Archive for October, 2012

It’s less than a week until the U.S. presidential election, and our first Woolf sighting turns to Virginia’s diary — and a new book — to discover her political leanings. See 1. Even more of the moment, today is Halloween, and a New Yorker reader thinks a sexy Virginia Woolf is the worst Halloween costume ever. See 14.

  1. This feast of diaries may leave you with indigestion: EVENTS, DEAR BOY …, Daily Mail
    In 1929 both Virginia Woolf and her servant Nelly intend to vote Labour, but Comrade Virginia’s radicalism has its limits. ‘I don’t want to be ruled by Nelly,’ she snorts. By 1952 the descendants of Nelly are living high on the hog. Labour MP Richard …
  2. The London best: sleep aidsEvening Standard
    Virginia Woolf called sleep “that deplorable curtailment of the joy of life”. Yet most of London now fantasises about eight hours uninterrupted by the strepitous sex sessions of foxes or the early sounding of the alarm. With the clocks going back on 
  3. Finding souls in a search for solacePhiladelphia Inquirer
    The result was Pilgrimage, (Random House, 2011), a book of photographs from Leibovitz’s global search for solace. She visited the homes of Sigmund Freud andVirginia Woolf, of Elvis Presley and Eleanor Roosevelt, Georgia O’Keefe and Martha Graham.
  4. On the Couch: Study links creativity with mental illnessEaling Gazette
    Whilst troubled writers such as Virginia Woolf and Ernest Hemmingway would appear to bear this out, we know that in fact mental illness affects 25% of the population, not all of whom are creative geniuses! That said, a study by the same institute in 
  5. Saints and doubtersThe Christian Century
    Their daughter, Virginia Woolf, raised without a faith to lose, sought new forms of the sacred in her writing, new expressions of religious experience focused around what she called “moments of being”—moments when the pattern through which we are all 
  6. Reviewed: Sitelines’ Sailing OnReading Chronicle
    Following their own watery deaths, the writer Virginia Woolf and Shakespeare’s Ophelia have taken up residence in the toilets, where they observe the habits of its patrons. One young woman in particular, Romola, has caught their attention and by 
  7. The old man and the seaSydney Morning Herald
    The war trilogy was first published in London, by Hogarth, the press established by Leonard and Virginia Woolf. ”I would prefer it to be published there,” Parkin observed, ”for it does seem that no prophet is acceptable in his own country.” The 
  8. Murder on the dancefloor: art’s fascination with deathThe Guardian
    Photograph: Allstar/Cinetext/PARAMOUNT. Virginia Woolf, an admiring reader of Proust, was interested in the dramatic potential of the party as a way of bringing to the fore that which the joviality of the occasion attempts to deny. In Mrs Dalloway’s 
  9. Art Review ‘Picasso Black and White,’ at GuggenheimBoston Globe
    With the likes of Mozart, Virginia Woolf, and Picasso, the unspoken implication is so often: They can’t help themselves; the art just spouts out. If, in addition, the genius’s personality is awkward, or his personal life chaotic to the point of self 
  10. Carolyn Hitt: There are no longer barriers blocking female authorsWalesOnline
    Mary Ann Evans had to call herself George Eliot to get noticed while Virginia Woolf attempted to rent us a room of our own in the palace of patriarchy. When I read English at university 25 years ago we prided ourselves on the rows of ivy green spines 
  11. Author’s mum hated his Pulitzer Prize winning bookStraits Times
    The story traces the lives of three women affected by the 1925 Virginia Woolf novel, Mrs Dalloway. Cunningham’s mother was the inspiration behind the character of a bored housewife, and she did not like having her life on display. “She didn’t like the 
  12. Questioningly Results: Worst Halloween CostumeNew Yorker (blog)
    And, of course, many readers imagined inappropriate variations on seductive Halloween wear: sexy baby (from @MargoLezowitz), sexy George Bush (from @capitalsquirrel), sexy Virginia Woolf (from @andrewnford), sexy JarJar Binks (from @nemesisn4sa), 
  13. Prescription for laughterThe National
    It’s a busy Thursday night in Bloomsbury, the central London district where Virginia Woolf’s infamous set held court. At a plush, packed theatre, Ben Smith’s increasingly popular set is causing uproar. Smith also has literary links, being the younger 
  14. The Penguin-Random House book merger is a big deal: MallickToronto Star
    A writer has a vision, like a fin in the water as Virginia Woolf put it, a book is written and read, notions are floated and ingested like billions of plankton and suddenly the world has changed. Ideas are worth money. The book world is imprinted with 

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The deadline for A Room of Her Own Foundation‘s sixth $50,000 Gift of Freedom Award has been extended until Nov. 15, due to Hurricane Sandy.

