Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical (hermionesviolin) wrote,
Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical
hermionesviolin

Virgina Woolf, High Table, etc.

Guest lecturer (Clare Morgan) tonight, Virgina Woolf and Her World.

It was okay.

At one point she quoted some critics of Woolf, which was interesting.

Clayton Aiken (sp?) said she was very much like Jane Austen, breathed that same air of gentility, and Clare said that she didn't know what he was reading to assert that reading her work makes one think of Jane Austen. I've admittedly only read Mrs. Dalloway (some of her other stuff i am interested in reading, and at Michelle's suggestion i will likely take Bob Hosmer's Woolf class) but i the idea of there being a great similarity resonates with me.

There was some guy Bennett who was very critical, one might even say dismissive, of Woolf, and i don't remember specifically what he said, but what really stuck with me was Clare saying after reading an excerpt, "That tells us a lot about Bennett." I thought, "Well of course all criticism, and praise for that matter, tells you a lot about the person doing the reviewing, sometimes even more than it tells you anything about the person being reviewed, but it says a lot about you and your pro-Woolfian biases that you think his criticism of her somehow reflects poorly on him."

From a correspondence to T. S. Eliot, i think while Woolf was working for Bloomsbury Press or something:
We want your defective compositions as soon as we can have them. We should have them suitably printed, and produce after Christmas. Don't think that this allows you plenty of time: it does not. Send as soon as you have done your Preface. I don't like paying fellow authors compliments, because I like there to be one cake of praise which is reserved entirely for me, but visiting Charleston the other day ... I there picked up The Sacred Wood [one of Eliot's literary critical pieces] and came home and burnt every one of my leading articles in the [Times Literary] Supplement. Why are you the only man who ever says anything interesting about literature?
I was amused.

One of quotes Clare didn't include in her handout but which i loved was from Leonard on the house that he and Virgina spent the first night of their married life in. He said that it was a romantic house, and that it was also a claustrophobic and musty and other adjectives i can't remember house. I loved that, because the romanticization of stuff, and the glorification of romanticism is something i am not enamoured of (tee, unintentional pun) at all.

I have more thoughts on romantic notions of love here.



Changing topics, it was Guest Dinner (read: fancy dinner) and i was at High Table. Usually fancy dinner is less than my favorite dinner, but tonight my overarching thought was, "This is the best fancy dinner yet."

Warm rolls to begin, which is often the best part (and for once i didn't have a poppyseed roll). Instead of salad and then meat and vegetables, we had Ogen Melon with Lemon Sorbet (lemon sorbet's not really my thing, but the melon was delicious) followed by a normal salad (last week we had avocado salad with rose-something-or-other dressing which people were calling Thousand Island, and as i like neither avocado nor that dressing i partook of little salad) and then the main course. I saw Char Grilled Rib-Eye Steak with Red Wine and Shallot Butter and thought, "Steak! If i weren't a vegetarian, that would excite me (though i've had steak once in my life and found it overly chewy)." I came down from my "best dinner" high when the vegetarian dish was placed in front of me: a small mushroom keesh topped with a green sprig and surrounded by mushroom sauce. It just looked so small. Was good, though, and Devon next to me had still bleeding steak. [edit: And there were french fries! How did i forget to mention that? They were curly spicy fries, so not my favorite, but still, french fries! In shallow bowls on the tables. Fancy dinner is usually odd because whereas at regular dinner they scoop large helpings of food onto your plate, at fancy dinner you get served these fairly small portions. But bowls of french fries meant you could keep muching until you were full.] Dessert was summer pudding, which is too tart for my taste, but that's okay. Shame today turned into solid rain given the lovely summery dinner.
Tags: oxford summer seminar 2003
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