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Archive for December, 2014

On June 22, 1897…

SuchFriends Blog

…the Diamond Jubilee of the reign of Queen Victoria, 78, is celebrated.

In London, before her procession through the streets begins, the monarch visits the central Telegraph Office to send a message to her subjects across her empire.

Queen Victoria Jubilee’s procession in front of Buckingham Palace Queen Victoria Jubilee’s procession in front of Buckingham Palace

Siblings Virginia, 15, Vanessa, 18, and Thoby Stephen, 16, watch the parade from the window of the hospital where they are visiting their half-sister who is ill.

But in at least one part of the Empire, Dublin, Ireland, there are organized protests.

Poet William Butler Yeats, just turned 32, is there with his much beloved Maud Gonne, 30, political activist. She has been involved in the resistance to celebrating the ‘Famine Queen’s’—as Gonne calls her—60 years on the throne.

At the National Club in Rutland Square, Yeats has the doors locked to keep Gonne inside until she can explain to…

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mrs. dalloway movieEver wonder about how the Virginia Woolf novel Mrs. Dalloway might change if her characters participated in social media?

Well, let me introduce Joshua Rothman, who writes about ideas and books for NewYorker.com and is also the archivist at The New Yorker. He explores that concept in an interview on data privacy.

In it, he speculates about how Clarissa Dalloway’s life might be affected if a photo of her kiss with Sally Seton, an event she never shares with anyone, had been posted on Instagram, for example. He also wonders how her memory of that kiss would be affected.

Rothman and the other participants in the interview speculate about how the digital age is changing the process of forgetting and forgiving — and forcing us to remember things we may want to forget.

Because in a digital age, forgetting is costly and hard, and remembering is the default. – Viktor Mayer-Schönberger

You can read the article, “Big Data, Virginia Woolf, and the Right to be Forgotten,” or download the podcast on the Policy Innovations website.

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In celebration of Virginia Woolf’s birthday, Sarah Blake will perform A Room of One’sWaterstone's Own at Waterstone’s Piccadilly in London on Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, at 7 p.m. Sadly, though, the event is sold out. But you can place your name on a waiting list by emailing cabinetsofcuriosity@talktalk.net.

The free performance will take the audience back to the 1928 lecture that forms the basis of the argument that “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write.”

Read an interview with Blake about adapting Woolf’s polemic for performance and an article in The New Statesmen about women’s ongoing fight for a place of their own.

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Lytton [Strachey] is still alive this morning. We thought he could not live through the night. It was a moonlit night. Nessa [her sister] rang up at 10 to say that he has taken milk and tea after an injection. He had taken nothing for 24 hours and was only half-conscious. This may be the turn or it may be nothing. Now again all one’s sense of him flies out and expands and I begin to think of things I shall say to him, so strange is the desire for life. – Virginia Woolf”s Diary, 25 December 1931

For quotes from more authors regarding their Christmas week blues, read this Dec. 22, 2014, article in The Independent.

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Thanks to The Gold Standard for the first collage below. The second one came from a Google search.

Woolf book cover collage

Woolf cover collage

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Ready for two holiday quizzes that include Virginia Woolf?Christmas quiz

The Telegraph’s Christmas week literary quiz includes a question on Woolf. You can take the quiz and check your answers.

Then move on to The Guardian’sBig Christmas Book Quiz 2014.” You’ll find questions related to Woolf, including one posed by author Will Self that every self-respecting Woolf fan will be able to readily answer:

Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse comprises three sections; what are the time periods described by each of them?

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There are still places available for the Virginia Woolf 2015 Birthday Lecture,  “Woolf in Winter,” by Alexandra Harris.

Alexandra Harris

Alexandra Harris

Co-sponsored by the Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain, the event will be held Saturday, Jan. 24, at 2 p.m. in Senate House, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU.  Tickets are £15 for VWSGB members and £20 for non-members.

The event includes a wine reception following the lecture and a copy of the lecture when printed.Bookings may be made via the Institute of English Studies website. For further details, contact Lindsay Martin on 020 8245 3580 or at lindsay@lindsaycmartin.co.uk

The topic of Woolf in winter is a natural for Harris, as she is in the midst of writing The Weather Glass, which discusses the British preoccupation with weather. The cultural history of English weather, which will include a chapter on Woolf, will be published by Thames & Hudson in autumn 2015.

In 2011, Harris was named among the 10 New Generation Thinkers by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and BBC Radio 3 for her new research on how the weather has influenced English art, music and literature.

Read Harris’s February 2014 essay in The Guardian that discusses English literature’s use of rain, torrential or otherwise: “Drip, drip, drip, by day and night.”

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