Archive for March, 2012

This week in Woolf sightings: another helping of Virginia Woolf’s Tears (#19), Woolf on stage from Louisiana to Portsmouth, and A Room of One’s Own as an edible tableau (#39).

Oh, and you can listen to a BBC broadcast on Writing Madness (#24) that includes a discussion of Mrs. Dalloway, complete with sound effects. After all, it is radio.

  1. Walk from Knole to Emmetts Garden and back, BBC News
    Once at the centre of court life, Knole was the inspiration for Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, and contains extraordinary furniture from royal palaces, alongside supurb portraits, textiles and silver.Show less… Knole, one of our most important and complete
  2. The March of Women … In Music, The NextWomen Business Magazine
    That remains the single most famous observation about this “lady composer” who dressed in tweeds, smoked cigars and fell in love with Virginia Woolf..such eccentricities show why she hasn’t become a usable female-composer to help promote role models
  3. “The Force of Sensation”: Keats and Constable on Hampstead Heath, Town Topics
    arrived conveniently in accord with this Anglophile’s ongoing Charles Dickens bicentenary tribute to England featuring, so far, PJ Harvey’s Let England Shake, Cary Grant’s Bristol, Virginia Woolf’s Dorothy Wordsworth, and George Gissing’s Dickens.
  4. Mr. Kent’s Tulip, March 21: Gardens are going crazy, Toronto Star
    We will leave Virginia Woolf for another day. The blooms in the White Garden: white peonies; white pansies; white tulips; white cosmos; white hollyhocks. The greens and the grays play an essential supporting role — southernwood and artemesia and
  5. Authors rock Chicago’s Metro with Story Week, RedEye Chicago (blog)
    PM: There’s a whole lot of beauty in our Story Week colleague Christine Sneed’s “Portraits of a Few of the People I’ve Made Cry.” And you can’t really go wrong by going back in time and reading “Mrs. Dalloway,” by Virginia Woolf. Just sayin’.
  6. Author Interview: Catherine Chung of Forgotten Country, Color Magazine
    So they publish people like Virginia Woolf and Zdena Berger; they published Ruth Stone before she got the National Book Critics Circle Award. There are so many voices – whether they are the voices of women or coming from marginalized communities – that
  7. ‘Wolf Won’t Bite!’ and ‘Virginia Wolf’, New York Times
    Operating on a much deeper and darker level, “Virginia Wolf,” an ambitious story about girlish blues, sisterly differences and the healing power of art, will do wonders for Woolf-besotted former English majors. But the story, about Virginia and her
  8. Gabrielle’s Bells: Oh, Gastronomy! Humana Festival play 4, WHAS 11.com (subscription)
    And as the great Virginia Woolf once said, “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” You can catch this show along with the other Humana Festivals at Actor’s Theatre now through the end of March.
  9. An afternoon of delights, This is Leicestershire
    Well Amen to that, Virginia Woolf, because last Thursday I was focused at work, romantic with my boyfriend, and managed a full, undisturbed eight hours kip later that night. To codify, I’d had lunch at Hambleton Hall. The boyfriend came along too – and
  10. Spotlight: Stage listings, Seacoastonline.com
    MARCH 28 | A Room of One’s Own, 7 pm, Local actress, Alexandra Borrie honors Women’s History Month with a performance of excerpts from Virginia Woolf’s, A Room of One’s Own, Levenson Room, Portsmouth Public Library, 175 Parrott Ave., Portsmouth.
  11. Psychosis Diagnosis Could Mean Jason Russell Is a Genius (VIDEO), The Stir
    Isaac Newton, for example, is believed to have suffered from manic depression, as did Ludwig van Beethoven, Vincent Van Gogh, Michelangelo and Virginia Woolf. Of Winston Churchill’s bipolar disorder, author Anthony Storr wrote: “Had he been a stable
  12. Virginia Woolf, Mail Tribune
    Jeannine Grizzard is Virginia Woolf in Ashland Contemporary Theatre’s production of “A Room of One’s Own.” A landmark feminist lecture and essay by Virginia Woolf, “A Room of One’s Own,” will be presented this
