Virginia Woolf, Jean Rhys, and the Aesthetics of Trauma studies the intersections of modernism, sexuality, and subjectivity in the work of two leading women modernists. Over the course of her writing career, each came to confront those aspects of her culture and her personal history that resulted in a degraded sense of female sexuality. In particular, both explored the ways in which traumatic childhood sexual experiences informed their relationship to female corporeality and fiction writing. Their narratives about these memories?and the essays and fictions in which they recovered and worked through them?are all the more remarkable in that they appeared at a time when Freud?s renunciation of the seduction theory had become the authorizing narrative of psychoanalysis.

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