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Killing the Angel is a new literary journal, “a literary experiment inspired by Virginia Woolf.” The journal is the love child of its founder, publisher and editor, Jessica Rosevear, who describes herself as “a high school English teacher in New Jersey obsessed with writing and studying Virginia Woolf, promoting creativity, and selling Shakespeare to today’s youth.”

Jessica has proudly given birth to the inaugural issue of Killing the Angel, a satisfying composite of poetry and prose, fiction and nonfiction. I’m happy to add that my own personal essay is among the contents. “My Space” is not about social networking; rather, in homage to A Room of One’s Own, it’s a search for my own literal and metaphorical room and an overview of fictional treatments of the theme by Alice Munro, Doris Lessing and others. I was delighted to find such a perfect home for this piece in Killing the Angel.

I should add that this is a print journal, and everyone knows what a bold undertaking that is in today’s economic and reading climate, when most new publications are Web-only and even established literary journals are promoting Web content, some of them shifting entirely from print to online. I know I’m not the only one who likes to hold printed materials in my hands, to fondle their covers and feel their silky pages between my fingers, so I’m hoping that this new addition is supported within the Woolfian community. Jessica informs me that Killing the Angel is on sale at Shakespeare and Company in Paris, but for the rest of us, it’s available for purchase online at http://killingtheangelmagazine.wordpress.com/.

Please join me in kudos to Jessica. And New Yorkers please note: there will be a launch party on Dec. 18, 2012, from 7-9 p.m. at the KGB Bar, 85 East Fourth St.

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Annie Leibovitz says Virginia Woolf was sloppy. Her evidence? Woolf’s desk in her writing lodge at Monk’s House.

This screenshot from The Guardian website shows Woolf’s desk in her writing lodge at Monk’s House.

Leibovitz photographed the desk, along with other objects, rooms and landscapes that had special meaning for her to include in her book Pilgrimage, which was published last fall.

The photo of Woolf’s desk shows scratches and stains that mar nearly the entire desk surface. After snapping it, Leibovitz wondered what the scratches and stains were all about, and she discovered “that Woolf was a very sloppy person who often spilled drinks all over her work space,” according to an interview published in the Evening Sun.

Now an eponymous photography exhibit of Leibovitz’s work is on display at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum through Jan. 20. It features more than 70 photographs chronicling the photographer’s journey to landmarks — some literary — throughout the United States and England.

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This week’s collection of Woolf sightings includes a glaring oversight. In a book claiming to collect the 40 greatest parties in literature, Mrs. Dalloway’s famous party is missing. Scroll down to 4 for the details. Another notable item on this week’s list is America’s Top Model contestant’s Kim Stolz’s plan to open a restaurant named The Dalloway with a “lesbian-implied theme.” See 8. Oh, and guess what — someone is calling Virginia a snob. Again. See 9 and 10.

