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Archive for the ‘Mrs. Dalloway’ Category

Available on YouTube from now until July 10 is the Royal Ballet’s performance of Wayne McGregor’s Woolf Works, a triptych created in 2015.

Featuring music by Max Richter, the ballet received critical acclaim, winning McGregor the Critics’ Circle Award for Best Classical Choreography and the Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production.

Inspired by the writings of Virginia Woolf, Woolf Works is based on three of Woolf’s novels: Mrs Dalloway, Orlando and The Waves and weaves in elements from her letters, essays and diaries. the ballet looks at both her life and her work.

 

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Two years ago, when the third Wednesday in June was officially chosen as #DallowayDay, no one would have imagined that a worldwide pandemic would force us to devise or search out virtual or individual events to celebrate the fine day in June when Clarissa Dalloway went walking through London to “buy the flowers herself.”

But that is what has happened. And here are some of the events available tomorrow, Wednesday, June 17, on #DallowayDay2020, as we celebrate Virginia Woolf’s 1925 novel, Mrs. Dalloway.

  • The Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain wants Virginia Woolf readers to send them photos of how YOU are celebrating #DallowayDay or Virginia Woolf’s work this month. Send them to Sarah M. Hall at smhall123@yahoo.co.uk with a line or two of description. The society may put them on the VWSGB website or Facebook page, but you can let them know if they are for the society’s eyes only.
  • View “A Moment in the Life of Virginia Woolf,” a virtual art exhibition online June 17. All works are for sale. There is also an illustrated pamphlet, ‘A Moment in the Life of Virginia Woolf: A Lighthouse Shone in Tavistock Square’, which uses Virginia Woolf’s own words from letters, diaries and excerpts from the novel. And you can view a video of the project.
  • The Royal Society of Literature has a full slate of virtual events for Dalloway Day.
    • It has joined with Literary Hub, whose managing editor Emily Temple will host a Zoom-based book group on the novel tomorrow. The event is sold out, but you can sign up to be placed on a waiting list.
    • Another RSL remote event, in partnership with Charleston, is “The Common Reader in Uncommon Times” June 17 at 6:30 p.m. BST.
    • A third RSL remote event is “The Pleasure of the Everyday” June 17 at 8 p.m. BST.
  • “For it was the middle of June,” a Dalloway Day blog post from the British Library.
  • If you are near London, the VWSGB also offers its Mrs. Dalloway Walk in London, from Dean’s Yard, Westminster, to Regent’s Park. According to the society, this walk combines Mrs Dalloway’s journey, from her house to Bond Street where she buys the flowers and hears the car backfire, with Rezia’s and Septimus’s (they also hear the car at the same time) from Bond Street to Regent’s Park. (Please note: You may find that certain locations on the walk are inaccessible during lockdown.)
  • Listen to a discussion of Woolf’s novel on BBC Radio 4.
  • Listen to “Queer Bloomsbury, Stillness in art and dance” on BBC Radio 3 June 17 at 10 p.m.
  • Watch an 18-minute video provided by the British Library in which Elaine Showalter explores modernity, consciousness, gender, and time in the novel. On the British Library site, you can also view Woolf’s drafts of some pages of the novel.

And if you understand Italian, you can follow along with the DallowayDay 2020 video from the Italian Virginia Woolf Society.

 

 

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By the second week of March, the sale of jigsaw puzzles soared, due to coronavirus quarantines. With puzzle companies closed, as they were not considered essential businesses, puzzles became scarce and prices went up.

I was one of the many who searched online to find puzzles that looked like fun and wouldn’t break the bank. I found a few. But I never thought I’d find any that included Virginia Woolf. Today I did.

Puzzling Woolf

First, there’s the EuroGraphics Famous Writers 1000 Piece Puzzle, which features Woolf smack dab in the middle of 75 other famous writers. Its finished size is 19.25″ x 26.5″ and the cost is $29.79.

Second, there’s the Re-marks Bestsellers Panoramic 1000 Piece Puzzle, which includes covers of many best-selling books, including two of Woolf’s — Orlando and Mrs. Dalloway. It measures 17″ x 9″ and the cost is $17.99.

I bought both for my collection of Woolf items.

