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Articles tagged with: virginia woolf

OLM Favorites: Trouble in Mind

December 1st, 2017

What would it mean if history were a joke, a shaggy dog story? J. G. Farrell’s bleakly funny Troubles reflects the struggle of post-war British literature to come to terms with the inheritance of modernism.

The bowl that one fills and fills

October 1st, 2016
The bowl that one fills and fills

What has not already been written about Virginia Woolf? A new critical biography offers ideas about how to read both her work and her life.

Trauma Room

March 1st, 2013
Trauma Room

To make something we must first unmake or take apart something else. Why, then, in a novel preoccupied with acts of destruction and reconstruction, does Pat Barker not offer a corresponding deformation of form? Has her critique of Modernism led her to disavow art altogether?

Entitled to Extravagance: Some Historical Fictions of Anthony Burgess

December 1st, 2012
Entitled to Extravagance: Some Historical Fictions of Anthony Burgess

Some of Anthony Burgess’ most accomplished inventions roam into the past, to Shakespeare and Marlowe’s England and Jesus’ Judea. How well has his historical fiction stood up across the years?

Abandonment, Richness, Surprise

March 1st, 2012

Impressionistic, idiosyncratic, unsubstantiated: Virginia Woolf’s literary essays challenge us to rethink, not just our experience of reading, but our expectations of criticism itself.

Queen Elizabeth the First

March 1st, 2012

Elizabeth Hardwick joined the literary world of mid-20th century Manhattan with every intention of making her mark upon it – which she did, in review after inimitable review, taking American book-discourse to levels and places it had never reached before

Looking for Laura

February 1st, 2012

She’s a shadow, an absence, that haunts the letters, diaries, and novels of her famous half-sister Virginia Woolf. What can we really know about Laura Stephen?

Time Wounds All Heels

October 1st, 2011

In Alan Hollinghurst’s new novel The Stranger’s Child the renown of a minor English poet balloons and distorts in each succeeding decade after his death

Walk, Swim, Grumble

September 1st, 2011

Olivia Laing’s digressive natural history of the 42-mile-long River Ouse is filled with philosophical meditations, childhood memories, and of course the ghost of Virginia Woolf.

Satanic Maggots

September 1st, 2011

Colonialism, feminism, witchcraft, the Lord of Darkness — themes such as these once made Sylvia Townsend Warner’s novels bestsellers. Now her charmingly subversive fiction is back in print.

Sophistication and Recklessness: Patrick Leigh Fermor

July 1st, 2011

With Patrick Leigh Fermor’s death, the world lost a gracious host, a tireless traveller, and one of the best prose stylists of the 20th century. We pause to appreciate him.

Summer Reading 2011

July 1st, 2011

In this year’s special feature, our team of avid readers offered some suggestions for books a little off the beaten path of summer blockbusters.

Summer Reading 2011 Goes On

July 1st, 2011

More of this year’s special feature, where we offered some less predictable ideas for books to tuck into your beach tote or suitcase.

A Question, an Answer, and a Death

June 1st, 2011

Cinema lore has it that Jean-Luc Godard read only the first and last three pages of King Lear before making his film adaptation. Lianne Habinek suggests this may have helped him get at the play’s essence.

Memo to a Colleague

May 1st, 2011

Is Marjorie Garber’s defense of literary studies balm to the beleaguered English professor’s soul? Not yet, anyway.

Prince Eddy and the Blackguards

April 1st, 2011
prince eddy and princess may

When the heir presumptive, Prince Eddy, died suddenly, the nation and empire was convulsed with mourning – and a century of speculation began! Had the lost prince been a simpleton, a saint, a catamite – even Jack the Ripper?

The Muse of Trouville

February 1st, 2011

‘She’s a drug; I’m her main focus, the focus of all her attention. No one has ever loved me like that.’ Victoria Best explores the fraught relationship between Marguerite Duras and the young man whose love inspired and tormented her.

A Visit from the Prince

February 1st, 2011
A Visit from the Prince

You think you want to look beauty in the eye? Get ready to tremble… Alice Brittan reviews Michael Cunningham’s paradoxical novel “By Nightfall”.

One Common Reader

February 1st, 2011

Virginia Woolf imagined the Almighty seeing us coming towards Paradise, books in hand: “We have nothing to give them, they have loved reading.” But does reading always bring salvation?


December 1st, 2010

A new collection of Nadine Gordimer’s short fiction illuminates the stark realities of apartheid and showcases the literary talents of the woman who saw it all.

George Eliot for Dummies

November 1st, 2010

Free thinker, strong-minded woman, scholar, lover, novelist: George Eliot lived a courageous life that should be known and celebrated. But does Brenda Maddox’s biography do it justice?

In Possession of the Place

October 1st, 2010

Adam Nicolson chronicles his work bringing Sissinghurst castle and its grounds up to date–the delusions of a “hippie-squire” or the worthy restoration of a storied estate?

She Paints for Them

April 1st, 2010

Sofonisba Anguissola was the best-known female painter of the Renaissance, but before that, she was art instructor to a willful young queen. A new novel revives those sad, glorious days.