Skip to main content Skip to navigation


<?xml version="1.0"?>

<!DOCTYPE TEI.2 SYSTEM "base.dtd">




<title>Approaches to Virginia Woolf's 'Orlando: a Biography' (1928)</title></titleStmt>

<publicationStmt><distributor>BASE and Oxford Text Archive</distributor>


<availability><p>The British Academic Spoken English (BASE) corpus was developed at the

Universities of Warwick and Reading, under the directorship of Hilary Nesi

(Centre for English Language Teacher Education, Warwick) and Paul Thompson

(Department of Applied Linguistics, Reading), with funding from BALEAP,

EURALEX, the British Academy and the Arts and Humanities Research Board. The

original recordings are held at the Universities of Warwick and Reading, and

at the Oxford Text Archive and may be consulted by bona fide researchers

upon written application to any of the holding bodies.

The BASE corpus is freely available to researchers who agree to the

following conditions:</p>

<p>1. The recordings and transcriptions should not be modified in any


<p>2. The recordings and transcriptions should be used for research purposes

only; they should not be reproduced in teaching materials</p>

<p>3. The recordings and transcriptions should not be reproduced in full for

a wider audience/readership, although researchers are free to quote short

passages of text (up to 200 running words from any given speech event)</p>

<p>4. The corpus developers should be informed of all presentations or

publications arising from analysis of the corpus</p><p>

Researchers should acknowledge their use of the corpus using the following

form of words:

The recordings and transcriptions used in this study come from the British

Academic Spoken English (BASE) corpus, which was developed at the

Universities of Warwick and Reading under the directorship of Hilary Nesi

(Warwick) and Paul Thompson (Reading). Corpus development was assisted by

funding from the Universities of Warwick and Reading, BALEAP, EURALEX, the

British Academy and the Arts and Humanities Research Board. </p></availability>




<recording dur="00:58:30" n="7639">


<respStmt><name>BASE team</name>



<langUsage><language id="en">English</language>

<language id="fr">French</language>

<language id="la">Latin</language>



<person id="nf0062" role="main speaker" n="n" sex="f"><p>nf0062, main speaker, non-student, female</p></person>

<personGrp id="ss" role="audience" size="l"><p>ss, audience, large group </p></personGrp>

<personGrp id="sl" role="all" size="l"><p>sl, all, large group</p></personGrp>

<personGrp role="speakers" size="3"><p>number of speakers: 3</p></personGrp>





<item n="speechevent">Lecture</item>

<item n="acaddept">English and Comparative Literary Studies</item>

<item n="acaddiv">ah</item>

<item n="partlevel">UG</item>

<item n="module">unknown</item>




<u who="nf0062"> if you have been looking at the <pause dur="0.9"/> the web site newsgroup <pause dur="0.3"/> you would have realized that last week's lecture had been changed round because <gap reason="name" extent="1 word"/> <pause dur="0.4"/> <gap reason="name" extent="1 word"/> had to be <pause dur="0.2"/> somewhere else <pause dur="0.2"/> today and so i agreed to swap with him <pause dur="0.7"/> which was # <pause dur="0.2"/> just as well given that i went down with the flu <pause dur="0.5"/> # <pause dur="0.4"/> so <pause dur="0.3"/> those of you who read the newsgroup <pause dur="0.3"/> will have known that if you didn't there's a good reason for <pause dur="0.3"/> keeping up with the newsgroup because bits of information like that <pause dur="0.5"/> do get relayed <pause dur="0.4"/> # <pause dur="0.5"/> and <pause dur="0.4"/> i've not put on the handout <pause dur="0.5"/> details of the books <pause dur="0.6"/> i'm referring to but <pause dur="0.3"/> they are there <pause dur="0.2"/> on the newsgroup <pause dur="0.4"/> so again another incentive to go and use it <pause dur="0.6"/> it saves my time i only have to do it once and send it rather than <pause dur="0.3"/> start <trunc>f</trunc> copying more <pause dur="0.2"/> paper <pause dur="0.8"/> okay # <pause dur="0.7"/> so i'm going to be lecturing on Orlando <pause dur="1.1"/> Orlando A Biography today <pause dur="0.8"/> and <pause dur="0.3"/> <vocal desc="clears throat" iterated="n"/> <pause dur="0.7"/> i'm going to concentrate on three main aspects today <pause dur="0.8"/> the biographical aspect <pause dur="0.6"/> the whole issue of parody <pause dur="0.7"/> and issues about <pause dur="0.3"/> # <pause dur="0.6"/> relationship to history <pause dur="0.8"/> and in

fact i had hoped to do more than that and i think i'm not going to have time to do more than that in an hour <pause dur="0.4"/> so i'm going to as it were <pause dur="0.2"/> hold over part of my agenda till next term <pause dur="0.3"/> when i lecture on modernism and gender <pause dur="0.6"/> and i shall talk in more detail next term <pause dur="0.4"/> about the issues around Orlando's sex change <pause dur="0.4"/> and issues of <pause dur="0.4"/> # identity <pause dur="0.2"/> sexual identity <pause dur="0.4"/> and the whole issue of the self whatever that is <pause dur="0.5"/> so today is going to be as it were <pause dur="0.2"/> part one of my approaches <pause dur="0.3"/> to Orlando <pause dur="1.2"/> and i'm going to start with the biographical <pause dur="1.1"/> whatever that means # <pause dur="0.9"/> Virginia Woolf was born in eighteen-eighty-two <pause dur="0.7"/> the third of four children from the marriage of Leslie and Julia Stephen <pause dur="1.0"/> both parents had been married previously <pause dur="0.6"/> so the household <pause dur="0.5"/> also included two elder half-brothers <pause dur="0.6"/> George and Gerald Duckworth <pause dur="0.6"/> and two half-sisters Stella Duckworth <pause dur="0.5"/> and Leslie Stephen's daughter by his first marriage <pause dur="0.4"/> called Laura <pause dur="0.5"/> and if you're interested in biography behind <pause dur="0.4"/> that plain statement there's an awful lot of <pause dur="0.4"/> possibly

