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Archive for the ‘2010 Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf: Woolf and the Natural World’ Category

Fictitious Dishes“When there are fifteen people sitting down to dinner, one cannot keep things waiting for ever.” So starts a passage from To the Lighthouse that accompanies a photograph of a bowl of boeuf en daube—the solid brown chunks of meat accented by shiny black olives and bright orange carrot slices—accompanied by a dish of Brussels sprouts and a glass of claret, served on a green cloth scattered with seashells.

This is just one of the 50 extracts from novels included in Fictitious Dishes by Dinah Fried (“fried,” really—would I make it up?). The opulence of the elegant tea spread for Rebecca and the cocktail party fare—caviar, smoked salmon and more—to represent The Great Gatsby are balanced by a simple and sumptuous basket of strawberries for Emma and, of course, Proust’s tea and madeleine.

I can’t resist the juxtaposition of food and literature, food in literature, and especially Woolf and food. It was the topic of my paper at the 20th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf: “’A Certain Hold on Haddock and Sausage’: Dining Well in Virginia Woolf’s Life and Work,” which was published in the selected papers from that conference.

This collection was a delightful find. There’s a website too, but the book is a visual feast. Do what I did—buy it for a gift but read it first!

 

 

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Woolf scholars are a playful bunch, as the doctored graphic immediately below shows. It substitutes Verita Sriratana’s face for the face of Gwen John that appears on the box for the Penguin audiobook of A Room of One’s Own. (See second graphic.)

When I saw Verita post this doctored photo on her Facebook page, I couldn’t resist downloading it to share on Blogging Woolf.

I met Verita in 2010 at the 20th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf, “Woolf and the Natural World,” in Georgetown, Ky, where we sat on a panel about Woolf and weather. Originally from Bangkok, she did her doctoral work at the University of St. Andrews and is now a post-doctoral student in Slovakia.

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Virginia Woolf and the Natural Worldcollected papers from the 20th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf, is now available.

This compilation of 31 essays presented at the 2010 conference explores Woolf’s complex engagement with the natural world, an engagement that was as political as it was aesthetic. Kristin Czarnecki and Carrie Rohman are the editors.

The essays in the collection cover diverse topics including:

  • ecofeminism,
  • the nature of time,
  • the nature of the self,
  • nature and sporting,
  • botany,
  • climate,
  • landscape and more.

Contributors include Verita Sriratana, Patrizia Muscogiuri, Katherine Hollis, Bonnie Kime Scott, Carrie Rohman, Diana Swanson, Elisa Kay Sparks, Beth Rigel Daugherty, Jane Goldman, and Diane Gillespie, among many others from the international community of Woolf scholars.

You can order a hard copy or download a PDF of the book. The price of the trade paperback is $24.95. You will also find links to other volumes of Woolf Conference proceedings on the Clemson University Digital Press website.

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Does the bronze statue of the new Indian Dalit Goddess of English resemble Virginia Woolf? That question was posed to the VWoolf Listserv and linked readers to the BBC photo and story.

Maybe it does. Or maybe it is the medium — combined with the hairdo — that provides the resemblance.

As soon as I saw the photo, I thought of Italian sculptor Valentina Mazzei‘s lovely bronze bust of Virginia Woolf. It was on display at the art exhibition that was part of the 2010 Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf: Woolf and the Natural World at Georgetown University.

Mary Ellen Foley posted the link to the Goddess of English story, and several list readers responded to her suggestion that it bore a resemblance to Woolf.

Harish Trivedi thought the statue “had too round and even plump a face.” Self-identified common reader Mark Scott thought the statue did look like Woolf.

But Trivedi also spoke to the irony of the goddess’s name. “And as for Indians knowing English, there are not really that many of us around, even after a couple of centuries of British rule. 5% of the population?  10% ? Even 20%? Estimates vary, depending on what is meant by ‘knowing’ English,” he wrote.

You can see more photos of Valentina and her Woolf bust here.

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As usual, Bloomsbury and Virginia Woolf are in the news. Here are some links to recent stories in both print and online publications.

Find more Woolf sightings.

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T-shirt One

T-shirts from the 2010 Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf: Woolf and the Natural World are for sale.  So if you couldn’t make it to the conference — or you did get to Georgetown but forgot to buy a shirt — you can still get one through the mail.

Two versions are available, and each includes interesting graphics designed by Georgetown College art majors. T-shirt One is a standard T-shirt, with graphic designed by Erica Miller. T-shirt Two is a tapered “ladies fit,” with design by Ryleyanne Vaughn.

The shirts are 100 percent cotton and are available in small, medium and large. The “ladies fit” shirt does run small. I’m not a large person, but I bought a large size and found it to be extremely form fitting.

The cost for each shirt is $20, which includes tax and shipping.

T-shirt Two

To purchase a shirt, send your order and check to conference organizer Kristin Czarnecki, Georgetown College, 400 E. College St., Georgetown, KY 40324. Checks should be made out to Georgetown College. Be sure to include your choice of designs — T-shirt One or T-shirt Two — along with your size.

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Still in the thralls of this year’s Conference on Virginia Woolf, which ended just three days ago, I have two anecdotes to share.

Both connect to Catherine Hollis, author of Leslie Stephen as Mountaineer: ‘Where does Mont Blanc end, and where do I begin?’, one of four Bloomsbury Heritage monographs published by Cecil Woolf Publishers this spring.

Here is the first. On the morning of the second day of the conference, I was sitting in the Fairfield Inn lobby sipping the truly bad coffee and trying to wake up.

Vara Neverow sat down to chat with me, and soon afterward, Catherine joined us. I had never met Catherine, but as soon as Vara mentioned Catherine’s penchant for mountain climbing, my still sleepy ears perked up.

“You’re the mountaineer,” I cried. “You’re Catherine. Hollis.”

“Yes,” she answered. “Who are you?”

“I’m weather,” I replied. And she immediately knew what I meant.

Of course, that sent us all into gales of laughter. No pun intended. And we told and retold that little story throughout the conference. But just in case any of you missed hearing it, I have repeated it here.

Now for the second tale, which Catherine shared with me today via e-mail. I will leave the telling to one of the participants, Catherine Gregg, author of Virginia Woolf and ‘Dress Mania’: ‘the eternal and insoluble question of clothes’, another of the monographs introduced by Cecil at the June conference.

Catherine has posted the story on the Bookslut blog, so I’ll just give you a teaser. Her tale involves a ratty dressing gown, a parcel of books, a bottle of wine and Cecil Woolf. Read on.

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