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Posts Tagged ‘Hogarth Press’

Editor’s Note: This essay, written in March of this year, was contributed by Mine Özyurt Kılıç, a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at the Department of Comparative Literature at Harvard University and co-organizer of Harvard’s May 10 event, A Press of One’s Own: Celebrating 100 Years of Virginia and Leonard Woolf’s Hogarth Press. At Harvard, she currently investigates the connection between the ethical and aesthetic components of short fiction. Her research mostly focuses on contemporary British fiction with special interest in women’s writing. She is the author of the first book-length study on Maggie Gee’s fictionMaggie Gee: Writing the Condition-of-England Novel (Bloomsbury 2013). This academic celebration brings her back to her master’s thesis on the theme of failure in love in T. S. Eliot’s poetry as well as to her lectures on British Modernism.

The snail is a seal of the Hogarth Press, a signature of its focus on nature and the natural against the industrialized literary marketplace! Like this snail with its home on its back, The Hogarth married private and public life with a letterpress machine on a dining table. And that has made all the difference!

The snail that makes its appearance on the first publication of the Hogarth Press, “The Mark on the Wall” (1917), is the very emblem of the Woolfs’ mission. Like Schumacher’s claim for the economy “Small is Beautiful”, the Woolfs suggest that in “express[ing] the rapidity of life, the perpetual waste and repair”: Slow is beautiful!

This first Woolf story they publish can also be read as a fictional manifestation of Woolf’s ars poetica. The narrator first situates herself in the world understanding one truth about it– “what an airless, shallow, bald, prominent world it becomes! A world not to be lived in” — then discerns her calling in it:

I want to think quietly, calmly, spaciously, never to be interrupted, never to have to rise from my chair, to slip easily from one thing to another, without any sense of hostility, or obstacle. I want to sink deeper and deeper, away from the surface, with its hard separate facts.

This quiet, calm, spacious, and uninterrupted mode of deep thinking is the very engine behind Woolf’s Modernist texts that require a different mode of reading, a deliberately slow and effortful one that is like the movements of a crawling snail. The central motif in the story, also visually reproduced in Dora Carrington’s woodcut print to accompany the text, the snail is one of the many lives that the narrator feels committed to describe in detail.

[…] there are a million patient, watchful lives still for a tree, all over the world, in bedrooms, in ships, on the pavement, lining rooms, where men and women sit after tea, smoking cigarettes. It is full of peaceful thoughts, happy thoughts, this tree. I should like to take each one separately.

In a later Woolf story “Kew Gardens” (1919), the snail now becomes one of the central consciousnesses. A single figure among those visitors coming from different walks of life, it makes its way around the flowerbed, thinking whether it is better to move or not, drawing the reader’s attention to the minutiae of everyday life, to a moment of being, from a major to a minor key. As such, it becomes a sign of a special state of consciousness slow enough to attend to details, to the cotton wool of daily life, to moments of being, to epiphanies, to fragments shored against ruins, to marks on walls, flowers, images and smells that memory brings from distant times and places.

In the idiom of Woolf’s snail, the early Hogarth draws its readers’ attention to an eccentric, marginal and extraordinary vision that necessitates a reading slow enough to digest and savor millions of surrounding lives.

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A Press of One’s Own: Celebrating 100 Years of Virginia and Leonard Woolf’s Hogarth Press,  a one-time event celebrating the centennial of the Hogarth Press, will be held on Wednesday, May 10, at Harvard University.

The multi-disciplinary and interactive celebration includes an exhibition of the original early Hogarth books and a round-table discussion at Houghton Library, as well as a hands-on letterpress workshop at the Harvard-related Bow & Arrow Press in Cambridge.

The exhibition will be followed by a seminar with three speakers who will talk about the different aspects of the Hogarth venture and its publications. The final stage is the printing workshop, during which a passage from “The Mark on the Wall,” the first product of the Hogarth (July 1917) will be reprinted.

Organizers hope that the event will raise questions not only about the historic venture of the Woolfs and their circle, but also about the role of independent publishing today.

Nowhere else could we have started the Hogarth Press, whose very awkward beginning had rise in this very room […] Here that strange offspring grew & throve; it ousted us from the dining room […] & crept all over the house. And people have been here, thousands of them it seems to me” – Virginia Woolf’s Diary, 9 January 1924

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I wish I’d remembered to post this information earlier, but there are still a few days remaining to visitHogarth Plaque the Virginia Woolf and the Hogarth Press exhibit in Richmond. Up since Oct. 29, the exhibit ends Dec. 10.

