woensdag 14 augustus 2013

VIRGINIA WOOLF

Virginia Woolf (Londen25 januari 1882 – Lewes (Sussex), 28 maart 1941) was een Brits schrijfster en feministe. Tussen deEerste en de Tweede Wereldoorlog was Woolf een belangrijke figuur in het literaire leven van Londen. Ze was lid van deBloomsburygroep.

Leven[bewerken]

Woolf werd als Adeline Virginia Stephen geboren te Londen, in een klassiek Victoriaans gezin. Haar vader Sir Leslie Stephenwas een bekend redacteur en literair criticus. Na de dood van haar moeder Julia Jackson in 1895 maakte ze haar eerstezenuwinzinking door. Later zou ze in haar autobiografische verslag "Moments of Being" laten doorschemeren dat zij en haar zusterVanessa Bell slachtoffer waren geworden van seksueel misbruik door hun halfbroers George en Gerald Duckworth. Na de dood van haar vader verhuisde ze met haar zuster Vanessa naar een huis in Bloomsbury. Ze vormden het begin van een intellectuele kring die bekend zou worden als de Bloomsbury-group, en waarvan onder meer John Maynard Keynes deel zou uitmaken.
In 1905 maakte ze van schrijven haar beroep. Aanvankelijk schreef ze voor het Times Literary Supplement. In 1912 trouwde ze metLeonard Woolf, een ambtenaar en politicoloog. Haar eerste boek, The Voyage Out, kwam uit in 1915. Virginia en haar man woonden afwisselend in Londen en Rodmell, waar ze in 1919 Monk's House hadden aangekocht. Ze publiceerde romans en essays, en had zowel bij de literaire kritiek als het grote publiek succes. Veel van haar werk gaf ze zelf uit via de uitgeverij Hogarth Press.
Op 28 maart 1941 pleegde Woolf zelfmoord door haar zakken te vullen met stenen, en zich te verdrinken in de rivier de Ouse nabij haar huis in Rodmell (Sussex). Voor haar echtgenoot liet ze een zelfmoordbriefje achter waarin ze schreef te voelen dat ze weer gek aan het worden was, dat ze stemmen hoorde, dat ze er niet meer tegen kon, haar man tot last was, en daarom maar deed wat het beste was.


Werk[bewerken]

Woolf wordt beschouwd als een van de grootste en meest vernieuwende Engelse schrijvers van de twintigste eeuw. In haar werken experimenteerde ze met de stream of consciousness-techniek; de onderliggende psychologische en emotionele motieven van haar karakters; en de diverse mogelijkheden van een verbrokkelde vertelstructuur en chronologie.
In het werk van Woolf en haar collega-schrijvers van de Bloomsburygroep zijn de waarden die worden uitgedrukt in de Principia Ethica vanG.E. Moore herkenbaar. Daarin wordt gesteld dat "personal affections and aesthetic enjoyments include all the greatest, and by far the greatest, goods we can imagine".[1] De cultuurcriticus Theodore Dalrymple heeft in zijn essay 'The Rage of Virginia Woolf' kritiek op deze waarden en verwijt Woolf een zwelgen in zelfmedelijden. Hij uit hierin ook de veronderstelling dat de zelfmoord van Woolf is toe te schrijven aan Woolfs dagende besef van de ontoereikendheid van deze waarden in het licht van de opkomst van het nationaalsocialismeen het uitbreken van de Tweede Wereldoorlog.[2]
In 1998 verscheen de roman The Hours van Michael Cunningham waarin het leven van Woolf en haar roman Mrs. Dalloway een prominente rol spelen. In 2002 werd het boek verfilmd met Nicole Kidman als Virginia Woolf. Zij ontving daarvoor een Oscar voor de Beste vrouwelijke hoofdrol.


Evolutie van haar werk en stijl[bewerken]

Woolfs vroege werken, The Voyage Out (1915) en Night and Day (1919), waren nog traditioneel, maar ze werd steeds vernieuwender en schreef Jacob's Room (1922), Mrs Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927) en The Waves (1931). Andere experimentele romans zijn Orlando (1928), The Years (1937), enBetween the Acts (1941). Ze was de meester van het kritische essay, en enkele van haar mooiste stukken zijn opgenomen in The Common Reader (1925), The Second Common Reader (1933), The Death of the Moth and Other Essays (1942) en The Moment and Other Essays (1948). A Room of One's Own (1929) en Three Guineas (1938) zijn feministischetraktaten. Haar biografie van Roger Fry (1940) is een zorgvuldige studie van een vriend. Sommige van haar korte verhalen uit Monday or Tuesday (1921) verschenen met andere verhalen in A Haunted House (1944).





