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The official count for the Women’s March on Washington is not yet in, although it’s been estimated at about half a million. Virginia Woolf was in the D.C. crowd, carried along on a wave of feminists and feminism that spread out to fill surrounding city streets.

This wasn’t the only Woolf sighting at the Washington, D.C. event, which was just one of 600 marches in 57 countries. Blogging Woolf contributor Alice Lowe was among the 30,00 to 40,000 who attended the San Diego, Calif., march, which she described as “an incredible turnout” for that city. Other Woolfians — Mad Detloff, Kristin Czarnecki, Anne Fernald, Ashley Foster, Jean Mills, Diana Swanson and Maggie Humm — either attended the D.C. march or sister marches in such cities as New York, Chicago and London.

Here’s a screenshot of Maggie’s Facebook post, which references Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway as she reports on the London march.

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Back in D.C., a young woman held the sign below, which mentioned Woolf among other notable feminists — from Rosa Parks to Beyonce — as it spelled out “Power.” She included Woolf, she said, because “she is so cool.”

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Meanwhile, on the day the march began, Channel Draw used this image featuring Woolf to promote the event.

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And here’s what the march looked like from above. Woolf, of course, is too tiny to be seen. But her presence is huge.

Virginia Woolf is on the march

Today’s Women’s March on Washington has become a global event. As of now, more than 600 marches will take place in 57 countries around the world, including London, England.

Would Virginia Woolf march? Perhaps not. But based on her written reactions to London’s July 1919 “Peace Day” to celebrate the end of World War I, I’m certain she would have been paying close attention. She would then have used her thinking and her writing to share what she saw, heard and read.

In Three Guineas (1937), she decried the sort of nationalism we now see being promoted in so many countries  and in so many ways — from the Brexit vote in England to the Trump win in the U.S. And she would have issued warnings about the rise in fascism that could result.

With that in mind, I have dressed my little Virginia Woolf doll in a Pussy Hat and am taking her on the march. She will be accompanied by Wonder Woman, her next door neighbor on my top bookshelf.

Virginia Woolf riding a wave of Pussy Hats to the Women's March.

Virginia Woolf riding a wave of Pussy Hats to the Women’s March.

Wonder Woman and Virginia Woolf wear their Pussy Hats as they take to the streets.

Wonder Woman and Virginia Woolf wear their Pussy Hats as they take to the streets.

Wonder Woman, Woolf, and some of the words with which she fought.

Wonder Woman, Woolf, and some of the words with which she fought.

 

References:
Virginia Woolf Diary I, P. 291-294
Virginia Woolf Letters II, P. 292
Levenback, Karen. Virginia Woolf and the Great War, P. 27-32.

London’s Dulwich Picture Gallery will present the first major monographic exhibition of work by Vanessa Bell (1879-1961), Feb. 8 – June 4, 2017.

Here’s a video preview of the exhibition, which includes paintings, textile and book jacket design, and archival material that “will put Bell in her proper place at last,” according to co-curator Sarah Milroy.

Woolf Works, the first revival of Wayne McGregor’s critically acclaimed ballet triptych to music inspired by the works of Virginia Woolf, is playing at London’s Royal Opera House from Jan. 21 to Feb. 14.

With music by Max Richter and starring Alessandra Ferri and Mara Galeazzi, the ballet focuses on thee Woolf novels, Mrs. Dalloway, Orlando and The Waves. For each, Richter found a unique musical language, with each individual piece connecting with the others for a unifying whole.

The Mrs. Dalloway section opens with the unique 1937 BBC recording of Woolf’s own voice reading her essay “On Craftmanship.” Her radio appearance was part of a BBC series called “Words Fail Me.”

Woolf Works was first presented in London in May 2015 to rave reviews.

