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Archive for the ‘Virginia Woolf’ Category

Diary Vol. 3We all know that Virginia Woolf was on the BBC. Her essay, “Craftsmanship,” was  broadcast as part of BBC Radio’s “Words Fail Me” series on 29 April 1937.

The piece took up about 21 minutes of air time, but less than eight minutes were actually recorded. To those of us who love her work, it seems tragic that her voice reading every word  of her essay is not preserved on tape. But tape was expensive, and more of her words were preserved than was typical for such broadcasts. Three to four minutes was the standard, according to the Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain.

But until now, I didn’t know that Woolf also recorded her thoughts about the BBC in her diary — and that those thoughts would be used in a current-day analysis of BBC objectivity. Here’s what Woolf recorded in her diary for 6 May 1926:

There is a brown fog; nobody is building; it is drizzling. The first thing in the morning we stand at the window & watch the traffic in Southampton Row. This is incessant. Everyone is bicycling; motor cars are huddled up with extra people … It is all tedious & depressing, rather like waiting in a train outside a station. Rumours are passed round – that the gas would be cut off at 1 – false of course. One does not know what to do … A voice, rather commonplace & official, yet the only common voice left, wishes us good morning at 10. This is the voice of Britain, to which we can make no reply. The voice is very trivial, & only tells us that the Prince of Wales is coming back, that the London streets present an unprecedented spectacle.

These words of Woolf’s are used to introduce an 18 August 2014 piece in The Guardian that questions whether this trust in the BBC is still well-placed. The article quotes Woolf extensively in its review of BBC coverage of the General Strike of 1926.

One quote shares Woolf’s response to Winston Churchill’s efforts to make the BBC an offshoot to the British Gazette, the government’s short-lived publication that served as an effective propaganda tool for the government. Churchill, a correspondent in the Boer War, shaped the paper’s editorial stance, all while he was serving as Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Winston … said it was monstrous not to use such an instrument [as broadcasting] to the best possible advantage.

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Frome Station

Frome Station in southern England.

According to the Frome Standard, money is being raised to establish one of England’s famous blue plaques at the Frome Railway Station in southern England to commemorate “the journey Leonard Woolf made traveling from Frome to London on Thursday, Jan. 11, 1912, to propose marriage to Virginia Stephen.” Blue plaques are permanent signs that appear throughout the United Kingdom and serve as markers of historical interest to indicate the homes and workplaces of famous people.

leonardandvirginiawoolfwedding

Leonard and Virginia on their wedding day, August 10, 1912.

From the Frome Standard:

“The outcome of this journey was so significant, not just to the two people involved, but to the worlds of publishing, 20th century literature and international politics that a group of people calling themselves the Woolf Plaque Supporters feel it deserves commemorating.”

Supporters of the plaque are asking for 100 people to donate £5 to ensure the establishment of this homage to Leonard’s proposal.

Hogarth House plaque

Fitzroy Plaque

29 Fitzroy Square plaque

Other blue plaques that remember the Woolfs include one at Hogarth House and one at 29 Fitzroy Square.

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Men Explain Things to Me front coverWoolfians who attended the 2009 conference in New York, Woolf in the City, were treated to a keynote address by Rebecca Solnit. In person as in her prose, Rebecca paints beautiful word pictures and reflect thoughtfully on their significance.

Her talk wasn’t included in the selected papers from that conference, but now she has published it as “Woolf’s Darkness: Embracing the Inexplicable” in her newest book, Men Explain Things to Me. The essay’s title in this volume is taken from Woolf’s 1915 diary entry: “The future is dark, which is the best thing the future can be, I think.” In noting the relevance of Woolf’s work today, Solnit says: “Here we are, after all, revisiting the words of a woman who died three quarters of a century ago and yet is still alive in some sense in so many imaginations, part of the conversation, an influence with agency.”

The title essay, “Men Explain Things to Me,” may go down in history as a feminist classic along with Judy Brady’s “I Want a Wife” in the 1972 inaugural issue of Ms. Magazine. And, no surprise, Solnit evokes Woolf in her jibe at male (some, not all, she allows) know-it-allness: “A Freudian would claim to know what they have and I lack, but intelligence is not situated in the crotch—even if you can write one of Virginia Woolf’s long mellifluous musical sentences about the subtle subjugation of women in the snow with your willie.”

