Virginia Woolf Archive

Science and Literature: Coming Together for the All-American Solar Eclipse

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During the “All-American Eclipse,” everyone in the US will see at least a partial eclipse, but the difference between a partial and a total eclipse, according to astronomer Jay Pasachoff, is like standing outside the opera house versus attending it.

Serious Subjects

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I learned that I could respond to poetry with a thousand times a thousand micro-emotions. I soon began to wonder what I even meant by “serious” poetry, and what constituted a poem’s artfulness. I reflected upon the fact that those initial ideas were narrow, even elitist, and they are

“Listening to my friends is one of my favorite ways to write”: An Interview with Durga Chew-Bose

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"I found it touching and also rare to read about awe. It made me want to write because so much of my experiences, the ones I remember at least, involve appreciation. Or maybe I just confuse seeing with appreciating?"

The Weather We’re Having

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The calamity of weather disaster in literature offers more overt indications of those who are vulnerable and exposed. From Shakespeare’s encroaching storms to Richard Wright’s floods, from Zora Neale Hurston’s hurricane to Haruki Murakami’s quakes, we learn that we have to keep our eyes on the skies and our

Stories Strangely Told: Zadie Smith’s “The Embassy of Cambodia”

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One of the ceaseless joys of narrative, however we try to contain it, is how it bursts through the walls of expectation. The drama's there too in language—its strict rules, its constant bend and flex toward newness.

Preserving Intent: What’s Lost in the Cinematic Translation of Mrs. Dalloway

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I like to follow up my reading of a text with its cinematic counterpart. After finishing Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, I rented the DVD of the same name with great anticipation. But after the credits rolled, I was unsatisfied: while the cinematic version of Woolf’s novel provides a touching

Our Matriarchs of Letters

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  Every year, the VIDA Count reminds us just how far women have to go in order to achieve gender parity in the publishing world. This Women’s History Month, let’s reflect on twenty-six centuries of firsts from women writers. From Ancient Greece to the Baltimore Uprising, these eight women

Fear and Narrative

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There’s a little door in the corner of our almost-three-year-old daughter’s bedroom, and she’s very convinced something is going to come out of it. It isn’t even a door, really—it’s an access panel for getting at the problematic plumbing in the bathroom next door. I’ve come to really, really

Woolf at the Table: Good Dinner, Good Talk

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I have always been enchanted by Virginia Woolf and—being an avid cook and food writer myself—by gastronomic references in literature, both fiction and nonfiction. So when I learned about a book about the eating habits of the Bloomsbury set, of which Woolf was a member, I took notice. The

Round-Down: Historical Underpinnings of Continual Sexism in Publishing

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  Writer Catherine Nichols’ recent experiment, in which she submitted a manuscript to agents under a male pseudonym and received eight-and-a-half times the number of responses that the same manuscript received under her real name, confirms a gender bias in publishing that desperately needs addressing. Nichols is not without precedent in