relevant <pause dur="0.3"/> information <pause dur="0.8"/> which i won't go into now but i would recommend Hermione Lee's biography <pause dur="0.6"/> of Virginia Woolf <pause dur="0.3"/> simply called Virginia Woolf <pause dur="0.4"/> which came out last year to great critical acclaim <pause dur="1.2"/> now as children # the family lived in Hyde Park Gate <pause dur="0.5"/> which is a narrow cul-de-sac off Kensington Road <pause dur="0.5"/> and spent the summers at Talland House <pause dur="0.3"/> just outside Saint Ives in Cornwall <pause dur="0.5"/> and if you've read To the Lighthouse you'll know that that <pause dur="0.4"/> is a kind of # <pause dur="0.7"/> <trunc>r</trunc> recall a memoir of <pause dur="0.3"/> of Talland House in fictional form <pause dur="1.4"/> # Virginia Woolf's mother died in eighteen-ninety-five when <pause dur="0.5"/> well she was then Virginia Stephen when Virginia Stephen was thirteen <pause dur="1.1"/> and just between childhood and adolescence <pause dur="0.5"/> in her memoirs she describes it thus <pause dur="1.7"/> <reading>the years between childhood and maturity are so complex <pause dur="0.6"/> my mother's death fell into the very middle of that amorphous time <pause dur="0.6"/> that made it much more broken <pause dur="0.8"/> the whole thing <pause dur="0.3"/> was strained</reading> <pause dur="1.1"/> her father <pause dur="0.2"/> Leslie Stephen <pause dur="0.2"/> was the first editor of The Dictionary of

National Biography <pause dur="0.4"/> which is mentioned in Orlando <pause dur="0.8"/> # <pause dur="0.2"/> and Hermione Lee explains what <pause dur="0.5"/> it involved for him <pause dur="1.4"/> she says <pause dur="0.3"/> <reading>Leslie may have been anxious for Julia's health <pause dur="0.6"/> but he was exhausting her the most <pause dur="1.0"/> in the year of Virginia's birth <pause dur="0.4"/> he was labouring with a different kind of gestation <pause dur="0.9"/> the Cornhill Magazine was flagging and the publisher George Smith suggested <pause dur="0.3"/> that Leslie give up the editorship in order to embark on The Dictionary of National Biography <pause dur="1.1"/> from then on <pause dur="0.2"/> for nine years <pause dur="0.4"/> he committed himself to the massive undertaking <pause dur="0.4"/> of marshalling a team of <pause dur="0.4"/> six-hundred-and-fifty-three contributors <pause dur="0.5"/> editing the articles of the first twenty-six volumes <pause dur="0.4"/> writing three-hundred-and-seventy-eight entries himself <pause dur="0.6"/> endlessly proof correcting not his forte <pause dur="1.2"/> and corresponding <pause dur="1.3"/> by the end there would be sixty-three volumes <pause dur="0.3"/> of twenty-nine-thousand-one-hundred-and-twenty lines <pause dur="0.6"/> a monument to Victorian industry <pause dur="0.6"/> a tomb for Leslie Stephen's health <pause dur="1.0"/> the first volume came out in

eighteen-eighty-five <pause dur="0.4"/> already it seems to have been perceived by the children as a blight <pause dur="0.7"/> Toby <pause dur="0.2"/> at five <pause dur="0.8"/> bought Leslie a <pause dur="0.6"/> contradictionary <pause dur="0.4"/> box <pause dur="0.5"/> which <pause dur="0.3"/> Toby said was <pause dur="0.3"/> full of rubbish</reading> <pause dur="0.3"/> <vocal desc="sniff" iterated="n"/> <pause dur="0.6"/> so i start with these biographical details <pause dur="0.5"/> because one could argue <pause dur="0.6"/> that all of Virginia Woolf's writing is based on her autobiography <pause dur="0.7"/> or what she describes as life <pause dur="0.3"/> writing <pause dur="0.5"/> again as Hermione Lee says <pause dur="0.6"/> <reading>her life story enters and shapes <pause dur="0.5"/> her novels <pause dur="0.2"/> and her essays <pause dur="0.4"/> she returns again and again <pause dur="0.4"/> to her family <pause dur="0.4"/> her parents her sister <pause dur="0.3"/> the death of her mother the death <pause dur="0.2"/> of her brother</reading> <pause dur="0.6"/> <vocal desc="sniff" iterated="n"/> <pause dur="0.9"/> now <pause dur="0.3"/> in the case of Orlando <pause dur="0.4"/> A Biography <pause dur="0.7"/> the biography <pause dur="0.5"/> is not <pause dur="0.5"/> of Virginia Woolf <pause dur="0.8"/> but of Vita Sackville-West <pause dur="0.9"/> with whom Virginia Woolf had what one could describe as an affair <pause dur="0.7"/> # <pause dur="0.4"/> in the twenties <pause dur="1.3"/> they first met at the end of nineteen-twenty-two <pause dur="0.7"/> introduced by Virginia's brother-in-law Clive Bell <pause dur="1.5"/> Vita was married to Harold Nicolson <pause dur="0.5"/> in a

