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Archive for the ‘Mrs. Dalloway’ Category

Halle Mason is the winner of the Angelica Garnett Essay Prize with a paper that focuses on the Gothic, according to the fall issue of the International Virginia Woolf Newsletter.

Her essay, “A Modern Gothic: Septimus Smith Haunts the Streets of Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway,” was written for Professor Emily James’s fourth-year course on The Metropolitan Mind at the University of St. Thomas.

Mason will receive $200 and her paper will be published in Issue 92 of the Virginia Woolf Miscellany.

The essay was one of a number of excellent entries for the Garnett prize, but stood out for the readers as “an original, layered, and well informed” engagement with Woolf’s 1925 novel. In particular, the essay was noted for the author’s skilled application of literary terminology and genre theory.

Drawing upon a breadth of knowledge, the author establishes the gothic nature of the “horrors of the everyday” in a postwar context.

Working from “Street Haunting,” she moves to detailed analyses of Mrs. Dalloway, creating a memorable, persuasive, and insightful argument. – IVWS Newsletter

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Whether we celebrate it June 20 or June 13, may we all think of Clarissa and Virginia in London today, as we arrange some flowers of our own, read some Woolf, and take a walk. 

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Earlier this week, Blogging Woolf shared Elaine Showalter’s recommendation that June 13 is Dalloway Day, the day in June when Clarissa walked out to the buy the flowers herself in preparation for her party.

Read more about Mrs. Dalloway’s party paper dolls.

June 20 as Dalloway Day

Now an alternate date — and justification for it — has been shared as a comment on our original post and via the VWoolf Listserv. It comes from Murray Beja.

I might as well cite here some of my evidence for the date of June 20, which seems to me pretty clear cut. As I express it in my edition of Mrs. Dalloway, we explicitly learn that the day of the novel is a Wednesday, and that it is 1923; ?moreover, Clarissa wonders if the ?crush? of traffic is due to Ascot . . . which in 1923 ran from Tuesday, 19 June, to Friday, 22 June . . . . Gold Cup Day, on which the most coveted trophy is contested, falls on the Thursday. The results of cricket matches noted by both Septimus and Peter are those they would have seen in a newspaper for 20 June 1923 . . . .? (I go on to cite the London Times.) See Morris Beja, ed., Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway (Shakespeare Head Press Edition of Virginia Woolf). Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1996.

Dalloway Day celebration is June 17 in London

The Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain, in collaboration with Waterstones, (oh, why not Hatchard’s?) is holding a Dallowday celebration on Saturday, June 17.

 Virginia Woolf Life and London: Bloomsbury and Beyond by Jean Moorcroft Wilson

The event starts at 2:30 p.m. with a guided walk led by Jean Moorcroft Wilson, author of Virginia Woolf’s Life and London: A Guide to Bloomsbury and Beyond. The walk will visit sites relevant to Clarissa Dalloway and Virginia Woolf. It will be followed by a 4 p.m. discussion of Mrs. Dalloway (1925), led by Maggie Humm.

An early evening party with a 1920s theme will top off the day, beginning at 6 p.m. Organizers are hoping that partygoers will turn up in appropriate party wear.

The walk and talk are sold out but party tickets are still available at a cost of £10.

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Was today, June 13, the day that Clarissa Dalloway headed out to buy the flowers herself? Elaine Showalter makes a case for that in The Guardian — and for the idea that Londoners and the rest of us should happily celebrate such a day in honor of Virginia Woolf.

Looking at the 1923 calendar, the critic Harvena Richter noted that 13 June is the most likely date. In his edition of Mrs Dalloway for the Oxford World’s Classics, David Bradshaw, finding a discrepancy in Woolf’s reference to a cricket game on that day, argued that the date of the party is an imaginary rather than a real Wednesday. Academics can argue over this fine point for ever. – Elaine Showalter, “Bring out the cardies and cocktails – it’s time we celebrated Dallowday,” The Guardian, 13 June 2017

 

 

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After an unforgettable time at the Woolf Conference in Leeds, my boyfriend and I treated ourselves to a short stay in London as a reward for ourselves. I successfully presented a paper at the conference (and didn’t pass out from being so star-struck over all of the scholars!), while he had successfully completed chapter two of his Ph.D dissertation.

We tried to pack in as many literary trips as we could, and we couldn’t leave England without making a trip to check out the Dalloway Terrace, named after Clarissa Dalloway herself.

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Menus and a Woolf book outside of the restaurant.

The Dalloway Terrace restaurant is located in The Bloomsbury Hotel which is in a fantastic location in the heart of Bloomsbury. The hotel is a three-minute walk to the British Museum, seven-minute walk to Russell Square, and ten-minute walk to many Woolf sites, such as the lovely statue in Tavistock Square dedicated to the author.

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A view of the terrace.

