Archive for August, 2007

If Virginia Woolf were alive today, would she surf?Beach at St. Ives

If it seems preposterous to connect Woolf with catching a wave, think again. Surfing has become big business in Cornwall — and this is the best time of year for the sport at St. Ives, the location of Woolf’s childhood summer home, Talland House.

Woolf herself is even mentioned in a story about the popularity of the sport at St. Ives. It appeared in yesterday’s edition of The Telegraph. Catch the story here. And while you’re at it, take a look at the waves. Pun intended.

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Louisville Conference artworkThe International Virginia Woolf Society announces a deadline extension to Sept. 4, 2007, for proposals for the society’s Woolf panel at the Louisville Conference on Literature & Culture. The conference will be held at the University of Louisville, Feb. 21-23, 2008.

Proposals for critical papers on any topic concerning Woolf’s work are invited. A particular theme may be chosen depending upon the proposals received, organizers say.

How to submit your paper proposal via e-mail: Send a cover page with name, e-mail address, mailing address, phone number, professional affiliation, and title of paper, along with a second anonymous page containing a 250-word proposal, to Kristin Czarnecki, kczarnecki@fuse.net, by Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2007.

Featured conference speakers will include Susan Gubar, Distinguished Professor of English and Women’s Studies at Indiana University. Her most recent book is Rooms of Our Own, a narrative tale of the current state of women’s studies and gender studies.

For more details about the conference, visit the Web site.

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VW Bibliography coverAnyone who ever consulted a Virginia Woolf bibliography would be likely to recognize the name B. J. Kirkpatrick. News of her May death came late to the Virginia Woolf Listserv. It arrived today.

Kirkpatrick, Royal Anthropological Institute librarian and bibliographer of Virginia Woolf, died May 24, 2007, at Broadstairs, Kent, England.

The news was sent by Stuart Clarke, who collaborated with her on her third edition of A Bibliography of Virginia Woolf. Published in 1997, the bibliography was praised in reviews by Woolf scholars, including the late Julia Briggs.

Brownlee Jean Kirkpatrick was born in Grahamstown, South Africa, on January, 27, 1919. Read the obituary in The Independent. 

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Helen SouthworthHelen Southworth, assistant professor of literature of the Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon, has issued a call for papers for a collection of essays on the Hogarth Press that she is compiling.

The collection is tentatively titled Forthcoming from the Hogarth Press: How Leonard and Virginia Woolf Shaped Twentieth Century Publishing.

Southworth says the edited volume will appear in advance of the centenary of the founding of the Press in 2017.  The editor is looking for essays that highlight the innovative quality of the Hogarth Press.

Southworth says the edited volume will appear in advance of the centenary of the founding of the Press in 2017.  The editor is looking for essays that highlight the innovative quality of the Hogarth Press with a look at the following:

  • stories of some of the lesser known artists and their cover art,
  • stories of some of the press workers,
  • stories of some of the lesser known authors, and
  • essays on overlooked titles by well known authors who published with the Hogarth Press.

Southworth says the goal of the collection is to move beyond and complement J.H.Willis’s 1992 history,Hogarth Press history Leonard and Virginia Woolf as Publishers : The Hogarth Press, 1917-41, the only book-length study to date.

She expects the collection to assess the impact the Hogarth Press had on the careers of those connected with it who are usually overlooked. It will also deal with the broader issue of how the Hogarth Press shaped book production over the course of the 20th century.

Hogarth PressEssays focused on individual authors or groups of authors/artists/texts, etc. are encouraged.  Of particular interest is work that highlights archival sources, work which makes use of the now established Hogarth Press archives at Reading University and at Washington State University, for example, as well as author/artist/publisher specific collections. 

Also welcome are essays which engage with recent critical work on literary/artistic modernism and publishing and the marketplace, bibliographical environment, networks, celebrity, censorship, and archive studies.

The call for papers asks that themes address (but are not limited to):

  • risks that the Woolfs took in terms of possibilities of censorship
  • innovations in cover art and other aspects of printing and book marketing
  • the Woolfs’ relationships with English provincial writers and with writers from the colonies
  • the Woolfs’ engagement with new ideas in the sciences, popular culture, peace studies, fashion, cinema, etc.
  • the Woolfs’ collaboration with press workers and with patrons
  • the translations the Woolfs themselves engaged in and those they published at the press
  • the Hogarth Press in the archives
  • the portrayal of the Hogarth Press in contemporary fiction
  • the Hogarth Press’ role in a specific author’s, artist’s, press worker’s careers
  • the relationship of the Hogarth Press to other presses of the period

Completed essays of 20-25 pages, double spaced, (MLA style preferred), along with queries and suggestions, should be sent to Helen Southworth, Clark Honors College, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-1293.

Deadline for paper submissions is Feb. 15, 2008.

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MySpace logoDid you know that our beloved Virginia has her very own page on MySpace? I bet not. I just discovered it today.

I came about my discovery rather circuitously after reading the column “Searching for Heroes” by Tom Robotham, editor-in-chief of Portfolio Weekly. In it, he mentions that many of his friends list literary figures as their heroes on their MySpace pages. Those heroes include Dante, Tom Joad, Atticus Finch…and Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf. The name drew me up short. I never would have guessed she would show up as a hero on a notable number of MySpace pages. So I decided to take a look for myself.

I visited MySpace and searched for Virginia. That’s when I discovered that she is more than just a hero to MySpace users. Virginia is actually a MySpace user herself. Yes, Virginia Woolf has a MySpace page of her own.

“Virginia Woolf is back from the lethargy,” the page announces mysteriously. Then it goes on to share her personal details — including the fact that despite being shy, she would like to meet Marlene Dietrich.

Woolf’s 4,185 friends are listed, which seems a paltry number for someone of her stature. Among her buds are Chanel, Emily Dickinson, Shakespeare, and a 22-year-old from Marion, Ind., named Nicole. Her alter ego perhaps?

Woolf also shares a needy love note from Vita Sackville-West on her MySpace page, a move that seems glaringly out of character.

Woolfians everywhere will be happy to know we can now easily contact our beloved author via e-mail or instant message. Links to those methods of communication are on her MySpace page.

I have to admit, I didn’t try. Doing so would have necessitated that I set up a MySpace account and log in, so I demurred.

Sadly, though, Virginia has not posted any blog entries. You’ll have to come here for a blog of Woolf’s own.

Meanwhile, the shock of finding Virginia’s MySpace page distracted me from my original topic: Woolf as MySpace hero. That will be a post for a later date.

Sept. 21, 2007 update: Read the Guardian’s post on this topic.

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