Posts Tagged ‘Anne Fernald’

What: Free Talk: “Not Quite So Kind: Woolf and the limits of kindness”
Who: Anne E. Fernald, professor of English and Women’s Studies at Fordham University
When: Nov. 1, 1:30-4:30 p.m. Lunch at 1:30, talk at 2 p.m., refreshments at 3:30.
Where: Fordham London Centre, 2 Eyre Street Hill, London
How: Reserve free tickets.

Anne Fernald

On Woolf and kindness

In Woolf’s 1925 novel, Mrs. Dalloway, kindness has its limits. When the shell-shocked veteran Septimus Warren Smith and his wife announce theirintention to seek a second opinion from Sir William Bradshaw, their doctor, Dr. Holmes turns on them with stunningly rapid bitterness “if they were rich… by all means let them go to Harley Street; if they had no confidence in him, said Dr. Holmes, looking not quite so kind” (84).

In Mrs. Dalloway and throughout her writing, Woolf explores both the limits of mere kindness and what it means to be of a kind, to be kin, stressing the common root of adjective and noun. This talk unpacks several of Woolf’s key uses of the word kind to explore how, in 2019, we might understand the complex interactions of social cues, intimacy, fondness, and mistrust in Woolf and how those stories continue to resonate today.

About Ann Fernald

A scholar of modernism with a special focus on Virginia Woolf, Fernald is the editor of the Cambridge University Press Mrs. Dalloway (2014), and one of the editors of The Norton Reader, a widely-used anthology of essays. She is the author of Virginia Woolf: Feminism and the Reader (2006), as well as articles and reviews on Woolf and feminist modernism. She is a co-editor of the journal Modernism/modernity. She occasionally updates her blog, Fernham, and can be found on twitter @fernham.

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Anne Fernald, professor of English and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Fordham University, will lead a reading group on Virginia Woolf and E. M. Forster at the Center for Fiction in Brooklyn.

The cost of the five-session reading group, which begins Tuesday, Feb. 25, is $160.

“These are always really fun ways for brilliant common readers to get together and talk books,” Fernald said.

On Instagram, Fernald reported that a huge photo mural of Woolf dominates one of the landings at the Center.

A screenshot of Anne Fernald’s Instagram post covering the opening night party at the Center for Fiction. Virginia Woolf is featured in a mural that dominates one of the stairway landings.

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Anne Fernald

Anne Fernald

Anne Fernald, Fordham University professor and editor of the Cambridge University Press edition of Mrs. Dalloway (2014) and author of Virginia Woolf: Feminism and the Reader (2006), will lead a reading group on two Virginia Woolf novels this fall.

Mrs. Dalloway (1925) and To the Lighthouse (1927) will be under discussion every second Thursday for four sessions, beginning Sept. 17, from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Center for Fiction, 17 E. 47th St., New York City. Remaining dates are Oct. 1, Oct. 15 and Oct. 29.

The cost is $150 for members and $175 for non-members.

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forresterwoolfIn her usual style, Anne Fernald has posted an educated and thoughtful review of Viviane Forrester’s new biography, Virginia Woolf: A Portrait, on the Open Letter Monthly website.


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Here are some books to add to your list for either giving or receiving this holiday season:

  • Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar, Ballantine, 2015, $26. A novel Vanessa & Her Sisterfeaturing intimate glimpses into the lives of Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf, as well as other writers and artists in the Bloomsbury Group. Stay tuned for Blogging Woolf’s review.
  • The Other Shakespeare by Lea Rachel, Writer’s Design, 2015, $8.96. A novel that brings Judith, Woolf’s imagined sister of William Shakespeare, to life. Stay tuned for Blogging Woolf’s review.
  • 9780500517307_26521The Bloomsbury Cookbook: Recipes for Life, Love and Art, by Jans Ondaatje Rolls, Thames & Hudson, 2014, $39.95. An extensive compilation of recipes and social history of the Bloomsbury Group that includes artwork, quotes, letters and personal reminiscences.
  • Mrs. Dalloway, edited by Anne Fernald, 2014, $150. Part of The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Virginia Woolf. This labor of love provides aMrs. Dalloway Fernald substantial introduction, including the composition history of the novel, documenting how Woolf’s reading, writing, personal life and the world around her contributed to the book. Explanatory notes compile decades of scholarship while identifying numerous new allusions to Homer, Shakespeare, Tennyson and others.
  • Personal Effects: Essays on Memoir, Teaching, and Culture in the Work of Personal EffectsLouise DeSalvo, edited by Nancy Caronia and Edvige Giunta. Fordham University Press, 2014, $29.99. Examines Woolf scholar DeSalvo’s memoirs as works that push the boundaries of the most controversial genre of the past few decades.
  • Labors of Modernism: Domesticity, Servants, and Authorship in Modernist Fiction, by Mary Wilson. Ashgate, 2013, $104.95. Wilson analyzes the unrecognized role of domestic servants in the experimental forms and narratives of Modernist fiction by Virginia Woolf, Gertrude Stein, Nella Larsen, and Jean Rhys.
  • Approaches to Teaching Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, edited by Beth Rigel Daugherty and Mary Beth Pringle, MLA, 2001, $19.75. From the Approaches to Teaching World Literature series.
  • Approaches to Teaching Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, edited by Eileen Barrett and Ruth O. Saxton, MLA, 2009, $19.75. From the Approaches to Teaching World Literature series.
  • For a catalog of rare books related to Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group, contact Jon S. Richardson Rare Books at yorkharborbooks@aol.com. Richardson founders Jon and Margaret Richardson have made hunting down the works of Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group their mission since opening York Harbor Books more than 20 years ago. Among other interesting offerings, including Hogarth Press advertising flyers, the Holiday 2014 list includes:
    • A first American edition (1931) of Mrs. Dalloway with the Vanessa Bell dust jacket, $950.
    • A first edition of The Common Reader (1925), published by the Hogarth Press, $585
    • A 1910 edition of the Life & Letters of Leslie Stephen, which includes Woolf’s first appearance in print, $95.

