolfhadparticularlyinmindconcernedthewarinSpainandimpending warelsewhereinEurope.