You’ll find it at the Riverside Gallery, Old Town Hall, Whittaker Avenue, Richmond, TW9 1TP.

Held in conjunction with the Richmond Literature Festival, the exhibit celebrates a century since Virginia and Leonard Woolf began publishing in Richmond under the auspices of their small publishing house started in 1917, the Hogarth Press.

The press gave Leonard and Virginia the opportunity to self-publish and provided an important opportunity for writers and artists to showcase their work uncensored and in small print runs.

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27th conference flyerThe 27th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf is being held at the University of Reading, June 29 – July 2, 2017, to coincide with the centenary of the Hogarth Press. The theme is “Virginia Woolf and the World of Books.”

Call for papers:  “Virginia Woolf and the World of Books” invites you to consider the past, present and future of Virginia Woolf’s works. Attendees are invited to submit papers relating to all aspects of the Woolfs, the world of books, and print cultures, including topics related to Leonard and Virginia Woolf and the Hogarth Press; the production, reception and distribution of Woolf’s works; editing, revision and translation; periodicals and book publishing; Woolf and her readers; global and planetary modernisms; Bloomsbury and its networks; Hogarth Press authors and illustrators; modernist publishing houses and publishers; Woolf and the Digital Humanities.

Abstracts: Abstracts should be between 200-250 words. Submissions should include a cover note with brief biography, affiliation, and contact details including email.

Abstract deadline: Abstracts are due Feb. 1, 2017. Send to to vwoolf2017@gmail.com.

For more information: Visit the conference website. Please direct any enquiries to vwoolf2017@gmail.com.

Conference rates: Day rates and reduced rates for students and the non-waged will be available.

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I just came across a fascinating project titled “Literary Bloomsbury” that combines social media with theVW Twitter Bloomsbury Group.

In it, Camilla Lunde, whose Twitter handle is @CGlunde, imagines how Virginia Woolf, Vanessa Bell, E.M. Forster and the Hogarth Press would make use of 21st-century social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

With this project, Lunde has given the four key members of the group their own social media presence. Woolf is on Twitter as @mrsstephenwoolf. Forester has an author Facebook page. Bell has an Instagram account as mrsstephenbell. And the Hogarth Press is on YouTube.

While I find the idea interesting, its reach is limited at present. Woolf only has four tweets posted. I was unable to find Forster’s page when I did a Facebook search. Bell’s Instagram account is private, so can’t be viewed unless one goes to a link on the Project Publishing blog. And I couldn’t locate the YouTube page for the Hogarth press either, although a screenshot exists on Lunde’s Tumblr blog. Lunde does not include links to the accounts on her blog.

Lunde’s project has won praise on social media and an award from the UCL Centre for Publishing at University College London.

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An exhibit of Vanessa Bell’s graphic book covers designed for the Hogarth Press are now on exhibit at  The National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.

The exhibit, which includes designs for Virginia Woolf’s novels, opened May 11 and runs through Nov. 13.

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The Legacy Libraries Project has recreated the personal library of Leonard and Virginia Woolf online.

The project recreates personal libraries held by writers, philosophers, politicians, etc. who have passed away. If possible, it includes a full catalogue of their books, including all bibliographic details to allow for easy searches and a quick book comparison between the members’ accounts.

Colm Guerin recently completed the Woolfs’ library based on the records held by the Washington Statelegacy library University and the Harry Ransom Center. Both facilities obtained their collections after Leonard’s death with the purchase of books from Trekkie Parsons and Cecil Woolf.

Each entry includes the details of any inscription, signature, or dedication made to or from the Woolfs, including the details for Sir Leslie Stephen’s books, which were obtained by Virginia after his death. Guerin said that to the best of his knowledge, it is now the most complete resource for searching the Woolfs’ substantial collection.

Guerin plans to make additions to the account, including a tagging system, reviews of publications written by Leonard and Virginia, and additional uploads of dust jackets published by the Hogarth Press.

A permanent link to this resource is included in the right sidebar. It is titled “Woolf Library” and is located  under the heading “Woolf Resources.”

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