marriage <pause dur="0.2"/> which permitted them both <pause dur="0.3"/> to continue homosexual affairs and liaisons <pause dur="1.0"/> the affair with Virginia Woolf <pause dur="0.4"/> lasted through most of the nineteen-twenties <pause dur="0.3"/> and included their going on holiday to France together towards the end of that time <pause dur="1.0"/> Orlando was written <pause dur="0.5"/> towards the end of the affair <pause dur="0.9"/> and can be seen as Virginia's way <pause dur="0.4"/> of <pause dur="0.2"/> saying farewell <pause dur="0.8"/> and taking possession of her own agendas again <pause dur="1.3"/> it's <pause dur="0.2"/> based on Vita Sackville-West <pause dur="0.6"/> but there are many elements in the novel <pause dur="1.0"/> which <pause dur="0.6"/> derive from Virginia Woolf rather than Sackville-West for example feminism <pause dur="1.1"/> the preoccupation with the impossibility of writing history <pause dur="0.7"/> and writing biography <pause dur="0.9"/> and the whole way in which the concept of a stable <pause dur="0.4"/> unified self is dissolved <pause dur="0.4"/> in the text <pause dur="2.0"/> on the other hand there's clearly a fascination <pause dur="0.4"/> with an aristocratic family whose lineage stretched back to Elizabethan times <pause dur="0.9"/> # <pause dur="0.3"/> and with the whole notion of the ancestral family home <pause dur="1.2"/> and arguably <pause dur="0.6"/> well i'm not

quite sure how <pause dur="0.2"/> strongly i'd want to argue the case <pause dur="0.3"/> there's also <pause dur="0.3"/> a critique <pause dur="0.3"/> of some of the values <pause dur="0.3"/> which the English aristocracy subscribe to <pause dur="1.7"/> so <pause dur="1.4"/> i want to approach the text first of all <pause dur="0.4"/> <trunc>thr</trunc> through this notion of its being <pause dur="0.3"/> a biography and it's there in the subtitle of the novel <pause dur="0.6"/> # and in fact it caused some confusion when it was first published because it wasn't put in <pause dur="0.3"/> kind of the fiction section in bookshops but in the biography <pause dur="0.3"/> section <pause dur="0.7"/> # <pause dur="0.4"/> so <pause dur="0.5"/> it's a biography <pause dur="0.4"/> a life writing <pause dur="1.9"/> and <pause dur="0.2"/> remember <pause dur="0.5"/> that <pause dur="0.2"/> Vita's name <pause dur="0.2"/> in Latin <pause dur="1.1"/> means life <pause dur="1.0"/> # <pause dur="0.5"/> and of course it's still present in words like <pause dur="0.3"/> vital <pause dur="0.4"/> vitality <pause dur="0.6"/> # <pause dur="0.4"/> and even if you don't know Latin you may know the Latin tag <pause dur="0.5"/> # <vocal desc="sniff" iterated="n"/> <pause dur="0.4"/> <distinct lang="la">ars longa vita brevis</distinct> <pause dur="1.4"/> yes long the art short the life the life is long the art <trunc>i</trunc> <pause dur="0.3"/> the sorry the <pause dur="0.4"/> the art is long the life is short <pause dur="0.3"/> i think comes from Horace <pause dur="0.6"/> # <pause dur="0.3"/> so part of Virginia Woolf's <pause dur="0.4"/> playfulness in this text <pause dur="0.5"/> is that we have a kind of <pause dur="0.4"/> a variation

on this theme of <distinct lang="la">ars longa vita brevis</distinct> we have <distinct lang="la">ars longa</distinct> <pause dur="0.6"/> <distinct lang="la">vita longa</distinct> as well to kind of correspond to it <pause dur="0.7"/> # <pause dur="0.7"/> i'm going to quote from Rachel Bowlby's introduction <pause dur="0.5"/> to Orlando which some of you might have in your edition but <pause dur="0.3"/> not sure that everybody does <pause dur="0.6"/> <trunc>s</trunc> <pause dur="0.5"/> since she gives a clear and succinct account of <pause dur="0.2"/> Vita <pause dur="1.3"/> and again you'll see on the newsgroup that you can also go to Feminist Destinations <pause dur="0.4"/> where that essay is reprinted <pause dur="0.6"/> # <vocal desc="sniff" iterated="n"/> <pause dur="1.2"/> so Bowlby says <reading>Vita was the latest <pause dur="0.3"/> in a line of the noble Sackvilles <pause dur="0.4"/> whose history she had lovingly written a few years before Orlando <pause dur="0.4"/> in <pause dur="0.4"/> Knole and the Sackvilles <pause dur="0.4"/> nineteen-twenty-two <pause dur="0.7"/> on which Woolf drew extensively for her background to the novel <pause dur="1.6"/> she took upon herself the conserving role of historian <pause dur="0.5"/> and prided herself on the continuity <pause dur="0.5"/> and illustriousness of her ancestry <pause dur="0.9"/> since the sixteenth century <pause dur="0.5"/> when one of them was granted the estate by Queen Elizabeth the First <pause dur="0.5"/> the Sackvilles had consistently been <pause dur="0.2"/> men of