When Virginia Woolf left her house on March 28thin 1941, she left behind letters to her sister, Vanessa, and husband, Leonard, hinting she was going to kill herself but didn’t say how or where. Little did she realize that the river she planned to drown herself in would sweep away her body and prevent her friends and family from discovering what happened to her for three whole weeks.
After the discovery of her hat and cane on the bank of the nearby river Ouse, her family assumed she had drowned herself but had no evidence to confirm it.


A couple of news articles published during that time frame document the weeks her loved ones, and the world, spent waiting to find out what happened.
In one article, published in the New York Times on April 3, Leonard Woolf is quoted as saying:
New_York_Times_Virginia_Woolf_Believed_Dead_April_3_1941
New York Times Headline on April 3 in 1941: Missing in England; Virginia Woolf Believed Dead
Mrs. Woolf is presumed to be dead. She went for a walk last Friday, leaving a letter behind, and it is thought she has been drowned. Her body, however, has not been recovered.”
The article confirmed Virginia was missing but states the police were not investigating her disappearance:
The circumstances surrounding the novelist’s disappearance were not revealed. The authorities at Lewes said they had no report of Mrs. Woolf’s supposed death. It was reported her hat and cane had been found on the bank of the Ouse River. Mrs. Woolf had been ill for some time.”
Although there was little doubt that Virginia had killed herself, there was no body, no evidence, no funeral and no closure for her friends, family or her fans. In a letter written by Virginia’s brother-in-law Clive Bell, dated April 3, Bell reveals to his friend, Frances Partridge, that the family had hoped to find her alive but that hope had waned as the days went on:
“For some days, of course, we hoped against hope that she had wandered crazily away and might be discovered in a barn or a village shop. But by now all hope is abandoned; only, as the body has not been found, she cannot be considered dead legally.”
Yet, according to a biography on Virginia Woolf by Nigel Nicholson, some of her friends, such as Nicholson’s mother Vita Sackville-West, thought it best if her body was never found and hoped it was instead carried out to sea so that her loved ones would not have to face it.
Three weeks later, some children made the gruesome discovery when Virginia’s body washed up near the bridge at Southease. On April 19th, the Associated Press announced to the public “Mrs. Woolf’s Body Found,” and confirmed she had drowned herself. The article hinted that the ongoing war with Germany may have played a part in her suicide:
Dr. E. F. Hoare, Coroner at New Haven, Sussex, gave a verdict of suicide today in the drowning of Virginia Woolf, novelist who had been bombed from her home twice. Her body was recovered last night from the River Ouse near her week-end house at Lewes…. Her husband testified that Mrs. Woolf had been depressed for a considerable length of time. When their Bloomsbury home was wrecked by a bomb some time ago, Mr. and Mrs. Woolf moved to another near by. It, too, was made uninhabitable by a bomb, and the Woolfs then moved to their weekend home in Sussex.”
The coroner read a portion of her suicide note to the reporters, but misquoted it. The reporters printed the misquote in the article. The note did not mention the war but Virginia did state she was not well and felt she couldn’t go through another breakdown. Virginia was later cremated and her remains were buried under one of the two intertwined Elm trees in her backyard, which she had nicknamed “Virginia and Leonard.” Leonard marked the spot with a stone tablet engraved with the last lines from her novelThe Waves:
“Against you I fling myself, unvanquished and unyielding, O Death! 
The waves broke on the shore.”
Virginia’s suicide note to Leonard read:
“Dearest, I feel certain that I am going mad again. I feel we can’t go through another of those terrible times. And I shan’t recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and I can’t concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I don’t think two people could have been happier ’til this terrible disease came. I can’t fight any longer. I know that I am spoiling your life, that without me you could work. And you will I know. You see I can’t even write this properly. I can’t read. What I want to say is I owe all the happiness of my life to you. You have been entirely patient with me and incredibly good. I want to say that — everybody knows it. If anybody could have saved me it would have been you. Everything has gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can’t go on spoiling your life any longer. I don’t think two people could have been happier than we have been. V.”




