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Archive for the ‘Bloomsbury’ Category

Lots of Woolf on the Web these days. Here are a few important sightings gleaned via Twitter links shared by Jane deGay and Maggie Humm.

  • Sentencing Orlando: Virginia Woolf and the Morphology of the Modernist Sentence, edited by Elsa Högberg and Amy Bromley, is a collection of 16 original essays offers fresh perspectives on Orlando through a unique attention to Woolf’s sentences.
  • Six Ways Virginia Woolf Pre-Empted Spring’s Key Looks,” by Kaye Fearon in British Vogue, Feb. 21, 2018.
  • Bonnie Greer on Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group, a podcast discussing the friendships, work and designs behind the artists, coordinated with the Virginia Woolf exhibition at Tate St Ives, 10 February – 29 April 2018. Then view her art walk below.
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This Christmas day, I unwrapped a present from my landlady and, completely unexpectedly, a small purple hardback book with gold lettering and a beautiful portrait of Virginia Woolf fell onto my lap. I was delighted, and proceeded to read it cover to cover amidst wrapping paper and ended up holding back tears to prevent myself being utterly embarrassed in front of my in-laws.

virginia woolf life portraits

© Zena Alkayat and Nina Cosford

Virginia Woolf (Life Portraits) by Zena Alkayat and Nina Cosford poetically weaves the story of Woolf’s life with Alkayat’s considered text and Cosford’s illustrations, a fresh response to the Bloomsbury aesthetic. It opens with the following quote from Mrs Dalloway:

She sliced like a knife through everything; at the same time was on the outside, looking on.

This liminality, both the relation between work and life and Woolf’s psychological flux, is represented thoughtfully throughout the biography.

street haunting in life portrait

© Zena Alkayat and Nina Cosford

Alkayat focuses on the personal details of life: how Vanessa Bell’s sheepdog Gurth accompanied her “street haunting”, how Leonard and Virginia Woolf spent nights during the First World War in their coal cellar sitting on boxes, and that they later named their car “the umbrella”. She also puts us on a first name basis with Virginia, Vanessa and Duncan, et al. – a choice which made me feel closer to their world.

charleston in woolf life portrait

© Nina Cosford

Cosford’s illustrations are both sensitive to the Bloomsbury style and offer a fresh perspective. Her bold lines and patterns used to illustrate the pages about Vanessa Bell’s cover designs for Virginia Woolf’s novels, for example, are edged with mark-making in the mode of Bell. Her use of colour also seems emotive, following the waves of high and low that punctuate the narrative. Her illustrations capture the paraphernalia of every-day life, from the objects atop Woolf’s writing desk – diary, hair grips, photo of Julia, sweets – to the plants in the garden at Monks House, bringing Virginia’s life closer to home.

monks house plants

© Nina Cosford

Illustration and text come together beautifully in this miniature autobiography and would provide any reader with a poetic and surprising escape into the life of Virginia Woolf.

 

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In her essay “On Cookbooks: Collections and Recollection,” Alice Lowe travels through BloomsburyCookbook_title_26523the decades, from her first casseroles to Julia and Jacques, from Betty Crocker to Virginia Woolf.

In it, she shares her love for Woolf and her thoughts on Woolf and food.

Here’s a teaser: “My time in England launched and nurtured my interest in Virginia Woolf; my retirement has enabled my studies and published work on her life and writing. Books by and about Woolf have increased as cookbooks decline. The Bloomsbury Cookbook: Recipes for Life, Love and Art weds literature and artwork by Woolf, her sister Vanessa Bell, and others of the legendary Bloomsbury circle, with anecdotes and stories, recipes and repasts both real and fictional. I haven’t allocated it to a shelf yet—is it a Woolf book or a cookbook?”

Visit Alice’s blog to read the rest.

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Amongst a box filled with stretched canvas and paintings on wood, we re-discovered these fantastic landscapes of the local area. Both painted by Vanessa Bell, the first is of the old Coach Road looking towards Firle Tower on the right. The leaves on the trees appear to be blowing in the wind, the farmland and coach road painted lightly in pinks and purples to represent the human touch on the landscape…

Source: Local Landscapes of Firle | The Charleston Attic

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Marking 100 years since the end of the First World War and 80 years since the publication of Three Guineas, the 28th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf at the University of Kent in Canterbury, England, invites papers addressing the dual theme of Europe and Peace. Download the call for papers.

