Archive for January, 2013

three guineas websiteIn the 1930s, Virginia Woolf began to collect newspaper clippings about the relationships between the sexes in England, France, Germany and Italy. She pasted these clippings into scrapbooks that became the foundation from which she developed two of her works — her novel The Years (1937) and her pacifist-feminist polemic Three Guineas (1938).¹

In 1983, Brenda Silver produced the foundational work on these manuscript materials when she published Virginia Woolf’s Reading Notebooks, a volume that summarized more than 40 volumes of Woolf’s notes, including those compiled during the 1930s. Because Silver’s work covers such vast territory, it can be described as “a dated list of the contents of each of the notebooks.” As a result, it gives us an inside look at what Woolf was reading as she was writing her novels and essays.

Although it is out of print, hard copies of Virginia Woolf’s Reading Notebooks can be obtained from second-hand sellers and libraries. Now Woolf scholars and common readers everywhere can once again obtain access to the notebooks Woolf used when writing Three Guineas through the Three Guineas Reading Notebooks website. The password-protected site requires users to purchase an annual subscription. To do so , send an email to Vara Neverow.

What the site gives subscribers is online access to fragile archival material that one would be forced to travel to England to access. Included are digital images of three of Woolf’s reading notebooks that are part of the University of Sussex’s Monk’s House Papers.

According to Neverow, Merry Pawlowski conceived the concept of preserving these documents digitally in the 1990s. Pawloski and12th Woolf conference collected papers Neverow worked together on the project and originally launched a website created and hosted at California State University, Bakersfield until last year. The website has now been transferred to Southern Connecticut State University.

In addition to the Three Guineas Reading Notebooks, two digital volumes of selected papers from Woolf conferences are also available at the site, and neither is password-protected:

  • Woolf: Across the Generations: Selected Papers from the Twelfth Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf (2002)14th Woolf conference selected papers
  • Back to Bloomsbury: Selected Papers from the 14th Annual Conferences on Virginia Woolf (2004)

Both are downloadable as PDFs at no cost.

¹This is briefly discussed in Mark Hussey’s Preface to Harcourt’s annotated edition of Three Guineas (2006).

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Several Virginia Woolf/Modernism-related items here, all gleaned from Facebook friends who teach Woolf in the college classroom.

  • Elisa Kay Sparks and her students are building an iPad app called WoolfPlace that will provide maps, histories, references, pictures, links and videos for different sites in Woolf’s life and works.
  • Anne Fernald’s students are blogging about Woolf as part of the undergraduate Woolf elective course Fernald is teaching at Fordham University this spring. You can find their posts at 3504 Woolf. Fernald kicked off the course by playing Florence and the Machine’s “What the Water Gave Me.”
  • Also from Fernald is the news that Faber has launched a new “Wasteland” app that includes the full text of the poem, a variety of audio readings (including two by T.S. Eliot himself, and one by Viggo Mortensen), plus a video rendition.


Florence + the Machine – What The Water Gave Me [Official Music Video] from Back Alley Journals on Vimeo.

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Leonard Woolf bustA Day Symposium on Leonard Woolf’s The Village in the Jungle will be held Saturday, March 9, at Hertford College, Oxford.

The event is hosted by the Oxford Centre for Life-Writing at Wolfson College to mark the centenary of the publication of Leonard Woolf’s path-breaking first novel, set in then Ceylon, The Village in the Jungle (1913). Woolf’s novel (the first of only two) is a leading, yet often overlooked, modernist document and is increasingly recognized as an extraordinarily far-sighted colonial text, an oblique record of his years as a colonial officer in Ceylon (1904-11). It has also become a foundational novel in the Sri Lankan literary canon.

The workshop will consider Woolf’s radical colonialist legacy, and will explore the relationshipvillage in the jungle of The Village in the Jungle to his later oeuvre of economic theory and political commentary, as well as to the field of post/colonial and empire writing more broadly. We will be interested, too, in the many intertextual links running between the 1910s work of Virginia Woolf, Lytton Strachey, E.M. Forster and others of and related to the Bloomsbury group, and that of Leonard Woolf, and consider some of the intersections between their works and their lives.

View the symposium program.
Register for the symposium.

Address symposium queries to Dominic Davies at  leonard.woolf.symposium@gmail.com.

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Today is Virginia Woolf’s birthday. It is now 131 years since she was born on Jan. 25, 1882, at 12:15 p.m., inwoolf quote Kensington, London, and birthday wishes are coming to her from around the globe, courtesy of the Web.

In honor of her special day, the Christian Science Monitor has put up this post: Virginia Woolf: 10 quotes on her birthday. The piece credits her for having made a “major impact on the shaping of the modern novel” and being “an early advocate of women’s rights.”

And the New York Public Library has selections of Woolf’s novels that you can read online in celebration. Just add cake.

HuffPost Books has the Woolf quote graphic at top right, which I found thanks to my friend Margaret of Kent State University, posted on its Facebook page.

mixtapeBloggers who have posted birthday wishes include the Book Riot  and this blog. And Lifelounge has put together a Virginia Woolf mixtape in honor of her 131st, along with this note of thanks, “Hey VW, thanks for writing all kinds of things we didn’t know how to say! Also, how did you live to 131?”

If you live near London or Wilton, Conn., you can also attend one of these celebrations:

Here is what sounds like a birthday wishes, as articulated by Woolf in her short story, “The String Quartet,” which is included in Monday or Tuesday (1921):

Iwant to dance, laugh, eat pink cakes, drink thin, sharp wine. Or an indecent story, now—I could relish that. The older one grows, the more one likes indecency.

Read more about past birthday celebrations for Virginia:

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room marathonFive and a half hours. That’s how long it will take 20 actors to complete a marathon reading of the 114 pages of Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own this Saturday, Jan. 26, just one day after Woolf’s official birthday.

The event will take place at the Wilton Library’s Brubeck Room, 137 Old Ridgefield Rd. in Wilton, Conn.

Admission is free. Audience members can arrive and depart at any time during the performance. Notable among the actors scheduled to read, according to The Hours Online, are Mia Dillon, Joanna Keylock, Kate Katcher, Sharon Ullrick, Megan Harris-Smith, Candace Clinger, Eileen Winnick.

Read more about past birthday celebrations for Virginia:

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