  13. Readers’ Favorite Mini-Narratives, New York Times (blog)
    A few sentences readers mentioned — from Virginia Woolf’s “Mrs. Dalloway,” Ernest Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants” and Gabriel García Marquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude” — were on my short list for this essay or another in the series.
  14. Beacon of promise, Sydney Morning Herald
    FROM Virginia Woolf to Colm Toibin, the lighthouse has been a source of myth-making in literature. The structure has stood for sanctuary, the edge of knowledge and reason. Its beam of white brilliance slashes inky black nights, thick sea mists and ]
  15. “The Dressmaker,” by Kate Alcott, Washington Post
    Which brings up an interesting aspect of “making history,” particularly the kind that Virginia Woolf used to talk about: the flocks of girls with bits of sewing in their laps, chattering about men, defining them, often by bursts of rude laughter.
  16. The originality of the species, The Guardian
    And he and modernists like Virginia Woolf found new means of representing the flow of consciousness that now are common, even in children’s books. But Richardson, Austen, Joyce and Woolf were inheritors in their turn. They sat on the shoulders of
  17. Sleep deprivation bad for health, success, Edmond Sun
    Virginia Woolf referred to sleep as “… that deplorable curtailment of the joy of life.” High profile shakers and movers like Bill Clinton, Condoleezza Rice and Margaret Thatcher were said to operate at high levels of efficiency on remarkably little
  18. The slacker is back – and this time she’s female, The Guardian
    In A Room Of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf writes (and if Woolf sanctions it, it must be OK): “It is in our idleness, in our dreams, that the submerged truth sometimes comes to the top.” Perhaps it doesn’t matter whether it’s in a room of one’s own,
  19. Eating your way to happiness in the Philippines, BBC News
    Virginia Woolf’s Tears, aimed at staving off depression, is a turkey soup with cabbage and green apples. The customers certainly seemed to be embracing the happiness vibe. Mitch and his girlfriend Jeti had just finished a stressful work week,
  20. Alain de Botton: ‘My father was physically quite violent… he would destroy , The Independent
    Virginia Woolf. We never discussed those writers. But it was a way of connecting with him.” “And your own books?” “Were attempts at connecting with him.” “So anyhow, what parts of the house did he trash?” “Mostly doors. He was very anxious all the time
  21. A WRITER SPEAKS OUT, The Register-Guard
    She also said that she went six or seven years before any of her submissions were accepted, that she often returns to classic authors Charles Dickens and Virginia Woolf, that she has a certain distaste for literary awards and that both e-books and
  22. In My Shoes: In my grandmother’s shoes, Richmond Times Dispatch
    The picture of my birth grandmother portrays an image strongly reminiscent of portraits of the writer Virginia Woolf: a broad-brimmed straw hat perched on her head with masses of light-brown hair spilling out from under it, a faint Mona Lisa smile on
  23. Portsmouth area community calendar, Seacoastonline.com
    The cost is $10. www.eyeofthehawk.org. Local actress Alexandra Borrie: honors Women’s History Month with a performance of excerpts from Virginia Woolf’s, “A Room of One’s Own,” at 7 pm, Wednesday, March 28, at Portsmouth Public Library,
  24. Writing Madness, Radio Times
    She analyses the heroines of Virginia Woolf’s novel Mrs Dalloway and F Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender Is the Night, and considers both authors’ views on the connection between `madness’ and creativity. She also considers how the books reflect the growing
  25. Authors in LA: Parenting lessons from Anne Lamott and more, Los Angeles Times (blog)
    3/29: 7:30 pm Hermione Lee, president of Wolfson College, Oxford, and prize-winning biographer of Virginia Woolf and Edith Wharton, presents a lecture on the art of biography “From Memory: Literary Encounters and Life Stories” at the Huntington Library
