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A recent article from English Studies is now available free on the Taylor and Francis untitledwebsite to coincide with the 75th anniversary of Virginia Woolf’s death.

The article, by Martin Ferguson Smith, is titled Virginia Woolf and “the Hermaphrodite”: A Feminist Fan of Orlando and Critic of Roger Fry, and will be free for any reader until 31 July 2016. The article can be found at http://bit.ly/Woolf_Smith.

Here’s the abstract for the article, which is available for download as a PDF.

After Virginia Woolf’s biography of Roger Fry was published in 1940, she received a letter from Mary Louisa Gordon strongly critical of her portrayal of Roger’s wife, the artist Helen Coombe, and even more critical of Roger’s character and conduct. Mary and Helen had been friends before the latter married in 1896 and went on to develop severe mental health problems. In 1936 the Woolfs had published Mary’s historical novel, Chase of the Wild Goose, about the Ladies of Llangollen. The article is in four sections. Section 1 is introductory. Section 2 is about Mary. It discusses Chase of the Wild Goose, its relationship to Orlando, and Virginia’s comments on it and its author, whom, in letters to Ethel Smyth, she calls “the Hermaphrodite”. It goes on to describe Mary’s life and career as medical doctor, suffragist, first female Inspector of Prisons in England and Wales, and scathing critic of the prison system. Section 3 presents Mary’s letter to Virginia, with significant corrections of the text published by Beth Rigel Daugherty. Section 4 focuses on Helen, and on Mary’s assessments of her and Roger.

Woolf visuals sighted on Twitter today:

The International Virginia Woolf Society is pleased to host its seventeenth consecutive panel at the University of Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture Since 1900, fromLouisville Conference 2016 Feb. 23-25, 2017. We invite proposals for critical papers on any topic concerning Woolf studies. A particular panel theme may be chosen depending on the proposals received.

Please submit by email a cover page with your name, email address, mailing address, phone number, professional affiliation (if any), and the title of your paper, and a second anonymous page containing a 250-word paper proposal to Kristin Czarnecki, kristin_czarnecki@georgetowncollege.edu, by Monday, Aug. 15, 2016.

Panel Selection Committee:

  • Beth Rigel Daugherty
  • Jeanne Dubino
  • Mark Hussey
  • Jane Lilienfeld
  • Vara Neverow

“Woolf and Illness,” the special topics issue of the Virginia Woolf Miscellany, has issued a call for papers with a submission deadline of July 15, 2016. Issue #90 will be published in the fall.

IVWS Logo

Virginia Woolf’s 1926 essay “On Being Ill” questions why illness has failed to feature as a prime theme of literature, alongside love, battle, and jealousy. This issue of VWM seeks contributions on Woolf’s exploration of illness in her life and work, as a paradigm for reexamining modernist literature and art, and its influence on subsequent writers.

Topics might include questions such as: How does the literature of illness challenge or enhance theories of trauma, narrative ethics, and disability studies? How does Woolf’s focus on the politics and aesthetics of the ill body inform our understanding of the period, including in relation to Victorian values, in relation to the 1918-19 flu pandemic, and in relation to mechanized modernity’s drive toward professionalization and specialization? How has the contemporary literary landscape changed to contribute to the popularity of Woolf’s focus — from the success of the medical humanities to the proliferation of autopathographies? What might be inspiring or potentially problematic in Woolf’s theory of illness as a site for creative rebellion?

Send submissions of no more than 2,500 words by 15 July 2016 to: Cheryl Hindrichs at cherylhindrichs@boisestate.edu

In memory of Virginia Woolf

Kristin Czarnecki, president of the International Virginia Woolf Society, posted the noteV Woolf bust Monk's House below on Facebook today to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Virginia Woolf’s death.

To read more about her last note, as well as its social, literary, cultural and scientific contexts, visit this page on the Smith College website.

“On the 75th anniversary of Virginia Woolf’s death, one of my favorite passages from Mrs. Dalloway from one of the most remarkable characters ever created:

Why then rage and prophesy? Why fly scourged and outcast? Why be made to tremble and sob by the clouds? Why seek truths and deliver messages when Rezia sat sticking pins into the front of her dress, and Mrs. Peters was in Hull? Miracles, revelations, agonies, loneliness, falling through the sea, down, down into the flames, all were burnt out, for he had a sense, as he watched Rezia trimming the straw hat for Mrs. Peters, of a coverlet of flowers.

R.I.P. Virginia–and Septimus.

And on Twitter:

The summer season will kick off at Charleston, the Sussex retreat of the Bloomsbury Group, with free lectures by Charleston interns, beginning March 24 at 2 p.m.

Charleston Farmhouse

Charleston

The house will also be open via guided tours, which you can book here.

The lectures, which will take place in the historic barns, include:

  1. Vanessa Bell’s Faceless Portraits and The Angelica Garnett Gift by Rebecca Birrell
  2. Dressing Modern Identity: Victorian style re-imagined in The Angelica Garnett Gift  by Zoe Wolstenholme

You can also book a place on the Spotlight lectures.

“Six Lives,” a Virginia Woolf cinepoem by Sarah Riggs, revolves around six writers, sixsix lives texts by Virginia Woolf and six seaside landscapes. I couldn’t embed the film in this post, but you can view it on the director’s website.

I first conceived of Six Lives after reading Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse five summers in a row, and living in New York, France, and Morocco in communities of writers, artists and translators.  Woolf ‘s essay “The Cinema” offers a critique of cinema as a potentially superficial medium, and I wanted to achieve the depth of her work, and of poetic thinking, precisely in the cinematic medium.  We gathered a cluster of six writers, in various combinations, over a period of several years, in six locations, each time with a different Woolf text in question.  What gets charted is a movement from abstract thinking and the division of the body into parts, into a poetically embodied cinema where mind and body are in synchronicity.  An opening. – Sarah Riggs, director

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