Archive for November, 2009

Here’s a bit of Virginia Woolf trivia. Did you know that pianist Ludovico Einaudi‘s first album “Le Onde” was inspired by Virginia Woolf’s 1931 novel The Waves?

The cycle of solo piano ballads came out in 1996.

Einaudi’s music is often compared to that of Philip Glass, who composed the music for Stephen Daldry’s film “The Hours” — thus, another Woolf connection for the Milan-trained Einaudi.

Listen to the title track, and feel the waves wash gently over you. The sound is quite beautiful and soothing with just a hint of dramatic tension.

Read Full Post »

A student-faculty team at Mars Hills College has won grant funding to explore the connection between Taoism and the writing of Virginia Woolf.

Ali Andrejewski, an English and psychology student, was awarded $500, and faculty mentor Joanna Pierce won $250 to support research for the grant proposal titled, “’But how describe a world seen without a self?’: Taoist Principles in Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse and The Waves.”

The college recently awarded grants to 12 students and faculty members for research projects ranging from mountain history to pop music.

Read Full Post »

woolf conf 2010 logoA Web site for the 20th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf: Virginia Woolf and the Natural World has launched, and organizers have announced the conference call for papers, which are due Jan. 15, 2010.

The conference, which will be held in the Thomas & King Leadership and Conference Center at Georgetown College in Georgetown, Kentucky, is set for June 3 to 6.

Georgetown is located 10 miles north of Lexington on I-75. Get a map of the area.

Keynote speakers will be:

  • Bonnie Kime Scott, University of California, San Diego
  • Diana Swanson, Northern Illinois University
  • Carrie Rohman, Lafayette College
  • Christina Alt, University of Ottawa

The conference will also include an Art and Rare Book Exhibit at the Anne Wright Wilson Art Gallery on the Georgetown campus and a Silent Auction, with proceeds going to Old Friends, a Kentucky facility for retired thoroughbreds. 

“Sharp stripes of shadow lay on the grass, and the dew dancing on the tips of the flowers and leaves made the garden like a mosaic of single sparks not yet formed into one whole. The birds, whose breasts were specked canary and rose, now sang a strain or two together, wildly, like skaters rollicking arm-in-arm, and were suddenly silent, breaking asunder.”  Virginia Woolf – The Waves

For more information, contact conference organizer Kristin Czarnecki, assistant professor of English, by mail at Georgetown College, 400 E. College St., Georgetown, KY 40324. Or send her an e-mail.

Read Full Post »

best american essays

I just treated myself to the new 2009 edition of The Best American Essays. I’m often left speechless at the incredible diversity of work as well as the brilliance, cleverness, wit and pathos of individual selections.

The first essay in the collection, “Taking a Reading” by Sue Allison, starts with, “A yard, a pace, a foot, a fathom. How beautiful the language of measurement is…,” and ends a mere page later, reiterating her point: “A ream is a lot of paper, sold and purchased blank. Written on, it’s a book.”

John Updike and Cynthia Ozick offer insightful pieces about writers. And Brian Doyle, in “The Greatest Nature Essay Ever,” speaks of the perfect essay as having an ending that provides “a shot of espresso hope.” Wow!

In her editorial introduction, Mary Oliver champions the form. In the essay, she says, “what we receive is not didactic, not even, sometimes, totally believable, but the soul-felt truth from the individual perspective of someone deft in the craft of expression. The essay is not the world of Middlemarch, of Mrs. Dalloway going out to buy the flowers—it is neither less nor more, but different.”

Her reference to Mrs. Dalloway struck me as an irony in that she’s using Woolf the novelist to talk about what the essay is not, and yet Woolf was such a prolific and masterful essayist herself. One only has to revisit “Street Haunting” or “On Re-Reading Novels,” to name just two that come to mind, to recognize that she takes her place among the greats from Montaigne and Samuel Johnson to E. B. White and Joan Didion.

Read Full Post »

bloomsbury catalogA Smith College professor will teach a course on Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury group that offers students the opportunity to work closely with primary materials from the Smith collections.

Professor Robert Hosmer, of Smith’s English language and literature department, will teach the course, which is called “Reading and Writing with Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.” Hosmer specializes in the works of 20th century women writers.

In the course, students will work closely with primary materials from the Mortimer Rare Book Room and the Smith College Museum of Art. The Mortimer Rare Book Room has an extensive collection of Woolf’s works.

In addition, students will be able to view the traveling exhibit, “A Room of Their Own: The Bloomsbury Artists in America Collection,” which will be at the Smith College Museum of Art April 3 to June 15.

Read more about the course.

For links to other courses that feature Woolf and her Bloomsbury contemporaries, check the right sidebar under the heading “Woolf Courses.”

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: