Archive for April, 2013

Virginia Woolf and Dutch biking trivia is Woolf sighting number one this week. Other sightings include a mention of Woolf’s writing lodge in the same breath as a UK Thinking Shed (3), an op-ed in the LA Times that includes three Woolf novels on a list of “Literature’s Greatest Hits,” and a quasi-mystical novel that connects Woolf to an imaginary Nazi win in World War II (6). Read on for more.

  1. A spin through a world where bicycles rule streetsLos Angeles TimesScreen Shot 2013-04-29 at 11.08.20 PM
    It seems just about any and every famous person who ever rode a bike in Amsterdam or who wrote about the city’s cycling scene earns a cameo, including Audrey Hepburn, Albert Camus and Virginia Woolf. In 1935, Woolf wrote in her diary that “the cyclists 
  2. Woolf’s Orlando on stage at USMThe Portland Phoenix
    With insights into both the masculine and the feminine, s/he is at the center of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, a fabulist commentary on the fluidity of gender and sexual identity. Playwright Sarah Ruhl’s adaptation of the novel is on stage in a vivacious 
  3. The Diary: Inspiration? Here’s a shed load of ideasThe Star
    The Thinking Shed at Digital Media Centre Barnsley . By Colin Drury Published on 22/04/2013 09:40. THE shed: a humble environment which has inspired some of history’s most creative moments. Mark Twain, Virginia Woolf and Roald Dahl all wrote in theirs.
  4. A Golden Age Mood Board Based on Spring AltuzarraNew York Magazine
    He’s referring to the cinematic version of Virginia Woolf’s book, a gender bending time-warp with Tilda Swinton as its main character. One scene, with Moorish architecture and Ottoman fashion, served as inspiration for this heavily spangled look. And 
  5. Austin Peay State University’s Jill Franks to discuss new book at May 14th Clarksville Online
    A brilliant but melancholy young writer named Virginia Woolf often attended these salons, known as the Bloomsbury Group, and it seems fitting that her presence will again be evoked at 5:00pm on May 14th during the Austin Peay State University Center of 
  6. In House of Rumour, Ian Fleming and Aleister Crowley win World War II – io9io951emOSk-DZL._SL75_
    But in Jake Arnott’s novel House of Rumour it becomes the focal point for a secret history that’s stranger and more elaborate than just “What if the Nazis won?” Arnott weaves figures like L. Ron Hubbard and Virginia Woolf into a quasi-mystical tale.
  7. Daphne du Maurier and Her Sisters: The Hidden Lives of Piffy, Bird and Bing by The Guardian
    Her book belongs to the growing genre of what might be called Sisterly Feelings; Paula Byrne’s excellent recent The Real Jane Austen and Dunn’s own A Very Close Conspiracy: Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf are notable examples, though perhaps one of 
  8. ‘The Interestings,’ by Meg WolitzerWashington Post
    “The Interestings,” the new novel by Meg Wolitzer, arrives with an endorsement from the estimable author of “The Marriage Plot” and “Middlesex,” stating that, “Like Virginia Woolf in The Waves, Meg Wolitzer gives us the full picture here.” (Riverhead 
  9. `William and Judith’ takes on the Bard at the BrowncoatStarNewsOnline.com (blog)
    Photo courtesy of Richard Davis. Downtown Wilmington’s Browncoat Pub & Theatre opens its latest play April 19, “William & Judith,” an original work by Cody Diagle. It was inspired by this quote from the author Virginia Woolf: “Let me imagine, since the 
  10. Don’t Miss: April 19-26Wall Street Journal
     recalling Mr. Bennett’s working-class childhood in the north of England. An engaging treat, as we follow the gentle slope of the career he sums up as: “If you’re born in Barnsley and set your sights on being Virginia Woolf, it isn’t going to be ..
  11. To the Lighthouse: You Know, the One in San Francisco Hardly Anyone Seems The Atlantic Cities
    So I pose the question to you, dear reader, by way of Virginia Woolf: For how would you like to spend the night upon a private island the size of a tennis lawn in San Francisco Bay? For just a night or two, I reckon most of us — like Woolf’s young 
  12. Best Bets, April 19Austin American-Statesman
    Virginia Woolf’s and James Joyce’s studies of characters’ inner ramblings are a Modernist artifact for plenty of writers and readers today. But for Kelman, they remain a useful way to explore the depths of people often considered outsiders. His Booker 
  13. Entertainment calendarNews Sentinel
    IPFW’s Department of Theatre presents “Orlando,” the stage adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s novel by playwright Sarah Ruhl in its last weekend. Performances are at 8 p.m. today-Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday in Williams Theatre, 2101 Coliseum Blvd. E.
  14. ‘Orlando’ highlights role of Greek chorusYale Daily News (blog)
    “Orlando,” a play by Sarah Ruhl, a lecturer at the School of Drama and Theatre Studies Department, is a dramatic adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s novel “Orlando: A Biography.” Orlando is a young man born in Elizabethan England who lives in several 
  15. Tribeca Film Festival Will Honor Nora Ephron With an Annual Award to a Woman Slate Magazine (blog)
    But it’s a substantial cushion, an updated version of Virginia Woolf’s “money and a room of her own.” And unlike lots of people who are honored by Hollywood, Ephron’s a genuinely great role model, someone who made movies about and for women—but not
  16. On the Page: Willa Cather and Fiona MaazelNew York Observercather
    If Willa Cather isn’t the most well-known 20th century American writer, she’s certainly one of the most underrated, a direct descendent of Virginia Woolf and a clear precedent to the straight-laced social realism of Jonathan Franzen. The pressing 
  17. Sleeping with Tilda and QuentinHuffington Post
    In 1993, Tilda Swinton portrayed an English nobleman next to Quentin Crisp’s Queen Elizabeth in Sally Potter’s film adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s gender-bending novel, Orlando. In the film, Orlando, played by Swinton, subtly, surprisingly changes his 

