Archive for September, 2011

Like another Woolf blogger I know, I am writing from a room of my own on the Jersey side of the Hudson.

Well, it’s not really my own room. I am sharing it with my husband. And I don’t own it. I am merely renting it for the night.

But we have driven up from Ohio to see Septimus and Clarissa, the stage adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway that is on stage until Oct. 8 at the Baruch Performing Arts Center in New York City.

I will post more about the rave-winning play after we see it tomorrow night. Meanwhile, here is a link to a review written by another Woolfian, Patricia Laurence, Woolf scholar and professor of English at Brooklyn College, the City University of New York:

The Mindscape of Septimus and Clarissa: Ripe Time Adapts Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway in The Brooklyn Rail 


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Virginia Woolf turns up everywhere, and this week we sighted her as far away as Iran, New Zealand and Australia. See sightings numbered five, 17 and 29 to learn more. And one of her novels jumped to its death on the Entertainment Weekly website. See number eight to find out which one bit the dust — and why.

  1. Idyll Banter: ‘The Catcher on the Pot’ not for sale, BurlingtonFreePress.com
    Just trying getting a straight answer from Virginia Woolf or William Shakespeare.) I can’t imagine a toilet of mine would ever be worth anything, given that I am not in the
    slightest bit reclusive. Also, unlike Salinger, I have written a lot of work
  2. VIRGINIA WOOLF BY ALEXANDRA HARRIS (Thames & Hudson £14.95), Daily Mail
    By Val Hennessy So, who IS afraid of Virginia Woolf? Well. I’ll admit, I am. She’s not exactly easy reading, is she? There are scholars who claim she was a ‘mad genius’, others who believe she was ‘the greatest writer who ever lived’ (sob your heart
  3. Yale Review turns 100, Yale Daily News
    The list is filled with notables: Thomas Mann, Edith Wharton, Virginia Woolf and Leon Trotsky, among many others. Although the publication — the nation’s oldest quarterly literary journal — currently employs only two half-time staff members,
  4. Theater Listings: Sept. 23 — 29, New York Times
    (Brantley) ★ ‘Septimus and Clarissa’ The heedless theater company Ripe Time explodes Virginia Woolf’s miniaturist masterpiece “Mrs. Dalloway” into a beautifully choreographed exploration of love, loss and party planning in post-World War I England.
  5. Isherwood travels to Iran with two novels, Iran Book News Agency
    Clearly inspired by Virginia Woolf and Forester, he consciously applies modernist methods such as stream of consciousness in this novel. “Mr. Norris changes Trains” is another novel published in 1935 that is believed to be based on Isherwood’s own life
  6. Times Calendar, The Daily Advertiser
    Inspired by a section of Virginia Woolf’s “A Room of One’s Own,” William and Judith” is a whimsical riff on the Shakespeare authorship controversy, a meditation on creative identity and an exploration of gender roles in the world of Shakespeare’s
  7. Communication: it’s always better when we’re together, ABC Online
    This is why I keep re-reading Virginia Woolf’s brilliant Mrs Dalloway: good fiction can help us realise how much of another human being is left out, exaggerated, diminished or just faked. It is a lesson in the precariousness of understanding,
  8. A book commits suicide every time you watch ‘Jersey Shore’: Do you read high . Entertainment Weekly (blog)
    If you look closely, you can see what appears to be To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf and an unidentified book plunging to their deaths because they refuse to exist in a world in which Jersey Shore is being watched. The photo is obviously a joke,
  9. What’s the Big Deal?: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), Film.com
    There is no reason to fear Virginia Woolf! She died a long time ago, and even when she was alive she wasn’t very feisty. So why have we been asking ourselves the musical question Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? for nearly five decades?
  10. Stage Dive: An Off Broadway Digest, New York Magazine (blog)
    With the ghostly great Septimus and Clarissa, playwright-performer Ellen McLaughlin and director-choreographer Rachel Dickstein propel Virginia Woolf’s ecstatically unhappy hostess (McLaughlin herself) through a patently mundane yet psychologically
  11. Theater: Triumphant “Septimus & Clarissa;” Wounded “Crane”, Huffington Post (blog)
    Two shows opened recently — Septimus & Clarissa, an adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s classic novel Mrs. Dalloway; and Crane Story, a modern spin on the classic folk tale. Both shows are made with care by committed artists and involve a strong emphasis
  12. The Perfection of English and the Making of the KJB, PBS
    Perhaps one of the writers contemporary readers would find most unlikely to be influenced by the Bible is Virginia Woolf (1882-1941). Yet literary critic and New Yorker staff writer James Wood, in his essay on her novel To the Lighthouse (1927) in the
  13. Book Excerpt: The Dyslexic Advantage, Wired News
