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Posts Tagged ‘Virginia Woolf’

This 18-minute video produced by the British Library for its twentieth-century literature site and featuring Elaine Showalter is an excellent introduction to Mrs. Dalloway for first-time readers. But it will also enlighten those who have read the novel over and over again.

In it, the American critic and writer takes us to London for a discussion of Virginia Woolf’s 1925 novel. We view 1920s London streets and traffic; take a look inside 46 Gordon Square, Woolf’s first home as an independent woman; and get a look at the novel’s original hand-written manuscript.

In addition, Showalter explains the artistic, social and historical context for the groundbreaking novel that takes place on one day in June in 1923. You can also read her article on the topic, “Exploring consciousness and the modern: an introduction to Mrs Dalloway,” on the British Library website. At that link, you can view 165 images of Woolf’s notebooks for the novel and for her essays published in The Common Reader (1925).

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gell062309

Aaron Gell will edit the male-centered blog, Beta Male.

A recent article by Jia Tolentino on the feminist blog Jezebel.com titled, “Sheesh, There’s a Reason Women Are ‘Totally Crushing It’ at the Confessional Essay” channels Woolf several times as Tolentino analyzes the future existence of a “new pop-up blog at New York Magazine, a six-week project called Beta Male.”

This new “pop-up blog” will highlight men’s writing, (and presumably, celebrate “beta males”) with a particular interest in the male confessional essay.

The editor of the new blog, Aaron Gell, who is the executive director of Maxim.com, sent out a call for submissions which Leah Finnegan published at Genius.com. Gell calls for men to “demonstrate” that they too can be “introspective” like women writers:

Among the many areas in which women are just totally crushing it lately (sheesh, women!) is the confessional essay. We would like to demonstrate that men can be introspective and self-aware, too. So by all means, whatever you pitch me, try to include a personal essay idea or two. These can be about sex and relationships, family, work, friendships, race, art, beauty, obsession, the body, war, childhood celebrity crushes, parenthood, butt play and/or shoes.

Tolentino alludes to (and links to) Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own several times as she questions the “outlets available for men to confess things about their personal lives online” and the confessional nature of women’s writing. Tolentino writes:

And as we are now in a cultural moment where people are—thankfully—interested in learning about social structures and what life is like for people who have suffered greater hardships, we have, to mixed effect, progressed on the personal essay front from “A Room of One’s Own” into sort of “A Room of One’s Own, Wallpapered With Identity and the Particular Difficult Things It Brings.”

Do men need a new room of their own in which to write and publish?

Or is the whole world their room?

Read Tolentino’s full post here.

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A multitude of Woolf sightings from around the Web, as posted on Blogging Woolf’s Facebook page:

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Editor’s Note: This post was written by Dr. Trudi Tate of the University of Cambridge.

Our Woolf course, ‘Virginia Woolf in Cambridge’, 18-22 July 2016, is filling up, but there are still a few rooms available at the favourable summer school rate.

Virginia Woolf in Cambridge 2016 looks at some of the best-loved of Woolf’s books (Mrs Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, and A Room of One’s Own) from fresh angles, putting them alongside contemporary creative work by Susan Sellers (Vanessa and Virginia) and Kabe Wilson (Of One Woman or So). Gillian Beer’s lecture on ‘Reading The Waves Across a Lifetime’ promises to be a highlight, giving us a way into this fascinating book for the 2017 Woolf course, in which we plan to study The Waves and other exciting and challenging Woolf works.

Our summer course gives students the experience of a Cambridge-style supervision (a tutorial). Two or three students spend an hour with an experienced Cambridge supervisor, discussing the work of the day, and engaging in careful close reading, in the tradition of Cambridge English since the 1920s.

We will explore some of the historical context of Woolf’s books, asking what they have to say about their own time, and how they speak to ours.

For more details — and to register — visit the Virginia Woolf in Cambridge website.

 

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By Emily K. Michael

Dear Mrs. Woolf, I hope you will not mind bending time to receive my letter. I have wanted to write to you since the day I closed A Room of One’s Own and realized that you could…

Source: Blackbird Habits: A Letter to Virginia Woolf | BREVITY’s Nonfiction Blog

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JornalistEmmaTeitel

Journalist Emma Teitel uses Woolf to critique social media.

Although Woolf lived in a pre-Internet world, one journalist has connected her ideas about artistic and social conformity with contemporary society’s obsession with social media, and the depressive effects of scrolling through photos and updates of others’ curated lives.

The Canadian publication TheStar.com has published an essay by Emma Teitel which uses some of Woolf’s ideas from The Common Reader to describe the, “soul-numbing sensation of too much time spent on social media.”

Teitel writes:

In 1925, English novelist and outcast Virginia Woolf wrote about what happens to a person when she spends her entire life trying to fit in.

‘Once conform, once do what other people do because they do it,’ Woolf wrote in The Common Reader, a collection of essays, ‘and a lethargy steals over all the finer nerves and faculties of the soul. She becomes all outer show and inward emptiness; dull, callous, and indifferent.’

Woolf Quote--Conform

Woolf’s words from 1925 are as relevant today as they were in her own time, and when applied to social media, her critiques seem to explain the depression many people experience when looking through social media sources. Teitel explains:

…there are no words more precise than ‘dull, callous and indifferent’ to describe the emotional after-effect of scrolling your way into a funk on Facebook and Instagram, where you’ve inwardly begrudged the success and beauty of other people, all the while attempting to make your own appear far greater than it actually is.

KylieJennerSelfie

A selfie of Kylie Jenner, a member of the Kardashian family, who has 58 million followers on Instagram.

Teitel asserts that Woolf’s critical line, “outer show and inward emptiness,” can even be used as the “official tagline” of social media. And perhaps the best lines from Teitel’s article, link Woolf’s writing to Kylie Jenner:

In fact, ‘Outer show and inward emptiness,’ could serve as the medium’s official tagline  not to mention the caption beneath every Twitter selfie of Kylie Jenner.

Is there any aspect of contemporary life to which we can’t apply Woolf’s writings?

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