Archive for July, 2012

A Virginia Woolf connection to the 2012 Summer Olympics? But of course! As it turns out, one of her ancestors lived in Clissold House, now the park cafe and the spot where the Olympic torch will be passed on tomorrow.

Included in this week’s Woolf sightings is The Guardian reflection on Woolf’s 1937 musings about the park and the city in which it sits.

  1. Donation speaks volumesThis is South Wales
    The collection includes a number of books by and about Virginia Woolf, and books previously owned by Enid Bagnold. The volumes were donated to Oxfam by a woman who worked at a London bookshop by day and a theatre by night. Oxfam Bookshop’s 
  2. Olympic torch route, day 64: there’s something for everyone in Clissold Park,
    The Guardian
    An ancestor of Virginia Woolf inhabited Clissold House, now the park cafe, when it was a private home. After visiting the park in 1937, she wrote in her diary of the contrast between the life her family would have led there when the house was an elegant private 
  3. Big Apple for bookworms,
    Sydney Morning Herald
    Cast your eyes down and you’ll find words of wisdom from Virginia Woolf, E.B. White, Gertrude Stein, Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway and many others. The plaque that features poet Muriel Rukeyser reads: “The universe is made of stories,
  4. Book of a lifetime: Prelude by Katherine MansfieldThe Independent
    But I do remember coming across Prelude, her only novel – novella, really, a long, long short story made up of scenes a bit like chapters – published by Virginia Woolf’s Hogarth Press in 1918. This edition I found, when I was about 12 or 13, among the books 
  5. Happy Birthday Judy Chicago! (INTERVIEW, PHOTOS)Huffington Post
    Installation view of The Dinner Party, Wing 3 showing Virginia Woolf and Georgia O’Keeffe Placesettings © Judy Chicago, 1979. Collection of the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Photo © Donald Woodman. HP: How do you think works like “The Dinner Party” have 
    Cover of "The Dinner Party"
  6. Werk Collective review: Fresh talentSan Francisco Chronicle
    In her “Angel” duet, Finwall cites Virginia Woolf and Charlotte Perkins Gilman as inspirations, but this seems less an homage than an austere formalist essay uniting two physically disparate dancers, Julia Hollas and Vivian Aragon. They launch into sequential 
  7. Inside the ListNew York Times
    “Some of the most interesting insights on happiness came from my favorite novelists,” Rubin writes: “Leo Tolstoy, Virginia Woolf and Marilynne Robinson — in fact, some novels, such as Michael Frayn’s ‘A Landing on the Sun,’ Ann Patchett’s ‘Bel Canto’ and 
  8. Luna Stage announces its 20th Anniversary Season
    NorthJersey.com (press release)
    The season will feature the New Jersey premiere of “Vita and Virginia” by Eileen Atkins, adapted from correspondence between Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West; the world premiere of “Carnaval” by Obie Award-winning playwright Nikkole Salter; and a ..
  9. Travel 101 … RavelloTODAYonline
    Villa Cimbrone is famed as where the authors of the Bloomsbury group – Virginia Woolf, Leonard Woolf, E M Forster and John Maynard Keynes – used to hang out. Villa Rufolo, on the other hand, inspired composer Richard Wagner’s opera Parsifal. Entry costs 
  10. Caitlin Moran on Slut Walks, Feminism, and Being the British Tina FeyDaily Beast
    If you want your perfect feminist British fucking revolution where people go on Slut Walks dressed as Virginia Woolf, waving Penguin Classics in the air, then you go and have that revolution. Have you seen Girls? Oh my God, have I seen Girls? I live in 
  11. Kitty Wells: Feminist Country Godmother to Britney SpearsThe Atlantic
    She created the musical equivalent of Virginia Woolf’s “room of one’s own.” Her first hit and signature song, “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels,” was written as a direct rebuke to a line in Hank Thompson’s “Wild Side of Life” and precipitated a 

Read Full Post »

Today we have another Woolf sighting of  Virginia Woolf in contemporary fiction, this one in a novel by Pat Barker aptly (for a Woolf reference) titled Toby’s Room. It is due out in August, and once again, it comes via the  VWoolf Listserv, this time from Stephen Barkway.

The Woolf reference is spelled out in a Guardian piece titled “The Big Novels of 2012,” and it reads:

Barker’s focus is art student Elinor Brooke, torn between a desperate desire for independence and a feeling (partly ascribed to Virginia Woolf, whom she briefly meets) that the war has nothing to do with women.

In this novel, Barker brings back students of the Slade School of Art, whom readers first met in her 2007 novel Life Class, set in 1941. It was a move she predicted during an interview with The Guardian back in 2007.

The narrative of Toby’s Room takes place between 1912 and 1917 and involves art student Elinor Brooke’s search for her brother Toby who is reported “Missing, Believed Killed” during World War I.

Barker is best known for her Regeneration trilogy, which includes Regeneration (1991), The Eye in the Door (1993) and The Ghost Road (1995).

Watch an interview with Barker about the novel, and you will note even more similarities to Woolf.

Read Full Post »

This week, on the Women’s Media Center website, Courtney Martin writes of experiencing Life in Lady Writer Heaven at Hedgebrook Farm on Whidbey Island off the coast of Seattle, and of course she alludes to Virginia Woolf:

While in residence here, each woman gets a “cottage-of-one’s-own” that would make even Virginia Woolf giddy.  

Read Full Post »

Photo by Roberta Rubenstein

Virginia Woolf scholar Roberta Rubenstein offers this Woolf sighting and a photo to illustrate it: The London restaurant, Zizzi, 33 Charlotte Street, London, features a 12-foot wall mural of a couple dancing. Below them is this famous Woolf quote:

One cannot think well, sleep well, live well if one has not dined well.

Woolf’s assertion is one of several comments printed on paper napkins at the restaurant, which features excellent Italian food, according to Rubenstein.

The mural is likely a product of the restaurant’s “Fresh Talent” initiative, which commissions artists to produce their art inside the chain’s restaurants.

Read Full Post »

In addition to our regular Woolf sightings, we offer a number of references to “Woolf in Pop Culture” shared via the VWoolf Listserv.

Contributors include Keri Barber, Vara Neverow, Helen E. Southworth, Cheryl Hindrichs and Blogging Woolf’s very own Alice Lowe, who has been collecting references to Woolf in contemporary fiction for years — and has lived to write a monograph about it. Alice’s Beyond the Icon: Virginia Woolf in Contemporary Fiction is part of Cecil Woolf Publishers’ Bloomsbury Heritage Series.

  • Jane Gardam slips Woolf into her work. In her 2008 novel Faith Fox, a major character is Thomasina Fox. A confused woman refers to her as Thomasina Woolf, remarking that “She wrote The Waves, you know.” Woolf also appears as a glimpsed character in Crusoe’s Daughter and in Gardam’s stories “The Last Reunion” and “The People on Privilege Hill.”
  • Woolf shows up in Alison Bechdel‘s graphic memoir Are You My Mother? Reviews of the memoir often include this fact, as mentioned in numerous Woolf sightings.
  • Woolf makes a quick appearance in Gillian Flynn‘s new novel, Gone Girl. Here is the quote: “I will drink a giant ice-wet shaker of gin, and I will swallow sleeping pills, and when no one is looking, I’ll drop silently over the side [of the Mississippi], my pockets full of Virginia Woolf rocks. It requires discipline.”

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: