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Archive for the ‘Orlando’ Category

If you are a regular reader of Blogging Woolf, you may have noticed that I have not posted as regularly as usual for the past year or so. I blame the pandemic.

Poster for The Woolf Salon No. 7, “A Room of Your Own Will Not Protect You: Woolf and the Second Wave Feminists”

It has shortened my attention span, sapped my motivation, stifled my creativity, and generally made it difficult for me to focus for very long on anything seemingly unessential for survival.

You may have experienced similar feelings. Or not.

Pandemic-prompted Salon

Luckily, for a number of energetic Virginia Woolf readers and scholars, the pandemic has prompted the creation of something new and innovative for Woolf lovers around the globe, The Woolf Salon.

Ben Hagen, Shilo McGiff, Amy Smith, and Drew Shannon began the project last July. Their goal was to provide regularly scheduled opportunities for conversation among those interested in Woolf.

Anyone can join the group, which meets on the third or fourth Friday of each month via Zoom and focuses on a single topic or text. Just contact woolfsalonproject@gmail.com to sign up for the email list.

Topics have included:

  1. “Imagining Woolfian Criticism”
  2. “The Leaning Tower”
  3. “Kew Gardens” and its recent adaptation in the anthology film London Unplugged
  4. “Planetary Woolf,” which introduced attendees to the forthcoming book collection, Virginia Woolf and Contemporary Global Literature (Edinburgh UP, 2021
  5. “Solid Objects” and “A Society”

Just yesterday, we met to discuss the theme “Stay, This Moment,” with a focus on two readings, Woolf’s essay “The Moment: Summer’s Night” and her story “Slater’s Pins Have No Points.”

The full schedule is available online.

Submit a proposal

Anyone interested in hosting a future salon is invited to submit a proposal. Organizers are particularly interested in featuring the work of early career researchers as well as artists and graduate students. Or a host can choose to focus on one or two short texts.

Why a Salon?

Woolf provides justification for the concept of a literary salon in Orlando (1928), the gender-shifting pseudo-biography that paid tribute to her lover Vita Sackville-West.

She describes her title character’s experiences with the salons she encountered upon her return to England from Turkey in the 18th century.

Nor could she do more as the ship sailed to its anchorage by the London Bridge than glance at coffee-house windows where, on balconies, since the weather was fine, a great number of decent citizens sat at ease, with china dishes in front of them, clay pipes by their sides, while one among them read from a news sheet, and was frequently interrupted by the laughter or the comments of the others? Were these taverns, were these wits, were these poets? . . .‘Addison, Dryden, Pope,’ Orlando repeated as if the words were an incantation. – Orlando 123-4.

Now, the Lady R.’s reception room had the reputation of being the antechamber to the presence room of genius; it was the place where men and women met to swing censers and chant hymns to the bust of genius in a niche in the wall. Sometimes the God himself vouchsafed his presence for a moment. Intellect alone admitted the suppliant, and nothing (so the report ran) was said inside that was not witty. – Orlando 145.

In three hours, such a company must have said the wittiest, the profoundest, the most interesting things in the world. So it would seem indeed. But the fact appears to be that they said nothing. – Orlando 146.

The hostess is our modern Sibyl. She [he] is a witch who lays her [his] guests under a spell. In this house they think themselves happy; in that witty; in a third profound. It is all an illusion (which is nothing against it, for illusions are the most valuable and necessary of all things, and she [he] who can create one is among the world’s greatest benefactors), but as it is notorious that illusions are shattered by conflict with reality, so no real happiness, no real wit, no real profundity are tolerated where the illusion prevails. – Orlando 146.

 

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Available on YouTube from now until July 10 is the Royal Ballet’s performance of Wayne McGregor’s Woolf Works, a triptych created in 2015.

Featuring music by Max Richter, the ballet received critical acclaim, winning McGregor the Critics’ Circle Award for Best Classical Choreography and the Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production.

Inspired by the writings of Virginia Woolf, Woolf Works is based on three of Woolf’s novels: Mrs Dalloway, Orlando and The Waves and weaves in elements from her letters, essays and diaries. the ballet looks at both her life and her work.

 

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By the second week of March, the sale of jigsaw puzzles soared, due to coronavirus quarantines. With puzzle companies closed, as they were not considered essential businesses, puzzles became scarce and prices went up.

I was one of the many who searched online to find puzzles that looked like fun and wouldn’t break the bank. I found a few. But I never thought I’d find any that included Virginia Woolf. Today I did.

Puzzling Woolf

First, there’s the EuroGraphics Famous Writers 1000 Piece Puzzle, which features Woolf smack dab in the middle of 75 other famous writers. Its finished size is 19.25″ x 26.5″ and the cost is $29.79.

Second, there’s the Re-marks Bestsellers Panoramic 1000 Piece Puzzle, which includes covers of many best-selling books, including two of Woolf’s — Orlando and Mrs. Dalloway. It measures 17″ x 9″ and the cost is $17.99.

I bought both for my collection of Woolf items.

Getting in Woolf’s head

You can also get inside Virginia Woolf’s head — and put it together — with the Virginia Woolf Paper Craft Model. This pocket-size item describes itself as “The Head is a Puzzle.” It includes eight model sheets and 22 precut puzzle pieces you assemble by connecting tabs. I’m skipping this one.

 

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Orlando, the stage adaptation by Sarah Rule, will be produced by the Marvellous Machine Theatre Company production, which is part of The Camden Fringe, July 31 through Aug. 4. Performances of Virginia Woolf’s 1928 novel are at 7:30 p.m.
Location: Theatro Technis, 26 Crowndale Road, London NW1 1TT (Mornington Crescent tube)
Tickets: £15 (£13 concessions) + £2.50 fee: book online: Book online.

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Lots of Woolf on the Web these days. Here are a few important sightings gleaned via Twitter links shared by Jane deGay and Maggie Humm.

  • Sentencing Orlando: Virginia Woolf and the Morphology of the Modernist Sentence, edited by Elsa Högberg and Amy Bromley, is a collection of 16 original essays offers fresh perspectives on Orlando through a unique attention to Woolf’s sentences.
  • Six Ways Virginia Woolf Pre-Empted Spring’s Key Looks,” by Kaye Fearon in British Vogue, Feb. 21, 2018.
  • Bonnie Greer on Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group, a podcast discussing the friendships, work and designs behind the artists, coordinated with the Virginia Woolf exhibition at Tate St Ives, 10 February – 29 April 2018. Then view her art walk below.

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