  26. Reviews of new pop, country/ roots, jazz and classical releases, Bellingham Herald
    Lyrics include quotes from Frank O’Hara and Virginia Woolf, and stylistically, Holter occasionally echoes Laurie Anderson and, more obscurely, Stina Nordenstam. But ultimately, “Ekstasis” is fascinating, complex and unique. Via either his much-touted
  27. Virginia Woolf Visits the Daily Mail, New Yorker (blog)
    Given that long-established editorial stance, the Mail would seem to be an unlikely venue for members of the Bloomsbury Group, the cluster of writers and intellectuals that included John Maynard Keynes, EM Forster, Lytton Strachey, and Virginia Woolf
  28. Nights Out by Judith R Walkowitz: review, Telegraph.co.uk
    By Judith Flanders In her fiction, Virginia Woolf transformed Soho into a menacing urban space filled with “fierce” light and “raw” voices, even as she privately commended herself for driving a good bargain on some silk stockings “(flawed slightly)” at
  29. On This Day in History, The Province
    Died on this day: Author Virginia Woolf (1941), 34th US president Dwight D Eisenhower (1969) and Olympic gold medalist Jesse Owens (1980). To order reprints of these or other archival photos, go to http://www.sunprovince.com/reprints.
  30. Breaking the Silence…, About.com Guide
    Virginia Woolf
    killed herself on March 28, 1941. She is one of the most important women writers in English literature, famous for works like A Room of One’s Own, Mrs. Dalloway, and many other novels,
  31. Milton Earth Day Festival, NorthFulton.com
    1941: English novelist Virginia Woolf throws herself into the River Ouse near her home in Sussex. Her body is never found. 1942: A British ship, the HMS Capbeltown, a Lend-Lease American destroyer, which was specifically rammed into a German occupied
  32. Perfect Double Bill: “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” and “A Thousand Clowns”, Salon
    Daldry was also the auteur behind the best ever performance by a fake nose, in a film that made me VERY afraid of Virginia Woolf, “The Hours.” And to finish off this recipe of indigestible worthiness, meet the cast. To quote the immortal (I wish.
  33. Around Acadiana for March 27, 2012, The Advocate
    Written by Cody Daigle and directed by Alicia Chaisson, the play was inspired by Virginia Woolf’s “A Room of One’s Own” and imagines Shakespeare’s sister as equally talented and ambitious as her brother. The dress rehearsal from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm
  34. Hollywood’s Lady All-Stars, Grantland
    It took me 20 years before I got the Virginia Woolf reference in the title. Released ahead of the 50th anniversary of pro baseball played by women, A League of Their Own doubles back from a star catcher who reluctantly attends the induction of the
  35. Bechdel looks at her mom, Abrams packages the Garbage Pail Kids, and Corman’s , The Phoenix
    But the book is also preoccupied with other matters: a life history of the pioneering child psychiatrist Donald Winnicott; a close reading of Virginia Woolf’s letters and her novel To the Lighthouse; Bechdel’s own long foray into psychoanalysis,
  36. Eat this book, City Pulse
    At MSU’s contest last year, Dorothy Brooks of East Lansing created an edible tableau out of Virginia Woolf’s “A Room of One’s Own.” She built a small library by arranging Allsorts licorice squares (they look like little books) on graham-cracker shelves
  37. The Triumph of ‘Craigslist Mom’ Rebecca Land Soodak, New York Observer
    For Ms. Land Soodak, outsourcing the minutiae of modern childrearing is a privilege with feminist implications, a way to stake out not just a room of one’s own (like the Virginia Woolf essay young Kara studies in the novel), but also the mental space
  38. Wordsmiths waiting in the wings, Cambridge News
    “There will also be a celebration of the life of Angela Carter, author of The Bloody Chamber, 20 years after her untimely death, a look back at the story of the Titanic 100 years to the day after she sank, and a chance to get up-close to Virginia Woolf