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As it turns out, sound studies in Virginia Woolf is a fairly new field. And in response to a query on9780748637874.cover the VWoolf Listserv, “the ‘sound in Mrs. Dalloway‘ article is yet to be writtten,” according to Anne Fernald, whose Cambridge Edition of the novel will soon be published by Cambridge University Press.

Interestingly, back in 2011, a student in one of Fernald’s classes at Fordham University wrote a blog essay titled “Allerseelen and Mrs. Dalloway,” in which she explores the eponymous street song in the novel.

A book newly published by Edinburgh University Press, Virginia Woolf and Classical Music: Politics, Aesthetics, Form (2013), offers an overview of the young adult Stephens’ exposure to music — from opera to the gramophone. Author Emma Sutton  then follows Woolf into her married life to document her musical tastes and point out how, “To many of Woolf’s early reviewers, the parallels between (contemporary) music and her work were self-evident” (15).

Sutton also provides detailed commentaries on Woolf’s allusions to classical repertoire and composers in her novels and considers the formal influence of music on Woolf’s prose and narrative techniques. And as one Listserv reader pointed out, the bibliography of Sutton’s work would prove an invaluable resource on Woolf and sound.

Respondents to the list also recommended the following resources for a study of Woolf and sound:

  • Crapoulet, Emilie.Virginia Woolf: A Musical Life. No. 50. Price £7.50
  • J. Hillis Miller’s chapter in Fiction and Repetition
  • Anna Snaith’s work on sound in general
  • Cristina Ruotolo on music
  • Rishona Zimring on social dance
  • Also look for stray comments on the backfiring car and music in others’ work
  • Look for more music in the draft version of the novel, reprinted as “The Hours.” Stravinsky is mentioned at the party (341), and Joseph Breitkopf’s favorite song is identified.
  • Pamela Caughie’s scholarship on sound, including her piece in Virginia Woolf in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (2000).
  • Melba Cuddy-Keane’s “Modernist Soundscapes and the Intelligent Ear: An Approach to Narrative Theory through Auditory Perception,” in A Companion to Narrative Theory. Ed. Phelan and Rabinowitz, pub. in 2005. The chapter addresses the “increased auditory awareness” that results from “urban soundscapes” in Woolf’s short fiction and novels; Cuddy-Keane frames her discussion as part of her larger project “to promote the development of a critical methodology and a vocabulary for analyzing narrative representations of sound” (382). Although the essay contains only one page directly addressing MD, it’s very useful for thinking about sound in Woolf’s urban landscapes.
  • Rishona Zimring’s essay about sound in The Years: “Suggestions of Other Worlds: The Art of Sound in The Years.” Woolf Studies Annual 8 (2002).
  • Angela Frattarola’s “Developing an Ear for the Modernist Novel: Virginia Woolf, Dorothy Richardson, and James Joyce” in the Journal of Modern Literature 33.1 (2009).
  • Garrett Stewart’s chapter on The Waves in his Reading Voices
  • “The Modern Auditory I,” by Steven Connor, in Rewriting the Self: Histories from the Renaissance to the Present, ed. by Roy Porter (Routledge 1997). Many writers are discussed, including Joyce and Beckett, but there’s also a short paragraph on Mrs. Dalloway.

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Virginia Woolf scholar and Fordham University professor Anne Fernald is featured in an article in the fall issue of Matters Magazine. Infernald “Woolf at the Door: Finding a Home and a Room of Her Own in South Orange,” Fernald discusses her scholarly, aesthetic and personal interest in Woolf.

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