Archive for the ‘Virginia Woolf’ Category

Eileen Atkins and Vanessa Redgrave in the 1994 production of “Vita and Virginia”

Mirror Productions will soon start shooting a new film about Virginia Woolf called Vita and Virginia. The film is an adaptation of the play “Vita and Virginia” written by Dame Eileen Atkins, who also wrote the screenplay for this upcoming film. Shooting is set to being this fall and Dutch filmmaker Sacha Polak is set to direct.

The film will focus on the passionate relationship between Woolf and Vita Sackville-West, who was a celebrated poet and gardener, and is well known as being Woolf’s lover. From Mirror Productions:

Virginia and Vita’s bond continues to live on in Woolf’s canonical literature, which enjoys even more popularity today than in her lifetime. Vita and Virginia is a timeless story, told in an exciting contemporary style, about two women who smashed through social barriers to find solace in forbidden connection.

sacha polak director

Sacha Polak will direct the upcoming “Vita and Virginia” film.

Sacha Polak, director of the film Hemel (2012) and the documentary New Boobs (2013), believes that being a Dutch director, and not an English director, gives her a unique view as an “outsider” of the English literary community. From ScreenDaily.com:

“I think it is really good that – for this project – I am an outsider and I can look on it in a fresh way,” said Polak.

“I have the feeling that in England, everybody has a strong opinion about Virginia Woolf. Either they love her of they think that the best thing she ever did was commit suicide. I am learning every day to love her more and to be more intrigued by her.”


Nicole Kidman as Virginia Woolf in “The Hours”

English actress Romola Garai will play Sackville-West. While the part of Virginia Woolf has yet to be cast, producers plan to present viewers with a different interpretation of Woolf than the famous portrayal of the author by Nicole Kidman in the 2002 film The Hours. From ScreenDaily.com:

Polak insists that her film’s Woolf won’t be the “gloomy” and “depressing” figure with the prosthetic nose played by Nicole Kidman in The Hours.

“We are keen on showing another Virginia Woolf, a funny one and one that was really lively.”

Read more about this upcoming film here.

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VWM Queering WoolfThe Virginia Woolf Miscellany invites submissions of papers for the Fall 2015 issue that address the role of everyday machines in the life and/or works of Virginia Woolf.

From typewriters and telephones to gramophones and the wireless; from motor-cars and combat aeroplanes to trains and department store elevators; from cameras and film projectors to ranges and hot-water tanks, the commonplace technologies of the modern machine age leave their trace on Bloomsbury.

To what extent are these and other machines represented, hidden, implied, avoided, embraced, or questioned by Woolf and her circle and characters?  What is the place of labour and mass production, or the role of the handmade or bespoke object, in the context of such technologies and the desires with which they are implicated?  What are the ramifications for the individual’s everyday navigation of modernity, domesticity, and/or community? Alternatively, what is the influence of everyday technologies on our own interactions with Woolf and her writings?

Please submit papers of no more than 2,500 words to Ann Martin at ann.martin@usask.ca by 31 March 2015. Martin is assistant professor of English at the University of Saskatchewan

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We who love Virginia Woolf know that she was multi-dimensional. We know that she was more than a serious writer who had bouts of madness. We know she could joke and laugh and enjoy life. We also know she could be gossipy and mean and petty. Basically, we recognize the fact that she was human. And perhaps that is why we love her so very much.

Emma Woolf, Virginia and Leonard’s great-nice and the daughter of publisher Cecil Woolf, has written a piece for Newsweek that describes Virginia’s many nuances. In “The Joyful, Gossipy and Absurd Private Life of Virginia Woolf,” Emma writes of Virginia’s Letting-Go-books-300x300experiences authoring The Voyage Out (1915), her subsequent breakdown, and the speculation surrounding her sexual life — or lack of one — with husband Leonard. She touches on her feminism, her pacifism and her anti-nationalism. She mentions Virginia’s diary entries that describe everyday life experiences — celebrating her birthday, buying a new dress and her trip to see a printing press.

Emma’s Feb. 13 essay covers a lot of ground, more than I can summarize here, and it does so with the sensitivity one should expect from a family member. So I recommend reading it for yourself.

Then consider picking up Emma’s new book, Letting Go: How to Heal Your Hurt, Love Your Body and Transform Your Life. The book’s title and description speak of the important lessons it contains about letting go of our perfectionism and embracing our own humanity, much as we embrace Virginia’s.