The dreamy atmosphere is the highlight of this outdoor restaurant. Marble topped tables are surrounded by benches which are made comfortable with big pillows. Each chair on the terrace is draped with a wool blanket in anticipation of the ever changing English weather. Candles flicker on tables which are separated by big pots of lush, green plants. It is absolutely lovely.

The servers were kind, helpful and highly attentive, and the food was delicious. The restaurant offers several different menus, including breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner menus, along with a tempting cocktail menu. The afternoon tea at the Dalloway has been getting rave reviews, and many Londoners suggest making a trip to the Bloomsbury Hotel specifically to enjoy the tea service.

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Cake and cream at the Dalloway.

We ordered a few British specialties, such as fish and chips, and we couldn’t skip the delectable dessert menu, from which we ordered a few ice creams and cakes. Everything was presented very elegantly, and every bite was full of flavor. We decided that the old cliche about British food being bland is highly incorrect and dated!

After a few Bloomsbury-themed afternoon cocktails, we started to feel that Clarissa herself might enjoy this restaurant; one could almost see her among the twinkling lights, charming friends between the spatter of rain drops on the clear dividers—planning her next party perhaps.

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Afternoon tea on the terrace (image from TripAdvisor.com).

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The dissertation felt worlds away while at the Dalloway!

The meal was delightfully regenerating and the terrace was a perfect place to take a break from enjoying one of the most exciting and literary cities in the world. One could easily spend a few hours on the terrace, sipping cocktails, enjoying small cakes, and discussing the importance of Modernist literature. We did this several times during our trip!

My partner and I enjoyed the Dalloway Terrace so much that we dined there multiple times while in London–and we are already dreaming of our next meal at the this beautiful and delicious restaurant. Enjoying yummy food in such a dreamy environment was a highlight of our trip. We highly recommend making a trip to visit this lovely retreat in the heart of London.

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A happy Yankee on a London terrace.

We did not make reservations for our dining experiences, but the restaurant highly recommends reservations, especially on the weekends.

The Dalloway Terrace accepts reservations for individual dining, group dining, and private events.

If you are in London you can find the Dalloway Terrace inside of the Bloomsbury Hotel located at 16-22 Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3NN, or phone the restaurant at +44 (0) 207 347 1221.

You can find information about booking a room at The Bloomsbury Hotel here.

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Musician Mike Posner

The chart-topping musician and songwriter, Mike Posner, famous for the singles “Cooler Then Me” and “I Took a Pill in Ibiza”, references Virginia Woolf in a new song, “Be As You Are” from his recently released album, At Night, Alone.

The song lyrics mention Woolf immediately:

Virginia Woolf and poetry
No one seemed to notice me
Being young was getting so old
Cheap beer and cigarettes
Life was like a movie set
And I seemed to be given no role

Posner composed annotations for this song over at Genuis.com, and he writes in detail about how Virginia Woolf’s work influenced his “life as a reader” and as a song writer:

So I read Mrs. Dalloway in high school, and this was probably the best class that I ever took, including all the classes I took at Duke. The teacher’s name was Mrs. Mundy, Susan Mundy, and her class changed my life. She taught me how to read. Like, I knew how to read before but I didn’t know how to read a novel – where if someone was saying that “the sun set and it was dark,” they weren’t just saying “the sun set and it was dark.” They were saying a million other things. And she taught us how to read that way. I am sure if you like Virginia Woolf then you know how to read that way. But that totally changed my life as both a writer and a reader.

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A still shot from Posner’s music video for “Be As You Are”.

Posner also writes about how he identifies with the character Septimus Smith from Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, and how he connects with and is inspired by this character’s depression:

So I have a kinship and a sort of affinity to anyone that felt sad and depressed, because I felt that way very much in my teenage years, especially in the winter time. And that is where this lyric about “poetry” comes from. Just the name Virginia Woolf reminds me of all those sort of depressed, nostalgic feelings. Now I will occasionally feel a hint of that depression and it is weird to say it but I actually sort of like it a little bit because there is a familiarity there. And all of my music to this day is either a reaction against that soil of sadness or it is nostalgic, against that soil of sadness.

You can read Mike Posner’s full annotations of his song lyrics for “Be As You Are” here, and you can listen to the song below.

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This 18-minute video produced by the British Library for its twentieth-century literature site and featuring Elaine Showalter is an excellent introduction to Mrs. Dalloway for first-time readers. But it will also enlighten those who have read the novel over and over again.

In it, the American critic and writer takes us to London for a discussion of Virginia Woolf’s 1925 novel. We view 1920s London streets and traffic; take a look inside 46 Gordon Square, Woolf’s first home as an independent woman; and get a look at the novel’s original hand-written manuscript.

In addition, Showalter explains the artistic, social and historical context for the groundbreaking novel that takes place on one day in June in 1923. You can also read her article on the topic, “Exploring consciousness and the modern: an introduction to Mrs Dalloway,” on the British Library website. At that link, you can view 165 images of Woolf’s notebooks for the novel and for her essays published in The Common Reader (1925).

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