Getting in Woolf’s head

You can also get inside Virginia Woolf’s head — and put it together — with the Virginia Woolf Paper Craft Model. This pocket-size item describes itself as “The Head is a Puzzle.” It includes eight model sheets and 22 precut puzzle pieces you assemble by connecting tabs. I’m skipping this one.

 

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Editor’s Note: Trudi Tate, director of Literature Cambridge, provided this piece for Blogging Woolf.

Wolfson College at the University of Cambridge

Woolfians are invited to join Literature Cambridge in summer 2020 for a rare opportunity to study Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway (1925) alongside writing by some of her most interesting contemporaries.

Reading the 1920s, held July 26-31 at Wolfson College at the University of Cambridge, will provide a week’s intensive study, with lectures, seminars, supervisions, plus visits to places of interest in Cambridge.

Shaping the 20th century

Reading the 1920s explores some of the brilliant writers working after the First World War. The 1920s is a crucial period in the shaping of the entire twentieth century and its literature. It was an extraordinarily productive decade for Woolf: between 1922 and 1931 she wrote many of her greatest works: Jacob’s Room, Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, A Room of One’s Own, The Waves, and more.

Woolf was familiar with the works students will study on this course. Some she knew very well, such as “The Waste Land” (1922) and A Passage to India (1924). She had mixed feelings about Lawrence, but admired the best of his work, noting as she finished The Waves that his writing gave her much to think about. We will study his powerful novella collection of 1923, The Fox, The Ladybird, and The Captain’s Doll, plus his joyous nature poetry in Birds, Beasts, and Flowers (also 1923).

Katrina Jacubowicz reads aloud at the summer 2019 Literature Cambridge course, Virginia Woolf’s Gardens.

Lecturers and topics

  • Alison Hennegan will discuss sexuality and censorship in the 1920s, focusing on The Well of Loneliness (1928). Why was this book by Radclyffe Hall censored while Woolf’s Orlando sold freely?
  • Peter Jones will explore the thinking of Forster’s Passage to India about India, Britain, and the campaign for Indian independence in the 1920s.
  • Trudi Tate will look at some powerful and poignant testimonies from the First World War.
  • Karina Jakubowicz will discuss Mrs. Dalloway and the social system that Woolf so criticized.

This course provides students with a great opportunity to study Woolf, Lawrence, Forster, and others together. The course aims to give a richer understanding of the writings of the 1920s, and of the turbulent history to which they bear witness.

Woolf’s Women July 19-24

Literature Cambridge also runs an intensive summer course on Woolf every year in July. In 2020, from July 19-24, the course will explore Woolf’s Women.

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What: Free Talk: “Not Quite So Kind: Woolf and the limits of kindness”
Who: Anne E. Fernald, professor of English and Women’s Studies at Fordham University
When: Nov. 1, 1:30-4:30 p.m. Lunch at 1:30, talk at 2 p.m., refreshments at 3:30.
Where: Fordham London Centre, 2 Eyre Street Hill, London
How: Reserve free tickets.

Anne Fernald

On Woolf and kindness

In Woolf’s 1925 novel, Mrs. Dalloway, kindness has its limits. When the shell-shocked veteran Septimus Warren Smith and his wife announce theirintention to seek a second opinion from Sir William Bradshaw, their doctor, Dr. Holmes turns on them with stunningly rapid bitterness “if they were rich… by all means let them go to Harley Street; if they had no confidence in him, said Dr. Holmes, looking not quite so kind” (84).

In Mrs. Dalloway and throughout her writing, Woolf explores both the limits of mere kindness and what it means to be of a kind, to be kin, stressing the common root of adjective and noun. This talk unpacks several of Woolf’s key uses of the word kind to explore how, in 2019, we might understand the complex interactions of social cues, intimacy, fondness, and mistrust in Woolf and how those stories continue to resonate today.

About Ann Fernald

A scholar of modernism with a special focus on Virginia Woolf, Fernald is the editor of the Cambridge University Press Mrs. Dalloway (2014), and one of the editors of The Norton Reader, a widely-used anthology of essays. She is the author of Virginia Woolf: Feminism and the Reader (2006), as well as articles and reviews on Woolf and feminist modernism. She is a co-editor of the journal Modernism/modernity. She occasionally updates her blog, Fernham, and can be found on twitter @fernham.

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