Archive for July, 2007

Hogarth PressAre blogs the modern day version of the Hogarth Press? Can they be the great equalizer that allows women an equal voice with men in the world?

I ponder these questions on a drizzly summer day, with a slow-falling rain returning a fresh green color to grass turned brown by drought in Northeast Ohio.

I turn to Virginia Woolf for the answers. In particular, I turn to Chapter 1 of  A Room of One’s Own:  “I thought of how unpleasant it is to be locked out; and I thought how it is worse perhaps to be locked in.”

As I read, a tingling feeling takes hold of me. It is a feeling of excitement, the excitement of recognition that 78 years after Woolf’s words were first published, they become true for me in a new way.

Blogging, Woolf’s words tell me, allows us access to what the world holds on both sides of the locked door. We can enter a room of our own, where we can create what we imagine. And we can share those creations with the world at large.

Has blogging on the Web not only unlocked the door for women writers, but also thrown away the key?

Thoughts from another literary blogger

Anne Fernald Ann E. Fernald, author of Virginia Woolf: Feminism and the Reader and assistant professor at Fordham University, has an interesting take on what Web blogs add to the literary discussion.

In a recent post on Fernham, her literary blog, she says blogs can provide new voices that appeal to niche audiences. These fresh voices — that would often be locked out of the academic or media mainstreams — are able to influence others while soliciting feedback and building community.

So perhaps the Web in general — and blogs in particular — have unlocked the door for women.

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Virginia Woolf’s writing lodge at Monk’s House

I think of this blog as a place similar to Virginia Woolf’s writing Lodge at Monk’s House in Sussex. She created that space as a room of her own where she could write undisturbed. We create this bit of cyberspace as a place of our own where we can post our own words about Woolf, her work, and their continuing relevance to the world at large.

Blogging, in fact, seems an ideal forum for the writing of women, when one looks at what Woolf predicted. For in A Room of One’s Own, she says that fiction written by women in the future will be “shorter, more concentrated…framed so that they do not need long hours of steady and uninterrupted work. For interruptions there will always be” (78). Blogging certainly fits that description.

So here’s to you, Virginia — a blog of your own. Interruptions notwithstanding.

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