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Archive for the ‘The Voyage Out’ Category

Artist Ruth Dent has created a handpainted scarf to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Virginia Woolf’s first novel The Voyage Out.

You can purchase The Voyage Out Centenary Scarf online through her IndieGoGo campaign. Printed digitally on silk, only 100 are available.

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The slogan “Keep calm and carry on” is now appearing on everything from coffee mugs to note pads. I have both. But where did it come from?

As this PBS video shows, the slogan originated on a propaganda poster during World War II, but the poster itself was never displayed publicly.

Watching this video led me to think about Virginia Woolf and propaganda, and that thought led me to Mark Wollaeger’s book Modernism, Media, and Propaganda: British Narrative From 1900 To 1945 (2006). It  provides an excellent discussion of Woolf’s views on the subject — and the ways she struggles with propaganda in her novels.

As Wollaeger puts it, Woolf thought of modernism as antithetical to propaganda, and her goal was to steer clear of it. He mentions, for example, that while writing “The Pargiters,” she wrote that “this fiction is dangerously near propaganda, I must keep my hands clear” (D4 300).

Woolf avoids polemic when she explores the subject of war in Mrs. Dalloway (1925) and To the Lighthouse (1927), but in his book, Wollaeger focuses on a seemingly unlikely choice for an exploration of Woolf and propaganda, her first novel, The Voyage Out (1915). In this novel, according to Wollaeger, Woolf is engaged in a developing struggle between her own emerging modernism and “the propaganda of everyday life,” also known as the “propaganda of conformity” (73). It is a struggle in which Rachel Vinrace engages as she endeavors to discover a pure native culture in South America while still being mentally immersed in the colonial culture — and popular culture — of England.

Wollaeger explains the difficulty Rachel would have had in thinking for herself — and differentiating between national identity as reinforced by her community and calculated manipulation as perpetrated by powerful institutions — after having grown up in an environment saturated by the propaganda disseminated by mass media. In this category he includes picture postcards, which became a craze at the turn of the twentieth century, along with ads; cigarette cards; newspapers and posters.

So while Woolf directly engages with the idea of war propaganda in Mrs. Dalloway and To the Lighthouse, in The Voyage Out, she does something different. She explores the subtly intrusive ways that modern propaganda invades everyday life in ways one does not consciously recognize.

 

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ipod-touch

Being able to download Virginia Woolf novels to Apple’s sleek little iPod means we can now carry her words with us anywhere we go.  Because so far, I haven’t found a pocket that the gizmo — stocked with Woolf novels — doesn’t fit in.

Here’s my story. I bought an IPod touch a few weeks ago. Since then, I have spent way too much time searching for and downloading fun, interesting and useful iPod Apps.

I won’t bore you Woolfians with my love for the AP Stylebook App that set me back $29 but is worth every penny. Nor will I discuss the free Italian lessons I’m taking on my iPod or the Rachel Maddow shows I’m watching or the multiple Twitter accounts I’m following via TweetDeck.

But I will gladly tell you about the Apps I found that are related to Virginia:

  • The Virginia Woolf Collection – Nine of Woolf’s novels. Cost: $2.99
  • “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Study Guide and Quiz. Cost: 99 cents
  • Three versions of Night and Day at a cost of 99 cents each
  • Mrs. Dalloway. Cost: $17.99
  • Vanessa and Virginia by Susan Sellers. Cost: $9.99
  • Orlando Study Guide and Quiz. Cost: 99 cents
  • To the Lighthouse Study Guide and Quiz. Cost: 99 cents

The best news is that if you want to get Woolf novels for free, and you have an iPod touch or an iPhone, you can. Here’s how:

  1. Download the free Kindle App for the iPod touch and the iPhone from the App Store.
  2. Visit Amazon.com’s Kindle store. Search for Virginia Wolf. Sort your search by price so you can easily spot the free downloads.
  3. Download The Voyage Out, Jacob’s Room and Night and Day for free.
  4. Relax in the knowledge that no matter where you travel, you can always have Virginia in your pocket.

More of Woolf’s published work is available as Kindle e-books for under $2, including Monday and Tuesday and The Early Works of Virginia Woolf.

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I just found a blog that offers free e-books written by women — or as the blog puts it — by “the gals.” Virginia Woolf is listed among the gals whose works are offered in several formats.

Sadly, though, one of her novels, Night and Day, has garnered just two votes from readers. Another, The Voyage Out, has three.

So in this momentous election year here in the States, let’s cast our vote for the change we need at the polls and for Virginia online at Girlebooks.

Perhaps both ballots will help us move from night to day in this country so we don’t have to take the voyage out.

All puns intended.

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11th Annual Conference GraphicGuest editors Jane de Gay and Marion Dell invite submissions to the Selected Papers from “Voyages Out, Voyages Home”: The Eleventh Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf, which was held in Bangor, North Wales, June 13-16, 2001.

The volume will be published by Clemson University Digital Press.  

“Although some time has now passed since the conference, the International Virginia Woolf Society is keen to see this volume in print (and online), in order to have a complete set of selected papers from the annual conferences. All speakers at the Bangor conference are therefore invited to submit their paper for consideration,” the editors wrote in a message to the VW Listserv.

 

“Papers should be no more than 4,000 words in length, and presented in MLA format. In order to preserve the flavour of the conference as far as possible, we ask contributors to submit the version they presented in 2001, preserving the tone of the talk as it was given. Necessary corrections and judicious updating are welcome, but we do not encourage submission of a fully-developed article that has been published elsewhere.

 

“However, contributors are welcome to include (within the 4,000 words) an optional Afterword of 2-300 words, looking back on the paper in the light of subsequent developments, or indicating how the paper fed into their more recent research,” the editors wrote. 

 

“As an additional feature of this volume, we plan to compile a bibliography of publications arising out of papers given at the conference. We therefore encourage all contributors to let us have full publication details of any such articles, even if they do not wish to submit a paper for this volume,” the editors added.

 

Paper Submissions

Send papers by e-mail to: Jane de Gay at j.degay@leedstrinity.ac.uk

 

Deadline

January 1, 2008

 

Guest Editors

Dr. Jane de Gay                                               

Senior Lecturer in English

Leeds Trinity and All Saints, UK 

                  

Marion Dell MA

Associate Lecturer in Literature

The Open University, UK

 

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