Introduction:

Modernism Before It Had a Name:
Virginia Woolf as Recorder and Shaper of the New Writing


Provided here is a sampling of Virginia Woolf's early book reviews and essays in which we see her attempting to both identify and shape the new fiction of the early twentieth century. Virginia Woolf, one of the great modernist novelists, began her career as a journalist. As a critic, she was able to learn from her contemporaries--she saw which techniques worked and which techniques failed to capture the essence of the modern world. This archive will be useful for admirers and scholars of Woolf who want to trace some of her early thought on fiction. My main focus will be to point out the characteristics of modernism that Woolf's essays examine.