[Vwoolf] Woolf in Pop Culture

Stephen Barkway sbarkway at btinternet.com
Sun Jul 15 12:03:30 EDT 2012

And it goes on . . . Here is a piece from yesterday's Guardian, in which Pat Barker's Woolfianesque titled novel 'Toby's Room' is noticed (due out in August):

Pat Barker has a penchant – or perhaps compulsion – for revisiting her characters, most obviously in the Regeneration trilogy, which culminated with 1995's Booker prize-winning The Ghost Road. Here, she's back with the students of the Slade School of Art, whom we first met five years ago in her novel Life Class. Not that Toby's Room is a straightforward continuation: its narrative is split between 1912 and 1917, bookendingLife Class's 1914 setting.

Barker's focus is art student Elinor Brooke, torn between a desperate desire for independence and a feeling (partly ascribed to Virginia Woolf, whom she briefly meets) that the war has nothing to do with women. But when her troubled brother, Toby, is reported "Missing, Believed Killed", she knows that she must find out what happened to him, and enlists the help of her one-time lover, Paul Tarrant. The novel's tension derives from the ambiguity of Elinor's search; the extent to which she simply wants to put to rest her doubts about Toby's mental state. More than 20 years after she first began writing about the first world war, Barker's determined unsentimentality is still impressive.


----- Original Message ----- 

  From: Alice Lowe 
  To: Cheryl Hindrichs ; Helen E Southworth 
  Cc: vwoolf at lists.service.ohio-state.edu 
  Sent: Friday, July 13, 2012 9:42 PM
  Subject: Re: [Vwoolf] Woolf in Pop Culture

  Jane Gardam is remarkable. And she slips Woolf into other work as well. In her 2008 novel, Faith Fox, a major character is Thomasina Fox. A confused woman refers to her as Thomasina Woolf, remarking that “She wrote The Waves, you know.” 

  There are appearances as well in her stories "The Last Reunion" and "The People on Privilege Hill."


  From: Cheryl Hindrichs <cherylhindrichs at boisestate.edu>
  To: Helen E Southworth <helen at uoregon.edu>
  Cc: vwoolf at lists.service.ohio-state.edu
  Sent: Fri, July 13, 2012 12:09:12 PM
  Subject: Re: [Vwoolf] Woolf in Pop Culture

  A belated Woolf spotting.  I just finished reading Jane Gardam's Crusoe's Daughter (heard an NPR recommendation and it is indeed a pleasant summer read), and she appears as a glimpsed character.


  On Thu, Jul 12, 2012 at 8:48 AM, Helen E Southworth <helen at uoregon.edu> wrote:

    Hi All,

    I'm not sure if anyone posted this already . . .  Woolf also appears in Alison Bechdel's graphic memoir "Are You My Mother?"  See link to Judith Thurman's profile (from a few months ago) of Bechdel.



    On Thu, 12 Jul 2012 06:32:33 -0700 (PDT), Keri Barber wrote:

      For those interested, Virginia Woolf makes a quick appearance in

      Gillian Flynn's new novel, _Gone Girl_. Here is the quote: "I will 

      drink a giant ice-wet shaker of gin, and I will swallow sleeping
      pills, and when no one is looking, I'll drop silently over the side
      [of the Mississippi], my pockets full of Virginia Woolf rocks. It
      requires discipline." I'm reading it on a Kindle so the page is 58%.

      Keri Barber

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