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Archive for the ‘Virginia Woolf’ Category

susan sellers

Susan Seller

Susan Sellers will present “Virginia Woolf and the Essay” Wednesday, April 26, at 1 p.m. as part of the Virginia Woolf Talks, Cambridge, presented by Literature Cambridge and Lucy Cavendish College.

The talk will be held at Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge. It is free and open to all, town and gown. Enquiries: tt206@cam.ac.uk

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Where I live, winter has been mild this year. Until recently, that is. This week we were hit with five inches of snow, frigid temperatures, and high winds. Farther east, it was worse. So when I came across this Woolf quote, it seemed appropriate to post today.IMG_2218

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This just in: We now have an Italian Virginia Woolf Society. The society has a Facebook page, as well as a website, which society founders are working on making bilingual.

Iolanda Plescia and Valentina Mazzei outside the Antico Caffé Greco in Rome. We speculated that Woolf would have visited the popular spot for artists and intellectuals when she traveled to Rome in 1927.

Founding members are:

  • Elisa Bolchi – President
  • Nadia Fusini – Vice-president
  • Iolanda Plescia – Secretary.
  • Liliana Rampello – Counselor

I recognize one name on this list. I met Iolanda Plescia, a scholar of Woolf and Shakespeare, at my very first Woolf conference at Miami University of Ohio in 2007.

I saw her again when visiting Rome in 2010, and this time our meeting was planned. Together with sculptor Valentina Mazzei, we went on a Woolf pilgrimage of sorts. We visited the Spanish Steps as Woolf did and stopped in at the Hotel Hassler, at the top of the famous steps, where Woolf stayed during her 1927 visit to Rome. We then wandered to the Pantheon for a drink.

For more information about the society, contact info@itvws.it.

The three of us at Rome’s Hotel Hassler, at the top of the Spanish Steps. Woolf stayed there in 1927.

 

 

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When I first learned, through one of Paula Maggios’s tweets, about the Virginia Woolf inspired art exhibit in Las Vegas, I shifted my calendar around so that I could visit the gallery as soon as possible. I then learned that two of my colleagues from the College of Southern Nevada are a part of the community of women whose work is on display at the Left of Center Art Gallery as part of the “A Room of One’s Own” All Women’s Art Exhibit, and so I went to the gallery immediately!

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The gallery provides a space for women artists to create, discuss, and display their art. This specific exhibit features both literary and visual art pieces. Some of the pieces directly reference Woolf, such as the piece “Freedom” by Yvette Mangual, which quotes “A Room of One’s Own”:

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“Freedom” by Yvette Mangual

Some pieces seemed to allude to Woolf’s misty, Modernist aesthetic, such as Elizabeth Blau-Ogilvie’s gorgeous piece, “Glacial Pour” which gave me visions of James’s, Cam’s and Mr. Ramsay’s final boat ride in To the Lighthouse:

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“Glacial Pour” by Elizabeth Blau-Ogilvie

Dr. Karen Laing and Professor Erica Vital-Lazare are two of the 26 women artists whose works are on display in the Woolf inspired exhibit. After an inspired visit to the gallery, I interviewed Karen and Erica to learn about the ways that Virginia Woolf has inspired them as artists, and to gather their views on being woman artists.

Karen Laing is an activist and artist who teaches English composition and literature at the College of Southern Nevada. My interview with Karen is featured below:

Karen, your poem, “Thanks Sharon” reflects on oppression and resistance. In what ways does your work speak to and for women?

Among my deepest desires for the contribution my work makes in the never-ending conversation about what it means to be human is the hope that women locate ourselves in the center of every discussion, armed with a voice as authentic and indispensable to the outcomes present and prophetic as it is sufficient to the challenges reality places before us. I hope my life and art unleash the initiative of the creator within us so that we create a world worthy of our best and healing of our worst.

Karen, in what ways has Virginia Woolf’s work influenced you? 

Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own inspired me to create spaces in which I could listen for and attend to my heart’s desires. It soon became apparent that for this to be more consistently and sustainably possible, I would need to encourage others to find and forge similar spaces and permissions of their own.

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“Future Primitive” on display at the Left of Center Gallery by artist Lolita Develay.