national importance <pause dur="0.5"/> they made up a long run of statesmen <pause dur="0.4"/> ambassadors and minor men of letters <pause dur="0.9"/> and it is not difficult to imagine how Vita herself the wife of a twentieth century ambassador <pause dur="0.4"/> Harold Nicolson <pause dur="0.6"/> and a prolific seeker after literary fame <pause dur="0.5"/> should have found <pause dur="0.9"/> both points of correspondence in this history <pause dur="0.4"/> and <pause dur="0.5"/> for the two must be inseparable <pause dur="0.6"/> been prompted <pause dur="0.5"/> in the choices of her own life by the models provided <pause dur="0.4"/> by her extraordinary array of forebears</reading> <pause dur="1.4"/> so <pause dur="0.6"/> many of the incidents in the plot of Orlando <pause dur="0.5"/> are based on the history of the Sackville family <pause dur="0.8"/> which had been written by Vita <pause dur="0.6"/> and which arguably influenced her in her own life choices <pause dur="1.2"/> and for example the whole incident <trunc>o</trunc> of <pause dur="0.5"/> # the <pause dur="0.6"/> living with the gypsies <pause dur="0.4"/> Vita <sic corr="Sackville-West">Sackwille-Welf</sic> <pause dur="0.2"/> <trunc>w</trunc> # West's grandmother <pause dur="0.3"/> was a quite famous <pause dur="0.2"/> Spanish <pause dur="0.2"/> gypsy dancer <pause dur="0.6"/> # <vocal desc="sniff" iterated="n"/> <pause dur="0.9"/> so <pause dur="0.3"/> Vita herself in her own life <trunc>dr</trunc> <pause dur="0.2"/> kind of lived out a lot of different roles and somehow managed to kind of keep them all <pause dur="0.3"/> kind

of going at once <pause dur="1.8"/> however <pause dur="1.3"/> having given you that information i would also say <pause dur="0.6"/> Orlando A Biography <pause dur="0.3"/> is clearly not <pause dur="0.4"/> a biography of Vita Sackville-West <pause dur="0.5"/> it's rather a fantastical jeu d'esprit <pause dur="1.1"/> yet <pause dur="0.4"/> it plays with the issues which arise from life writing <pause dur="0.6"/> including the central issue which is <pause dur="0.8"/> can <pause dur="0.2"/> anyone ever know for sure the truth of someone else's life <pause dur="1.0"/> especially if that subject is remote <pause dur="0.2"/> in time <pause dur="0.7"/> is it possible to ever really know somebody <pause dur="0.8"/> <vocal desc="sniff" iterated="n"/> <pause dur="1.0"/> now Rachel Bowlby suggests <pause dur="0.3"/> that there are two related aspects <pause dur="0.4"/> in the publication <pause dur="0.4"/> and in the reception of biographies <pause dur="0.5"/> and she <pause dur="0.4"/> terms them this way <pause dur="0.5"/> the exemplary-didactic <pause dur="0.4"/> story for our times <pause dur="0.7"/> and the projective <pause dur="0.5"/> identifying oneself as biographer or a reader <pause dur="0.3"/> with another's story <pause dur="1.6"/> now if you think of those two terms <pause dur="1.6"/> i think neither of them allow for impartiality <pause dur="0.6"/> and objectivity <pause dur="0.3"/> either you're telling it with a kind of moral purpose <pause dur="0.2"/> i'm telling you this story because you can apply it to our times now <pause dur="0.4"/> or

you're kind of <pause dur="0.2"/> vicariously <pause dur="0.4"/> kind of living out <pause dur="0.5"/> you know almost a fantasy self <pause dur="0.6"/> # <vocal desc="sniff" iterated="n"/> <pause dur="1.1"/> so <pause dur="0.8"/> i think what <pause dur="0.7"/> # Bowlby does is to give us definitions <pause dur="0.4"/> of contemporary trends in biography writing <pause dur="1.0"/> now when Leslie Stephen edited <pause dur="0.3"/> The Dictionary of National Biography <pause dur="0.6"/> he was engaged in a project <pause dur="0.6"/> which was doubtless seen as <pause dur="0.3"/> impartial <pause dur="0.6"/> and objective <pause dur="0.3"/> a kind of <pause dur="0.2"/> authoritative <pause dur="0.2"/> compilation <pause dur="1.5"/> although the editorial choices involved in deciding who should be included in this monument <pause dur="0.3"/> to late Victorian culture <pause dur="0.5"/> # <pause dur="0.3"/> must have <pause dur="0.7"/> included a set of implicit <pause dur="0.3"/> value judgements <pause dur="0.4"/> # <pause dur="0.3"/> but i suspect that they weren't consciously applied <pause dur="1.7"/> so Virginia Woolf <pause dur="0.6"/> née Stephen of course <pause dur="0.4"/> would go on to question <pause dur="0.6"/> many of these value judgements <pause dur="0.4"/> in her own writings <pause dur="0.6"/> and in particular <pause dur="0.5"/> # value judgements which centre around issues of <pause dur="0.4"/> gender <pause dur="0.3"/> and empire <pause dur="0.5"/> things which # <pause dur="0.2"/> the Victorian establishment <pause dur="0.4"/> took <pause dur="0.2"/> for granted but which she as being on the margins of that society <pause dur="0.4"/> a kind of an outside insider <pause dur="0.6"/> # <pause dur="0.5"/> was

able to kind of question <pause dur="0.2"/> and and and # <pause dur="0.5"/> question the the sense of them really <pause dur="1.0"/> <vocal desc="clears throat" iterated="n"/> <pause dur="0.7"/> so and i i would argue that the <pause dur="0.2"/> the playfulness <pause dur="0.5"/> of Orlando <pause dur="1.0"/> is not merely frivolous <pause dur="0.9"/> # <pause dur="0.4"/> but it's a way of <pause dur="0.3"/> questioning assumptions about sensitive issues <pause dur="0.6"/> especially around gender and sexuality <pause dur="0.6"/> and around <pause dur="0.3"/> politics and power <pause dur="1.0"/> and questioning <pause dur="0.5"/> the assumptions when you put those two things together gender <pause dur="0.3"/> and politics <pause dur="0.5"/> you know who has the power <pause dur="0.9"/> well it's usually not the men <pause dur="0.5"/> i mean to say it's usually not the women it's usually men in <trunc>vic</trunc> in Virginia Woolf's society <pause dur="0.6"/> # and that's again something i want to talk about more next term <pause dur="1.5"/> and <pause dur="1.2"/> i think Orlando is a way of questioning <pause dur="0.5"/> the assumptions <pause dur="0.2"/> absolutely of her father's generation <pause dur="0.4"/> but indeed also of some of her contemporaries and <pause dur="0.6"/> she had contemporaries who were also writing <pause dur="0.4"/> # biographies for example eminent Victorians <pause dur="0.3"/> # <pause dur="0.7"/> and <pause dur="0.5"/> again it's a way of her questioning their assumptions <pause dur="0.3"/> without causing too

