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Archive for May, 2013

A big thank you to Blogging Woolf reader Kaylee Baucom for this interesting Woolf sighting.

This review of season four of the arrested developmentTV sitcom “Arrested Development” compares Virginia Woolf’s The Waves to a show’s character’s abuse of date-rape drugs. Season four debuted May 26, with 15 episodes streaming on Netflix.

Here is the paragraph with the Woolf sighting:

As long as we’ve got our literature degrees out, shall we make a comparison between infantile Bluth son Buster (the American treasure Tony Hale) and Benjy Compson of The Sound and the Fury? Or impose the broken-circle theme in Virginia Woolf’s The Waves on Gob’s spiraling self-medication with date-rape drugs (the phrase `Life is a roofie circle’ appears in Episode 12)? Perhaps that’s going too far, but Episode 12 also uses a blood spatter to make a `Liza with a ‘Z’ reference. Absurdity is the ambition here.

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VW Miscellany now onlineSpring 2013 VWM table of contents

The  Spring 2013 Virginia Woolf Miscellany is now online. Edited by Emily Kopley and Sara Sullam, the special topic is Virginia Woolf and Literary Genre. Print copies will be mailed to current members of the International Virginia Woolf Society in the next two weeks.

Calls for papers

Upcoming calls for papers for the Virginia Woolf Miscellany include:
  • Spring 2014 issue, with the special topic Woolf and Materiality. The submission deadline is Aug. 1. Editor is Derek Ryan at D.Ryan@exeter.ac.uk.
  • Fall 2014 issue, with the special topic Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield. The submission deadline is March 1, 2014. Editor is Kathryn Simpson at kathryn.simpson88@gmail.com and  Melinda Harvey at melinda.harvey@monash.edu.

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This season, Monk’s House is holding a number of events and workshops and a series of summer lectures for the first time.

Virginia Woolf's writing Lodge at Monk's House

Virginia Woolf’s writing Lodge at Monk’s House

Bookings for all events can be made by telephoning 01273 474760 or visiting the shop in Rodmell.

Dog Days

Dates: 5 dates between 16 June 2013 and 20 October 2013
Price: Free event (normal admission charges apply)

There’s no need to leave the dog at home today, this is a unique  opportunity for your four-legged friends to enjoy the gardens at Monk’s House. Whether Bassett or bulldog, they will have a fantastic time exploring the grounds.

Botanical Flower Painting

Dates: 19 June 2013 10 a.m.
Price: Adult 60 (inc. lunch and private access to Monk’s House)

Weather permitting, the course will start with sketching in Monk’s House Garden, followed by guidance on different painting techniques. Booking essential

Garden Tour

Dates: 5 dates between 20 June 2013 and 17 October 2013
Price: Free event (normal admission charges apply)

Leonard Woolf was a keen gardener, whilst Virginia took much inspiration from the garden for her works. Join a guided tour to find out more about the trees, plants, flowers and history of this beautiful Bloomsbury garden.

“Leonard and Virginia, as I Remember Them” by Cecil Woolf

Dates: 21 June 2013 7:30 p.m.
Price: Adult 10 (includes a glass of wine)

Among many other works, Cecil Woolf publishes the Bloomsbury monographs, which celebrate the life, work and times of the members of the Bloomsbury Group. He was fourteen when his Aunt Virginia died, and had paid a number of visits to the Woolfs at Rodmell and in London. In this talk he will reveal fascinating insights into his time spent at Monk’s House, and his childhood recollections of Leonard and Virginia. Booking Essential.

An Introduction to Virginia Woolf by Sarah M. Hall

Dates: 5 July 2013 7:30 p.m
Price: Adult 10 (includes a glass of wine)

Learn more about Rodmell’s most famous resident, with writer and editor Sarah M. Hall. Sarah is a prominent member of the Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain, a regular contributor to the Virginia Woolf Bulletin, and author of Before Leonard: The Early Suitors of Virginia Woolf and The Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion to Virginia Woolf and Bloomsbury. Booking Essential.