    “Even then I read so slowly and poorly that I took my master’s orals on three authors, Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf, and Ernest Hemingway without having read all of their works. I couldn’t possibly read all of their works.” Fortunately, Anne could still
  14. Cookery holidays: Don’t forget your wooden spoon…, The Independent
    It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” Harriet Van Horne, American columnist (1920-1998) “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” – Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own.
  15. Schabas on point, Queen’s Journal
    I’m tempted to say Virginia Woolf because she’s a favourite of mine and I’m a bit obsessed with the tensions between her aesthetic theory and her feminist views. But the problem with writers is that there can be a jarring disconnect between their
  16. Bipolar Buzz at a Philippines Cafe, Wall Street Journal (blog)
    Virginia Woolf’s Tears, aimed at depression and compulsive behavior, is an organic turkey soup with chopped green apples
  17. Fiction Addiction, New Zealand Herald
    rock & roll on vinyl, the Rolling Stones, Russia, the seaside, Frank Sinatra, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, springtime, John Steinbeck, surrealism, Henry David Thoreau, Toll House cookies, Leo Tolstoy, Walt Whitman, Virginia Woolf, William Butler Yeats,
  18. Citywide Pittsburgh Biennial comes to campus, CMU The Tartan Online
    asking visitors to essentially create the art themselves, by either writing a letter to a feminist scientist or by sitting down at a tea table and having a conversation with a total stranger (an idea borrowed from a Virginia Woolf essay calling for
  19. Where We Must Stand: African women in an age of war, Open Democracy
    Years before Butler, feminist anti-war activists – Virginia Woolf among them – drew links between war and the male domination of political and economic arenas. Woolf may not have been fully aware of it, but she wrote The Three Guineas (1937) at a time
  20. Shakespeare and his ambitious sister, The Daily Advertiser
    When writing the play, Daigle was inspired by a section of Virginia Woolf’s “A Room of One’s Own.” In Woolf’s essay, she made the case for an imaginary Judith Shakespeare. Judith, though ambitious and equally as talented as her brother William,
  21. The brights of spring, The Independent
    Designer couple Thea Bregazzi and Justin Thornton’s inspiration was literary heroine Virginia Woolf. Aside from some flashes of virginal white lace, however, the execution was far more avant-garde, including hi-tech, pixelated, pastel geometrics,
  22. Radev collection: tale of three art lovers to be told in new touring exhibition, The Guardian
    He was part of the tangled Bloomsbury set although somewhat overshadowed by his better known cousin Vita Sackville-West, who had a famous affair with Virginia Woolf. “Vita was very nice to his face but my God, she belittled him behind his back,” said
  23. “Clybourne Park” (Steppenwolf Theatre): A Subtle Norris Takes THE Prize!, ChicagoNow
    Scenic Designer Todd Rosenthal creates another “Virginia Woolf-esque” homestead and then during intermission totally trashes it. Rosenthal flips the makeover concept with the *after* being the mess. The house and the show is all about change!
  24. Downton Abbey is sheer fantasy, says historian, Telegraph.co.uk
    Prof Alison Light, an academic and author of Mrs Woolf and Her Servants, which explored the relationship between Virginia Woolf and her domestic staff, said that members of the Edwardian aristocracy were “mean and vindictive”.
  25. Notes From King Bolo, Wall Street Journal
    ‘You would expire of boredom,” TS Eliot warned his friend Virginia Woolf while discussing his wish to visit her home. “Insensitive persons can endure me for 24 hours; there is one old gentleman who, kept up by Port Wine,
  26. TS Eliot’s On-Again, Off-Again Anti-Semitism, Forward
    that as metic he felt literarily and personally complicit with Jews such as Sydney Schiff (a novelist and translator who published under the pen name Stephen Hudson) and Leonard Woolf (the political theorist and husband of Virginia Woolf).
  27. The perversity of Britain’s diversity regulations is bad for men, women and , Telegraph.co.uk
    The economic downturn begins, and lasts as long as a Virginia Woolf novel feels. If your company is to survive, you’re going to have to let me, or Jane, or Dave go. How easy do you think it would be to select either Jane or myself for redundancy,
  28. It would be a shame to lose Dahl’s writing hut, Moose Jaw Times-Herald
    I’ve been to several writers’ homes, including Jane Austen’s house in Chawton, Hampshire, where she spent the last eight years of her life, Virginia Woolf’s country retreat Monk House in Lewes, East Sussex, and Ernest Hemmingway’s home in Key West,
  29. Otherness eludes the other Ondaatje, The Australian
    intriguing polymath Richard Burton (two books following his journeys through India, and through Africa in search of the Nile’s source); Leonard Woolf, who was a civil servant in Ceylon before he married Virginia; and Ernest Hemingway in Africa.