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If you are interested in Virginia Woolf and art, a 46-minute introductory talk on “Women Writers and the Avant-Garde: Virginia Woolf and Painting” is a real find.

Dr. Manuela Palacios González

Dr. Manuela Palacios González

Dr. Manuela Palacios González, professor of English Literature at the University of Santiago at Compostela, is the lecturer.

Thanks to Manuela Palacios Gonzalez for the link.

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Erin M Kingsley, Ph.D. candidate and digital pedagogy instructor in the English Department at the University of Colorado at Boulder, assigns her students a creative project each semester. This term,  one student turned a famous passage from Mrs. Dalloway into what Kingsley describes as “a compelling piece of digital storytelling.”

Kingsley said she enjoyed the video, particularly its flower imagery, and asked Virginia Woolf Listserv readers to share their thoughts.

Comments from a few Listserv readers are posted below. I invite you to watch The Odes to Time and share your response to this powerful and thought-provoking video in the comments section at the end of this post.

A quote from a Virginia Woolf Listserv reader:

I thought this was great! Startling and in a good way so as to make me see, think and feel the words and their movement. What a great project!

And another:

The word “time” split its husk; poured its riches over him; and from his lips fell like shells, like shavings from a plane, without his making them, hard, white, imperishable words, and flew to attach themselves to their places in an ode to Time.

We saw the 2 types of shell; it would have been good to have seen 2 types of  plane, and shavings from a plane.  I can’t remember when I last saw shavings from a plane in real life.  It takes me back to my childhood. The images certainly made me *think* about this sentence, not just read it.

And yet another:

VW constantly surprises with the freshness and sharpness of her images; she forces the grey matter to stand up and dance.

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Two sightings that locate Virginia Woolf in academia — a natural fit of course.

Screen Shot 2013-04-19 at 12.05.49 PMFirst up is a sighting posted by Emily Kopley to the Virginia Woolf Listserv that has also made its way around Facebook. It appeared in the April 8, 2013, issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education as an essay on teaching English to high school students and was titled “What my Ph.D. Taught Me.” The author is Jessica Levenstein, an English teacher at Horace Mann.

Kopley posted “the Woolfian bit” to the list, since the article is available to Chronicle subscribers only. She is the author of Virginia Woolf and the Thirties Poets (Cecil Woolf Publishers, 2011, #60 in the Bloomsbury Heritage monograph series).

“Every now and then, in the classroom, there are transcendent moments that surpass my own great expectations, formed in the classrooms of my astounding professors. Last spring, as we finished discussing Clarissa Dalloway’s June day, we read aloud Clarissa’s reaction to the news of Septimus’s suicide: “A thing there was that mattered; a thing, wreathed about with chatter, defaced, obscured in her own life, let drop every day in corruption, lies, chatter.”

