Archive for the ‘19th Annual Internatinal Conference on Virginia Woolf’ Category

Happy World Book Day from Virginia Woolf, who authored so many wonderful ones.

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woolf_and_the_city2It’s been a month since Princeton and the Stephen Pelton Dance Theatre performed together at Woolf and the City, but like the blogger says, “its not like it un-happens after a month.”

 A vegan blogger from Brooklyn has posted photos of the event. And while as a conference attendee I object to the accompanying Rumpus description of our group as mostly “wavy-haired, intellectual, modern-day Virginias with silk scarves and thick-rimmed glasses,” I am grateful that the photographer’s crowd shot puts the lie to that characterization.

Take a look. I guarantee you won’t see a single pair of thick-rimmed glasses.

Ryan Muir’s photos are fun, especially the ones of my faves, the cute little Princeton boys. They remind me of the Beatle boys of yesteryear.

But here I am, showing my age, even though I don’t wear thick-rimmed glasses.

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Get more insight about members of Princeton, the young band that rocked the house with its Bloomsbury tunes at Woolf and the City.

Read the group’s latest interview with the San Diego CityBeat, visit them on MySpace or follow them on Twitter.

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Bleeding Heart SquareThe recent conference theme of  Woolf and the City stimulated a number of papers that discussed Virginia Woolf in the context of contemporary writers and their works, making comparisons and noting similarities and influences in authors that included A.S. Byatt, Grace Paley, Zadie Smith, Sandra Cisneros, Ian McEwan and Penelope Lively.

My own presentation, “Beyond the Icon: Virginia Woolf in Contemporary Fiction,” noted just shy of 20 novels and short stories from the 1980s to the present time that contain references to Woolf. But the list keeps growing, and it includes some unexpected sources.

While I’ve focused primarily on literary fiction, a friend’s summer reading is more eclectic, and she sent me the following “sighting” from a recently released mystery, Bleeding Heart Square by Andrew Taylor. Early in the novel, which takes place in 1934 London, Lydia leaves her husband and packs A Room of One’s Own in her bag.

“Lydia was reading A Room of One’s Own and feeling increasingly envious of Mrs. Woolf:  ‘My aunt…died by a fall from her horse while she was riding out to take the air in Bombay. The news of my legacy reached me one night about the same time that the act was passed that gave votes to women.  A solicitor’s letter fell into the post-box and when I opened it I found that she had left me five hundred pounds a year for ever. Of the two–the vote and the money–the money, I own, seemed infinitely the more important.’ Five hundred a year? The money shone like a mirage, a littering pile of gold, in Lydia’s mind. If a woman had that, she could do almost anything she wanted” (p. 36).

Read a review of the Taylor novel.

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woolf_and_the_city2New York media gave Woolf and the City some coverage, particularly online. To read it, click on the links below.

Fordham University Hosts Scholars for Weekend of Woolf” by Janet Sassi – Fordham University Top Stories – June 9, 2009

NY Event: Princeton at the Virginia Woolf Conference” – The Elegant Variation – June 4, 2009

Woolf and the City” – Lux Lotus blog – June 3, 2009

Waves of Woolf: 19th Annual Virginia Woolf Conference” by Megan Branch – Oxford University Press Blog – June 3, 2009

2009 Woolf and the City Preview” by Rosalia Jovanovic – The Rumpus – June 3, 2009

Woolf and the City”  by Jason Diamond – These American Roads” – June 1, 2009

Woolf Scholar Brings Virginia to New York” by Janet Sassi, Fordham University In Focus, April 27, 2009

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Princeton t-shirtOne of the big hits at Woolf and the City was the performance by the West Coast band Princeton, who rocked out on stage Friday evening with all four tunes from their “Bloomsbury” album.

Another big hit was the Virginia Woolf t-shirt the band sold. It featured Virginia looking trés cool behind a pair of metallic-gold-trimmed Ray-Bans.

You, too, can be trés cool. Order a shirt from the band’s MySpace page. Scroll way down. Choose your size — men’s or women’s from small to large — and click on the “Pay Now” link to pay through PayPal.

Tip: The shirts are 100 percent cotton, and the women’s sizes run small. Bump your order up a size.

While you are on their site, you can check out their music.

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Emma Watson with Burberry's Woolf bag

Emma Watson with Burberry's Woolf bag

Emma Watson, star of the Harry Potter films, is the new “face” of Burberry, and Burberry’s new fall/winter collection is said to be inspired by Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury set.

But I don’t think Woolf would have opted to spend £1,095 on the roomy suede tote with embroidered overlay that Burberry has dubbed its “Woolf bag.” 

Nor can I imagine Woolf, who wandered so many miles around London, schlepping along carrying such a huge bag. I picture her using roomy pockets, not a handbag, to carry what she needed. Cast your vote on the issue by taking the poll below.

However, I do wish I had managed to attend the fashion panel, “Bloomsbury and Fashion,” at Woolf and the City.

Here are the intriguing presentations it included:

  • “Clothes Make the Flaneuse” – Catherine Mintler, University of Oklahoma
  • “The Language of Shop Windows in Virginia Woolf’s Novels” – Katarzyna Rybinska, Wroclaw University
  • “Cities of Fashion: Sartorial Topographies in ‘Street Haunting,’ Mrs. Dalloway and The Waves” – Randi Koppen, University of Bergen
  • “Self-Fashioning Identity: Clothing and Subjectivity in Orlando: A Biography” – Ula Lukszo, Stony Brook University. 

Read more about Woolf and fashion.

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