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Archive for September, 2015

In February 1910 Duncan Grant was invited by Maynard Keynes to join him on a visit to Greece and Asia Minor. While their physical relationship was over by this time, as detailed in an earlier blog post here, the couple remained close friends and continued to travel abroad together, their trips often funded by Keynes.

Source: Apollo in his Temple | The Charleston Attic

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When new fiction disappoints me, as it often does, I go back to old favorites. My summer reading has consisted of rereading a few books I’ve threatened to give a second or third go. A couple of them surprised me with mentions of Virginia Woolf that I’d forgotten.

I started with Rules of Civility by Amor Towles, which I wrote about here with great Rules of Civilityenthusiasm a few years ago. It’s still one of my all-time favorite contemporary novels, and I appreciated, once again, his references to Woolf as a contemporary icon for his 1930s characters.

Mary Wesley is one of those late-blooming authors I return to for “it’s never too late” inspiration. Her first novel was published in 1983 when she was 70, and she followed with nine more over the next 14 years; two were adapted for BBC television movies. They’re witty and wise, sometimes just plain silly—perfect summer reading.

I started with her first novel, my favorite, Jumping the Queue, in which Matilda, tired of life, and Hugh, a hunted “Matricide,” are planning separate suicides in Devon waters when they accidentally meet. If you thought Gone Girl was special with its Woolf jumping the queuesuicide reference, Mary Wesley was there first.

Hugh: “I was going to fill my pockets with stones and go into the river like Virginia Woolf.”

Matilda: “I’d forgotten about Virginia Woolf and the stones. I must remember.”

I saw the film “Learning to Drive,” thrilled to see a personal essay adapted to film, even if it bore only slight resemblance to its source. I decided to reread Katha Pollitt’s real story, the title piece in her excellent 2007 collection, and the rest of the essays in it too. In “Memoir of a Shy Pornographer” (the lengths writers will go to in order to make a living from words!) she’s just out of college and takes a job as a freelance copy editor and proofreader of porn novels. She talks about the tedium of reading drawn-out sex scenes:

The Beeline writers had hit upon the very techniques pioneered by the giants of high modernism: stream of consciousness, internal monologue, indirect discourse, dream sequences, disruptions of time, and far too many adjectives. Sometimes, when I saw a single sentence throbbing and thrusting down a whole page and maybe the next one too, I would cheat a bit and just kind of sweep over it with my eyes. I did the same thing with The Sound and the Fury and The Waves.

 And so it goes….

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If you have 16 minutes and an interest in Virginia Woolf’s life and writing — and you must or you wouldn’t be visiting this blog — take a look at this Virginia Woolf timeline in photographs. It’s set to Phillip Glass music and it will make you recall The Hours.

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Here is the latest post from The Charleston Attic, a blog written by curatorial interns working at Charleston, home of twentieth century artists, Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, and their daughter Angelica Garnett. It was also the Sussex retreat of the Bloomsbury Group.

Up in the attic studio at Charleston we have been privileged to learn so much about photographing, cataloguing, researching and caring for the fascinating objects in the Angelica Garnett Gift.

Source: August in the Attic | The Charleston Attic

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This 10-minute video uses clever animation and a narrator with a charming British accent to tell the story of Virginia Woolf’s life and writing within the context of Modernism. It is produced by The School of Life.

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Patrizia Muscogiuri will present a talk on Virginia Woolf and the sea in Kent on Monday.

“The Shore of the Wor(l)d. Liminality and Agency in Virginia Woolf” is part of The Topographies Project: Beaches Symposium at the University of Kent, Whitstable, Kent. Her talk is scheduled for Sept. 21 from 4:10-5:30 p.m. All are welcome.

Photo by Patrizia Muscogiuri

Photo by Patrizia Muscogiuri

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When Roger Fry spotted Vanessa and Clive Bell in the Cambridge railway station in 1910, here’s what was going on in his life.

Source: At the Cambridge, England, railway station, January, 1910… | SuchFriends Blog

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