much offence <pause dur="0.5"/> or bringing the weight of the establishment down on her <pause dur="0.5"/> # <pause dur="0.4"/> and remember in the year that she publishes <pause dur="0.8"/> Orlando <pause dur="0.6"/> # Radclyffe Hall is actually being <pause dur="0.3"/> prosecuted <pause dur="0.5"/> for obscenity <pause dur="0.8"/> because of the publication of her novel <pause dur="0.4"/> The Well of Loneliness <pause dur="0.2"/> which also talks about lesbianism <pause dur="0.4"/> # but does this in a more realist way <pause dur="0.5"/> # and consequently i mean Radclyffe Hall <pause dur="0.3"/> as it were didn't get away with it <pause dur="1.9"/> okay so i think that brings me to my first <pause dur="0.7"/> extract <pause dur="1.1"/> # <pause dur="0.6"/> which i <pause dur="0.6"/> put on the sheet <pause dur="0.7"/> partly 'cause you may not have your book with you and partly because you're probably all working from different texts <pause dur="0.5"/> # it's <pause dur="0.2"/> as you see from the start of chapter two <pause dur="1.6"/> and it's one of a number of places in the text <pause dur="0.3"/> where the biographer calls attention to himself <pause dur="1.7"/> so chapter two begins <pause dur="0.4"/> <vocal desc="sniff" iterated="n"/><pause dur="1.2"/> <reading>the biographer <pause dur="0.9"/> is now faced <pause dur="0.5"/> with a difficulty <pause dur="1.0"/> which it is better perhaps to confess than to gloss over <pause dur="1.3"/> up to this point in telling the story of Orlando's life <pause dur="0.4"/> documents both private and historical <pause dur="0.3"/> have made it possible <pause dur="0.3"/>

to fulfil the first duty of a biographer <pause dur="0.7"/> which is to plod without looking to right or left <pause dur="0.3"/> in the indelible footprints of truth <pause dur="1.1"/> unenticed by flowers <pause dur="0.3"/> regardless of shade <pause dur="0.6"/> on and on methodically <pause dur="0.3"/> till we fall <pause dur="0.2"/> plump into the grave <pause dur="0.3"/> and write <distinct lang="la">finis</distinct> on the tombstone above our heads <pause dur="1.4"/> but now we come to an episode <pause dur="0.2"/> which lies right across our path <pause dur="0.2"/> so there is no ignoring it <pause dur="0.9"/> yet it is <pause dur="0.2"/> dark <pause dur="0.3"/> mysterious and undocumented <pause dur="0.7"/> so that there is <pause dur="0.3"/> no explaining it <pause dur="0.9"/> volumes might be written in interpretation of it <pause dur="0.4"/> whole religious systems be founded upon the signification of it <pause dur="0.9"/> our simple duty <pause dur="0.3"/> is to state the facts as far as they <event desc="turns down lights" iterated="n"/> are known <pause dur="0.3"/> and so let the reader make of them <pause dur="0.2"/> what he may</reading> <pause dur="0.6"/> sorry <pause dur="0.2"/> put that back on if i can <pause dur="2.3"/> <event desc="turns up lights" iterated="n"/> right <pause dur="1.4"/><vocal desc="sniff" iterated="n"/> <pause dur="1.9"/> shades of Dickens and <pause dur="0.3"/> # <unclear>facts</unclear> <pause dur="0.8"/> in there i think <pause dur="0.7"/> so <pause dur="0.3"/> to state the obvious <pause dur="0.6"/> if anything is obvious <pause dur="0.3"/> in this novel <pause dur="1.6"/> Virginia Woolf <pause dur="0.5"/> the author <pause dur="0.6"/> is not <pause dur="0.8"/> the biographer in the text <pause dur="0.5"/> who

refers to himself <pause dur="0.4"/> impersonally <pause dur="0.4"/> # <pause dur="0.3"/> the biographer is now faced with he doesn't say i am now faced with <pause dur="0.4"/> or he adopts the first person plural pronoun <pause dur="0.5"/> # our simple duty is <pause dur="0.4"/> that kind of thing <pause dur="0.6"/> # <pause dur="1.4"/> which i think is a habit of scholarly prose which some of us still continue <pause dur="0.6"/> # <pause dur="1.8"/> i imagine this is because <pause dur="0.5"/> this suggests that all individual subjectivity <pause dur="0.4"/> has been edited out <pause dur="0.6"/> # and that this man of letters <pause dur="0.3"/> is drawing on and purveying <pause dur="0.3"/> a more general truth <pause dur="0.6"/> he's a spokesman for the truth <pause dur="0.3"/> for the facts <pause dur="0.8"/> # <pause dur="0.3"/> and that this is not just an idiosyncratic take on his subject <pause dur="0.6"/> so that kind of <pause dur="0.4"/> our duty is the biographer is now faced with <pause dur="0.4"/> # conveys <pause dur="0.3"/> weight <pause dur="0.3"/> and authority <pause dur="0.8"/> and suggests that the value judgements and the discriminations made by the <trunc>biog</trunc> biographer <pause dur="0.5"/> are pretty much infallible <pause dur="0.6"/> # <pause dur="0.3"/> because they're part of a wider set of assumptions <pause dur="0.3"/> that all right thinking men adhere to <pause dur="0.9"/> # <pause dur="1.0"/> Woolf the author though <pause dur="0.9"/> does just enough for the biographer to appear <pause dur="0.3"/> somewhat fussy <pause dur="0.4"/> and narrow minded <pause dur="1.1"/> in his

