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Pace University Press announces the release of the 2020 Woolf Studies Annual.

Featuring articles, reviews of new books, and a guide to library special collections, Woolf Studies Annual is the premier academic journal on the life, work, and times of Virginia Woolf.

Here’s what you’ll find in the 26th volume:

  • Josh Phillips’s transcription of part of the holograph manuscript of The Years, which provides a new take on that novel’s relationship to Three Guineas, enabling further exploration of Woolf’s complex creative processes.
  • Catriona Livingstone’s reading of Woolf through the lens of science fiction, which provides a fresh and provocative look at some well-known texts
  • Sebastian Williams providing insightful observations into Woolf’s Bioethics in “Animals and Dependency in ‘The Widow and the Parrot.’”
  • Reviews by Elizabeth Outka, Celia Marshik, and more.

This volume is edited by Dr. Mark Hussey. For a complete Table of Contents or to place an order, visit press.pace.edu

ISBN: 978-1-935625-46-9 Price: $40

Literature Cambridge has good news for those who live at a distance from the University of Cambridge:  Its upcoming Study Days are moving online. The intensive but accessible sessions will be held via Zoom, due to the coronavirus.

Each session has a lecture and seminar with a leading scholar and will last approximately 100 minutes. Organizers recommend that you allow two hours for each class, just in case they run a bit longer.

LITERATURE CAMBRIDGE ONLINE STUDY DAYS

Study Day: To the Lighthouse: The Mother in the Garden

Date and time: Saturday 9 May, 6–8 p.m. British Summer Time; 7–9 p.m. Central European Time

Join Lit Cambridge for an intensive evening studying one of Virginia Woolf’s greatest novels. Based on Woolf’s memories of childhood summers by the sea, To the Lighthouse is a powerfully moving account of love, art and loss.

Lecture and a seminar led by Trudi Tate, Director of Literature Cambridge and a Fellow of Clare Hall, University of Cambridge.

Date and Time for other time zones: Sunday 10 May 2020 (Repeat class)

Lit Cambridge will repeat the topic on 10 May, for the benefit of people in Japan, Australia, and similar time zones. But you are welcome to book, wherever you are. This will be a live lecture and seminar, via Zoom.

10.00-12.00 British Summer Time
11.00-13.00 Central European Time
18.00-20.00 Tokyo Time
19.00-21.00 Melbourne time
21.00-23.00 New Zealand Time

Study Day: Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway

Date and time: Sunday 24 May, 6–8 p.m. British Summer Time; 7–9 p.m. Central European Time

An intensive evening studying Virginia Woolf’s memorable novel set on a single day in London in 1923. Mrs Dalloway traces the joys, sufferings, and memories of two very different characters: Clarissa Dalloway, married to a Conservative Member of Parliament; and Septimus Smith, a former soldier who is suffering from shell shock.

Lecture and seminar led by Trudi Tate, Director of Literature Cambridge and a Fellow of Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, who has a chapter on Mrs Dalloway in her book, Modernism, History and the First World War .

Tickets and Bookings

£22 full price

£18 students and CAMcard holders

Bookings are open and can be made online.

Congratulations to Kristin Czarnecki, current president of the International Virginia Woolf Society, on the publication of her memoir—The First Kristin: The Story of a Naming. While the book focuses on Kristin’s unique story, the fact that Virginia Woolf is an important part of Kristin’s life makes Woolf germane to her personal narrative as well.

Her parents named their firstborn Kristin for the fictional Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset. The child died tragically at age three. Eight years later, after having another daughter and a son, they had a daughter whom they named Kristin.

Her mother told her they loved the name: “We didn’t name you after her.” But the fact of it and the need to understand and adapt to this unusual circumstance have weighed heavily on Kristin throughout her life.

Of bonds and memories

The word necronym refers to a name shared with a dead sibling. A not uncommon occurrence during times of high infant mortality, it’s unusual now, and some believe the second bearer of the name might be haunted by it. Kristin establishes her groundwork early: “Have I been haunted? By the thought of my parents’ grief, yes. By having the name, no.” She adds that she and the first Kristin have shared “a very close conspiracy,” citing Virginia Woolf’s description of her bond with her sister Vanessa.

Kristin explores her motivations and actions and how they relate to the first Kristin. Her speculations—“Who can pinpoint why we are the way we are. And who’s to say our memories bear any relation to the way things actually were?”—recall Woolf in “A Sketch of the Past” when she questions the reliability and volatility of memory.

Woolf writes in “Sketch” of her childhood days at St. Ives: “If life has a base that it stands upon; if it is a bowl that one fills and fills and fills—then my bowl without a doubt stands upon this memory.” Kristin in turn recalls happy childhood summers in Rockport, Massachusetts: “In the impact upon us of summers by the sea, Virginia Woolf and I are kindred spirits.”

Laying things to rest

We read memoirs to learn about others’ lives and to reflect on our own. Two things impressed me from reading this book. One, at a personal level, the question of how I or anyone would have felt in Kristin’s circumstances. The other is my interest in the construction of memoirs.

Conjuring Woolf’s “I now and I then” Kristin has managed to draw from two aspects of herself, the child who grew up under this considerable weight and the curious scholar who explores every nuance. She distances herself when she consults and absorbs the relevant literature, piecing it into the fabric of the story.

Just as Woolf claimed to have laid her parents to rest after writing To the Lighthouse, so Kristin considers her memoir in a similar way. It was something she needed to do, and the process opened up valuable channels of communication with her parents and siblings. She’ll never forget the first Kristin, but now, perhaps, she can move on.

Where to order it

Kristin’s memoir is available from Main Street Rag.

The International Virginia Woolf Society will host its twenty-first consecutive panel at the University of Louisville’s Conference on Literature and Culture Since 1900, scheduled for February 18-21, 2021.

IVWS Logo

The group invites proposals for critical papers on any topic concerning Virginia Woolf’s work. A specific panel theme may be decided upon depending on the proposals received.

Please submit by email a cover page with name, email address, mailing address, phone number, professional affiliation, and title of paper, and a second anonymous page containing a 250-word paper proposal, with title, to Kristin Czarnecki, kristin_czarnecki@georgetowncollege.edu, by Monday, August 31,2020.

Panel Selection Committee

  • Beth Rigel Daugherty
  • Jeanne Dubino
  • Vara Neverow

Charleston, a treasure trove of Bloomsbury art and culture, is in dire need. Can you help?

Charleston

The longtime home of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant and the country refuge for the Bloomsbury group, along with its garden, galleries, shop and café, are temporarily closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

That means the charity that receives no public funding is bereft of income from visitor admissions, as well as its main fundraising event. The Charleston Festival, scheduled for May, is cancelled.

As a result, Charleston has issued an emergency appeal for donations from those who appreciate this unique venue, no matter what side of the pond they live on.

You can find out more, including how to make a donation — whether you are a UK citizen or not — here.

Charleston as seen from the farm track to the home. The gravel, the lawn, bushes, and the facade of the house are the same as in the time of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant.

The Charleston garden

The Famous Women Dinner Service painted by Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant between 1932 and 1934 has been on display in the Outer Studio at Charleston.

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