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Archive for the ‘Woolf quote’ Category

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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JornalistEmmaTeitel

Journalist Emma Teitel uses Woolf to critique social media.

Although Woolf lived in a pre-Internet world, one journalist has connected her ideas about artistic and social conformity with contemporary society’s obsession with social media, and the depressive effects of scrolling through photos and updates of others’ curated lives.

The Canadian publication TheStar.com has published an essay by Emma Teitel which uses some of Woolf’s ideas from The Common Reader to describe the, “soul-numbing sensation of too much time spent on social media.”

Teitel writes:

In 1925, English novelist and outcast Virginia Woolf wrote about what happens to a person when she spends her entire life trying to fit in.

‘Once conform, once do what other people do because they do it,’ Woolf wrote in The Common Reader, a collection of essays, ‘and a lethargy steals over all the finer nerves and faculties of the soul. She becomes all outer show and inward emptiness; dull, callous, and indifferent.’

Woolf Quote--Conform

Woolf’s words from 1925 are as relevant today as they were in her own time, and when applied to social media, her critiques seem to explain the depression many people experience when looking through social media sources. Teitel explains:

…there are no words more precise than ‘dull, callous and indifferent’ to describe the emotional after-effect of scrolling your way into a funk on Facebook and Instagram, where you’ve inwardly begrudged the success and beauty of other people, all the while attempting to make your own appear far greater than it actually is.

KylieJennerSelfie

A selfie of Kylie Jenner, a member of the Kardashian family, who has 58 million followers on Instagram.

Teitel asserts that Woolf’s critical line, “outer show and inward emptiness,” can even be used as the “official tagline” of social media. And perhaps the best lines from Teitel’s article, link Woolf’s writing to Kylie Jenner:

In fact, ‘Outer show and inward emptiness,’ could serve as the medium’s official tagline  not to mention the caption beneath every Twitter selfie of Kylie Jenner.

Is there any aspect of contemporary life to which we can’t apply Woolf’s writings?

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The year 2014 has started off right, with writers citing Virginia Woolf heading into the new year.

The Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain marked the new year by quoting Woolf’s 1 January 1935 Diary entryVW Diary Vol. 5 on its Facebook page: “I must press a good deal of work in – remembering 53 – 54 – 55 are on me. And how excited I get over my ideas! And there’s people to see.”

A writer for Delaware’s Cape Gazette uses the following famous quote of Woolf’s in a story looking back on 2013 dining experiences: ““One cannot think well, love well or sleep well if one has not dined well.”

And a story in the Tampa Bay Times, “Five things you need to know before ‘Downton Abbey’ returns Sunday,” holds out hope that Woolf will appear in a cameo role during season four of the popular PBS soap opera. But we have heard that her appearance ended up on the cutting room floor.

 

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Today is Virginia Woolf’s birthday. It is now 131 years since she was born on Jan. 25, 1882, at 12:15 p.m., inwoolf quote Kensington, London, and birthday wishes are coming to her from around the globe, courtesy of the Web.

In honor of her special day, the Christian Science Monitor has put up this post: Virginia Woolf: 10 quotes on her birthday. The piece credits her for having made a “major impact on the shaping of the modern novel” and being “an early advocate of women’s rights.”

And the New York Public Library has selections of Woolf’s novels that you can read online in celebration. Just add cake.

HuffPost Books has the Woolf quote graphic at top right, which I found thanks to my friend Margaret of Kent State University, posted on its Facebook page.

mixtapeBloggers who have posted birthday wishes include the Book Riot  and this blog. And Lifelounge has put together a Virginia Woolf mixtape in honor of her 131st, along with this note of thanks, “Hey VW, thanks for writing all kinds of things we didn’t know how to say! Also, how did you live to 131?”

If you live near London or Wilton, Conn., you can also attend one of these celebrations:

Here is what sounds like a birthday wishes, as articulated by Woolf in her short story, “The String Quartet,” which is included in Monday or Tuesday (1921):

Iwant to dance, laugh, eat pink cakes, drink thin, sharp wine. Or an indecent story, now—I could relish that. The older one grows, the more one likes indecency.

Read more about past birthday celebrations for Virginia:

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So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages, or only for hours, nobody can say. ~ Virginia Woolf, SSC Patron Saint, A Room of One’s Own

The quote above and the photo at right introduce an email from Shakespeare’s Sister Company announcing its Aug. 6 production of  emerging playwright, Shellen Lubin’s, new full-length play, War Orphan.

Featuring Cynthia Enfield, Anthony J. Fusco, Matthew Gandolfo, Kris Lundberg and Susan Merson, War Orphan explores two friends’ journeys through love, family and sexual identity from the 1960s to the 1980s.

Showtime is 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at The Delancey, 168 Delancey Street (between Clinton and Attorney). The event is free and is for audience members 21 and over.

It is week seven in the company’s 2012 emerging women playwrights reading series. The final reading of the series will be Aug. 13 and will feature the company’s Artistic Director, Kris Lundberg’s, Muse.

The Shakespeare’s Sister Company is a not-for-profit theater organization dedicated to women in the arts.

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