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Posts Tagged ‘weather’

In fiction and in verse, Virginia Woolf continues to be recognized, referenced, and revered. How is it that the mention of her name or a subtle allusion to her work conjures instant identification and understanding, not just by writers or scholars, but by readers of all kinds. Here are two recent sightings.

Weather sighting

In Jenny Offill’s latest novel, Weather, she conveys her ideas and story in fragments that merge into a cohesive whole. Here’s her narrator, Lizzie, a university librarian:

“I do have one bookish superstition about my birthday. I like to see what Virginia Woolf said about an age in her diaries before I reach it. Usually it’s inspiring.”

She then quotes from Volume 3 of Woolf’s Diary about life being “if anything, quicker, keener at 44 than 24….”

Zooming in on poetry

A couple of weeks ago I had the good fortune to participate in a Zoom workshop with poet and essayist Natasha Sajé, after which I bought Vivarium, her poetic abecedary teeming with word play.

An entry for the letter “B” is the witty and wise “Beauty Secrets, Revealed by the Queen in Snow White.” The advice includes “Pace yourself for 35-55” and “Brace yourself for 55-85,” and this:

“Embrace a stash and a place, Virginia wrote, 80 years ago.”

Happy reading to all who are hunkered down in this time of sheltering at home.

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“Such is the cold today”

Such is the cold today that I doubt whether I can go on with my disquisition. On such a day one would need to be of solid emerald or ruby to burn with any flame, & not merely dissolve in grey atoms in the universal grey. I saw no one on Richmond High Street who seemed to be burning with the intensity of ruby or emerald–poor pinched women, absolutely mastered by circumstances, though I did hear one speak of going home to get tea ready, which suggested the possibility of some individual life for her. Diary V: 1, 30 January 1919.

It’s minus one in Ohio today, and I second Woolf’s sentiments.

A thank you to fellow-Ohioan Kimberly Engdahl Coates of Bowling Green State University for the quote, which she shared on Facebook.

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