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Life-in-Squares-_3215726bLife in Squares, the BBC Two show that tells the story of the tangled relationships of the Bloomsbury Group from 1901 to 1945, will be on the air this year, shown as three 60-minute episodes.

The program was announced by the BBC last summer.

Filming also began last summer at Charleston Farmhouse, known as Bloomsbury in the country, for scenes set in the 1930s and 1940s. In the rooms where filming took place, much of the original collection was removed, and the art department improvised to make the place more bohemian than it may have been in real life. Domestic clutter that is part of the staging includes posed photographs of the actors based on old family photographs. Filming in London took place last fall.

Two actors play the role of each character in the show, which complicated the casting process. One bit of casting seems pitch-perfect: James Norton, the crime-solving vicar on Grantchester, will play Duncan Grant. Lydia Leonard  of Ambassadors will play a young Virginia Wolf and Phoebe Fox of Switch will star as a young Vanessa Bell.

Discussions with Vanessa’s granddaughter Virginia Nicholson were key in making the show a reality.

Life in Squares gets under the skin of the Bloomsbury group to lay bare the very human and emotional story of a group of people determined to find their own path in life,” said Lucy Bedford, executive producer.

“At heart, Life in Squares is about family: about the families we try to escape, the ones we end up creating and the different kinds of damage love can do,” she added.

 

Leonard Woolf bust at Monk's House in Rodmell, Sussex, England

Leonard Woolf bust at Monk’s House in Rodmell, Sussex, England

The Leonard Woolf Society will hold its next meetings May 23 in London, and March 2016 in Sri Lanka, with details to be decided.

For more information, contact Surendra Paul, Chair, LWS, UK, at surenpaul@hotmail.com; Nathan Sivasambu/London/UK, at ns.bloomsbury@btinternet.com and AnneMarie Bantzinger/Bilthoven/The Netherlands, at ambantzinger@hotmail.com

Read more about the Leonard Woolf Society and its 2014 Symposium in the Winter 2015 issue of the Virginia Woolf Miscellany. Scroll down to Page 7.

As reported by GalleyCat, the team at EssayMama.com has created an infographic called “Top 10 Writing Tips from the Desk of Virginia Woolf.” It’s a good one.

On the same them, I am reminded of Danell Jones‘s book, The Virginia Woolf Writers’ Workshop: Seven Lessons to Inspire Great Writing (2008).

 

 

Cover.WSA21v2Volume 21 of the Woolf Studies Annual is now available for ordering online at a pre-publication discount. The price until April 15 is $32; after that date, it is $40.

Included in the volume are:

  • Rebecca Wisor’s account of  the historical context of the photographs Woolf included in Three Guineas.
  • Kristin Czarnecki’s comparison of Woolf’s trauma narratives with those of of Leslie Marmon Silko.
  • Bethany Layne’s discussion of the emerging field of biofiction studies in her analysis of Susan Sellers’s Vanessa and Virginia.
  • An updated Guide to Library Special Collections and reviews of 23 new books.

See the full Table of Contents.

 

Eileen Atkins and Vanessa Redgrave in the 1994 production of “Vita and Virginia”

Mirror Productions will soon start shooting a new film about Virginia Woolf called Vita and Virginia. The film is an adaptation of the play “Vita and Virginia” written by Dame Eileen Atkins, who also wrote the screenplay for this upcoming film. Shooting is set to being this fall and Dutch filmmaker Sacha Polak is set to direct.

The film will focus on the passionate relationship between Woolf and Vita Sackville-West, who was a celebrated poet and gardener, and is well known as being Woolf’s lover. From Mirror Productions:

Virginia and Vita’s bond continues to live on in Woolf’s canonical literature, which enjoys even more popularity today than in her lifetime. Vita and Virginia is a timeless story, told in an exciting contemporary style, about two women who smashed through social barriers to find solace in forbidden connection.

sacha polak director

Sacha Polak will direct the upcoming “Vita and Virginia” film.

Sacha Polak, director of the film Hemel (2012) and the documentary New Boobs (2013), believes that being a Dutch director, and not an English director, gives her a unique view as an “outsider” of the English literary community. From ScreenDaily.com:

“I think it is really good that – for this project – I am an outsider and I can look on it in a fresh way,” said Polak.

“I have the feeling that in England, everybody has a strong opinion about Virginia Woolf. Either they love her of they think that the best thing she ever did was commit suicide. I am learning every day to love her more and to be more intrigued by her.”

US-GOLDEN GLOBES NOMINATIONS-HOURS-KIDMAN

Nicole Kidman as Virginia Woolf in “The Hours”

English actress Romola Garai will play Sackville-West. While the part of Virginia Woolf has yet to be cast, producers plan to present viewers with a different interpretation of Woolf than the famous portrayal of the author by Nicole Kidman in the 2002 film The Hours. From ScreenDaily.com:

Polak insists that her film’s Woolf won’t be the “gloomy” and “depressing” figure with the prosthetic nose played by Nicole Kidman in The Hours.

“We are keen on showing another Virginia Woolf, a funny one and one that was really lively.”

Read more about this upcoming film here.

VWM Queering WoolfThe Virginia Woolf Miscellany invites submissions of papers for the Fall 2015 issue 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 machine age 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 on our own interactions with Woolf and her writings?

Please submit papers of no more than 2,500 words to Ann Martin at ann.martin@usask.ca by 31 March 2015. Martin is assistant professor of English at the University of Saskatchewan

We who love Virginia Woolf know that she was multi-dimensional. We know that she was more than a serious writer who had bouts of madness. We know she could joke and laugh and enjoy life. We also know she could be gossipy and mean and petty. Basically, we recognize the fact that she was human. And perhaps that is why we love her so very much.

Emma Woolf, Virginia and Leonard’s great-nice and the daughter of publisher Cecil Woolf, has written a piece for Newsweek that describes Virginia’s many nuances. In “The Joyful, Gossipy and Absurd Private Life of Virginia Woolf,” Emma writes of Virginia’s Letting-Go-books-300x300experiences authoring The Voyage Out (1915), her subsequent breakdown, and the speculation surrounding her sexual life — or lack of one — with husband Leonard. She touches on her feminism, her pacifism and her anti-nationalism. She mentions Virginia’s diary entries that describe everyday life experiences — celebrating her birthday, buying a new dress and her trip to see a printing press.

Emma’s Feb. 13 essay covers a lot of ground, more than I can summarize here, and it does so with the sensitivity one should expect from a family member. So I recommend reading it for yourself.

Then consider picking up Emma’s new book, Letting Go: How to Heal Your Hurt, Love Your Body and Transform Your Life. The book’s title and description speak of the important lessons it contains about letting go of our perfectionism and embracing our own humanity, much as we embrace Virginia’s.

Meanwhile, I leave you with this quote from Virginia that Emma includes in her Newsweek essay. It seems to sum up — and embrace — what so many women want today. And what we all deserve.

I want everything – love, children, adventure, intimacy, work.

 

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