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Editor’s Note: This post was written by Dr. Trudi Tate of the University of Cambridge.

Our Woolf course, ‘Virginia Woolf in Cambridge’, 18-22 July 2016, is filling up, but there are still a few rooms available at the favourable summer school rate.

Virginia Woolf in Cambridge 2016 looks at some of the best-loved of Woolf’s books (Mrs Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, and A Room of One’s Own) from fresh angles, putting them alongside contemporary creative work by Susan Sellers (Vanessa and Virginia) and Kabe Wilson (Of One Woman or So). Gillian Beer’s lecture on ‘Reading The Waves Across a Lifetime’ promises to be a highlight, giving us a way into this fascinating book for the 2017 Woolf course, in which we plan to study The Waves and other exciting and challenging Woolf works.

Our summer course gives students the experience of a Cambridge-style supervision (a tutorial). Two or three students spend an hour with an experienced Cambridge supervisor, discussing the work of the day, and engaging in careful close reading, in the tradition of Cambridge English since the 1920s.

We will explore some of the historical context of Woolf’s books, asking what they have to say about their own time, and how they speak to ours.

For more details — and to register — visit the Virginia Woolf in Cambridge website.

 

A website and a Facebook page, dubbed the Isaac Rosenberg Statue Appeal, have been set up to help raise funds to erect a statue in honor of the noted World War I poet and artist.

Organizers Emma Woolf and Jean Moorcroft Wilson, author of Isaac Rosenberg: The Making of a Great War Poet: A New Life, say Rosenberg has not received the widespread recognition he deserves as one of the greatest of the First World War poets.

Writers of his generation would agree. T. S. Eliot called him the “most remarkable” of the World War I poets. Siegfried Sassoon called him “a genius.”

The statue will be erected at Torrington Square on the Birkbeck College campus in Bloomsbury by April 1, 2018, the centenary of his death.

Organizers will launch a crowdfunding site to help raise funds for the statue, which is expected to cost £92,000. Donation can also be made by post, with checks made payable to Jeecs-Rosenberg Statue appeal, c/o Clive Bettington, P.O. Box 57317, London E1 3WG.

Rosenberg

By Emily K. Michael

Dear Mrs. Woolf, I hope you will not mind bending time to receive my letter. I have wanted to write to you since the day I closed A Room of One’s Own and realized that you could…

Source: Blackbird Habits: A Letter to Virginia Woolf | BREVITY’s Nonfiction Blog

Hearing Woolf’s Life Writing, a concert showcasing music that inspired Virginia Woolf’s writing, will be held in conjunction with the 26th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf at The Concert Hall, Leeds School of Music, Friday, June 17, at 8 p.m.

Virginia Woolf: A Musical Life

VW: A Musical Life

The concert focuses on settings of Woolf’s diaries and letters and features three world premieres:

  1. The song cycle “A Lonely Mind” by Jan-Willem van Herpen
  2. Richard Barnard’s song cycle “Woolf Letters,” previewed in the YouTube video below
  3. A song by Jeremy Thurlow.

Barnard’s and Thurlow’s works were commissioned for this concert. The fourth work of the concert is Dominick Argento’s “From the Diary of Virginia Woolf” (1974, written for the English mezzo-soprano Janet Baker).

This concert is the second in a series showcasing music that inspired Virginia Woolf’s writing and that directly responds to her work, including new commissions, world premieres and little-known music by women composers.

Woolf famously stated , “I always think of my books as music before I write them,” and her writing continues to influence composers who have set her words or been inspired by her novels.

The series is a collaboration between pianist Lana Bode of the Trinity Laban Conservatoire and Dr. Emma Sutton of the University of St Andrews. Other performers include Annelies Van Hijfte, soprano; Marta Fontanals-Simmons and Nicola Rose, mezzo-sopranos; and Sian Cameron, pianist.

For more events in the Virginia Woolf and Music series, visit the website.

