Posts Tagged ‘Mark Hussey’

Woolfians near Manhattan have an advantage tomorrow. They can attend a book launch celebrating the Paris Press 10th anniversary edition of Virginia Woolf’s On Being Ill that includes Notes from Sick Rooms by her mother, Julia Stephen.

It marks the first book publication of Woolf and her mother.

The event will feature readings by Rita Charon (physician and Director of the Program in Narrative Medicine), Mark Hussey (Pace University and acclaimed Virginia Woolf scholar), Judith Kelman (Director of Visible Ink Writing Program, Memorial Sloan Kettering), and Elizabeth Lorde-Rollins (physician and poet).

Held at Case Lounge, JG Hall, Columbia Law School, the event is free and open to the public.

Read a review of the book in Publisher’s Weekly.

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Cecil Woolf Publishers, 1 Mornington Place London NW1 7RP, UK Tel: 020 7387 2394 or +44 (0)20 7387 2394 from outside the UK, cecilwoolf@gmail.com

Each year at the Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf, Cecil Woolf Publishers introduce several new monographs in their Bloomsbury Heritage Series and distribute a new catalogue of their publications.

Here are the three new titles that debuted at the 21st Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf, held June 9-12 at the University of Glasgow, and the two that were reissued:

  • Virginia Woof and the Thirties Poets by Emily Kopley
  • How Vita Matters by Mary Ann Caws
  • `I’d Make It Penal’, the Rural Preservation Movement in Virginia Woolf’s “Between the Acts” by Mark Hussey
  • Virginia Woolf, Life and London: Bloomsbury and Beyond by Jean Moorcroft Wilson, a revised reissue available in both paperback and casebound editions
  • Virginia Woolf: A to Z  by Mark Hussey, a reissue available in both paperback and casebound editions

Download Cecil Woolf Publishers Bloomsbury Heritage Series 2011 Catalogue and Order Form.

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Frank Stasio

Frank Stasio

Tune in to National Public Radio at noon EST on Jan. 29 to hear Christopher Reed, Craufurd Goodwin and Mark Hussey discuss the Bloomsbury in American Collections exhibit at the Nasher Gallery of Duke University.

The three will appear on  a WUNC program called “The State of  Things,” hosted by Frank Stasio, which broadcasts live from Chapel Hill, N.C.

Click here to listen, or turn your radio dial to 91.5-FM if you are within range of their signal.

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The Waves by Virginia WoolfCritics have praised the New York production of The Waves in its U.S. premiere at the Duke Theatre. And now Woolfians are sharing their impressions as well.

Mark Hussey, author of Virginia Woolf A to Z sent his impressions to the VW Listserv and is also sharing them with us on Blogging Woolf.

Here are Mark’s thoughts:

Leaving aside for a moment the sophisticated video technology, the experience was something like observing a studio from where a radio play was being broadcast: sound effects made ingeniously (a cricket ball striking the willow, a bird startled from cover, children squealing in a bath, a rainy day, footsteps approaching down a long corridor), actors racing from mic to mic holding their scripts. (“Could one not get the waves to be heard all through? Or the farmyard noises? Some odd irrelevant noises,” wrote Woolf in 1929.)

But although what first struck me was the rich aurality of the production, Waves is also an amazing visual experience. Continuously, new scenes form on the screen at the back of the stage, scenes framed by an actor holding a video camera who focuses on, say, Jinny in the Tube, Rhoda stretching her foot to touch the bedrail or failing to cross the puddle, Neville distracted in the restaurant as the door keeps on opening but Percival does not come… in short, the images that might form in a reader’s mind are projected as the narrative proceeds. (And is this what Woolf meant when she referred to marking the past as “scene-making”?)

And only when one looks from that screen to the long table at the front of the stage where the ‘action’ takes place is the ingenuity made clear: Jinny sits on a chair on the table with a piece of red stuff over her lap, a small powder compact open in her hand, and jiggles her legs as she might do involuntarily were she actually riding the Tube. I thought of Between the Acts, where Miss La Trobe knows that a tea-towel wrapped around the head will serve better than more expensive material to convey the impression of majesty, or silver foil will do fine service as a sword. (Now I’m feeling like Mr Streatfield: “… with the limited means at her disposal, the talented lady showed us…”!). So, simply by holding up a rectangle of wallpaper against which another actor stands holding a glass, a populated room appears on the screen.

The actors were able to create scene after scene from the lives of Jinny, Susan, Rhoda, Neville, Bernard, Louis and Percival, pulling props from long metal shelves that ran along each side of the stage.  A piece of perspex and a spray-bottle created the effect of a car windshield through which we could see Jinny on her way to a party.  A small box of dirt strewn with stones, with a foot edging across its boundary then withdrawing, shot in tight focus, became the puddle that Rhoda could not cross.  And so on.

This production is steeped in Woolf’s own thoughts on her “abstract, mystical eyeless book.”  The sound of the sea is heard throughout, and whether we are hearing the thoughts of six separate people or six facets of one mind is (properly) not made clear.

Yet the production swerves away from the novel’s pitiless impersonality, interpolating elements of “Sketch of the Past” in its text as if to anchor it in the biographical that Woolf was at such pains to avoid (“it must not be my childhood,” she wrote, for example). Parts of the interludes are read in a voice that mimics the only extant recording of Woolf’s own voice, plummy and decidedly upper-crust. This suggestion that Woolf is a presence in the text struck a false note for me (“Who thinks it? And am I outside the thinker?”). And it ends on a sentimental note—Neville’s anguished face, agonized at Percival’s death—and denies Bernard his summing up altogether.

Yet Waves is an extraordinary interpretation of The Waves, capturing its aurality and recalling Woolf’s description in “The Narrow Bridge of Art” that the novel of the future “will resemble poetry in this that it will give not only or mainly people’s relations to each other and their activities together, as the novel has hitherto done, but it will give the relation of the mind to general ideas and its soliloquy in solitude.

For under the dominion of the novel we have scrutinized one part of the mind closely and left another unexplored. We have come to forget that a large and important part of life consists in our emotions toward such things as roses and nightingales, the dawn, the sunset, life, death, and fate; we forget that we spend much time sleeping, dreaming, thinking, reading, alone; we are not entirely occupied in personal relations; all our energies are not absorbed in making our livings.”

Waves somehow, for me, displayed on stage the act, the mental process, of reading.

Feel free to share your own impressions of The Waves on stage by adding a comment below.

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From Mark Hussey, author of Virginia Woolf A to Z, comes the news that if you have a spare $153,580, eight of Woolf’s pocket diaries can be yours.

The diaries, which are being offered by an antiquarian bookseller in London, were kept by Woolf from 1930 onward. Among them is her pocket diary for 1941, the year she ended her life. The diaries include engagement entries, manuscript entries and other notes.

Get the pocket diary details here.

Want more details about Woolf for sale?

  • Read a post and comments about prices for Woolf’s novels here.
  • Get details about the Woolf letters offered for sale at a Christie’s auction last fall here.

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