Archive for the ‘Woolf online’ Category

Most of the reactions below come via Twitter, where “Life in Squares” was a trending topic after the first episode aired last night with an audience of between 1.85 and 1.9 million UK viewers.

In the aftermath, one must-read review is by Frances Spalding, acclaimed biographer of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. Her piece on The Conversation website is titled “Life in Squares: how the radical Bloomsbury Group fares on screen.”

Here’s a quote from it:

Her despairing cry may be echoed by some viewers of the BBC’s three-part series Life in Squares, for the Bloomsbury Group attracts many detractors as well as legions of devotees. — Frances Spalding

Be sure to click on the comments below to read Maggie Humm’s assessment of Spalding’s review, along with her own insights.

Family reaction

Before the official premiere, Emma Woolf, great-niece of Leonard and Virginia Woolf, penned her reaction for The Daily Mail: “How TV’s got my aunt Virginia Woolf so wrong.”

And Vanessa Bell’s granddaughter, Cressida Bell, posted this on Facebook the morning after:

Cressida Bell

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Here is a cool Woolf sighting from @Shantal82 that I found on Twitter today. It includes some lovely visuals to go along with a quote from Mrs. Dalloway.


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Woolf sightings appear online daily, and Blogging Woolf posts the briefest of them on Facebook. But today we have Friendsgathered a few to share with readers here as well. Here they are:

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The Huffington Post recently ran a piece on word clouds formed from frequently used words in classic literary works. It says that word clouds from the works provide an “emotional, impressionistic interpretation of stories we’re used to analyzing methodically.”

Here is the word cloud created from Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse. There are seven more created from the works of other writers at this link.

To the Lighthouse word cloud

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mrs. dalloway movieEver wonder about how the Virginia Woolf novel Mrs. Dalloway might change if her characters participated in social media?

Well, let me introduce Joshua Rothman, who writes about ideas and books for NewYorker.com and is also the archivist at The New Yorker. He explores that concept in an interview on data privacy.

In it, he speculates about how Clarissa Dalloway’s life might be affected if a photo of her kiss with Sally Seton, an event she never shares with anyone, had been posted on Instagram, for example. He also wonders how her memory of that kiss would be affected.

Rothman and the other participants in the interview speculate about how the digital age is changing the process of forgetting and forgiving — and forcing us to remember things we may want to forget.

Because in a digital age, forgetting is costly and hard, and remembering is the default. – Viktor Mayer-Schönberger

You can read the article, “Big Data, Virginia Woolf, and the Right to be Forgotten,” or download the podcast on the Policy Innovations website.

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Should we let the crowd decide which authors should be prioritized for digitization once their work enters the public domain? If so, Virginia Woolf would be high on the list.

Of the 1,011,304 authors included on Wikipedia, Virginia Woolf has a ranking ofWoolf on Wikipedia 1,081, and there are 1,902 views of her entry each day, making her the top-ranked individual who died in 1941.

Those figures are part of an algorithm developed by Allen Riddell at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire that automatically generates an independent ranking of notable authors for a given year. In developing the algorithm, he mined two sources: Wikipedia and a list of more than a million online books in the public domain. Nineteen of Woolf’s works are on the list.

Riddell’s article, “Public Domain Rank: Identifying Notable Individuals with the Wisdom of the Crowd,” takes an objective approach to argue that online popularity should help determine which authors’ works entering the public domain should be made easily available through digitization.

However, he does offer the caveat that the new Public Domain Ranking reflects Wikipedia’s inherent biases, including the fact that the site has few female editors.


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