preoccupation with facts and <pause dur="0.3"/> the indelible footprints <pause dur="0.4"/> of truth <pause dur="0.8"/> he becomes a somewhat <pause dur="0.2"/> ridiculous absurd character <pause dur="2.1"/> i think in effect she's <pause dur="0.7"/> parodying the conventional biographer of late Victorian times <pause dur="0.8"/> which is to say <pause dur="0.4"/> she is parodying and critiquing <pause dur="0.3"/> her father's life's work <pause dur="1.8"/> so <pause dur="1.3"/> much of this parody is an attack of the man of letters who believes in <pause dur="0.4"/> the indelible footprints of truth <pause dur="0.7"/> and defines these as <pause dur="0.4"/> having to tread quite a narrow path <pause dur="0.8"/> # <pause dur="0.6"/> and <trunc>th</trunc> i think <pause dur="0.2"/> what you might want to do is <pause dur="0.3"/> to examine for yourselves the various points in the text <pause dur="0.6"/> where the biographer calls attention to himself and i'm saying himself <pause dur="0.6"/> # <pause dur="0.6"/> and calls attention to his dilemmas <pause dur="0.7"/> # <pause dur="1.4"/> and then <trunc>c</trunc> try and consider him as # <pause dur="0.2"/> as a character <pause dur="0.8"/> in this novel <pause dur="1.0"/> # <pause dur="1.3"/> and think about the distance between the point of view <pause dur="0.2"/> of this character <pause dur="0.8"/> # <pause dur="0.5"/> and the point of view of Virginia Woolf <pause dur="0.2"/> as author <pause dur="0.3"/> and as agent controlling the discourse overall <pause dur="0.9"/> and i would argue that she is saying something <pause dur="0.3"/> radically different <pause dur="0.4"/> from what the

biographer says <pause dur="0.7"/> and that the gap between them at times is a great gulf <pause dur="0.7"/> # <pause dur="0.6"/> i might say a little bit more about how she does that <pause dur="0.2"/> later on <pause dur="0.2"/> <vocal desc="sniff" iterated="n"/><pause dur="2.2"/> okay <pause dur="0.8"/> so that's talking about <pause dur="0.6"/> biography and <pause dur="0.2"/> the role of the biographer as a <pause dur="0.2"/> perhaps a major character in the novel <pause dur="1.7"/> i want now just to think a little bit about <pause dur="0.4"/> parody <pause dur="1.4"/> # <pause dur="0.4"/> and consider other types of parody in the novel apart from this main one of of the biographer <pause dur="1.0"/> and not just dwelling on Virginia <pause dur="0.5"/> Woolf <pause dur="0.4"/> née Stephen <pause dur="0.4"/> as # an undutiful daughter <pause dur="0.8"/> # <pause dur="1.3"/> just sort of broadening it out a bit <pause dur="1.4"/> now i think there's a further parody of the biographical conventions <pause dur="0.8"/> through the illustrations <pause dur="0.5"/> which are included in the text <pause dur="0.4"/> and again just to remind you i've <pause dur="0.3"/> put a couple of those <pause dur="0.5"/> on the sheet here <pause dur="1.6"/> and again i'm going to read from Hermione Lee <pause dur="0.6"/> who i do think is Virginia Woolf's perfect <pause dur="0.4"/> biographer and i'm trying to say that <pause dur="0.2"/> with absolute seriousness i really do recommend <pause dur="0.5"/> you read her work <pause dur="1.7"/> so <pause dur="0.3"/> Hermione Lee says <pause dur="0.8"/> <reading>from the outset <pause dur="1.5"/> Virginia envisaged

Orlando <pause dur="0.9"/> as an illustrated book <pause dur="0.5"/> the pictures with an index and acknowledgements were part of the paraphernalia of the fake biography <pause dur="1.2"/> there were to be portraits of Sackville ancestors <pause dur="0.6"/> for Orlando as a young man <pause dur="1.1"/> photographs of Vita <pause dur="0.6"/> for Orlando as a woman <pause dur="1.1"/> and a portrait of Orlando's lost love <pause dur="0.3"/> the Russian princess Sasha <pause dur="0.8"/> this would be Angelica <pause dur="0.2"/> now a ravishing nine year old <pause dur="1.5"/> Virginia and Vita went together to Knole <pause dur="0.3"/> to choose Sackville <pause dur="0.2"/> ancestors <pause dur="1.0"/> Virginia made Vita pose <pause dur="0.3"/> as a voluptuous Lely for the photographer Lenare</reading> <pause dur="0.9"/> and then we get in parentheses what Vita thought about it she says <pause dur="0.8"/> <reading>i was miserable <pause dur="0.4"/> draped <pause dur="0.2"/> in an inadequate bit of pink satin <pause dur="0.3"/> with all my clothes slipping off <pause dur="0.6"/> but V was delighted and kept <pause dur="0.2"/> diving under the black cloth of the camera to peek at the effect</reading> <pause dur="1.4"/> then the <vocal desc="clears throat" iterated="n"/> Hermione Lee goes on <pause dur="0.9"/> <reading>Vanessa and Duncan then decided to join in <pause dur="1.2"/> and Vita <pause dur="0.4"/> even more miserable and feeling like</reading>