  1. Constellation of Genius, 1922: Modernism Year One by Kevin Jackson – reviewThe Guardian
    According to Virginia Woolf – one of the sources on whom Kevin Jackson leans heavily for his account of what he believes to be modernism’s momentous year – “in or about December, 1910, human character changed.” If we look five years either side of
  2. Books You Have Always Meant to Read: Mrs. DallowayHeraldNet (blog)
    This time around we are in for a treat when Kevin Craft from Everett Community College discusses Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf on Tuesday, October 23rd from 7-8:30 pm at the Main Library. Mrs. Dalloway is, to put it mildly, an extraordinary novel 
  3. Creativity and Mental Illness are LinkedOnlymyhealth
    English author Virginia Woolf had walked into the river Ouse with stones in her pockets, thus killing herself; and throughout history we have known how creative people have always been depressed and on the brink of self destruction. Now according to 
  4. Imaginary Party PeopleWall Street Journal
    Women writers are largely ignored—no Virginia Woolf, so no Clarissa Dalloway. Novels of the past century account for the largest share of the fun. Yet Ms. Field says she has aimed for eclecticism in terms of “genre, country, period and style.” No 
  5. U of Minn. concert to showcase Argento’s musicHouston Chronicle
    He won the Pultizer for music in 1975 for his song cycle “From the Diary of Virginia Woolf.” He won a Grammy in 2004 for Best Classical Contemporary Composition, for his song cycle “Casa Guidi.” The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at Ted Mann Concert Hall 
  6. Zadie Smith’s “NW” charts a bold new path for the novel and offers its readers Salon
    Like Big Ben overseeing every page of Virginia Woolf’s modernist classic Mrs. Dalloway, time — even the actual word — haunts NW with a needling and anxious insistence. These textual echolocations with Mrs. Dalloway patinas the novel as a literary 
  7. Walls buzzing with creativity at ARTworks basketry classHilton Head Island Packet
    In her famous essay “A Room of One’s Own,” Virginia Woolf wrote, “Women have sat indoors all these millions of years so that by this time, the very walls are permeated by their creative force, which has indeed so overcharged the capacity of bricks and 
  8. Model Stolz ’05 Lands New Job, Restaurant, Book DealWesleyan Connection (blog)
    The Dalloway, named after Virginia Woolf’s novel Mrs. Dalloway, is set to open later this month and will have a “lesbian-implied” theme. While at Wesleyan, Stolz was awarded honors for her thesis, “The Impact of Exit Strategies of United States 
  9. Nick Hornby blasts Booker, Woolf and snobbery at the 92nd Street YNew York Daily News (blog)
    Hornby — after bringing the house down with a lecture on Virginia Woolf and signing a mountain of books — is enjoying a well-earned cigarette. He is the acclaimed author of hit novels such as “Fever Pitch” “High Fidelity” and, most recently, “Juliet 
  10. The Under 30 Crowd Reads More Books; Bill O’Reilly Humbly Takes the The Atlantic Wire
    Today in books and publishing: People under 30 most likely to read; who keeps buying O’Reilly’s books?; Nick Hornby finds Virginia Woolf snobby; Jackie Collins recaps Revenge. Kids these days, am I right? Everyone concerned about whether or not 
  11. 10 Writers’ Mental And Physical MaladiesHuffington Post (blog)
    Most great writers experienced emotional or financial turbulence in childhood. Swift, Defoe, Byron, Keats, Coleridge, Hawthorne, Melville, Thackeray, the Brontës, Virginia Woolf, and Sylvia Plath all lost a parent in childhood. Poe, Tolstoy, and Conrad 

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Apply to A Room of Her Own Foundation for the sixth $50,000 Gift of Freedom Award — and have the time and money to pursue your creative dream.

The Gift of Freedom competition will determine finalists from each genre—creative nonfiction, fiction, playwrighting, & poetry. One genre finalist will be awarded the $50,000 Gift of Freedom grant. Along with a $5,000 cash prize, the three remaining finalists for the Gift of Freedom Award receive a professional mentoring session, eligibility to attend a future AROHO Retreat for Women Writers and the honored distinction of being the finalist in their genre.

Entries must be postmarked by Nov. 1, 2012.

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The Bloomsbury Festival is one of the most interesting Woolf sighting this week. It will include readings from emerging and established writers; Cream Tea and Conversation, a celebratory talk on Persephone Book’s 100th publication; and a sold-out session on Bloomsbury and Film, with reference to Virginia. See #9 below, then read on.

