Saturday, 24 January 2015

Asked what the happiest moment in her whole life was, Virginia Woolf responded 'with a shining face…. I think it’s the moment when one is walking in one’s garden, perhaps picking off a few dead flowers, and suddenly one thinks,‘My husband lives in that house, and he loves me.'

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Excitement ahead June 4-7 at Virginia Woolf Conference 

If you are still sitting on the fence about attending the 25th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf, now is the time to jump off that fence, block off June 4-7 on your calendar, and get ready to travel to Bloomsburg, Pa. The conference, held at Bloomsburg University, is on the theme Virginia Woolf and Her Contemporaries and will feature some real excitement. Here are some highlights now available on the conference website.
Most exciting of all will be Cecil Woolf as the featured speaker at the Saturday evening banquet — and the attendance of acclaimed author Jean Moorcroft Wilson. The couple head up Cecil Woolf Publishers of London

Cecil Woolf and Jean Moorcroft Wilson
Cecil Woolf and Jean Moorcroft Wilson

Cecil is the nephew of Leonard and Virginia Woolf, and Jean is a well-respected critic and biographer of the World War I poets and the leading authority on Siegfried Sassoon. Cecil and Jean have not attended a Woolf conference since 2010, so their participation in this year’s event is a long overdue treat, both for young scholars who have never had the opportunity to meet this notable couple and for Woolfians who have been befriended by the pair at previous events. As is customary at Cecil’s talks, he will share stories of his experiences with Virginia and Leonard.

Monday, 22 December 2014

'I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.' 

e.e. cummings

Monday, 8 December 2014

interesting Jonathan Franzen interview on the Paris Review website -

"...Not everything in the world needs to be laughed angrily at, you realize. There turn out to be more emotions available to a working writer than I might have guessed earlier on. And one of them might be love—love and gratitude."

"...I like attention, I do! But it’s counterbalanced by a need and craving to be alone most of the time. This is one reason I’ve found being a writer a very suitable profession. You have the possibility of great bursts of satisfying attention, and then you’re left alone."

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Just when it has seemed I couldn’t bear   
   one more friend   
waking with a tumor, one more maniac   

with a perfect reason, often a sweetness   
   has come   
and changed nothing in the world   

except the way I stumbled through it,   
   for a while lost   
in the ignorance of loving   

someone or something, the world shrunk   
   to mouth-size,   
hand-size, and never seeming small.   

I acknowledge there is no sweetness   
   that doesn’t leave a stain,   
no sweetness that’s ever sufficiently sweet ....   

Tonight a friend called to say his lover   
   was killed in a car   
he was driving. His voice was low   

and guttural, he repeated what he needed   
   to repeat, and I repeated   
the one or two words we have for such grief   

until we were speaking only in tones.   
   Often a sweetness comes   
as if on loan, stays just long enough   

to make sense of what it means to be alive,   
   then returns to its dark   
source. As for me, I don’t care   

where it’s been, or what bitter road   
   it’s traveled   
to come so far, to taste so good.
(Sweetness, by Stephen Dunn)

Thursday, 30 October 2014

More exciting cultural forays this week for Radio 4's Saturday Review

Here's what we're reviewing:
  • Tis Pity She's a Whore - playwright John Ford, 1633, Sam Wannamaker Playhouse, The Globe
  • Nightcrawler - Jake Gyllenhaal movie, directed by Dan Gilroy
  • Let Me Be Frank With You - collection of 4 novellas by Richard Ford
  • The Passing Bells - BBC1 World War One TV drama
  • Information Age Gallery at the Science Museum
I can't divulge my views on them yet - tune in Radio 4, Sat 1st November, 7.15pm.