Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Passing Glances at Virginia Woolf

Recently, I wrote about an old feature of the International Virginia Woolf Society Bibliography: Passing Glances. My friend Sally Greene began collecting allusions and references to Woolf in popular novels and pop culture. At Ana Maria’s urging (and thanks to Google which now provides me with categories for free and daily email alerts, too), I’m going to try to keep track of mentions of Woolf in the blogosphere.

I’ve already linked several times to the dicussion of “Kew Gardens” at A Curious Singularity. You can also find some information about a Woolf wiki here. I’m a bit skeptical of wikis these days: they seem to me destined to go the way of hypertext and choose your own adventure. Still, I’d be grateful to be proven wrong.

Both Mark Thwaite and Susan Hill are steadily reading their way through Woolf. Mark has posted entries on To the Lighthouse, Mrs. Dalloway, and, most recently, this enthusiastic and insightful entry on The Waves. Susan is conducting an ongoing reading project, Woolf for Dummies, which seems to be geared to those who really are afraid of Woolf. The most recent entry I can find is just a query to see who’s read Night and Day yet. That book, Woolf’s second novel, is not one that generally inspires readers to continue. Still, her posts seem to have encouraged book-buying of at Equiano’s and Kate’s, too.

Someone called Anne (not me) posted a long Woolfish comment to the query “Do men ever write in women’s voices?” (which seems a silly question) and the more interesting follow-up, what are the best female protagonists created by men?

A romance novelist considers the spark of inspiration ignited by her teacher assigning some Woolf. I’ll be curious to see where this leads…

Woolf still doesn’t have the web presence of the Bronte blog but it’s fun to find her cropping up here and there.

6 comments:

Bud said...

And why, I ask, are you not running a Woolf blog?

Anne said...

Indeed.

But I'm afraid I'd start sounding all pointy and professorial in all the worst ways: that it would turn into a bad teaching day in blog form.

And then there is the small matter of these two beloved little daughters....

And the million things that I have neglected in the other parts of my life.

Still.... we shall see...

Betsy said...

Ah. You located Anne GG's comment on Woolf. But you consider my question lightweight. Oh, dear. But I must start somewhere with my questions, don't it? And it appears, that Woolf found it necessary to comment on the general topic, so that gives it some credibility. So, as a professional in the field, who would you add to my list?

P.S. I love your blog and will return to read more. Plus,in regard to your post on Nov. 27, I do comment!

Anne said...

Thank you for your comment, Betsy. I only meant that the list of female protagonists by male writers is very long (Moll Flanders, Clarissa, Tess, Isabel Archer...). So that question leads to listing more than thinking.

Your second question, however, which you seem to toss off, is one that really is worth a lot of discussion: which writers are the best ventriloquists for protagonists of the opposite sex? That one is, as you say, one that Woolf and many other worthies have spent time on. Rightly so.--Anne

The Dolphin Smiles said...

Well....I think the idea of women protagonists created by men is intriguing in that writing seems to me, at its best, to invite us all whether we're reading or writing to inhabit other spaces, radically different from those we usually inhabit. I think Tolstoy succeeded drastically with Anna Karenina but Flaubert didn't with Madame Bovary because he had much too narcissistic a conception of what who she was....she's really "just" Flaubert, where Anna has a life of her own...

madwoman in the modern world said...

Hello!
I stumbled across your blog and was so surprised to see that your wrote Virginia Woolf:Feminism and the Reader.

I discovered the wonderful Virginia Woolf last semester in my Modern Literature class. I'm almost 100% sure that I read parts of your book last semester when I was writing my final research paper on Woolf. Probably one of the most thrilling papers I have ever written in my life. I fell in love with VW when writing that. :) And I bet you love her too.

Have a marvelous weekend. I'll be visiting your blog from now on. :)