Archive for the ‘Online discussions’ Category

If you are a member of the Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain, you are invited to a FREE members only online Christmas celebration that includes an evening of readings about Christmas and winter from Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury group.

“A Virginia Woolf Christmas – Monks House Welcome Home” design by renowned collage artist Amanda White

What: An evening of five-minute readings by society members that will focus on writings by Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury group that discuss Christmas and or winter.
When: Wednesday, Dec. 6, 5.30 p.m. GMT
How: On Zoom. Members will receive a Zoom link, meeting ID and passcode.

Join the Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain

To join the society and have access to the Dec. 6 Zoom event, visit the group’s membership page. Members receive:

  • FREE Virginia Woolf Bulletin three times a year, containing articles, reviews and previously unpublished material by Woolf herself (normally £7 each)
  • Discount and priority notice for Birthday Lecture: this is an annual talk by a Woolf scholar or author, held on the Saturday nearest to 25 January
  • FREE regular email updates, with information and news of upcoming Woolf events
  • Discount and priority notice for VWSGB events, e.g. day conferences; study weekends, talks, visits; guided walks in an area connected with Woolf
  • Member-only online talks: live talks accessed by web link (small additional charge)
    FREE online group events: networking events and readings for members only.

Read more about Virginia Woolf and Christmas

Read Full Post »

Virginia Woolf Society Turkey is holding another online seminar, and this one covers Virginia Woolf and fashion.

What: A free online talk: “‘She had a flair for beautiful, if individual dresses’: Virginia Woolf’s Style Itineraries,” as part of the Woolf Seminars series of the Virginia Woolf Society Turkey.

When: Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. (Turkey time) or noon-2:30 p.m. EST. Check times for your location.

Who: Antoine Perret, a PhD candidate in English literature at Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris, will be the speaker.

Cost: Free

Registration: Open to all via the Eventbrite link.

About the talk

This talk will explore the intriguing paradoxes surrounding Virginia Woolf’s sartorial style. Deemed highly unfashionable by her contemporaries, she now stands as a style icon, inspiring designers and gracing the pages of fashion magazines. Woolf’s personal relationship with clothes was in itself contradictory, always oscillating between love and hate.

Perret arguesthat Woolf’s shabby looks and ostensible disinterest in dress can be seen as a posture that not only helped crafting her bohemian public persona, but also took part in her subsequent celebration on the fashion scene. Drawing from her fiction, he will eventually explore how Woolf’s distinctive style and fascination with dress also influenced her literary use of clothes.

About the speaker

Antoine Perret is a PhD candidate in English literature at Universite Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris. Supervised by Professor Catherine Lanone and Dr. Floriane Reviron-Pi?gay, he is currently writing a doctoral thesis on fashion, style, and modernism, focusing particularly on the works of E.M. Forster, Virginia Woolf, and Jean Rhys. Arguing for a material approach to literary modernism, his research addresses the role of clothing within the diegesis, while also exploring the concept of fashion taken as a social phenomenon, in particular its influence on the literary community and on aesthetic practices, so as to interrogate the modalities of modernism and its reception.

About last month’s talk

Last month, Virginia Woolf Society Turkey hosted a free online talk on “Unwriting and Rewriting History and Literary History: Woolf’s Fictions and Essays,” as part of the Woolf Seminars series.

Read Full Post »


Journalist Emma Teitel uses Woolf to critique social media.

Although Woolf lived in a pre-Internet world, one journalist has connected her ideas about artistic and social conformity with contemporary society’s obsession with social media, and the depressive effects of scrolling through photos and updates of others’ curated lives.

The Canadian publication TheStar.com has published an essay by Emma Teitel which uses some of Woolf’s ideas from The Common Reader to describe the, “soul-numbing sensation of too much time spent on social media.”

Teitel writes:

In 1925, English novelist and outcast Virginia Woolf wrote about what happens to a person when she spends her entire life trying to fit in.

‘Once conform, once do what other people do because they do it,’ Woolf wrote in The Common Reader, a collection of essays, ‘and a lethargy steals over all the finer nerves and faculties of the soul. She becomes all outer show and inward emptiness; dull, callous, and indifferent.’

Woolf Quote--Conform

Woolf’s words from 1925 are as relevant today as they were in her own time, and when applied to social media, her critiques seem to explain the depression many people experience when looking through social media sources. Teitel explains:

…there are no words more precise than ‘dull, callous and indifferent’ to describe the emotional after-effect of scrolling your way into a funk on Facebook and Instagram, where you’ve inwardly begrudged the success and beauty of other people, all the while attempting to make your own appear far greater than it actually is.


A selfie of Kylie Jenner, a member of the Kardashian family, who has 58 million followers on Instagram.

Teitel asserts that Woolf’s critical line, “outer show and inward emptiness,” can even be used as the “official tagline” of social media. And perhaps the best lines from Teitel’s article, link Woolf’s writing to Kylie Jenner:

In fact, ‘Outer show and inward emptiness,’ could serve as the medium’s official tagline  not to mention the caption beneath every Twitter selfie of Kylie Jenner.

Is there any aspect of contemporary life to which we can’t apply Woolf’s writings?

Read Full Post »

Still winter here. Snow falling. Roads bad. People complaining that their usual 15-minute drive home took two hours.

So I am staying indoors and putting up my third blog post of the day.

This one is easy. All I have to do is link you to Fernham‘s post on “Pearls and Power,” which aptly summarizes the sometimes edgy discussion that took place on the VWoolf Listserv during the last few days.

See if you agree with list mistress Anne that the dispute was between the “‘No sex, please, we’re British’ camp versus the acolytes of the clitoris.”

To illustrate the topic, I decided to play it safe. I snapped a photo of my piled-up pearls — genuine, imitation, new and hand-me-down. You may think of them however you wish.

Read Full Post »

I had the best of intentions, but I didn’t give myself enough time. That is why I have not finished my re-read of Virginia Woolf’s The Waves.

As a result, I won’t be able to plunge into the Woolf in Winter discussion of the novel led by Clare on Kiss a Cloud. But I can stick my toe in the water. So here it goes.

During the past few days, I worked my way through the early years of Woolf’s six characters: Jinny, Susan, Rhoda, Neville, Bernard and Louis.

When I left them last night, all six were on their way home from boarding school for the summer holiday. Each was looking forward to something different. Susan was longing to be back in the country. Jinny was picturing herself as an independent young woman. Louis fancied himself a poet. And so on.

What struck me so far was how beautifully and accurately Woolf captured the minds and moods of children on their way to being grown-ups. The innocence, the complications, the wretched insecurities, the brave dreams, the pleasures and the pains of childhood can all be found in Woolf’s poetic words.

In the novel, Woolf outlines each character. Then she fills in the details in the same way that the pointillist painting provided by Kiss a Cloud does.

From a distance, the dots in a pointillist painting may seem alike. But up close, each one is different. In a similar way, young children may seem alike from a distance. But up close, each one is unique.

Woolf looks at her six children up close. She bends her knees to look at the world from their perspective. She tells their six stories from the shifting vantage points of children on their way to adulthood. She understands the way they think and feel.

What I take away from these first few chapters of The Waves is that despite her own childlessness, Woolf got kids in a way that few adults do. That’s just one more thing to like about her.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: