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Archive for November, 2016

Chiara Ferretti, an Italian fan of Virginia Woolf, sent Blogging Woolf this photo of a Woolf sighting she made in Venice. She found the Woolf poster at the Calle del Perdon, San Polo.

Woolf herself visited Venice three times — in 1904 with her family, in 1912 on her honeymoon with Leonard, and in 1932 with Leonard, Roger Fry and Margery Fry. On her 1904 trip, she stayed at the Grand Hotel on the Grand Canal.

On the occasion of her first visit, she wrote this in a 4 April 1904 letter to Violet Dickinson:

There never was such an amusing and beautiful place. We have a room here right at the top just at the side of the Grand Canal . . I can’t believe it is a real place yet and I wander about open-mouthed

For more on Woolf’s travels, visit In Her Steps and check out Travels with Virginia Woolf (1993) by Jan Morris.

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This I believe. And I voted for Hillary.

As a woman

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I don’t read a lot of poetry, but I am partial to the work of Anne Carson and Mary Oliver (and oftencoverstory-blitt-significant-others-847x1200-1477066235 confuse the two). It’s no surprise that both have referenced Virginia Woolf in their poems, no doubt recognizing her as the poet she was even though she never wrote a line of verse as such.

Anne Carson has written very little prose, so her story in this week’s (Oct. 31) New Yorker is a lovely gift. “Back the Way You Went” is exquisite, a tiny gem, as it questions so many aspects of existence in a daughter’s reflections on her mother.

The narrator comments on a dishtowel she’s given her mother-in-law, “printed with cartoon cameos of Bloomsbury celebrities.” She’s thinking about her flawed communication with her own mother, recently deceased, their fear of breaking the silence that’s built up between them. She asks herself, “Are other families like this? I know I’m setting the bar high, but I cannot imagine it was ever the wrong time to talk in, say, Bloomsbury.” And yet Woolf may have seen it otherwise; Carson’s narrator goes on to recall a passage from “A Sketch of the Past”:

“We are sealed vessels afloat upon what is convenient to call reality; at some moments, without a reason, without an effort, the sealing matter cracks; in floods reality….”

She asks, “Was it Virginia Woolf who taught us to adore these floods of reality, without which we merely navigate a sea of convenience with other people?”

Even without Woolf, the story is stunning; with her it’s even more so, and, as always seems to be the case when Woolf is referenced in fiction, so appropriate, leading this Woolfian to think, “Well, yes, of course.”

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Prompted by a collection of drawings and sketches found inside a thin blue cardboard folder labelled ‘Berwick Church’ (CHA/P/603), this week’s blog article examines some of Duncan Grant’s pre…

Source: Berwick Church murals – preliminary sketches by Duncan Grant

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