“The room was quiet for a moment, as my students considered what that “thing” might be for Clarissa, and what it might be for them. Finally, an 11th-grade girl at the far end of the table sighed, “I wish I could always be in the middle of reading *Mrs. Dalloway.*” Become a teacher, I thought, and your wish can come true.

The second academic sighting is Simon Gikandi’s editor’s column, “The Fantasy of the Library,” in the January issue of PMLA.pmla.2013.128.issue-1.cover Gikandi begins the piece by relating the envy of Woolf that he felt “Once upon a time, when I was dreaming of becoming a writer.”

His envy, he explains, was “because she had the good fortune to live in Bloomsbury, close to the British Museum and its famous Reading Room.” He goes on to cite Woolf’s descriptions of the room in A Room of One’s Own and Jacob’s Room.

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“What does the brain matter compared with the heart?” — Virginia Woolf

Current Woolf sightings include a rerun of Virginia Woolf’s 1920 attack on misogyny republished in the New Statesman (4), sentimental journeymention of the quote above as an idea that can change one’s life (6), commentary about references to Woolf in the Tina Fey film Admission (18-19), and the Oxford University Press discovery of a Woolf introduction in an out-of-print edition of Laurence Sterne’s 1928 novel A Sentimental Journey (21).

  1. Virginia Mak, Virginia Woolf and a room of one’s ownVancouver Sun
    With a nod to Virginia Woolf’s essay, A Room of One’s Own, Toronto-based artist Virginia Mak offers a series of photographs that comment on the conditions required to engage in the creative process. Mak’s exhibition, Of One’s Own, is on display at 
  2. Virginia Woolf, By Alexandra HarrisThe Independent
    Harris deftly takes us through Woolf’s stodgy Victorian childhood, when the always surprisingVirginia was a demon cricket bowler, the mysterious abuse by half-brother George and the first assault of bipolar disorder at 14, which transformed her life 
  3. Bridge: Do Not Forget To Count The PointsDalles Chronicle
    Virginia Woolf said, “On the outskirts of every agony sits some observant fellow who points.” It is a sad fact of bridge that it does not matter how great your bidding might be. If you do not make the contract, the opponents get points. In this deal 
  4. Inside The Centenary Issuecentenary-web-cover, New Statesman
    In addition to our stellar spread of original content, we republish key pieces from the Statesman’s venerable archive, from Virginia Woolf’s 1920 attack on misogyny to John Maynard Keynes powerful meditations on the Spanish Civil War, from 1937.
  5. The Bechdel TestThe Daily Cougar
    And how small a part of a woman’s life is that” – “A Room of One’s Own,” Virginia Woolf. It is patently obvious, in going through the history of cinema, that men and male roles have dominated the silver screen. Woolf’s quote, particularly “and how 
  6. How 99 Days Can Change Your Life: The Hope Street ChallengeHuffington Post
    These women, Virginia Woolf, George Elliot, Charlotte Brontë and Florence Nightingale among them, had a great deal of inspiring ideas about how to best fulfill your dreams and transform your life. To launch the book I wrote a 99 Day blog — on Facebook 
  7. The Saturday QuizThe Independent
    In order to write fiction, said Virginia Woolf, one must have money and… what? 3. The Vogalonga is an annual rowing race that takes place in which European city? 4. Which tennis player, b1952, holds the record for the most tournament victories (109 
  8. Unmastered Angel: PW Talks with Katherine AngelPublishers Weekly
    The word “unmastered” started swimming about in my head a few months into the writing, and it immediately felt important. Then, rereading [VirginiaWoolf’s diaries, I found the quote I used—“Why do we like the frantic, the unmastered?”—and that 
  9. Emma Watson learns pole dancing skills for new filmBusiness Standard
    So I had this surreal experience where I was studying the modernists, writing about Virginia Woolfon Friday night, then driving to London for pole dancing classes on Saturday morning,” she said. Watson also said that she is highly inspired by the ..
  10. Sally Potter Relives Cold War Tensions With ‘Ginger & Rosa’EDGEOnTheNet
    For the woman who made her name adapting Virginia Woolf, and writing entire films in iambic pentameter, it’s a startling turn. The last thing we expected from Potter, a decided experimentalist, was a reserved historical drama, especially one driven 
  11. Why So Many People Misunderstand Jane AustenSlate Magazine
    Writing about a rough draft of The Watsons, one of Austen’s unfinished books,Virginia Woolf said that “the stiffness and bareness of the first chapters” suggest that “she was one of those writers who lay their facts out rather baldly in the first 