Virginia Woolf photographed by Lady Ottoline Morrell in 1917
Virginia Woolf photographed by Lady Ottoline Morrell in 1917

Virginia Woolf photographed by Gisele Freund at Tavistock Square in 1939
Virginia Woolf photographed by Gisele Freund at her Tavistock Square apartment in 1939



Julian Bell and Virginia Woolf 1910
Julian Bell and Virginia Woolf in 1910



To_The_LightHouse_Dust_jacket
Cover of the first edition of “To The Lighthouse” circa 1927




virginia woolf photographed by Vita Sackville-West at Rodmell 1926
Virginia Woolf photographed by Vita Sackville-West at Rodmell in 1926



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Virginia Woolf photographed by Man Ray in 1934



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Adrian Stephen and Virginia [Stephen] Woolf at Talland House in 1886



Cover of the First Edition of The Waves circa 1931
Cover of the First Edition of “The Waves” circa 1931


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Virginia Woolf and John Lehmann at Charleston in 1931




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Virginia Woolf and Clive Bell at Studland Beach in Dorset in 1909



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Virginia Woolf and Clive Bell at Studland Beach in Dorset in 1909




Vanessa Bell photographed by George Charles Beserford in 1902
Vanessa Bell photographed by George Charles Beserford in 1902



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Virginia Woolf and Clive Bell in 1910



A Room Of Ones Own First Edition Cover 1929
Cover of the First Edition of “A Room Of Ones Own,” circa 1929


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Virginia Woolf photographed by Gisele Freund at he
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Virginia Woolf at Monk’s house in 1931r home in Tavistock square in 1939
virginia_woolf_life_magazine_1930.jpg



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Virginia and Leonard Woolf in 1914




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Virginia Woolf walking in Cornwall in 1916



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Virginia Woolf with her father Sir Leslie Stephen and her mother Julia Jackson at Talland house in 1892



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Lytton Strachey and Virginia Woolf at Garsington Manor in 1923



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Virginia with her sisters, Vanessa and Stella, in 1896


Asheham_House
Asheham House




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Leonard and Virginia Woolf in July of 1912




Byron's_Pool
Byron’s pool



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Virginia Woolf in 1902




Cover of the first edition of A Haunted House by Virginia Woolf
Cover of the first edition of “A Haunted House” by Virginia Woolf



Leonard_Woolf
Leonard Woolf




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Leonard Woolf in 1932



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Leonard and Virginia Woolf in 1926



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Virginia Woolf at her home in Tavistock Square in 1939



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Virginia Woolf in 1927


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Leonard and Virginia Woolf in July of 1912



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Virginia and Leonard Woolf in their home at Tavistock square in 1939



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Virginia Woolf at Monks House in 1935



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Virginia Woolf’s passport



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Virginia and Vanessa at Talland house in St. Ives in 1894



