Virginia Woolf and the Exploration of the Third Gender

Iraj Montashery


One of Woolf’s chief considerations in her fiction of 1920s was to heal the split between the mother and language or the symbolic order on the one hand and to revise the previous Western binary thinking regarding the construction of gender identity on the other. I argue that Woolf refused the ‘either/or’ logic of dichotomous models by offering a space which includes the advantages of both the symbolic and the semiotic, which in turn introduces the new logic of ‘both/and’. This space fuses masculine and feminine identities. It is speech and pleasure, textuality and sexuality, sameness and difference. It is a space for both men and women. This article attempts to relate subjectivity to desire. Therefore, I shall uncover a new subject position and space between Lacanian symbolic and Kristevan semiotic, in order to construct in-between (third) gender identities based on characters’ desires for a lost maternal space.

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International Journal of Comparative Literature and Translation Studies

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