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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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The Multiple Muses of Virginia WoolfThis week a member of the VWoolf Listserv asked for resources she could peruse regarding Virginia Woolf and Marcel Proust. As usual, list participants came quickly to the rescue. Here are some of the resources they shared:

From Anne Fernald:

“There is a lovely scene in the closing pages of the first section of vol. 1 of Proust of watching Japanese paper flowers unfold in water. It’s a scene that I think Woolf drew on, more than the madeleine–especially, say in Peter Walsh’s memories of Sally’s flowers at Bourton.

“More generally, Proust shared Woolf’s fascination with parties. Like Woolf, he was a serious, contemplative writer who took seriously the kinds of social foibles that might unfold at a party like the one Clarissa Dalloway gives. Knowing that Woolf read Proust while writing Dalloway is helpful: I imagine that his example fortified her sense that the topic, flimsy in the wrong hands, had possibilities for greatness.

“Woolf’s diaries, Hermione Lee, Sallye Greene, and Nicola Luckhurst might all be places to comb for more.”

Articles and books shared by several list members:

  • Pericles Lewis. “Proust, Woolf, and Modern Fiction.” Romanic Review. 99:1
  • Cheryl Mares, “‘The Burning Ground of the Present: Woolf and Her Contemporaries.”  Virginia Woolf and the Essay. Eds. Beth Rosenberg and Jeanne Dubino. NY: St. Martin’s Press, 1997. 117-36.
  • “Reading Proust: Woolf and the Painter’s Perspective.” The Multiple Muses of Virginia Woolf. Ed. Diane Gillespie. University of Missouri Press, 1993. 58-89.
  • “Woolf’s Reading of Proust.” Reading Proust Now. Eds. Mary Ann Caws and Eugene Nicole. Peter Lang, 1990.
  •  J. Hillis Miller writes of Proust and the party in Mrs. Dalloway in Fiction and Repetition.
  • Emily Delgarno has a chapter on “Proust and the Fictions of the Unconscious” in her Virginia Woolf and the Migrations of Language

And quotes from Woolf on Proust shared by two on the list:

Last night I started on Vol 2 [Jeunes Filles en Fleurs] of him (the novel) and propose to sink myself in it all day. [. . . ] But Proust so titillates my own desire for expression that I can hardly set out the sentence. Oh if I could write like that! I cry. And at the moment such is the astonishing vibration and saturation and intensification that he procures?theres something sexual in it?that I feel I can write like that, and seize my pen and then I can’t write like that. Scarcely anyone so stimulates the nerves of language in me: it becomes an obsession. But I must return to Swann” – Letter to Roger Fry, 6 May 1922 (Letters II 525)

My great adventure is really Proust. Well–what remains to be written after that? I’m only in the first volume, and there are, I suppose, faults to be found, but I am in a state of amazement; as if a miracle were being done before my eyes. How, at last, has someone solidified what has always escaped–and made it too into this beautiful and perfectly enduring substance?  One has to put the book down and gasp. The pleasure becomes physical–like sun and wine and grapes and perfect serenity and intense vitality combined. Far otherwise is it with Ulysses. – Letter to Roger Fry, 3 October 1922 (Letters II 565-6)

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