quote <reading>an unfortunate victim</reading> <pause dur="0.3"/> end quote <pause dur="0.4"/> <reading>was made to sit inside a huge frame <pause dur="0.4"/> while they took endless photographs <pause dur="0.9"/> and Virginia sat reading and commenting <pause dur="0.4"/> on all the obituary notices <pause dur="0.2"/> in that day's Times <pause dur="0.6"/> and made them all giggle <pause dur="1.4"/> Vita was indeed <pause dur="0.3"/> being framed</reading> <pause dur="0.4"/> <vocal desc="sniff" iterated="n"/><pause dur="1.8"/> so if one considers <pause dur="0.3"/> the portraits <pause dur="0.5"/> and photographs <pause dur="0.2"/> for a moment and i don't know if you did consider them whilst reading the <pause dur="0.2"/> the novel <pause dur="1.0"/> # <pause dur="0.6"/> i think the interesting thing apart from the fact that they often are the paraphernalia of biographies <pause dur="0.6"/> # <pause dur="0.9"/> is that photographic theory <pause dur="0.6"/> might tell us that <pause dur="0.5"/> the camera never lies <pause dur="0.8"/> # that the fascinating fact <pause dur="0.3"/> about the photographic image <pause dur="0.5"/> is that it <pause dur="0.2"/> is always literal <pause dur="0.9"/> it is never figurative <pause dur="0.6"/> # <pause dur="0.2"/> that is it can never <pause dur="0.3"/> function as a metaphor <pause dur="0.9"/> because it is a literal record of its subject <pause dur="0.6"/> and i have to say in in in those remarks i am very indebted to to Barthes who i <pause dur="0.5"/> # whose # work on on photography i think is great i don't actually <pause dur="0.5"/> can't remember what the English title is it's La

Chambre Claire <pause dur="0.2"/> in French <pause dur="0.3"/> the # <pause dur="0.8"/> light chamber would be a exact translation <pause dur="0.5"/> # <vocal desc="sniff" iterated="n"/> <pause dur="1.8"/> so <pause dur="2.4"/> if we are interested in <pause dur="0.3"/> indelible truth <pause dur="0.9"/> the light chamber where patterns of light are registered on light sensitive film <pause dur="0.5"/> is about the closest we can get to recording <pause dur="0.5"/> the actuality <pause dur="0.8"/> of one particular moment in time <pause dur="1.7"/> yet after that image has been captured and printed <pause dur="0.4"/> or even during the process of development itself <pause dur="0.6"/> it is vulnerable to manipulation <pause dur="1.0"/> so the lively Vita felt <pause dur="0.3"/> miserable <pause dur="0.4"/> trapped and framed <pause dur="0.6"/> by the process of being the photographic model <pause dur="0.9"/> and <pause dur="0.5"/> i think it's significant that Virginia felt the need <pause dur="0.5"/> to repeatedly gaze at her <pause dur="0.4"/> through the camera lens <pause dur="0.5"/> # while also reading <pause dur="0.2"/> obituaries <pause dur="0.7"/> which after all <pause dur="0.3"/> are if you want the ultimate form of biography <pause dur="0.6"/> the life written <pause dur="0.4"/> just after death or often prepared at the point of <pause dur="0.3"/> death for publication in the Times the next day <pause dur="0.5"/> so it's a kind of death writing <pause dur="0.3"/> if you want <pause dur="0.8"/> # <pause dur="1.1"/> so <pause dur="0.3"/> even if <pause dur="0.9"/> the camera <pause dur="1.0"/> and the

photographic image is literal <pause dur="0.6"/> and true <pause dur="1.1"/> and true to its subject <pause dur="0.6"/> the model <pause dur="0.6"/> is manipulated as Vita was <pause dur="0.3"/> and in her case she's manipulated <pause dur="0.5"/> to dress up in skimpy clothes <pause dur="0.3"/> to present a different version of herself <pause dur="0.7"/> # <pause dur="0.5"/> and i've put a couple of the <pause dur="0.3"/> the photographs of her on the sheet <pause dur="0.4"/> where i think she's very much being made to <pause dur="0.3"/> dress up <pause dur="0.7"/> you know she's she's dressing up to play a part <pause dur="0.7"/> # <vocal desc="sniff" iterated="n"/> <pause dur="0.7"/> and of course she is then further <pause dur="0.7"/> fictionalized by the context <pause dur="0.2"/> within which the photograph is placed in the text <pause dur="1.0"/> the images of Vita Sackville-West in Orlando A Biography <pause dur="0.4"/> become <pause dur="0.9"/> fictionalized as images of this <pause dur="0.2"/> totally fantastic subject <pause dur="0.7"/> # or should that be <pause dur="0.3"/> fantasized <pause dur="0.3"/> by Virginia Woolf <pause dur="0.5"/> as images of her <pause dur="0.3"/> fictionalized fictional subject <pause dur="0.6"/> # <pause dur="0.6"/> either way the indelible <pause dur="0.7"/> print of truth <pause dur="0.7"/> is now through Virginia Woolf's playfulness and manipulations <pause dur="0.6"/> # <pause dur="0.5"/> a very kind of slippery concept <pause dur="0.5"/> # <pause dur="0.5"/> it's it's an image this <pause dur="0.4"/> footprint of truth <pause dur="0.5"/> whose meaning i think keeps slipping between

