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Posts Tagged ‘Virginia Woolf’

The Cambridge Companion to Bloomsbury, edited by Victoria Rosner, is now out.  It’s available inCambridge Comp to BG paperback.

According to the Cambridge website, the volume:

  • Provides the only general introduction to the Bloomsbury Group in print
  • Offers a radically new interpretation of Bloomsbury, with an emphasis on politics, both international and sexual
  • Brings together many of the major scholars of the Bloomsbury Group

You can also find a list of the essays included in the volume on the site. Contributors include Molly Pulda, Victoria Rosner, Katy Mullin, Ann Banfield, Morag Shiach, Christopher Reed, Christine Froula, Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina, Mary Ann Caws, Helen Southworth, Laura Marcus, Vesna Goldsworthy, Brenda R. Silver and Regina Marler.

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Originally posted on SuchFriends Blog:

…In England

War has come to Bloomsbury.

The image of Lord Horatio Kitchener, 64, recruiting young men, appears for the first time, on the black and white cover of London Opinion magazine.

1st appearance of Lord Kitchener's recruiting image

1st appearance of Lord Kitchener’s recruiting image

Bloomsbury friend, critic Desmond MacCarthy, 37, has signed up for the Red Cross Ambulance Service; art critic Clive Bell, turning 33, is trying to figure out how to join a non-combat unit such as the Army Service Corps; and painter Duncan Grant, 29, has entered the National Reserve.

Despite the hostilities in the rest of Europe, the Bloomsberries don’t stop moving. Duncan takes a studio in Fitzroy Square as well as rooms in nearby 46 Gordon Square, where Clive lives with his wife, painter Vanessa Bell, 35. Their friend John Maynard Keynes, 31, writing articles for The Economist magazine, moves to Great Ormond Street; and Vanessa’s sister…

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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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Dr. Ann Martin of the University of Saskatchewan and editor of the fall 2015 issue of the Virginia Woolfvwm Miscellany has issued a call for papers on the theme “Virginia Woolf in the Modern Machine Age.”

The topic is a natural for her, as she has presented papers and published essays on the topic of Woolf’s complicated relationship with the motor car. I was charmed by her paper, “The Lanchester’s Fluid Fly Wheel: Virginia Woolf and British Car Culture,” which she presented at the 23rd Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf.

Call for paper details

The Virginia Woolf Miscellany invites submissions of papers that address the role of everyday machines in the life and/or works of Virginia Woolf. From typewriters and telephones to gramophones and the wireless; from motor-cars and combat aeroplanes to trains and department store elevators; from cameras and film projectors to ranges and hot water tanks, the commonplace technologies of the modern machineage leave their trace on Bloomsbury.

To what extent are these and other machines represented, hidden, implied, avoided, embraced, or questioned by Woolf and her circle and characters? What is the place of labour and mass production, or the role of the handmade or bespoke object, in the context of such technologies and the desires with which they are implicated? What are the ramifications for the individual’s everyday navigation of modernity, domesticity, and/or community? Alternatively, what is the influence of everyday technologies in our own interactions with Woolf and her writings?

Please submit papers of no more than 2500 words to Ann Martin at ann.martin@usask.ca by 31 March 2015.

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Rebecca Vaughan as Clarissa, wearing an emerald green chiffon tea-dress

Mrs. Dalloway is on stage in Edinburgh now and will be on the BBC soon.

  • A stage version of Woolf’s novel is part of the 2014 Festival Fringe through Aug. 25 at Assembly Roxy, 2 Roxburgh Place, Edinburgh, Scotland.
  • BBC Four’s new series The Secret Life of Books will feature Woolf expert Dr Alexandra Harris speaking on the novel. A date for the broadcast has not been set. The series includes six 30-minute programs that examine original texts, manuscripts, letters and diaries behind the creation of six classic books, including Mrs. Dalloway.

Dr Alexandra Harris believes Mrs Dalloway is a book about madness that Virginia Woolf wrote so that she could remain sane. Using Virginia Woolf’s diaries and the original manuscript of Mrs Dalloway, Alexandra tells the poignant story of how Woolf battled to transform her private demons into one of the most daring novels of the interwar years, and the book that would make her name.

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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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NPG Tumblr screenshotSee Virginia Woolf biographer Alexandra Harris in Woolf’s Monk’s House writing lodge, bathrobe-wearing Nicole fresh from the shower at her Washington, D.C., kitchen table, and Giselle on a bench in a quiet, tree-lined spot in Kensington Palace Gardens.

Then share photo portraits of you or friends in the rooms and spaces that are meaningful to you in the National Portrait Gallery’s “A Room of One’s Own” competition on Tumblr. Winner of  Woolf-related prizes will be selected at random. Submit them here.

On a related note, The Telegraph includes a reference to Woolf in a story about rooms of her own, which it dubs she-caves, as spaces where women can read, relax, and do crafts or yoga.

Virginia Woolf: Art, Life and Vision,” the exhibit of Woolf portraits at the National Portrait Gallery in London, opened July 10 and runs through Oct. 26. Read more about the exhibit.

 

 

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