Through an original reading of the importance of women to modernism, this revisionary study shows what modernism begins to look like once we consider Virginia Woolf exemplary instead of the female exception to modernist rule. Linking the leading innovators of modernism - Woolf, Forster, Joyce - to the cult of the modern expert, Cucullu shows how the three expert practitioners used technical innovations in the novel to replace reigning Victorian beliefs about marriage, procreation and the family. Modernists of whatever gender stripe gained in cultural authority by denigrating and replacing the moral authority of 'woman', as defined by Victorian society, with their own expert narratives more synchronous with a mobile and worldly aggregate. In the process, modernist innovations became the basis of a new expert authority and the measure of a modern cultural class, as cultural reproduction assumed the centrality once accorded biological reproduction and the bourgeois family.

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