Archive for January 24th, 2010

Like many of you, I have shelves full of books at home that I have not yet read. Some have been in my possession for decades, some for years or months.

Now I am starting to stockpile DVDs and CDs as well. I am embarassed to say that among the latter is the recent release from the BBC of “The Spoken Word: The Bloomsbury Group.”

This two-disc set, which features voices of Bloomsbury that have long remained unheard, has been sitting on my shelf for months. And I have yet to peel off the cellophane.

But after reading the details on the Mantex Web site, I expect I will soon pop one in my CD player.

According to Roy Johnson, here are some of the treats that await those who own the set, which comes with a 16-page explanatory booklet:

  • Leonard Woolf with a Who’s Who of the Bloomsbury Group
  • Duncan Grant talking about the infamous Dreadnought Hoax
  • Frances Partridge speaking about the group’s broad influence
  • David Cecil detailing Virginia’s appearance and Quentin Bell describing her fashions
  • Angelica Garnett on various attitudes towards members of the Group
  • Vita Sackville-West talking about the inspiration behind Virginia Woolf’s Orlando
  • Benedict Nicholson remembering Virginia Woolf’s visits to Sissinghurst
  • Elizabeth Bowen recalling Bloomsbury parties and Virginia’s antics
  • Ralph Partridge reminiscing about time spent with Leonard and Virginia Woolf
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    Two newly formed networks, the Scottish Network of Modernist Studies and the British Association of Modernist Studies, will host their first major international conference at the University of Glasgow Dec. 10-12.

    This inaugural conference is based around Virginia Woolf’s famous and controversial statement in an essay of 1923, often taken as indicating a possible starting-point for modernity, that

    on or about December 1910, human character changed.

     The groups invite scholars and practitioners from all disciplines to respond to any aspect of this statement. Relevant disciplines might include but are not restricted to literature, history of art, cultural history and the history of ideas.

    Topics might include but are not restricted to:

    • glossing the symptoms of change in 1910 that Woolf cites in her explanation of that slogan.
    • broader contexts and tangents, literary, cultural, political, historical, which might include:
      • death of the King; Asquith government crisis; suffragettes and other political unrest;
      • Post-Impressionist show; Dreadnought hoax;
      • events beyond Britain in Europe, Mexico, Africa etc.;
      • books published in 1910;
      • activities of key cultural figures at that moment;
      • 1910 diary entries.
    • philosophy on or about 1910 – idealism, pragmatism and beyond.
    • religion, spirituality, modernity.
    • periodization and theories of change.
    • theories and representations of ‘human character’.
    • 1910 seen from the 1920s.
    • ‘in or about’ or ‘on or about’?
      • Prepositions and temporality.
      • Versions of Woolf – Leonard Woolf as editor.
    • accuracy and arbitrariness.

    Organizers have already received panel proposals in the following areas and would also welcome expressions of interest in these areas:

    • Scotland 1910
    • Film around 1910
    • Modernism and Theory
    • Women at 1910
    • On or about December 2010: Human Character in the Age of Climate Change
    • Politics 1910
    • The periodical scene in 1910
    • Literature and the visual arts
    • The book in 1910
    • 1910 and middlebrow culture
    • Music and 1910
    • Europe 1910
    • 1910 and intermodernism
    • Periodising the century
    • Theatre and 1910

    Paper abstracts of 200 words; or proposals for panels, round-tables, seminars or other expressions of interest, should be sent to conference organizers Bryony Randall and Matthew Creasy via e-mail at snms@arts.gla.ac.uk by May 1

    Visit the conference Web site for more details.

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