From the ‘prying’, ‘insidious’ ‘fingers of the European War’ that Septimus Warren Smith would never be free of in Mrs. Dalloway to Woolf’s call to ‘think peace into existence’ during the Blitz in ‘Thoughts on Peace in an Air Raid’, questions of war and peace pervade her writings. They are also central to Woolf’s Bloomsbury circle, exemplified in John Maynard Keynes’ The Economic Consequences of the Peace, Clive Bell’s Peace at Once and Leonard Woolf’s Quack, Quack!

While seeking proposals that address the European contexts and cultures of modernism between wars, we also encourage exploration of how these writings can help us think through what it might mean to create peace in Europe today amid various political, humanitarian, economic and environmental crises.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Bloomsbury and pacifism
  • Literature of the First and Second World Wars
  • The Spanish Civil War
  • The Armistice and Paris Peace Conference
  • Three Guineas and its legacies
  • International/transnational/cosmopolitan Woolf
  • Bloomsbury and the European avant-garde
  • Feminism, queer studies and LGBT+ politics
  • Empire, race and ethnicity
  • Woolf and continental philosophy/theory
  • European translations of Woolf and Bloomsbury
  • Ecological/environmental/economic crises
  • Violence, trauma and fascism
  • Bloomsbury and classical antiquity
  • Woolf across visual art, film, dance and music
  • Travel writing and European journeys

Abstracts of a maximum of  200 words for single papers and 500 words for panels should be sent to vwoolf2018@gmail.com by 1 February 2018.

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What: Reading Mrs. Dalloway
When: Saturday 16 September, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Stapleford Granary, Cambridge
Cost: £90/£75 students. Light lunch and tea and coffee provided.
Link: http://www.literaturecambridge.co.uk/dalloway

What:Gay UK: Love, Law and Liberty”, free exhibition at the British Library
Includes manuscript of Orlando and diary of Ottoline Morrell with three photos
When: June 2 through Sept. 19
Where: British Library, London
Cost: Free

What: Ali Smith and Gillian Beer: Reading and Conversation
A rare chance to hear these brilliant writers in conversation.
When: Sunday 12 November, 2-4 p.m. With a cup of tea. Stapleford
Where: Granary, Cambridge CB22 5BP
Price: £15
Link: http://www.literaturecambridge.co.uk/ali-smith/

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First, there was the conference. Then came the party. In London. With the Woolfs.

On the Monday evening following days one, two, three, and four of the 27th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf, Cecil Woolf and Jean Moorcroft Wilson hosted a party in London for their visiting Woolfian friends who remained in town.

I was happy to be among them. But I was chagrined to arrive on their doorstep 20 minutes early due to lightning fast service by my Uber driver.

Cecil and Jean, however, didn’t blink when they answered my too-early knock. They ushered me in and escorted me up the stairs, past stacks of books from their Bloomsbury Heritage Series and a smattering of hats from Jean’s famous collection.

Cecil poured me a glass of wine and settled me in their persimmon-colored sitting room that is casually decorated with original Bloomsbury art by Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. It was magical.

Cecil and Jean are tremendous hosts who know how to make each guest feel specially welcome, no matter when they arrive. They created a wonderful evening full of camaraderie, good food, and drink, while introducing us to their daughter Emma Woolf, author of numerous books and a regular BBC contributor.

Afterward, when thinking about the evening, a quote came to mind that perfectly captures the mood and magic of the evening.

No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anybody but oneself. – Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own (1929)

Cecil Woolf and Jean Moorcroft Wilson hosted a post-conference party at their London home, which also houses Cecil Woolf Publishers.

This side table decorated by Duncan Grant held appetizers, as well as my little Virginia. #travelswithvirginiawoolf

Cecil Woolf and daughter Emma Woolf at the party.

Louise Higham, Suzanne Bellamy, John McCoy, and Eleanor McNees (far right) were among the party guests.

A firescreen painted by Duncan Grant.

Bloomsbury art above the fireplace, along with a piece by Suzanne Bellamy and a photo of Jean.

Judith Allen and her husband Steve.

More Bloomsbury art.

 

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