Famous modernist woman writer who combined amazingly astute critical insights with 'moments of being' of superb poetic beauty. Born Virginia Stephen, married Leonard Woolf. Commonly associated with the Bloomsbury group. Sister of Vanessa Bell (formerly Vanessa Stephen), also famous -- post-impressionist painter. Related to Thackeray and a bunch of other famous folks. Friends with lots of famous writers: Lytton Stratchey, T.S. Eliot, etc. Had an affair with Vita Sackville-West. Quite well known for her feminism. Wrote a lot of essays, a fair number of novels and a number of short stories. Extensive scholarship has been done on Woolf, as with most 'modernist' writers. Witty and eccentric, rather bitchy at times. Had bouts of depression -- scholars have written on things like manic depression and her works, etc. Killed herself -- drowning -- on 28 March 1941, aged 59.
Set up the very successful Hogarth Press with her husband (eventually owned by Random House!). Printed a variety of important and interesting texts, including Freud's works and The Wasteland.
Often abused by pretentious poseurs who namedrop. Also hated by undergraduates who were dealt out bad grades because of her. Misunderstood by aforementioned pretentious poseurs who insist on looking starry-eyed while setting up shrines to her, thus ostentatiously displaying their profound understanding of 'the poetic temperament' and incredible appreciation for the lyrical quality of her works.
Pretentious Poseur: Do you know Virginia Woolf? No? She's like one of the coolest writers around, dude. I can feel her pain man. Life is pain. I want to drown myself too.
English Professor: E.M. Forster wrote that Woolf's weakness as a writer is her inability to get out of character. Consider the possible role of dialectic in Woolf's works with respect to the relevance of a revisioning of the concept of realism in the wake of World War I.
Bitter Undergraduate: Did you know that Woolf caused my GPA to drop by 0.5? I hate these stupid difficult writers who make no sense.
FemmeNazi lesbian psycho bitch whore who wrote books such as A Room Of One's Own.
student one: Holy Shit did you finish your research paper on that bitch Virginia Woolf yet?
student two: I can't even understand WTF she is writing about
student three: She's a lesbian. and she commited suicide.
student one: good idea *suicide*