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Another book about Virginia Woolf. But this one is by Alexandra Harris, the brilliant ingenue of modernism and Woolf studies. She is a lecturer in English at the University of Liverpool and the author of Romantic Moderns and Virginia Woolf.

The Daily Mail calls Harris’s Virginia Woolf  a “wonderfully perceptive, unpretentious study which is pacy in style, riveting in content and perfectly accessible to the most obdurate Woolf-avoider.” What’s more, it’s eminently readable at only 180 pages and includes photos.

The review also notes Harris’s focus on Woolf’s creativity and her evolving sense of herself as a writer and says:

Every page of Harris’s insightful book is pervaded by Woolf’s passion for life, her sense of fun and her immense capacity for joy. The ‘mad genius’ and the supercilious snob with the big brain are banished.

That alone should make it worth a read.

Read more about Harris:

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Van Gogh is Bipolar is an unlikely name for a restaurant. And Virginia Woolf’s Tears is an unlikely name for a soup.

It’s an organic turkey soup with chopped green apples and thinly sliced purple cabbage that aims to alleviate depression and compulsive behavior.

The Woolf dish, along with others named after famous people, is made with ingredients that restaurant owner Jetro Rafael says affect mood and produce happy hormones. On the list are salmon, honey, cabbage, nuts and tea.

The unconventional restaurant with the unusual theme is located in Quezon City, Philippines. It’s so unconventional that it only serves 12 diners per night, and those 12 diners place their own orders, bus their own tables and pay their bills on the honor system.

If they are lucky enough to find the place open. Right now, the restaurant’s Facebook page has an alarming red banner that reads “Closed for now” over its profile photo.

Perhaps the owner and his chef are busy blissing out on happy hormones.

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Scholars are invited to submit an abstract for the inaugural meeting of The Kristeva Circle, Oct. 12-13, 2012, at Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y.

Abstracts of 500 to 750 words on any topic related to the work of Julia Kristeva, to kristevacircle@gmail.com by March 15, 2012. Submissions from across all disciplines are welcome. Abstracts should be suitable for blind review; applicants should include a separate document with name, paper title, affiliation and contact information.

Keynote speakers at the conference will be: Noëlle McAfee of Emory University and Maria Margaroni of the University of Cyprus.

The Kristeva Circle, established in 2011, supports research on or influenced by philosopher, psychoanalyst and novelist Julia Kristeva. The group’s mission is to establish and advance Kristeva scholarship nationally and internationally.

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Virginia Woolf appears in online stories about art, fashion, music, literature, suicide, and more this week. Scroll down for detailed Woolf sightings.