Erica Vital-Lazare teaches creative writing at the College of Southern Nevada where she is the editor-in-chief of the Red Rock Review literary journal. Our interview is located below:

Erica, you work as a Professor, artist, and editor within the Las Vegas community, so you have a unique view of women artists in Sin City. In what ways do you think that Woolf’s ideas in “A Room of One’s Own” connect to today’s women artists?

In 1929 when Woolf was asked to write about women who write, she raised the artful and sanctioned notables—the pluck of Jane Austen and the blunt-edged realism of George Eliot with the intent of taking the discussion further than those points of comfort to address the gap between woman-art and its creation and recognition. The gap she addresses is parity. The bridge she dares to construct deconstructs. In a time when women are chattel she makes public the keys to artistic freedom when she says a woman must have these things of her own: her own money and her own space within the canon. Agency. Nearly 90 years after Woolf penned “A Room of One’s Own”, women-artists build their own, even though sometimes it just might mean they must first burn down a few houses.

In what ways has Virginia Woolf’s work influenced your own writing?

Virginia Woolf’s fearlessness as a woman-artist in an era when capitulating and cowing under the weight of gender was so deeply embedded in the culture that furniture was specifically designed and appointed in the homes of finer society to catch our feinting and fainting-fragile selves is a wonder and an inspiration to me.  I know many women writers in many genres who think of her and the essay as they carve out space for themselves.

If you are in the Las Vegas area, I highly recommend making a trip to the Left of Center Gallery to enjoy some moving art, as well as to support women artists. The exhibit is free and will continue until March 31. Read more about the exhibit here.

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The International Virginia Woolf Society will host the third annual undergraduate essay competition in honor of Virginia Woolf and in memory of Angelica Garnett, writer, artist, and daughter of Woolf’s sister, Vanessa Bell.

Angelica Garnett

Angelica Garnett

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

Essays are 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 receives $200 and has the essay published in the Virginia Woolf Miscellany.

Please send essays in the latest version of Word. All entries must be received by June 5, 2017. To receive an entry form, please contact Kristin Czarnecki at kristin_czarnecki@georgetowncollege.edu.

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Inspired by previous Blogging Woolf post Tea at the Morton, here’s what it’s like to spend the night at the Morton Hotel in London’s Bloomsbury.

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Opposite leafy Russell Square the Morton Hotel curves around the corner of Woburn Place. Ideally placed to explore Bloomsbury, this hotel manages to embrace the iconic Bloomsbury group style without becoming a caricature. The fluid touches of Vanessa Bell inspired textiles and prints add style and idiosyncrasy to the classic greys and dark wooden furniture. Indeed, as many homes of the Bloomsbury group mixed classic family heirlooms with bright fresh colour palettes, so too does this newly renovated hotel blend the Bloomsbury aesthetic with classic and comfortable chic.

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From the Library to Bedrooms, the hotel is adorned with Omega Workshops prints, Woolf’s book cover designs by Vanessa Bell and collages of black and white Bloomsbury photographs.

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Each bedroom is named after a key Bloomsbury figure – Virginia Woolf, Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, E. M. Forster, Roger Fry, Lytton Strachey and, our room, Lady Ottoline Morrell. The doors of the rooms are identified with portrait silhouettes, a motif which is subtly repeated within the room pulling the individual scheme together.

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Against the neutral colours and simple shapes our wallpaper was the stand out feature. Echoing Duncan Grant’s design Arion Riding a Dolphin for the chest in his bedroom at Charleston House, our wallpaper reinterpreted this myth in soft grey and vibrant orange. A bedside notepad was also printed in the same design.

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The bed itself was very comfy and extremely spacious and the bathroom had some deliciously botanical bergamot and neroli toiletries by Woods of Windsor. The room had all the tech you might want but it was unobtrusive so that the bedroom remained a calm oasis away from the bustle of Russell Square Tube Station – a minute’s walk from the front door.

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Finally, breakfast was warm crisp pastries, a selection of cheese and cold meats, juice, fresh fruit and hot tea and coffee in the Library.

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Read Alice Lowe’s post on her blog about her essay in the Baltimore Review to find out how she ties Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own to the topic of 19th-century Arctic exploration.

How did I come to write about 19th-century Arctic exploration? It started with a song, as I explain in my essay “The Idea of North.” One thing led to another, and I was off on a tangent…

Source: The Idea of North | Alice Lowe blogs … about writing & reading & Virginia Woolf

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