To the River by Olivia Laing

Dates: 19 July 2013 7:30 p.m.
Price: Adult 10 (includes a glass of wine)

Shortlisted for the Ondaatje Prize and the Dolman Travel Book of the Year, To the River is the story of the Ouse, the Sussex river in which Virginia Woolf drowned in 1941. Booking Essential.

Monk’s House Garden by Caroline Zoob

Dates: 2 August 2013 7:30 p.m.
Price: Adult 10 (includes a glass of wine)

Caroline Zoob, celebrated textile designer and embroiderer, and her husband Jonathan, were the last tenants at Monk’s House, where they spent 10 years caring for the beautiful garden. 2013 will see the publication of  Caroline’s book about the remarkable garden that Leonard Woolf created, and in this talk she will reveal fascinating insights into how it has changed  over the past 94 years. Booking Essential.

Kick-start your Writing with New Writing South

Dates: 7 August 2013 10 a.m.
Price: Adult 70 (inc. lunch and private access to Monk’s House)

Then Kick-start your writing, led by professional writer, Evlynn Sharp, is the perfect antidote. Taking inspiration from Monk’s House and its rich literary history, the day offers a wide range of creative ideas, getting you to put pen to paper. Booking Essential.

Garden Embroidery with Vintage Textiles

Dates: 4 September 2013 11 a.m.
Price: Adult 50 (inc. lunch and private access to Monk’s House)

Spend a day with celebrated textile designer and embroiderer Caroline Zoob, making a framed picture using vintage textiles and embroidery, inspired by the beautiful garden at Monk’s House. Booking Essential.

Botanical Vegetable Painting

Dates: 18 September 2013 10 a.m.
Price: Adult 60 (inc. lunch and private access to Monk’s House)

Weather permitting; the course will start with sketching in Monk’s House allotment, followed by instruction on different painting techniques, including wet on wet, dry brush, layering, and mixing colour. Inspired by Leonard Woolf’s vegetable garden, you will practise the painting skills on your chosen subject. Booking Essential

Volunteer at Monk’s House

Monk’s House is always looking for new volunteers. Anyone who would like to while away an afternoon in Virginia Woolf’s Sussex home or among the beautiful gardens may contact the house by phone at 01273 474760 or by e-mail at monkshouse@nationaltrust.org.uk.

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In this collection of Woolf sightings, Virginia is quoted regarding Wikipedia’s “woman problem” (6), the character of Edith in the remake of The Great Gatsby dismisses the famous author entirely (10) and Anne Olivier Bell lays Bloosmbury bare in a tell-all interview with The Independent (15).