  1. Internal Dialogues : Paintings by JT WinikblogTO (blog)
    Virginia Woolf, “An Unwritten Novel”, 1921 This recent body of work represents studies in introspection. The subjects, most often depicted as solitary figures, appear lost within themselves, whether reflexively (ie as in an automatic reaction to 
  2. Author of wildly popular “Llama” series recalls 20 years of rejectionsSalt Lake Tribune
    But from her I’d say I learned it was all right — like Virginia Woolf said — to sit down to a room of one’s own and write. And you can do it without getting paid for it. You can do it just for the beauty of writing. That’s one way I was able to keep …
  3. Perl: When Art Makes the New Look Old and the Old Look NewNew Republic
    I believe I am still under the influence of Virginia’s Woolf’s second novel, Night and Day, which I read for the first time a month or so ago. Published in 1919 and generally said to be her most traditional work of fiction, it seems for that reason to 
  4. Manson leads MCO in concert, new recording of Philip Glass musicWinnipeg Free Press
    So when Glass signed on to compose the soundtrack for the 2002 movie adaptation of The Hours — starring Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore and Meryl Streep as melancholy women linked by VirginiaWoolf’s novel Mrs. Dalloway — it seemed “both inevitable and …
  5. Mandy Coon, Billy Reid, Antoni Azzuolo, Daryl K and Preen at NY Fashion Week …Sentimentalist Magazine
    As the designers revealed, they were inspired by flowers, glass houses and Virginia Woolf, which all makes sense, given the delicate formality of much of these spring/summer pieces. This is a gravatar-friendly blog, enter your e-mail address to use …
  6. A Jewish Case for Mel GibsonReason Online (blog)
    Charles Dickens, Edmund Burke, Virginia Woolf, and Edgar Degas, to name very few, had some bad words for the Jews on occasion. But we can put these things in perspective. You can love the art (or whatever this movie will be classified as) and believe …
  7. The Years, Sub Pop Records, Dream PopMuse
    The standout track of the recording is without a doubt “To the Lighthouse”, borrowing its title from Virginia Woolf’s lauded novel. This track is by far the most upbeat of all, invoking a summer-time indie feel amid verses of appreciating the beauty …
  8. Bartender Luke TullosThe INDsider
    This is an homage to Virginia Woolf, who first imagined Judith in A Room of One’s Own. (In real life, Shakespeare had a daughter named Judith.) Check it out at the AUI/AURA studio space at 810Jefferson St. next to Carpe Diem Gelato & Espresso. …
  9. The Last Pre-RaphaeliteFinancial Times
    Looking back at 19th-century Britain, Virginia Woolf called Middlemarch “one of the few English novels written for grown-up people”. Which paintings, if any, could she have chosen by the same criteria? For if most Victorian novels are elaborate fairy …
  10. Q&A and Video: Cathy TempelsmanTheaterJones Performing Arts News in North Texas
    Virginia Woolf says that Middlemarch is the first novel that was written for grownups and unfortunately some people read her in high school and are really turned off by Eliot. But then people who read her as adults are so moved by the stories. …
  11. Previews: What Looks Good for NovemberComic Book Resources
    Athos in America – Jason returns to The Last Musketeer and includes other Jasony stories like “The Brain That Wouldn’t Virginia Woolf.” Gumby’s Spring Specials Collection – I haven’t read these, but if they’re anything like the Gumby Summer Specials by …
  12. The rise and rise of BrontëmaniaThe Guardian
    Virginia Woolf visited it in the days when it was privately owned, noting the upright gravestones in the churchyard “like an army of silent soldiers”, and when it opened to the public in 1928, thousands clamoured to get in. An average of 70000 visitors …
  13. Get thee to a nunneryHa’aretz
    Long before Virginia Woolf, this self-taught Benedictine nun wrote that not only should women be able to study at universities as a matter of course, but that for a woman, having a library of her own, and having time at her disposal to devote to …
  14. Great dynasties of the world: The Bloomsbury groupThe Guardian
    In 1912, Leonard Woolf married Virginia Stephen, at Lytton Strachey’s urging; Strachey had already proposed to Virginia himself, before quickly realising his mistake. “I think there’s no doubt whatever that you ought to marry her,” he wrote to Leonard. …
  15. Know the signals of suicideIowa City Press Citizen
    Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, Cleopatra, Vincent Van Gogh and Kurt Cobain are just a few of the many who have completed suicide. Many of us know at least one person who has tried or completed. Suicide remains an extremely difficult phenomenon to …
  16. This Miniature Masterpiece Is Quietly TranscendentNPR
    A few are famous — Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, for instance — but most are not. One of the rarest gems among these is JL Carr’s tiny masterpiece, A Month in the Country. The year is 1920. Tom Birkin is a young art restorer, trying to recover from …
  17. Meet the Second Season Cast of Game of Thrones!Crushable
    You might recognize him from his work as Virginia Woolf’s (Nicole Kidman) husband Leonard Woolf in The Hours or as Thomas Jefferson in the 2008 miniseries John Adams—which, notably, was also an HBO production. Fun fact: Stephen’s son Frank played the …