Virginia Woolf is clearly a strong influence and appears in almost all of Solnit’s work. In her last book of personal essays, The Faraway Nearby, she is motivated to dig deeper into reflections about her mother by Woolf’s example and words in Moments of Being: “It is only by putting it into words that I make it whole.” Rebecca Solnit puts her stories and arguments into words in a way that does credit to Woolf.

 

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Alice Lowe:

Alice Lowe “observes perpetually,” and she does it in loving memory of Virginia Woolf. Truly. See Pg. 26.

Originally posted on Alice Lowe blogs ... about writing & reading & Virginia Woolf:

“Observe perpetually,” Virginia Woolf said, by which I’m sure she meant, “keep your ears open too.” When I overheard this one-sided conversation, I was stunned–is this person really saying these things? Then, quickly, I picked up my pencil and started jotting it all down. I guess that makes me a writer! I didn’t add to her remarks, just tidied & organized it as a whole and thought some publisher of vignettes, like Vine Leaves, would like it. They did & published “In Loving Memory” in their July issue, here (on page 26).

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Paula Maggio:

A post on Virginia Woolf and Bloomsbury — in Italian.

Originally posted on occhimentecuore:

“Così appare molto fondata la tesi che sono gli abiti a portare noi, e non noi a portare gli abiti; possiamo far sì che modellino bene un braccio, o il seno, ma essi ci modellano a piacer loro il cuore, il cervello, la lingua.”

Questa l’opinione di Virginia Woolf sulla moda, lei che sembrò non occuparsene. Nel 1924 per un ritratto che sarebbe apparso su Vogue in indossò un goffo e “old fashioned” vestito nero appartenuto a sua madre.

tumblr_llw9bkYITR1qgcn2wo1_500Di lei qualcuno disse “sembrava sempre che prima di uscire fosse stata trascinata attraverso una siepe”. Ma nonostante ciò, senza volerlo, creò uno stile.

virginia-woolfStile che si estese anche ai luoghi che frequentò, Charleston su tutti, la casa di campagna dove visse insieme ad alcuni membri, parenti prossimi, di Bloomsbury. Casa in cui tutto venne dipinto: pareti, mobili, tessuti.
Il tutto trasferito da Burberry nella Bloomsbury Collection A/W…

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10494743_10204389846052378_5999798882152243917_nSarah Ruhl’s stage version of Virginia Woolf’s gender-bending novel Orlando (1928) is coming to Akron, Ohio, in conjunction with the 2014 Gay Games in Cleveland.

New World Performance Laboratory’s production will be on stage Aug. 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, and 16 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 10 at 2 p.m., at the Balch Street Theatre, 220 South Balch St.

Staging yesterday and today

The play, which I saw in New York in 2010 and at this year’s Woolf conference in Chicago, is playful, inventive and full of energy. The staging of each production I saw were quite different, so I am curious to see what this version will be like. It is directed by NWPL co-artistic director James Slowiak and featuring company members Jairo Cuesta and Debora Totti along with local actors Rosilyn Jentner and India Burton as Orlando. Ticket prices range from $7.50 to $15. Get tickets here.

Come to a garden party

Virginia Woolf Lawn Party Fundraiser will take place Sunday, Aug. 17, from 4-8 p.m. The $25 cost includes wine, buffet, entertainment and a silent auction. Guests are invited to wear their Bloomsbury best to the event, which will be held at 111 Overwood Rd., Akron. Call 330-867-3299 for reservations.

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Paula Maggio:

Here is what Bloomsbury Group members and their contemporaries were doing as World War I began.

Originally posted on SuchFriends Blog:

A production of The Wrens, a one-act play by Lady Augusta Gregory, 62, is playing in London. One of her fellow Abbey Theatre founders, George Moore, also 62, is in the city, but they haven’t spoken for years.

Painter Vanessa Bell, 35, is with her art critic husband Clive, 32, and his family at Cleve House in Wiltshire. Their friend, biographer Lytton Strachey, 34, is nearby in Marlborough, working on his essay, ‘Cardinal Manning.’ With all the talk of war, he is a bit worried about his sister who is travelling in Germany.

Vanessa’s sister, Virginia, also 32, is with her husband, Leonard Woolf, 33, farther east at her Sussex country house, Asham.

In Cambridge, visiting Americans Gertrude Stein, 40, and Alice B. Toklas, 37, have just been introduced to philosopher Alfred North Whitehead, 53, and Alice has heard bells…

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