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In memory of Virginia Woolf

The Writer’s Almanac posted the following tribute to Virginia Woolf, who died on this day in 1941, 71 years ago. All of the adjectives are true.

Virginia Woolf committed suicide on this day in 1941. A lively, witty, productive, creative person, whose life was overshadowed by her death. She wrote three of her best books in the space of just a few years in the 1920’s: Mrs. Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927), and Orlando (1928).

Posts from the past on the topic of Woolf’s untimely passing:

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This week in Woolf sightings, the BBC has come up with a a new two-DVD set, “In Their Own Words,” that include three one-hour documentaries that distill more than a century’s worth of BBC radio and television interviews, including Virginia Woolf’s (#29). There’s a new book about Knole (#9). And mum’s the word in To the Lighthouse (#22).

  1. Annie Leibovitz’s Ghosts, New Yorker (blog)
    She took pictures of objects she was drawn to—Emily Dickinson’s white dress; Virginia Woolf’s writing desk; Annie Oakley’s tiny heart-shaped target pierced by a bullet hole; Robert Smithson’s spiral jetty; and a cast of the veiny hands of Daniel
  2. The Public Domain – Is It Going To The Birds?, JD Supra (press release)
    The works affected are estimated to number in the millions and could include films by Alfred Hitchcock, such as The Birds; books by Virginia Woolf, such as Mrs. Dalloway; symphonies by Prokofiev, such as Peter and the Wolf; and paintings by Picasso,
  3. Dorrit Cohn, 87; among Harvard’s first tenured female professors, Boston.com
    Kacandes added that Dr. Cohn’s work “changed forever how we read” writers such as James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and Franz Kafka. In large measure, Dr. Cohn cared less about plot than “how stories are told,” her son said, “and in particular how
  4. Reality Mom: Interview with Sheila Hageman. author of Stripping Down, Ballard News Tribune
    Do you have a Phantom, as Virginia Woolf calls it, that you need to kill in order to write? Mine is my son’s teacher. I live in fear that she’ll read one of my articles that involves sex. SH: I think my phantom is plural! They are my grown-up children.
  5. The Smithsonian will convince you that videogames are art, Entertainment Weekly
    Virginia Woolf wrote a couple of books about women who carefully construct their parties as a form of art. Really, everyone could be called an “artist” — except for maybe Brett Ratner. Roger Ebert seemed to realize this point when, after throwing down
  6. Training The Black Dog, Jewish United Fund
    JK Rowling, Rosie O’Donnell and Sheryl Crow suffer from it; Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath and Kurt Cobain famously lost their fight with it. Depression. There; I have said it, spoken of the Voldemort of diagnoses, The Condition That Shall Not Be Named,
  7. Audiobooks are going Hollywood for classics, Ottawa Citizen
    “And then she went in and did one” (Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf). The actors choose a book from a company list. Jackson’s performance of the classic 1960s novel A Rage in Harlem runs nearly 51/2 hours — a mid-range length (which explains why
  8. Ashland theater group forced to take its show on the road, Mail Tribune
    Grizzard is performing a one-woman stage adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s “A Room of One’s Own” Saturday and Sunday, March 24-25, at the center as a fundraiser for the theater. Another production is planned there in August. Grizzard and representatives
  9. An English mansion comes to life in ‘Inheritance’, Clarksville Leaf Chronicle
    Another Sackville descendent, famous in her day, was the poet Vita Sackville-West (1892-1962), who had an affair with novelist Virginia Woolf (who wrote “Orlando” about her). Her love of Knole was a recipe for heartbreak, for due to the laws of
  10. A good mindset, Business Mirror
    You channel your efforts to have a nose like Nicole Kidman’s, aiming for something like Satine from Moulin Rouge, but you might end with Virginia Woolf from The Hours instead. We know of a few celebrities going under the knife multiple times and end up
  11. The Soul of the New Hacktivist, New York Times
    This week, on one of several Twitter accounts that claim to be affiliated with Anonymous, there came a call to donate money to put up billboards saying “Don’t Mess With the Internet,” alongside put-downs of “traitors” and quotes from Virginia Woolf and
  12. Audiobooks are turning to Hollywood to bring classic novels to life, Deseret News
    “A Rage in Harlem” by Chester Himes; Susan Sarandon performing “The Member of the Wedding” by Carson McCullers; Kate Winslet performing “Therese Raquin” by Emile Zola; Nicole Kidman performing “To the Lighthouse” by Virginia Woolf; and many more.
  13. Piercing performance, Denton Record Chronicle
    This meeting results in a slow-moving confrontation that gradually gains steam, ending in a wild, Virginia Woolf-inspired showdown among the foursome. The dialogue grows nastier, and wittier, as all pretenses of civility disappear.
  14. Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner – review, The Guardian