  18. Toronto Film Festival: Tilda Swinton charms, Los Angeles Times
    Swinton deals with it head-on in the adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s book “Orlando,” in which she plays the title character who jumps through time and gender, and later in “Clayton,” where as a tough, devoted corporate lawyer, we watch her armor start …
  19. Listen: Stream new Memoryhouse EP, read band’s track-by-trackDrowned In Sound
    As a kind of unifying aesthetic, The Years was created with many references to the author Virginia Woolf. The title of the EP quoting her 1937 novel by the same name, To the Lighthouse a 1927 novel, ‘The Waves’, a song on the original release, …
  20. Hayek, Keynes and How to Prevent Economic Crises: Sylvia NasarBusinessWeek
    Keynes was a balletomane, collector and intimate of Virginia Woolf, but he took up a calling that he once compared with dentistry. Artists were responsible for civilization, but economic thinkers had invented and continually improved an “apparatus of …
  21. Preen by Thornton BregazziVogue.com
    VIRGINIA WOOLF and the sophisticated Bloomsbury set may have been the inspiration behind Preen’s spring/summer 20 12 offering, but never fear – the staunch Victorian influence sure didn’t hamper the fun. To a minimal electronic beat, models stepped …
  22. Top 10 Books About Booze By Female AuthorsHuffington Post (blog)
    Even the mother of all modern women’s writing, Virginia Woolf, talking about visiting the fictitious university of Oxbridge, despairs when she compares the robust and plentiful delights available at the feast provided by the high table at the men’s …
  23. Florence and the Machine Reveals New Album Title, TracklistKOvideo
    “What The Water Gave Me” will apparently appear twice on the album and, while named after a Frida Kahlo painting, is inspired by Virginia Woolf’s death. About the track, the singer said: “At lot of the time when I’m writing, things will just appear. …
  24. Alexa Chung and Elle Fanning hit New York Fashion Week!, instyle.co.uk
    At Preen, Justin Thornton and Thea Brgazzi played host to Hollywood actress Marisa Tomei, who headed backstage to congratulate the designers on a job well done following their stunning Virginia Woolf-inspired line-up. The fashion-forward actress …
  25. New York Fashion Week SS 2012: PreenHoly Moly!
    Laser cut lace and dark floral prints give the collection an edge, and we love the fact that Preen designers Thea Bregazzi and Justin Thornton found inspiration in Virginia Woolf and Victoriana, but have interpreted it in a genuinely new and modern way …
  26. Fashion Week Diary: Chris Benz’s Chic Ladies, Zero + Maria Cornejo’s Fluidity …, FashionEtc
    The spring show (inspired by Virginia Woolf) was an evolution from fall, with look upon ladylike look walking out, and nary a cut-out or super form-fitting dress in sight. Perhaps we’re all growing up and wanting to cover up? The colors were so bright …
  27. Among the grownups: Children in adult fictionThe Guardian
    After all, supporting characters can be just as rich and memorable – ranging, as they do, from the sublime sensitivity of young James Ramsey in Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, to the full-blown Freudian nightmare that is Marmaduke Clinch in Martin ..
  28. The Biography of MeCinespect
    Revisionism, particularly in the context of our leaders and villains, is hot stuff for the arts whether this is Mailer’s interpretation of Hitler’s childhood (“The Castle in the Forest”), Virginia Woolf’s cocker spaniel biography “Flush,” Scorsese and …
  29. From Annie Lennox to Lady Gaga: Fashion’s gender bendersMetro
    Actress Tilda Swinton has been experimenting with androgyny since starring in the film adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando in 1992. She recently told US style bible W magazine that she ‘would rather be handsome for an hour than beautiful for a week’ …
  30. I Love Autumn (ÁA)IcelandReview
    After four months of hard work, blood, sweat and even some tears, last May I submitted to the University of Iceland my 110-page MA essay about clothing and fashion as literary motif in the writings of Virginia Woolf. What made it especially challenging 
  31. DISCOVERY COM A : Investigation Discovery, Military Channel and Planet Green…4-traders (press release)
    Etkind is also the author of Or Not to Be, a fascinating collection of suicide notes by the famous, including Kurt Cobain, Vincent Van Gogh, Diane Arbus, Sylvia Plath and Virginia Woolf. Ed Hersh: Since joining Discovery in 2009, Hersh has served as …

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Septimus and Clarissa finds hypnotic poetry in the ordinary, the solemn, the rapturous and just about everything in between.

So writes the New York Times in its review of the play now on stage until Oct. 8 at the Baruch Performing Arts Center in New York City.

The review also praises the play’s “airtight ensemble,” particularly Tom Nelis and Miriam Silverman; its “shadowy lighting;” and the “series of insightful, often haunting stage pictures” created by its set design.

“Woolf’s miniaturist masterpiece is instantly distilled into a thrilling and richly theatrical image” is yet another glowing phrase from the review.

I’m sold. Like a sweet freak longing for chocolate, my mouth is watering to see that play. If only I didn’t live in Ohio.

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