What a brilliant, creative human being Virginia Woolf was. It’s been extraordinary once again to have the chance to be engaged in the matters that troubled her, the questions she wrestled with and the visionary quality of the answers she discovered. – Max Richter on how he composed the score for Woolf Works

Ali Smith and Virginia Woolf

Ali Smith gave a lecture—“Getting Virginia Woolf’s Goat”—at London’s National Portrait Gallery inpublic-library 2014. That also was the year her remarkable novel, How to Be Both, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and acclaimed by a reviewer: “One might reasonably argue that Ali Smith is among Virginia Woolf’s most gifted inheritors.”

Seeing Woolfian influences in the work of the contemporary post-modernist is no surprise, then; nor are Woolf references in Smith’s recent story collection, Public Library. In “The ex-wife,” the narrator is writing to her former partner after a break-up, accusing her of infidelity, or at least inattention, because of her involvement with Katherine Mansfield, the ex-wife in question.

That’s about all I can say about this marvelously convoluted story. While explicating her litany of objections, the narrator brings up Mansfield’s “friend and rival Virginia Woolf” who was, at the time, writing a book “about a plane that all the people in London look up and see…,” adding, “I have a sense that Virginia Woolf always thought your ex-wife a bit flighty.”

Then there’s “The definite article,” a story about Regents Park that begins: “I stepped out of the city and into the park. It was as simple as that.” The narrator’s visions invoke flora and fauna, Shakespeare and Dickens, the Brownings and the Shelleys, Elizabeth Bowen and Sylvia Plath, to name just a handful, “and Virginia Woolf herself, “howling or furious or sad, doesn’t matter which, walking and walking by the flower-beds till it cheers her up, leaves her happily making up phrases.”

Ali Smith makes up some pretty good phrases herself.

The new issue of the Virginia Woolf Miscellany is now online. This  double issue includes Spring vwm89and90-final-page-12016, Issue 89 and the Fall 2016, Issue 90.

The first is a truly miscellaneous collection of essays edited by Diana L. Swanson, and the second features the special topic Virginia Woolf and Illness, curated by guest editor Cheryl Hindrichs.

Download the issue as a PDF.

Virginia Woolf had a complicated relationship with clothing and fashion, one that has been much discussed in academic settings and online.Bloomsbury Heritage monographs

Monographs on Woolf and fashion

Catherine Gregg explores this theme in her Bloomsbury Heritage monograph Virginia Woolf and ‘Dress Mania’: ‘the eternal & insoluble question of clothes’ (2010). She discusses Woolf’s “delight in clothes and interest in conceptions of fashion and femininity” as well as her sense of being an outsider when it came to fashion, as well as her loathing for its artifice (7).

I edited a monograph for Cecil Woolf Publishers, Virginia Woolf’s Likes & Dislikes (2012), that collects conflicting quotes from Woolf’s diaries and letters and categorizes them, including those that relate to clothing. In them she mentions her dislike of buying hats, her love for her fur slippers and her desire for a pair of rubber soled boots to wear on country walks (43).

Magazine offers shopping advice from Woolf

Today’s post on the AnOther magazine website takes Woolf’s “clothes complex” or “dress mania,” as she called it and as Gregg notes, and transforms it into shopping advice. Titled “Virginia Woolf’s Shopping Tips,” the article aims to “take advice from the modernist author on personal style, battling the sales, and the key to surviving the chaos of Oxford Street.” The magazine shared the post via a tweet.

In a nutshell, they are:

  1. Be brave
  2. Enjoy the process
  3. Ponder before you purchase
  4. Quality not quantity
  5. Be open to all possibilities

I think Woolf applied that same advice to her writing.

How to order monographs from Cecil Woolf Publishers

All of the books published by Cecil Woolf Publishers are available directly from:

Cecil Woolf Publishing, 1 Mornington Place, London NW1 7RP, England, Tel: 020 7387 2394 (or +44 (0)20 7387 2394 from outside the UK). Prices range from £4.50 to £10. For more information, contact cecilwoolf@gmail.com.

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