21 thoughts on “The Virginia Woolf industry is a problem

  1. Congrats on freeing yourself from academia. As an outsider, seems pretty horrible that institutions in pursuit of truth should terrify people into not speaking it.

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    1. Not so much terrify, as make it clear that jobs, or progression, won’t be offered. So it depends on one’s circumstances as to whether this is a career-defining issue, or not.

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  2. Great post, Kate. I love Woolf besottedly, and am that shrine, but I certainly agree that her fame has rather overshadowed many other women writers. It feels tokenistic much of the time. I can only imagine how much more frustrating that becomes if one is not a Woolfian – it’s frustrating enough when one is!

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  3. I agree with the point about dominance and experienced it first while studying for my BA. But, Woolf led me to the feminine middlebrow, as I kept asking myself ‘what were people reading?’ My grandmother was a well-read middleclass reader – the typical middlebrow reader- with a house full of books in many languages, but I never saw V Woolf on her shelves. So for me the really interesting question remains how V Woolf was experienced by contemporary readers.

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  4. I’m not a huge Woolf (or Bloomsbury generally) fan either, and one reason for that is definitely because of the shadow she casts and the space she takes up. The way she’s seen as an exception, rather than as part of a tradition of writing women.

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      1. I was briefly ‘Acting Bids and Grants Officer’ for a university (part of another job). I think science has it’s hot topics, e.g. “Butterflies in Sussex” = no chance of a grant. “The effects of global warming on butterflies in Sussex” = possible grant.

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      2. ‘The effect of Virginia Woolf on butterflies in Sussex’: unlikely to get anything, but probably would get proposed. ‘The effect of Sussex butterflies on Virginia Woolf’: absolute cert.

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  5. As an aside Kate, and meaning no disrespect – sad to say, your blog is difficult to read (for me at least). Some of the color combos make the additional type almost disappear. Have you changed the colors recently? I thought I remembered no problem reading your stuff in the past. I also think the green background is a bit too dark even using black type. I hope you won’t mind my candor but I felt I had to say something. I want nothing more than to be able to read your every word comfortably. 🙂

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    1. You’re quite right. I had meant to change the colours around now, but I’ve been moving house all week and have been snowed under. Selecting new hues now …

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