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Almost sixty-five years have lapsed sinee Virginia Woolf spoke at Newnham and Girton colleges on the subjectof women and fiction Her remarkable words are preserved for future generations of women in A Room of OnesOwn This essay is the first manifesto of the modern feminist movement Samuelson and has been called anotable preamble to a kind of feminine Declaration of Independence Muller 34 Woolf writes that her modestgoal for this ground-breaking essay is to encourage the young women--they seem to get fearfully depressedqtd in Gordon xiv This treatise on the history of womens writings reasons for the scarcity of great womenartists and suggestions for future literary creators and creations accomplishes far more than simple inspiration andmotivation for young writers Woolf questions the effect poverty has on fiction and the conditions necessary for the creation of works of art 25 and she persuasively argues that economics are as important astalent and inspiration in the creative process She emphatically states and with brilliant fiction supports herthesis that every woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction 4 Woolfs witty andbeautifully crafted essay has a practical message for aspiring women writers as pioneers in the virtuallyunexplored frontier of womens literature and to create timeless powerful works of art they must forsake theestablished mores of masculine creativity and forge their own traditions and stylesWoolf introduces this new literary tradition through the structure of her lecture Rather than follow thetraditional format established through centuries of male lecturing she transforms the formidable lecture formfemale equals Marcus Still 79 She preserves this intimacy in the written essay as well Woolfs nephew andbiographer Quentin Bell writes that in A Room of Ones Own one hears Virginia speaking she gets veryclose to her conversational style 144 Rather than submit her audience to the usual dictation of the expert tothe ignorant Marcus Virginia 145 Woolf involves her audience
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