    In Denver photographer Sally Stockhold’s series of hand-colored prints, “myselfportraits, ode to icons,” on view at the Firehouse Art Center, she assumes the role of various iconic women, such as here, where she plays Virginia Woolf. (Firehouse Art Center)

  12. Longmont’s Firehouse Art Center: Sally Stockhold exhibit closes SundayLongmont Daily Times-Call
    In Denver photographer Sally Stockhold’s series of hand-colored prints, “myselfportraits, ode to icons,” on view at the Firehouse Art Center, she assumes the role of various iconic women, such as here, where she plays Virginia Woolf. (Firehouse Art 
  13. What do we learn from images of violence?BDlive
    In her book, Three Guineas, written in 1938, Virginia Woolf professed that the shock of horrific images of war cannot fail to unite people of goodwill. Woolf responded to a letter from an eminent lawyer in London, who asked: “How in your opinion are we 
  14. Laurinburg scholar focuses on women sleuthsLaurinburg Exchange
    “I love Virginia Woolf with the intellectual love of an adult, but I love Georgette Heyer with the deeply passionate, emotional attachment reserved for the favorite texts of one’s youth,” she wrote in the preface. If middlebrow fiction was shunned by 
  15. Is Wales the new Sussex for gardeners?Telegraph.co.uk
    Witness the intriguing plot at Charleston, where the garden was a communal effort involving the numerous weekend guests of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, including E M Forster, Maynard Keynes, Virginia Woolf (Vanessa’s sister) and Lytton
  16. Review: Vanessa and VirginiaNouse
    In a humble London studio, a two-strong cast resurrects the Bloomsbury sisters Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell. Vanessa and Virginia is Elizabeth Wright’s new play, based on the semi-biographical novel by Susan Sellers. Those who are yet to encounter 
  17. Orlando’ hits the ground running at F&M CollegeLancaster Newspapers
    In Sara Ruhl’s adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s high-spirited biographical parody, opening Thursday at Franklin & Marshall College’s Roschel Performing Arts Center, Orlando will race through more than 300 years of history and some pretty radical changes.
  18. Reel Advice : Reel advice: SchooledChicagoPride.com
    Her long time partner Mark (Michael Sheen in another cartoonish role), has been cheating on Portia with a she-wolf Virginia Woolf scholar. Her relationship with her self-sufficient, single mother Susannah (scene-stealer Lily Tomlin), author of the 
  19. Hey, ‘Admission’: Quit using Virginia Woolf as a punchline!Christian Science MonitorVW_full_380
    Thanks to “Admission,” a new film comedy starring Tina Fey as Portia Nathan, an admissions officer at Princeton, Virginia Woolf is getting a renewed profile – although not necessarily the kind of attention that promises to win Woolf new readers. Skip 
  20. HISTORY LESSON: Novelist and critic Virginia Woolf died, Alfred Hitchcock filmSan Angelo Standard Times
    In 1941, novelist and critic Virginia Woolf, 59, drowned herself near her home in Lewes, East Sussex, England. In 1943, composer Sergei Rachmaninoff died in Beverly Hills, Calif.In 1963, the Alfred Hitchcock film “The Birds” premiered in New York. In 
  21. Virginia Woolf on Laurence SterneOUPblog 
    During a recent trip to Oxford University Press’s out of print library in Oxford, we came across the 1928 Oxford World’s Classics edition of his novel A Sentimental Journey, which included an introduction by none other than Virginia Woolf. In it, Woolf 
  22. A Servant of One’s Own: On Virginia Woolf, Domestics, and Downton AbbeyThe Millions
    At least, that is the case for the inhabitants of Downton, a grand house that is within itself a dying breed, but the 18 years Nellie Boxall served as cook to Virginia Woolf, however, were a far more fraught affair than the coupling of Lady Mary 
  23. Magical & deliciousThe Recorder
     her sister, Vanessa Bell. The cover of the newly released volume, which includes “On Being Ill” by Virginia Woolf and “Notes from Sick Rooms” by her mother, Julia Stephen, who wrote from the perspective of a caregiver. Cover art and design by Don 

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