1882:
♦Born Adeline Virginia Stephen to Leslie Stephen and Julia Prinsep Jackson in Hyde Park Gate, London, England.
1895:
♦Virginia’s mother, Julia, dies of rheumatic fever.
♦Virginia has her first mental breakdown.
1900/1901:
♦Virginia meets Leonard Woolf while visiting her brother Thoby at Trinity College.
Virginia_Woolf_Vanessa_Bell
Virginia and Vanessa at Talland house in St. Ives in 1894
1904:
♦Virginia’s father, Leslie Stephen, dies of stomach cancer.
♦Virginia has her second mental breakdown and tries to commit suicide by jumping out a window. She is briefly institutionalized but recovers.
♦Virginia and her siblings, Thoby, Vanessa and Adrian move to 46 Gordon Square in the Bloomsbury district of London.
1905:
Virginia begins work as a teacher at Morley College for Working Men and Women.
1906: 
♦Virginia and her siblings take a trip to Greece.
♦Thoby contracts Typhoid fever there and dies.
♦Vanessa Stephen accepts Clive Bell’s marriage proposal.
♦Virginia and Adrian move to Fitzroy square in London.
1907:
♦Virginia leaves her teaching job at Morley College to focus on writing.
♦Virginia, Leonard, Adrian, Clive Bell and Vanessa take a trip to Paris.
♦Clive Bell and Vanessa marry.
1908:
♦Virginia’s nephew, Julian Bell, is born. Virginia and Clive Bell begin a flirtatious relationship.
Virginia_Woolf_with_her_father_Sir_Leslie_Stephen
Virginia with her father Sir Leslie Stephen
1909:
♦Lytton Strachey proposes to Virginia in February. She accepts. The following day the couple decide against the engagement.
♦Edward Hilton Young proposes to Virginia in May but she turns him down.
1910:
♦Virginia, Adrian and Duncan Grant take part in the Dreadnaught Hoax with Horace de Vere Cole.
1911:
♦Virginia visits her friend Rupert Brooke in Cambridge during the summer and swims nakedwith him in Byron’s pool.
♦Sydney Waterlow proposes to Virginia in November but she turns him down.
1912:
♦Leonard Woolf proposes to Virginia in January. She accepts. They marry on August 10 and live in arented house called Asheham near Beddington after a long honeymoon in France, Spain and Italy.
♦The Titanic sinks and Virginia develops a fascination with the disaster.
1913:
♦Virginia suffers another mental breakdown and attempts suicide.
Dreadnought_Hoax_1910
Members of the Bloomsbury group in the Dreadnought Hoax (Virginia Woolf is on the far left)
1914:
♦World War I begins.
1915:
♦Virginia’s first novel “The Voyage Out” is published by her half-brother George Duckworth.
♦Virginia suffers another mental breakdown.
1917:
♦Virginia and Leonard rent Hogarth House in Richmond.
♦Virginia and Leonard set up Hogarth Press. They publish two short stories, Virginia’s “The Mark on the Wall” and Leonard’s “Three Jews.”
1918:
♦World War I ends.
♦Lytton Strachey’s “Eminent Victorians” is published. Virginia later admits she was jealous of Lytton’s success.
1919:
♦Virginia’s novel “Night and Day” is published by George Duckworth.
1921:
♦Virginia publishes a short fictional story called “Monday or Tuesday” with Hogarth Press.
1922:
♦Virginia’s novel “Jacob’s Room” is published.
Virginia and Leonard take a trip to Spain to visit friend Gerald Brenan.
Leonard and Virginia Woolf at Dalingridge Place on July 23 1912
Leonard and Virginia Woolf at Dalingridge Place on July 23, 1912
1924:
♦Virginia and Leonard move to Tavistock square in London.
1925:
♦Virginia and Vita Sackville-West have a brief sexual affair.
♦Virginia’s book “The Common Reader” is published.
♦Virginia’s novel “Mrs. Dalloway” is published.
♦Virginia starts writing “To The Lighthouse
♦Virginia and Leonard take a trip to Cassis.
1927:
♦Virginia’s novel “To The Lighthouse” is published.
♦Virginia starts writing “Orlando.”
Virginia and Leonard buy a Singer car.
♦Virginia and Leonard take another trip to Cassis.
Philip Morrell develops a crush on Virginia and unsuccessfully courts her
1928:
♦Virginia and Leonard drive to Cassis to visit Vanessa and her lover Duncan Grant.
♦Virginia’s novel “Orlando” is published.
1929:
♦Virginia’s book “A Room of One’s Own” is published.
1931:
♦Virginia’s book “The Waves” is published.
Vita_Sackville_West_Virginia_Woolf_1933
Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West in 1933
1932:
♦Lytton Strachey dies of stomach cancer.
♦Friend Dora Carrington commits suicide.
♦Virginia, Roger Fry and his sister Margery take a trip to Greece.
1933:
♦Virginia and Leonard take a trip to France.
♦Virginia’s novel “Flush” is published.
1934:
♦Friend Roger Fry dies after a fall at his home.
1935:
♦Virginia and Leonard Woolf take a road trip to France and Italy. They travel through Nazi Germany and Holland en route.
1937:
♦Virginia’s nephew Julian Bell is killed during the Spanish Civil War.
♦Virginia’s friend Lady Ottoline Morrell dies.
♦Virginia’s book “The Years” is published.
1938:
♦Virginia’s book “Three Guineas” is published.
1939:
♦Virginia and Leonard take a trip to France.
♦World War II begins on September 3.
Virginia_Woolf_Tavistock_Square_1939
Virginia Woolf at her home in Tavistock Square in 1939
1940:
♦Virginia’s biography of Roger Fry is published.
♦Virginia’s London homes are destroyed by German bombs.
1941:
Virginia goes missing on March 28thand is presumed dead
♦Virginia’s body is discovered in the river Ouse on April 18th. Her drowning death is ruled a suicide.
♦Virginia is cremated and her remains are buried under an Elm tree behind Monk’s house in Rodmell.
♦Virginia’s final novel “Between the Acts” is published.












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