The ideal writing life

I am a big fan of Virginia Woolf. In my opinion The Waves is one of the top 3 novels ever written. And I am also, as so many of you, very fascinated by her essays, and regard A Room of One’s Own as obligatory reading. I have, until now, considered Woolf’s advice on the importance…

To pin down the moment with date and season

I keep coming back to Virginia Woolf, I think she must be the most important author in my personal canon. And I can’t imagine anyone knowing as much about Virginia Woolf as the great scholar Dame Hermione Lee.   see also: Hermione Lee, The Art of Biography

Haunted by literature

To the Lighthouse – once again. It won’t leave me alone. It’s the dinner-scene, it keeps coming back to me, asking to be investigated, scrutinised, analysed … dissected? I have posted on it before, but I can see there is more to explore. I will try to write an essay on it, this autumn, just…

it is a great art to saunter

If I were to describe Olivia Laing’s To the River: A Journey Beneath the Surface in one word, I would call it slentrende, which is a Norwegia word for saunting: A verb of unconfirmed origin, saunter means to “walk with a leisurely gait.” As a noun, saunter describes that leisurely gait. Henry David Thoreau once said “it is a great…

Men are all brothers … ?!

Yesterday I read a bit about Oulipo. While reading I discovered this beautifully arranged picture of a part of the group, but couldn’t help noticing that there weren’t any women around … (I am, after all, on a quest  for literary foremothers). In A Room of One’s Own Virginia Woolf writes: “we think back through our mothers…

I have not studied Dr Freud

Alessio had this comment to my post Woolf & the Ramsay’s: Thank you for sharing this. It is what I believe to be ‘writing as therapy’ as I recently suggested in one of my posts. Virginia Woolf is no exception. The comment, which I believe to be to the point, made me want to have a quick…

Woolf & the Ramsay’s

I’m reading Alexandra Harris’s introduction to Virginia Woolf She has some interesting thoughts on Woolf’s personal relationship to the characters in the story, here is what she writes: At the age of 44 Woolf made a portrait of her parents as they were in middle age, looking at them face to face. When Vanessa read…

Julia Briggs – An Inner Life

Two days ago I got a question: Have you read Julia Briggs’ biography on Woolf – An Inner Life? – to which I had to reply: no. But now I have … well not the whole of it yet – but I definitively will! Briggs is a clear and talented narrator, and she offers clever insights into both…

Great Expectations

Just the other day Sophie, of Live, Love & Learn, had a nice post on Woolf. In her post Sophie mentioned Alexandra Harris’s biography Virginia Woolf, which I (no surprise…) got very curious about. So I ordered it. (If this Woolf obsession of mine will continue, I really have to try to cleared another meter…

Bloomsbury Pictures

I am, as some of you know, teaching art history & theory, but I have never focused on British art, and never really considered Virginia Woolf’s relation to her contemporary visual artists. But now its time  – Duncan Grant: Study for Composition (Self-Portrait in a Turban), 1910 I received two books in my mailbox today: Bloomsbury…

Theory of Mind

Midway (through) To the Lighthouse it suddenly struck me how extremely well Woolf present us for the complexity of peoples inner life. Of corse we all know her exceptional contribution to the stream of consciousness technique. (Stream of consciousness is characterized by a flow of thoughts and images, which may not always appear to have a coherent structure…

Garden Path in Spring

Duncan Grant: Garden Path in Spring (1944) Duncan Grant was a central figure in the circle of artist and writers known as The Bloomsbury Group, which included Grant’s cousin Lytton Strachey, Maynard Keynes, Roger Fry, Virginia and Leonard Woolf, Virginia’s sister the painter Vanessa Bell and Vanessa’s husband the critic Clive Bell. Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell were…