    Lolly Willowes calls for “a life of one’s own” three years before Virginia Woolf’s impassioned cry for a room. “We have more need of you,” she explains to the devil. “Women have such vivid imaginations, and lead such dull lives.
  15. The language of silence finds a voice, Russia Beyond The Headlines
    It is a tension Virginia Woolf identified in “A Room of One’s Own:” Is a book important if it deals with war and not if it deals with “the feelings of women?” Elena Chizhova . Source : ITAR – TASS.
  16. Kyo Maclear isn’t afraid of Virginia Woolf, National Post
    The life of Virginia Woolf does not seem likely to inspire a children’s book; the writer struggled with depression and mental illness for much of her life, and eventually committed suicide at the age of 59. Although she has included references to
  17. Zionism, Meet Feminism, Daily Beast
    In Three Guineas, Virginia Woolf wrote, “As a woman my country is the whole world.” I used to believe this; I thought divisions of nation, race, class, and faith could be trumped by a universalist
  18. Win a weekend’s stay in London to celebrate Dickens 2012, The Guardian
    Situated in the heart of bookish Bloomsbury, an area once home to literary legends such as Virginia Woolf and EM Forster, the Radisson Edwardian Bloomsbury Street is London’s literary hotel and remains a tranquil haven from the busy capital,
  19. Canadian author Craig Taylor really listened to create an oral portrait of , Toronto Star
    He’s reading Virginia Woolf and James Joyce, observing old men dozing behind the Times Literary Supplement and intense young novelists. Naturally, the question arises, could a similar book be written about a Canadian city? Imagine, Haligonians.
  20. What We’re Reading, New Yorker (blog)
    Virginia Woolf admitted in her diary that Mansfield’s was “the only writing I have ever been jealous of”; yet Mansfield has never been read widely enough, perhaps because she wrote stories rather than novels, or perhaps because she was a New Zealander
  21. John Carter, Cowfish, Lights, Tosh.O, RhinoTimes.com Greensboro
    The elite of Burroughs’ time, of course, was in the process of destroying literature – this was the era of James Joyce and Virginia Woolf, when writing began to be about the writer instead of a subject matter, when writing became a conversation among
  22. Inside Books: Mum’s the word, Spectator.co.uk (blog)
    There’s a similar set up with Mrs Ramsay in Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse. Again, here is a perfect mother, caring for her children and husband above all else. Her overwhelming positivity opens the book, with ‘Yes, of course, if it’s fine tomorrow
  23. Trivial Things To Know About Nicole Kidman [PHOTOS], International Business Times AU
    when she is with ex-hubby Tom Cruise during various awards night. One of her greatest dedication to her craft was for her role as Virginia Woolf in ‘The Hours’ where she trained herself to write with her right hand even if she is really right-handed.
  24. It’s Not Just Rush, Slate Magazine
    Or Virginia Woolf commenting that the wild, moral-flouting Rebecca West looked like a “gypsy.” But the strange thing is that it is still going on. The word slut may not always be explicitly uttered but an amateur anthropologist will note the exact same
  25. So to Speak | Joe Blundo commentary: For his bracket, two planets align — but , Columbus Dispatch
    But, because I don’t know Virginia Commonwealth from Virginia Woolf, I decided not to confine myself to basketball. Which will last longer? The smart money is still on eternity. But if Mitt Romney keeps whiffing on the knockout punch, who knows?
  26. After 244 Years, Encyclopaedia Britannica Stops the Presses, New York Times (blog)
    including Arnold Palmer (who wrote the entry on the Masters tournament) and Panthea Reid, professor emeritus at Louisiana State University and author of the biography “Art and Affection: A Life of Virginia Woolf” (who wrote about Virginia Woolf).
  27. Audiobooks are going Hollywood, Los Angeles Times
    “And then she went in and did one” (“Mrs. Dalloway” by Virginia Woolf). The actors usually choose a book from a list provided by the company. Jackson’s performance of the classic 1960s con novel “A Rage in Harlem” runs nearly 51/2 hours — a midrange
  28. Romney, Santorum, and Gingrich Need a Lesson in Women’s History, U.S. News & World Report (blog)
    Rick Santorum or former House Speaker Newt Gingrich ever read Virginia Woolf? Do they even know who Margaret Sanger is? What about the spitfire Quaker Alice Paul? She led the women suffrage movement to victory over seven or more years of struggle.
  29. The 20th century through the eyes and ears of the BBC, MiamiHerald.com
    Under “British Novelists,” the chronological DVD starts in 1919 and includes Evelyn Waugh (“Brideshead Revisited”) and has the only voice recording made of writer Virginia Woolf. Episode two’s “The Age of Anxiety, 1945-1969” has JRR Tolkien (“The Lord
  30. #Ididnotreport that these streets do not belong to me, EastLondonLines
    But #Ididnotreport has given new levels of depth to Virginia Woolf’s belief that: “For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.” Anonymous is still a woman, but now faceless interaction has allowed us to share and assimilate in a way never before