  1. The Last Class: Beth Flynn, HumanitiesMichigan Tech NewsScreen Shot 2013-05-23 at 4.28.32 PM
    The students read James Joyce, D. H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf and others, and for their finale they presented on their final papers. One student asked of Lawrence: “sexist or savvy?” Another looked at androgyny in Woolf via Alice Walker. Another …
  2. Double vision, The Economist (blog)
    Their method—having their actors or opera singers use hand-held cameras to frame and shoot the scene which plays above the stage—developed out of Woolf’s own experiments with literary form. “Virginia Woolf’s writing created the idea,” says Ms …
  3. Coming of age in the nuclear age with ‘Ginger and Rosa’Monterey County Herald
    After a screening at last year’s Telluride Film Festival, it became clear that I hadn’t just loved Potter’s adaptation of “Orlando,” starring Tilda Swinton as Virginia Woolf’s gender-shifting character; or “Yes” (Joan Allen as a married scientist who 
  4. Annie Leibovitz: PilgrimageHuffington Post
    She went to nearly thirty places, including the homes of Emily Dickinson, Virginia Woolf, Sigmund Freud, Charles Darwin, Eleanor Roosevelt, Elvis Presley, Thomas Jefferson, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Ansel Adams. She followed 
  5. Abbott cares for mums, but why so little support? – Brisbane TimesBrisbane Times
    He might, for all we know, have a Virginia Woolf voodoo doll that he jams full of pins when he’s bored. All these things may be true, but so is this: Abbott’s paid parental leave scheme is vastly superior to the Labor government’s legislated scheme 
  6. BETWEEN THE LINES: Wikipedia’s woman problemLivemint
    Virginia Woolf touched on the intricacy of this “problem” in her comment on Max Beerbohm in “The Modern Essay.” “We only know that the spirit of personality permeates every word he writes,” Woolf says of Beerbohm. “The triumph is the triumph of style.
  7. Joanna Kavenna is one of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists. But will she Screen Shot 2013-05-23 at 4.04.05 PM, The Independent
    Virginia Woolf writes, “Are not reviews of current literature a perpetual illustration of the difficulty of judgement? ‘This great book,’ ‘this worthless book,’ the same book is called by both names.” All you can really do, Woolf continues, is write ..
  8. READING & WRITINGE Kantipur
    The promise of this manufactory was evident to Virginia Woolf. Throughout her fiction she attacked the problem of the world’s persistent demand upon our attention, which overcomes even the security and seclusion of a room of one’s own. Woolf asks us to ..
  9. An Apple a Day: Charting a Long Battle With AnorexiaDaily Beast
    Emma Woolf (Virginia Woolf’s great-niece) pens a memoir, now out stateside, about trying to recover from a Emma Woolfdecade-long eating disorder—and how finding love gave her hope. Share. facebook; twitter · google plus · email; print; 0. I’ve always been 
  10. Scott and Zelda, as seen through a complicated lensChicago Tribune
    Best of all, in Patti Roeder’s Edith, we get to see a woman who was far more modern and forward-thinking than her tightly corseted characters suggest. Though she may dismiss Virginia Woolf’s “Mrs. Dalloway” as “a 200-page excuse for not washing one’s …
  11. What’s in a Routine?
    Daily Beast
    About a third of the way through A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf describes the way Jane Austen wrote all of her novels. According to Woolf, Austen spent her days interrupted by visits and various obligations, and writing almost covertly—always 
  12. Book News: Microsoft Rumored To Be Interested In Buying Nook – for KUHF
    KUHF-FM
    Alex Jung considers Virginia Woolf, camp and the TV show RuPaul’s Drag Race in an essay for the Los Angeles Review of Books: “I have often thought that if I were ever a drag queen, and more specifically that if I were ever a drag queen who was a 
  13. A recording studio in the garden: How creativity comes in shedloads, The Independent
    George Bernard Shaw wrote Pygmalion from his garden shed in Hertfordshire, which was built on a turntable, which turned to face the sun; Roald Dahl wrote most of his children’s books in his Buckinghamshire “writing hut”; Virginia Woolf wrote in her ..
  14. All About The New Books!, Oman Daily Observer
    By Majed Al Sulaimany — • Be yourself, everyone else is taken! — Oscar Wilde • If you do not tell the truth about yourself; you cannot tell it about other people! — Virginia Woolf • Say what is true, although it may be bitter and displeasing to 
  15. Bloomsbury laid bare: The last member of the famous artistic set reveals allThe Independent
    It is more than 70 years since Virginia Woolf last put pen to paper. And 50 since her sister Vanessa Bell put away her paints. In 1941, Virginia filled her pockets with stones and walked out into the River Ouse, never to return. Vanessa died peacefully 
  16. There’s no such thing as the wrong sort of bookThe Independent
    “There is a great tradition of English, a canon of transcendent works, and Breaking Dawn is not one of them.” Neither was Middlemarch the minute it was published of course, though it became quite popular, Virginia Woolf praising it in The Common Reader 
  17. Inversion therapy: Dan Brown’s cure for writer’s block put to the testTelegraph.co.uk
    Comments. Writers block – the curse of so many great authors. Leo Tolstoy, Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, Joseph Conrad, Andrew Motion and Hilary Mantel have all complained that occasionally they just don’t know where the next word is coming from.
  18. Reporter spends a day in Dan Brown’s boots – Calgary HeraldCalgary Herald
    Leo Tolstoy, Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, Joseph Conrad, Andrew Motion and Hilary Mantel have all admitted to occasional writer’s block. Now the renowned best-seller Dan Brown has joined this literary hall of fame. It may be hard to tell from 
  19. Why ‘Mrs. Dalloway’ Still MattersThe AwlMrs. Dalloway
    Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway was published on this day in 1925. Set on a single day in London, in June of 1923, it tells the parallel stories of Clarissa Dalloway, who is throwing a party, and Septimus Warren Smith, a shell-shocked World War One veteran.
  20. Who Was Afraid of Viviane Forrester?Jewish Daily Forward
     Iconoclastic French-Jewish Novelist and Essayist. Woolf At The Door: Viviane Forrester’s last book was a biography of Virginia Woolf 
  21. Meditation on MortalityWall Street Journal
    There was a time when most educated people would have recognized Lincoln’s reference: “Gray’s Elegy,” wrote Leslie Stephen (the father of Virginia Woolf), “includes more familiar phrases than any poem of equal length in the language.” Its 32 stanzas 
  22. Defending depth in the time of 140 characters or less – Sydney Morning HeraldSydney Morning Herald
    In her essay Mr Bennett and Mrs Brown, Virginia Woolf offers a polemic against the Edwardian novelists and their reliance on the outer trappings of character, descriptions failing, she says, to provide a ”single person we know”. Woolf argued 
  23. Student entrepreneurs: what are you waiting for?Telegraph.co.uk
    Comments. It’s 9.00am and I’m in a seminar on Virginia Woolf’s Orlando; there’s a discussion about modern femininity taking place and I can’t quite remember my opinions on gender-neutral toilets. My brain feels hazy; four hours ago I was napping on the 
  24. Third Tuesday Book Club: Favorite reads and rules for successWashington Post
    “Mrs. Dalloway” by Virginia Woolf. “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald. “The Magus” by John Fowles. “The Nine Tailors” by Dorothy L. Sayers. “Stones for Ibarra” by Harriet Doerr. Third Tuesday Book Club’s rules for book club success. 1. Pick a 
  25. Even Khaled Hosseini Can’t Tell Stories as Effectively as He Wants toThe Atlantic
    Herman Melville scribbled changes onto the final proofs of Moby-Dick until the printer’s deadlines could wait no longer; in her journals, Virginia Woolf announced at least four separate times that she’d finally completed The Waves. Writers often keep 

