Archive for November, 2013

Virginia Woolf scores an equaliser

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There’s still time to listen to a 15-minute BBC broadcast on “Women” that includes a quote from A BBC womenRoom of One’s Own (1929) and commentary on its discussion of women’s economic status and their right to work and to learn.

Sadly, though, the broadcast repeats the myth that Woolf never attended university, one that Woolf herself perpetuated. Christine Kenyon Jones and Anna Snaith dispelled that myth in 2010 when, after discovering Woolf’s King’s College records, they published an article titled ‘Tilting at Universities’: Virginia Woolf at King’s College London’” in volume 16 of the Woolf Studies Annual.

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I can only note that the past is beautiful because one never realises an emotion at the time. It expands later, and thus we don’t have complete emotions about the present, only about the past. ― Virginia Woolf

I just came across the above quote by Woolf and thought of how appropriate it is at this time of year. The overly busy holiday season is here, a time during which we develop new traditions and follow old ones, take lots of photographs and talk about the past — all while creating new pasts that we will “expand later,” as Woolf says.


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Gradhacker on Inside Higher Ed held a “Share your Workspace” contest in which graduate students could submit a photo of their workspace to vie for prizes. The theme was “Finding a Room of One’s Own” and blogger Kelly Hanson wrote:

It seems Virginia Woolf was right, again: to write productively, I need a room of my own.

The winners were announced yesterday. Fittingly enough, the winner of the first prize was  a workspace reminiscent of Virginia Woolf, as it featured a stand-up desk.

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