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Vara Neverow and Kristin Czarnecki, editors of the Virginia Woolf Miscellany, have issued a call for papers for the fall 2013 issue, #84.

The theme is Woolf and animals. From the animal nicknames she shared with loved ones; to the purchase of “a beautiful cat, a Persian cat” with her first earnings as a writer; from the cawing rooks in To the Lighthouse to the complex life of Flush to the disturbing animal imagery in Between the Acts, animals play a key role in Woolf’s life and writing.

The editors invite submissions discussing animals in Woolf both fictional and actual. They also welcome articles that align Woolf with animal elements in the work and lives of others.

Please send papers of up to 2,500 words to: Kristin Czarnecki at kristin_czarnecki@georgetowncollege.edu and Vara Neverow neverowv1@southernct.edu by Feb. 1, 2013.

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The slogan “Keep calm and carry on” is now appearing on everything from coffee mugs to note pads. I have both. But where did it come from?

As this PBS video shows, the slogan originated on a propaganda poster during World War II, but the poster itself was never displayed publicly.

Watching this video led me to think about Virginia Woolf and propaganda, and that thought led me to Mark Wollaeger’s book Modernism, Media, and Propaganda: British Narrative From 1900 To 1945 (2006). It  provides an excellent discussion of Woolf’s views on the subject — and the ways she struggles with propaganda in her novels.

As Wollaeger puts it, Woolf thought of modernism as antithetical to propaganda, and her goal was to steer clear of it. He mentions, for example, that while writing “The Pargiters,” she wrote that “this fiction is dangerously near propaganda, I must keep my hands clear” (D4 300).

Woolf avoids polemic when she explores the subject of war in Mrs. Dalloway (1925) and To the Lighthouse (1927), but in his book, Wollaeger focuses on a seemingly unlikely choice for an exploration of Woolf and propaganda, her first novel, The Voyage Out (1915). In this novel, according to Wollaeger, Woolf is engaged in a developing struggle between her own emerging modernism and “the propaganda of everyday life,” also known as the “propaganda of conformity” (73). It is a struggle in which Rachel Vinrace engages as she endeavors to discover a pure native culture in South America while still being mentally immersed in the colonial culture — and popular culture — of England.

Wollaeger explains the difficulty Rachel would have had in thinking for herself — and differentiating between national identity as reinforced by her community and calculated manipulation as perpetrated by powerful institutions — after having grown up in an environment saturated by the propaganda disseminated by mass media. In this category he includes picture postcards, which became a craze at the turn of the twentieth century, along with ads; cigarette cards; newspapers and posters.

So while Woolf directly engages with the idea of war propaganda in Mrs. Dalloway and To the Lighthouse, in The Voyage Out, she does something different. She explores the subtly intrusive ways that modern propaganda invades everyday life in ways one does not consciously recognize.


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