  1. Men are exhausting. Women’s clubs are the perfect respiteTelegraph.co.uk
    It has taken me years to clock what Virginia Woolf meant in A Room of One’s Own (‘A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction’.) Shirley Conran was on to the same thing: girls, get a (decent) job. Earn your way, and buy 
  2. LGBT History: Famous Women Who Loved WomenHuffington Post
    The pair’s intimate letters to each other have been preserved and published.
  3. The Best of BestowingHarvard Magazine
    At her first Christmas back from college, her mother gave her the first volume of Virginia Woolf’s letters. “I remember unwrapping it and going upstairs into the bedroom and being under blankets the whole day reading,” Paulsell says. She still reads 
  4. The Rabble’s Orlando. Photo: Sarah WalkerSydney Morning Herald
    PLAYING with gender is a traditional prerogative of the theatre, and The Rabble’s superb adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando is an erotic and funny, alarming and profound interrogation of the subject. The theatrical mavericks have created a visceral
  5. Age critics make their picks of the festivalSydney Morning Herald
    ”Highlights include Nilaja Sun’s powerful one-woman show No Child …, The Rabble’s sexy and subversive adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, and the irresistible carnival charm of La Soiree.” CAMERON WOODHEAD. HUB. ”The past few years have 
  6. Theater Review: Blood PlayVulture
    Blood Play is a sort of inverted Virginia Woolf, a night besotted with darkness and drink where virtually nothing honest is spoken aloud — until the final, fatal malediction. The Debate Society (Hannah Bos, Paul Thureen, and director Oliver Butler 
  7. Creativity a Symptom of Mental Illness?Everyday Health
    Fans of Virginia Woolf know that the author — who killed herself — was frequently depressed. A new study from Sweden’s Karolinska Institute suggests that an artist’s creativity may be linked to his or her mental illness. The brightest and most 
  8. New research suggests creativity is closely related to mental illnessallvoices
    Numerous examples exist where artists and writers have descended into madness or depression taking their lives, some very well regarded examples being Virginia Woolf, Vincent van Gogh, Kurt Cobain, Robert E. Howard. Of course while these examples 
  9. Preview: The Bloomsbury FestivalLondonist
    As you might expect from the home of Virginia Woolf and co, literary types will be well catered for with readings from emerging and established writers. Look out for Cream Tea and Conversation, a celebratory talk on Persephone Book’s 100th publication 
  10. Bridget Christie, The Riverfront,South Wales Argus
    Instead, we had her thoughts about how women are currently portrayed, the lack of Virginia Woolfand Mary Wollstonecraft in her local book store, and 18-year-olds on TOWIE who Botox their faces before a quiz night. “Misogyny and shiny leggings are …
  11. No need to be afraid of Virginia Woolf in erotic gender-bending epicSydney Morning Herald
    The theatrical mavericks have created a visceral and intellectual engagement with the modernist novel that will intrigue anyone with a deep knowledge of the text, but remains accessible to those who have always been a bit afraid of Virginia Woolf. The
  12. Review: Orlando, Melbourne FestivalHerald Sun
    WRITTEN as a love missive to poet Vita Sackville-West, Virginia Woolf’s romantic novel Orlando tells the fantastical tale of a young courtier to Queen Elizabeth I who decides to stop ageing and then lives through three centuries, firstly as a man then 
  13. Candidates Night and Luna Stage This Week in West OrangePatch.com
    New Jersey Premiere of ‘Vita and Virginia’ by Eileen Atkins, adapted from correspondence betweenVirginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West. Vita Sackville-West was a wealthy socialite and aspiring poet. Virginia Woolf was of more modest means, and widely 
  14. Johnny Depp Joins Reese Witherspoon and Julia Roberts in Bringing…WordandFilm.com
    It’s hard not to yearn for the early adopter’s thrill of experiencing the firsthand wonders of a Preston Sturges screwball comedy, a John Coltrane free jazz riff, or a Virginia Woolf modernist masterpiece fresh from the source. But there is one pop 
  15.  A Short Defense of Literary ExcessNew York Times (blog)