Meanwhile, I leave you with this quote from Virginia that Emma includes in her Newsweek essay. It seems to sum up — and embrace — what so many women want today. And what we all deserve.

I want everything – love, children, adventure, intimacy, work.


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Eighty-five years after its publication, Virginia Woolf’s book-length essay A Room of One’s Own continues to inspire women and offer a framework for confronting contemporary challenges. The evidence of this continued influence comes in the form of a recent article about women as writers.

a-woman-must-have-money-and-a-room-of-her-own-if-she-is-to-write-fiction-2In “Writers, Money, and the Economy: Why Time Is the 21st Century’s ‘Room of One’s Own’” published at Flavorwire.com, Sarah Seltzer writes about the barriers contemporary writers (and particularly women writers) face, while making several allusions to A Room of One’s Own. But while Woolf identified money and space as necessities for women writers, as evidenced in her famous line, “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction,” Seltzer asserts that time is the new “room of one’s own.” From the article:

Without a doubt, time to create and dream is the “room of one’s own” of the 21st century. And there’s a sacred myth of pursuing any art form, that contains some truths in a time-strapped world: You do have to give something up, or cut back. Sometimes it’s a career of your own, or financial independence vis-a-vis your life partner, or sleep, or time with family and friends. Sometimes it’s stability, sometimes it’s the inspiration that comes from instability. So yes, an artistic pursuit works well when there’s someone else near you filling in the gaps of whatever it is you give up, as sort of mini collective enterprise of two.


Leonard and Virginia, 1925

Although she highlights lack of time as the major barrier to writing, Seltzer also states that financial support systems are so necessary for writers to succeed that many writers are “sponsored” by spouses who generate the family income. The author references Leonard Woolf as Virginia’s support system, and wonders if modern women can pursue their creativity:

But as someone said on Twitter, it’s also sort of sad to think that these little units of two are orbiting around in space by themselves, embarking on the collectivist mission of creating art and supporting an artist in an indifferent world. Not everyone can find a Vera Nabokov or a Leonard Woolf, nor should they. What if both spouses have creative ambitions? At least in my mind, this strain of thought comes down to the exact same problem as the discussion we have about balancing family and work these days: today’s families are so, so alone. Someone has to sacrifice, the common line goes. We (particularly women) can’t have it all.

Read the full article here.

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Originally posted on SuchFriends Blog:

…Thoby Stephen, 20, is hosting his sisters, up from London, and his cousin, acting as their chaperone, for tea in his rooms.

Virginia, 19, and Vanessa, 22, have to be accompanied by their cousin Katherine Stephen, 45, vice-principal of Newnham College, one of only two Cambridge colleges to admit women.

On previous trips, Thoby had introduced them to some of his university friends, Clive Bell, 19, who came from a good family, and the eccentric Lytton Strachey, 21, a fellow member of the ‘secret’ Cambridge society, the Apostles. This time, one of his other Apostle friends, Leonard Woolf, 20, at Trinity on a classical scholarship, also stops by Thoby’s rooms:

 I also met Thoby’s two sisters, Virginia and VanessaStephen, when they came up to see him. The young ladies—Vanessa was 21 or 22, Virginia 18 or 19—were just as formidable and alarming…

View original 124 more words

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Today would be Virginia Woolf: Writer Extraordinaire's 133rd birthday.

Today would be Virginia Woolf, writer extraordinaire’s, 133rd birthday.

Read more about past birthday celebrations for Virginia:

Note: The Virginia Woolf Writer’s Block pictured above is from the Etsy shop Literary Lodge. The bracelet in the foreground uses vintage typewriter keys to spell the word “writer.”

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The International Virginia Woolf Society has announced a new undergraduate essay competition in honor of Virginia Woolf and in memory of Angelica Garnett, writer, artist, and daughter of Woolf’s sister, Vanessa Bell.

For this inaugural competition, essays can be on any topic pertaining to the writings of Virginia Woolf. Essays should be between 2,000 and 2,500 words in length, including notes and works cited, with an original title of the entrant’s choosing.

Essays will be judged by the officers of the International Virginia Woolf Society: Kristin Czarnecki, president; Ann Martin, vice-president; Alice Keane, secretary-treasurer; and Drew Shannon, historian-bibliographer. The winner will receive $200 and have the essay published in the subsequent issue of the Virginia Woolf Miscellany.

Please send essays as a PDF or in the latest version of Word.

All entries must be received by June 15, 2015. To receive an entry form, please contact Kristin Czarnecki at kristin_czarnecki@georgetowncollege.edu.

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