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Dossiê Temático

v. 4 n. 1 (2022)

"a token of some real thing behind appearances": Woolf's Divinatory Gestures

February 7, 2022


This paper seeks to understand the appearance of mystical imagery in Virginia Woolf’s writing, even though she was well-known as an agnostic, through a discussion of the tarot. In order to set up this argument, I will first offer a quick survey of how Woolf’s mysticism is defined, understood, and problematized within feminist scholarship. Any discussion of Woolf’s novels as displaying tenets of mysticism have required scholars to first address the seemingly discordant idea that Woolf could be an agnostic and yet be placed in a lineage of mystical writers of the time. The goal of this paper is to discuss Sara’s role as a mystic in The Years and her effect on the characters around her. Ultimately this paper seeks to prove Sara as Woolf’s inner mystic and that she is a representation of how Woolf struggled during the interwar years.  


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