    And who can be indifferent to the impressionistic metaphoricity of Virginia Woolf’sprose, where things “quiver,” “tremble” “melt” and “overflow,” constantly threatening to exceed themselves? Take Woolf’s depiction of one of Clarissa Dalloway’s lucid 
  16. Rabble rouses Woolf for an assault on the sensesThe Australian
    “How dull indecency is,” wrote Virginia Woolf in the mid-1920s, “when it is not the overflowing of a superabundant energy or savagery.” One could hardly find a more apt phrase to describe the Rabble’s recent output than the latter part of Woolf’s 
  17. Turkish Nobelist, kin to FaulknerPhiladelphia Inquirer
    Even as a young man, Pamuk – who is 60 years old – was impressed by Virginia Woolf and William Faulkner. Like those novelists he writes in stream-of-consciousness style: He portrays an individual’s point of view by depicting that character’s thought 
  18. Craig Brown review of The John Lennon Letters by Hunter DaviesDaily Mail
    When the Bloomsbury Group was at the height of its boom in the Seventies, people often joked that it wouldn’t be long before Virginia Woolf’s shopping lists were published, with a scholarly introduction by Michael Holroyd. Nowadays, the Bloomsburys 
  19. Victorian Bloomsbury, By Rosemary Ashton The Victorian City: Everday Life in The Independent
    “But if one lived here in Bloomsbury … one might grow up as one liked,” says a young woman in aVirginia Woolf short story. The sense she has of Bloomsbury as a haven for freedom-loving bohemians first developed at the end of the 19th and beginning 
  20. The real style bibles: The classics books that inspired the latest looksThe Independent
    “Vain trifles as they seem,” writes Virginia Woolf in Orlando, “clothes have, they say, more important offices than merely to keep us warm.” Fashion, aka the art of dressing up, has always been about creating a character for ourselves and some of the 
  21. Not everyone loves the countryside!Sussex Express
    (Phillimore): ‘Solitary walking in the afternoon for its own sake had an indisputable role in Virginia Woolf’s writing. She would compose sentences, collect thoughts and toss ideas about for her present and future writings, catching them “hot and 
  22. Toby’s Room by Pat Barker: ReviewToronto Star
    The novel’s title appears to be a self-conscious reference to Virginia Woolf’s 1922 novel Jacob’s Room. That novel’s “protagonist”—based on Woolf’s brother Thoby, who died of typhoid at 26—was largely absent, Woolf’s strategy being to build a notion 
  23. Weekend Calendar: Books, Bats at Van Vleck, Music and Food DrivePatch.com
    Virginia Woolf was of more modest means, and widely considered to be a brilliant writer. Yet, these two women shared a long and complex relationship. Told mostly through letters that sparkle with wit and insight, Vita and Virginia sheds an intimate and 
  24. After Virginia Woolf, can Manorbier Castle inspire a new wave of authors?WalesOnline
    “Manorbier and the immediate vicinity have strong literary associations including Virginia Woolf, who was a frequent visitor to village,” said Ms Naper, who had to learn to walk again after suffering post-operative paralysis. “After an early bout of 
  25. Vantage Point: I was there when The Beatles played a Jew doJewish Chronicle
     Beatles’ first single being celebrated somewhat more widely — and wildly — than the 90th anniversary of T S Eliot’s The Waste Land and James Joyce’s Ulysses (not to mention Aaron’s Rod by D H Lawrence and Jacob’s Room by Virginia Woolf), there is
  26. New York Film Festival 2012: Ginger & Rosaslantmagazine
    Like Orlando, her adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s centuries-spanning novel which established her name internationally 20 years ago, there’s a strong female protagonist through whose POV the movie unfolds. We sense a deep personal involvement in the
  27. Murder and drama in the LakesThe Guardian (blog)
    capacity to appreciate and admire generously the work of authors very different from himself. He held in the highest esteem, for instance, the novels of Mr James Joyce and Mrs Woolf. Virginia Woolf was indeed a great friend and regular correspondent of
  28. Review: NJ premiere of ‘Vita and Virginia‘ at Luna Stage…verbal magicExaminer.com
