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…