JornalistEmmaTeitel

Journalist Emma Teitel uses Woolf to critique social media.

Although Woolf lived in a pre-Internet world, one journalist has connected her ideas about artistic and social conformity with contemporary society’s obsession with social media, and the depressive effects of scrolling through photos and updates of others’ curated lives.

The Canadian publication TheStar.com has published an essay by Emma Teitel which uses some of Woolf’s ideas from The Common Reader to describe the, “soul-numbing sensation of too much time spent on social media.”

Teitel writes:

In 1925, English novelist and outcast Virginia Woolf wrote about what happens to a person when she spends her entire life trying to fit in.

‘Once conform, once do what other people do because they do it,’ Woolf wrote in The Common Reader, a collection of essays, ‘and a lethargy steals over all the finer nerves and faculties of the soul. She becomes all outer show and inward emptiness; dull, callous, and indifferent.’

Woolf Quote--Conform

Woolf’s words from 1925 are as relevant today as they were in her own time, and when applied to social media, her critiques seem to explain the depression many people experience when looking through social media sources. Teitel explains:

…there are no words more precise than ‘dull, callous and indifferent’ to describe the emotional after-effect of scrolling your way into a funk on Facebook and Instagram, where you’ve inwardly begrudged the success and beauty of other people, all the while attempting to make your own appear far greater than it actually is.

KylieJennerSelfie

A selfie of Kylie Jenner, a member of the Kardashian family, who has 58 million followers on Instagram.

Teitel asserts that Woolf’s critical line, “outer show and inward emptiness,” can even be used as the “official tagline” of social media. And perhaps the best lines from Teitel’s article, link Woolf’s writing to Kylie Jenner:

In fact, ‘Outer show and inward emptiness,’ could serve as the medium’s official tagline  not to mention the caption beneath every Twitter selfie of Kylie Jenner.

Is there any aspect of contemporary life to which we can’t apply Woolf’s writings?

The two new interns at Charleston continue to unearth work by Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant as part of the Angelica Garnett Gift. They are photographing, cataloguing and publishing Grant and Bell’s works for viewing online.

Here’s the interns’ most recent post about two sketchbooks by Duncan Grant dated circa 1919 and 1923.

The Charleston Attic

Last week was #MuseumWeek 2016, and to celebrate, The Charleston Attic will once again be joining institutions all over the world by writing a blog post reflecting one of the themes trending on Twitter.

Thursday’s theme of cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible, shows the scope for discovery within the several thousand works on paper and canvas that make up the Angelica Garnett Gift.

Last week also marked our independence as the new Attic Interns as we continue with the task in hand: to photograph, catalogue and publish Grant and Bell’s works so that they may be viewed online. There is much excitement to be had in unearthing new items in the collection, and it seems like the perfect opportunity, in celebration of Charleston’s cultural heritage through the Gift, to talk about this week’s findings in relation to the theme.

We have been looking closely at two sketchbooks by…

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Here’s a post from Blogging Woolf contributor Alice Lowe on Isabel Bolton, who has been compared by critics to Virginia Woolf. In this post, Alice links us to an essay on the mid-20th-century author that she published in Bloom and The Millions.

Alice Lowe blogs ... about writing & reading & Virginia Woolf

My discovery of the obscure mid-20th-century novelist Isabel Bolton led to extensive research and an exploratory essay. I wasn’t surprised when early in my search I discovered critics’ comparisons of Bolton to Virginia Woolf, and when I read the first of Bolton’s modernist novels I could indeed see similarities in style and theme.

“In Search of Isabel Bolton” was jointly published this month by Bloom (linked here), one of my favorite sites for obvious reasons: a focus on late bloomers, qualified by the question “‘Late’ according to whom?”, and in the esteemed online magazine The Millions(linked here).

This project, on the heels of an earlier piece about Lillie Coit, is leading me into new territory in my writing, more research-based essays. I can hardly wait to see what happens next!

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