    British writer Eileen Atkins has created a fascinating play based on the voluminous and intimate real-life correspondence between fellow Bloomsbury writers Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West spanning from the early 1920s until 1941, when Woolf 
  29. The Tankerville Arms – steeped in Northumberland history, Manchester Evening News
    It’s not often you discover a hotel that boasts Virginia Woolf and Cardinal Basil Hume as fans. The writer raved about her stay in 1914 and the archbishop was a regular visitor to the Tankerville Arms in rural Northumberland. Steeped in history, the 
  30. 2012 Times Cheltenham Literature FestivalFoodepedia
    So said Virginia Woolf, and who am I to argue? If I were feeling particularly daring though, I might add one more thing to her list. Reading well also requires appropriate nourishment, making food a particularly important part of enjoying the 2012 
  31. What are the five best books about London?Telegraph.co.uk
    Virginia Woolf’s reportage collected in just 95 pages of The London Scene (Snowbooks) captures just one moment in London time – 1931 – but does so exquisitely. Graphic novel From Hell (Knockabout) is a retelling of the Jack the Ripper murders by Alan 
  32. Au Naturaw Opens in Downtown Santa AnaOC Weekly (blog)
    Also on the website are Virginia Woolf and Shakespeare quotes, a photo of a happy goat in a garden and a snapshot of Marchell Williams, the owner and chef. It should also be mentioned that Williams appears to have made a comment a few months ago on 
  33. Mabeyn Gallery hosts Gözonar’s showHurriyet Daily News
    Her current work uses the words of Marilyn Monroe, Che Guevara and Virginia Woolfto link them with ordinary people. You will be surprised by what you see, and that’s exactly what Gözonar’s “Way” is about. October/09/2012. PRINTER FRIENDLY 
  34. Vita and Virginia‘: As good as their wordsThe Star-Ledger – NJ.com
    Based on the real-life correspondence between writers Vita Sackler-West and Virginia Woolf, “Vita and Virginia” is a play in letters. Sitting at desks opposite one another, the women pour out their mutual admiration, fears, jealousies and inspirations 
  35. The Godfather of Nyama Choma – Francis WahomeAllAfrica.com
    opinion. British novelist Virginia Woolf is quoted saying, “one cannot think well, love well, and sleep well, if one has not dined well.” ‘Dining well’ is the feeling one gets while digging into scrumptious nyama choma, ugali, and spinach at Francis 
  36. ‘All We Know: Three Lives,’ by Lisa CohenNew York Times
    Todd and Garland published Virginia Woolf, Duncan Grant and other Bloomsbury figures. Woolf associated the couple, Cohen writes, with “the knot of art, commerce and sexuality that haunts and defines both modernism and fashion.” The golden moment 
  37. Glee Recap of Season 4, Episode 4: “The Break-Up” — Blaine Cheated on Kurt Wetpaint
    Plus, a note to Virginia Woolf: We’re never reading another one of your novels for as long as we live! As far as we’re concerned, Virginia is as responsible for this break-up as anyone else, since it was her books that brought the “crazy or lesbian 
  38. Watch: Santana Serenades Brittany with ‘Mine’ in ‘Glee’s’ ‘The Break-Up’SheWired
    Thanks to flashback, viewers got to see that she and a girl armed with the Virginia Woolfcollection, had checked Santana out, and Santana returned the favor. While Santana explained that she would never cheat and that she didn’t want to full-on break 
  39. A Painting OpportunityDaily Beast
    More than just the title of Pat Barker’s new novel is reminiscent of Virginia Woolf’s 1922 novel Jacob’s Room. Woolf wrote her third novel in memory of her brother Thoby, who died at age 26 in 1906, and so too Barker’s novel is about a sister mourning 
  40. The Godfather of Nyama Choma – Francis WahomeAllAfrica.com
    opinion. British novelist Virginia Woolf is quoted saying, “one cannot think well, love well, and sleep well, if one has not dined well.” ‘Dining well’ is the feeling one gets while digging into scrumptious nyama choma, ugali, and spinach at Francis 
  41. A Review of ‘Vita and Virginia,’ at Luna StageNew York Times
    In Act II of Eileen Atkins’s intelligent and resonant “Vita and Virginia,” now playing at Luna Stage, Woolf (Mona Hennessy) discovers that her lover Vita Sackville-West (Rachel Black Spaulding) has been seen “lunching at the Cafe Royal” with another 

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