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Here’s an interesting twist on the stream of consciousness technique Virginia Woolf used in several of her most famousScreen Shot 2013-05-23 at 3.53.53 PM novels. It’s a project that involves walking and talking. Simultaneously.

Andrew Irving, an anthropologist at the University of Manchester, decided to record the “inner dialogues of people walking in New York City—to map part of the city’s thoughtscape, layered beneath its audible soundscape.” To do so, he approached strangers at Manhattan intersections and asked if they would share what they were thinking.

Surprisingly, out of  those he asked, about 100 said yes. He then asked the agreeable pedestrians to wear a microphone attached to a headset and speak their thoughts aloud as they walked. He filmed their walking and recorded their audio, then overlay one on top of the other for his project called “New York Stories: The Lives of Other Citizens.”

To learn more, read Can we record our inner monologues? in Salon, and watch his four videos: “Walking,” “Bridges,” “Squares” and “Cafes.”

I guarantee you will be charmed by at least one of these brief videos. Perhaps predictably, my personal favorite is “Walking,” which is obviously reminiscent of Mrs. Dalloway.

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A lovely combination: Virginia Woolf and suffrage. That means more than stuffing envelopes.

Woman and her Sphere

Night and DayIn Night and Day, set in 1910, Virginia Woolf writes explicitly of the  suffrage campaign. She places the office of her suffrage society, the ‘S.G.S.’, in the heart of Bloomsbury, in Russell Square. Mary Datchet works there (‘From ten to six every day’) in an office on the top-floor of a large house ‘which had once been lived in by a great city merchant and his family’. When Mary Datchet is found ‘lost, apparently, in admiration of the large hotel across the square’, she could in fact have been looking at not one but two  imposing hotels – the Russell and the Imperial.

A house with just such a view, number 23, on the north-western corner of the square, belonged to Sir Alexander Rendel, grandfather of Ellie Rendel, close friend of Ray Strachey. Although by 1910 the offices of the main women’s suffrage societies were in real life based…

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