[6.5.06] [Andrew Gallix]
KILLING THE ANGEL IN THE HOUSE WITH LISA WILLIAMS
Here's a short extract from my interview with Lisa Williams, author of Letters to Virginia Woolf, which will soon appear in 3:AM:
"I started this personal relationship with Virginia Woolf when I was sixteen years old and first read Mrs. Dalloway. Although I did not understand a word of this amazing novel, I loved it anyway. I knew I had discovered something that was exquisitely beautiful, even if it was hard for me then to comprehend its meaning. In college and then much more in graduate school, when I seriously studied Woolf's works, I felt as if she were writing about my own internal life as a woman. Woolf said she had to kill off 'The Angel in the House', that sweet, self-effacing Victorian identity, in order to write. I realized that destroying this internalized angel was no easy task, and yet Woolf helped me to see my own struggles in a much larger historical context. I believe each generation of women will battle this angel in their own distinct way. For instance, recently I was speaking to literature majors at Ramapo College about the significance of Virginia Woolf today, and I came to the conclusion that one of the ways the angel manifests itself today is in the epidemic of eating disorders plaguing so many young women. It is as if some women are literally disappearing in the quest to fit into a destructive image of femininity."