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Today is Halloween, the perfect time to take a look at an infographic created by Essay Mama that depicts famous authors in costume. You’ll see Susan Sontag dressed as an adorable Teddy Bear and Colette as a cat, her favorite animal.

You’ll also see Virginia Woolf costumed as an Abyssinian prince for the famous Dreadnought Hoax. Below is a screenshot of the Woolf bit.

Woolf in costume

Panel proposals sought for MLA 2016

IVWS Logo

The International Virginia Woolf Society will have one guaranteed panel at the Modern Language Association convention in 2016.

The IVWS can submit one additional panel, which is usually accepted but not guaranteed. In addition, the group will collaborate with another allied organization still to be identified and submit a third panel.

IVWS members are invited to submit a panel topic for MLA 2016, which will be held in Austin, Texas.

Note that this is a call for panels, not individual paper proposals. Please submit one topic only. To do so, include the following in your submission:

  • A 35-word description (word count includes title), no longer!
  • The name(s) and contact information of the proposed organizer(s).

Submit your panel proposal to IVWS President-Elect Kristin Czarnecki at IVWSociety@gmail.com (note only one “S” in the address), subject line: Woolf MLA Austin 2016.

Deadline for submission: Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014.

A Facebook friend of mine is very good at spotting Virginia Woolf online. And when she does, she posts the links to my wall. Here are a couple of amusing Woolf sightings she posted just this week:

As a bonus, my friend Lisa also posted this quote a few weeks ago:

Woolf quote

Vita BiographyA new biography on Vita Sackville-West, Behind the Mask: The Life of Vita Sackville West, by Matthew Dennison is now available in hardback, paperback and as an audiobook.

Vita was a celebrated poet, author and gardener whose love affair with Virginia Woolf is highlighted in Dennison’s biography.

This is the first biography of Vita that has been published in 30 years, and this new piece explores the “triumph and contradictions of Vita’s extraordinary life.”

From HarperCollins Publishers:

Dennison’s “narrative charts a fascinating course from Vita’s lonely childhood at Knole, through her affectionate but ‘open’ marriage to Harold Nicolson (during which both husband and wife energetically pursued homosexual affairs, Vita most famously with Virginia Woolf), and through Vita’s literary successes and disappointments, to the famous gardens the couple created at Sissinghurst.”

Early reviews of this biography are mixed:

Vita and Virginia, 1932

While a review by Gerard Henderson for Express praises Dennison’s treatment of Vita, “Dennison, whose previous work was a biography of another remarkable woman, Queen Victoria, shows true affection and admiration for his latest subject,” Rachel Cooke’s review, featured on The Guardian, challenges this new biography and calls it “deficient.”

Cooke writes: “the information contained in his book is so obviously inadequate, so frequently incomplete. I need give only one example to make the point. What kind of biography of Vita Sackville-West, I wonder, refers to the suicide of Virginia Woolf in a single sentence? The only possible answer is a wholly deficient one. This friendship was one of the most significant of her life.”

The author of this new biography, Matthew Dennison, is the author of several biographies, including one on Queen Victoria.

Killing the Angel

Inaugural issue of Killing the Angel

My hat goes off to Jessica Rosevear, editor and publisher of the literary journal Killing the Angel, on the release of the third annual issue. Jessica started KTA two years ago during what continues to be a tough time for print lit journals—many are folding while others are going online, so Jessica not only bucked the tide but is continuing to swim upstream.

The content of the journal is a mix of fiction, personal essays and poems, not about Virginia Woolf but in her spirit. KTA states its goal as: “to celebrate writing that evokes response, be it joy, contemplation, sadness, inspiration, or otherwise.” Each issue explains the term “killing the angel” and offers its homage to Woolf.

The journal is available in just two physical locations, Womrath’s, a Tenafly New Jersey bookstore, and Shakespeare and Company in Paris—should you happen to be near either—or it can be ordered online.

And I guess this is where I add a disclaimer: my own essay about family and food, “Catch of the Day,” is included in this issue.

Katherine Mansfield SocietyKatherine Mansfield and the Blooms Berries, an international conference organized by the Katherine Mansfield Society that will be held at the Newberry Library in Chicago, Ill., May 28-30, 2015, has issued a call for papers.

Submit abstracts of 250 words plus a bio-sketch of 50 words to conference organizers, Todd Martin, Erika Baldt, and Alex Moffett. Email to: kmsintheus@gmail.com. Complete panel proposals of three speakers plus a chair, are welcome.

Deadline for abstracts: Oct. 30, 2014.

Get the full details.

What would Woolf drink?

If Virginia Woolf stood in front of the counter at Manhattan’s 114th Street Starbuck’s, what would she order?Woolf mug

A recent post on the Spectrum blog of the Columbia Daily Spectator speculates that her drink of choice would be a green tea cream frappuccino.

The post is said to be inspired by the new Tumblr titled Literary Starbucks, which does not include a Woolf sighting.

However, Woolf does show up in a humorous rant on the torturous process of writing a final paper published by the Spectator last spring.

Woolf herself mentions coffee in The Waves. Here’s the quote:

How much better is silence; the coffee cup, the table. How much better to sit by myself like the solitary sea-bird that opens its wings on the stake. Let me sit here for ever with bare things, this coffee cup, this knife, this fork, things in themselves, myself being myself.

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