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Jacobs, T.J. (1993). Who Killed Virginia Woolf? a Psychobiography: By Alma Halbert Bond, Ph.D. New York: Human Sciences Press, Inc., 1989. 200 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 62:153-158.
    

(1993). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 62:153-158

Who Killed Virginia Woolf? a Psychobiography: By Alma Halbert Bond, Ph.D. New York: Human Sciences Press, Inc., 1989. 200 pp.

Review by:
Theodore J. Jacobs

If psychoanalysis is rightly called the impossible profession, the writing of the psychobiography of a deceased artist must surely be the least possible of the impossible tasks a psychoanalyst can undertake. Not only is one working in the field of applied analysis, terrain hazardous to the health of the naïve and unwary, but one has set oneself the awesome task of plumbing the deepest motivations of a creative individual whom one can know only through her or his works and the works of others.

This is the challenge that Alma Bond, a practicing psychoanalyst, has accepted in writing Who Killed Virginia Woolf?, a study of the multiple and complex factors that contributed to Virginia Woolf's decision in 1941 to commit suicide by drowning.

Bond's approach to this investigation, surprising for one who, as a psychoanalyst, must avoid taking judgmental positions, is more like that of a prosecuting attorney than that of an objective scientist.

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