different levels of signification <pause dur="0.7"/> # <pause dur="0.4"/> so is this just an elaborate joke <pause dur="0.5"/> the butt of the humour being <pause dur="0.4"/> Virginia Woolf's father <pause dur="0.7"/> # <pause dur="0.6"/> so an obituary to the late Victorian man of letters and his culture <pause dur="1.1"/> is it a homage to Vita it was described by <trunc>s</trunc> by some people at the time as <pause dur="0.3"/> the longest love letter in the English language <pause dur="1.9"/> # <pause dur="1.1"/> is it a very <pause dur="0.4"/> ambiguous flirtation with the English aristocracy <pause dur="0.5"/> by <pause dur="0.4"/> an avowedly socialist and feminist writer <pause dur="0.7"/> # <pause dur="0.5"/> i think the parodying of biographical conventions <pause dur="0.4"/> opens up all of these possibilities <pause dur="0.5"/> # in the reading of the text and of course it's that playfulness which allows <pause dur="0.4"/> Virginia Woolf to do all those things <pause dur="1.7"/> how am i doing for time <pause dur="0.5"/> # <pause dur="3.6"/> the <pause dur="1.8"/> the second <pause dur="0.2"/> of my <pause dur="0.8"/> # <pause dur="0.3"/> extracts excuse me i'm my voice is going <pause dur="2.7"/> <event desc="drinks" iterated="n"/> <vocal desc="sniff" iterated="n"/><pause dur="0.7"/> the second of my extracts is from the start of chapter five <pause dur="1.1"/> and <pause dur="0.5"/> beneath it i have put <pause dur="0.6"/> probably <pause dur="0.4"/> totally illegible <pause dur="0.2"/> i apologize for that but just to draw it to your attention <pause dur="1.3"/> the first

chapter of Charles Dickens' Bleak House <pause dur="1.0"/> if you remember chapter five <pause dur="0.6"/> is the point when we've just got into the nineteenth century <pause dur="1.6"/> so <pause dur="0.8"/> what i want to suggest <pause dur="0.9"/> is <pause dur="2.3"/> that <pause dur="0.2"/> throughout Orlando <pause dur="0.9"/> Virginia Woolf <pause dur="0.5"/> parodies <pause dur="0.5"/> the style the literary style of the <pause dur="0.3"/> historical period she's talking about <pause dur="0.7"/> so that <trunc>i</trunc> <pause dur="0.2"/> in chapter five when we get into the nineteenth century <pause dur="0.4"/> she quite self-consciously deliberately <pause dur="0.4"/> parodies <pause dur="0.2"/> the prose of Dickens <pause dur="1.0"/> <vocal desc="cough" iterated="n"/> i don't know if i've got time just to read you <pause dur="1.0"/> a little of that <pause dur="3.4"/> <reading>the great cloud which hung not only <pause dur="0.2"/> over London but over the whole of the British Isles <pause dur="0.6"/> on the first day of the nineteenth century <pause dur="0.3"/> stayed or rather <pause dur="0.3"/> did not stay <pause dur="0.6"/> for it was buffeted about constantly by blustering gales long enough to have <pause dur="0.5"/> extraordinary consequences <pause dur="0.3"/> upon those who lived beneath its shadow <pause dur="1.4"/> a change seemed to have come over the climate of England <pause dur="0.7"/> rain fell frequently <pause dur="0.7"/> but only in fitful gusts which were no sooner over than they began again</reading> <pause dur="1.0"/>

and then she moves from that <pause dur="0.2"/> to <pause dur="0.5"/> # <pause dur="0.4"/> a kind of developing of the metaphor of dampness <pause dur="0.9"/> dampness # in all its possible kind of workings and connotations <pause dur="0.4"/> is an elaborately <pause dur="0.4"/> developed over at at least two pages and i won't go into all that now 'cause that would be <pause dur="0.4"/> perhaps tedious in a lecture <pause dur="0.5"/> # <vocal desc="sniff" iterated="n"/><pause dur="1.9"/> but it is very similar to what Charles Dickens does <pause dur="0.3"/> at the start of Bleak House <pause dur="0.4"/> where he takes <pause dur="0.4"/> again a kind of # a <pause dur="0.3"/> climate metaphor this time <pause dur="0.4"/> fog <pause dur="1.1"/> # the great London smog <pause dur="0.7"/> and <pause dur="0.7"/> develops it into a metaphor <pause dur="0.4"/> for the workings of <pause dur="0.4"/> # Chancery the court of Chancery the Lord Chancellor <pause dur="0.9"/> # <pause dur="0.3"/> and again starts by what appears to be possibly <pause dur="0.4"/> realistic description <pause dur="0.6"/> but then moves into <pause dur="0.5"/> # <pause dur="0.4"/> a kind of fantastical <pause dur="0.5"/> mode which totally leaves realism behind <pause dur="0.6"/> i mean one of the things one can <pause dur="0.4"/> perhaps say about <pause dur="1.0"/> Virginia Woolf is that she's writing <pause dur="0.2"/> # <pause dur="1.1"/> in a modernist tradition and that one might try and define modernism as <pause dur="0.5"/> coming after nineteenth century social realism and therefore <trunc>b</trunc> <pause dur="0.6"/> having as its its # <pause dur="1.0"/> its style that of antirealism <pause dur="0.6"/>

# and yet i think what one can see here <pause dur="0.7"/> is that in parodying Dickens <pause dur="0.6"/> # she's not <pause dur="0.8"/> parodying something which is not already there Dickens himself often moves off into fantastical <pause dur="0.4"/> and kind of gothic <pause dur="0.4"/> # elements as ways of making a comment on the social situation <pause dur="0.9"/> so that's another kind of parody <pause dur="1.0"/> which goes on <pause dur="0.5"/> throughout this <pause dur="0.6"/> this novel and again something you might want to do in more detail on your own or in seminar <pause dur="0.3"/> is kind of work out <pause dur="0.3"/> what other prior texts are being <pause dur="0.2"/> parodied by Virginia Woolf <pause dur="0.6"/> # <pause dur="0.3"/> but i do want to to mention the fact <pause dur="0.5"/> and that's over the page on the sheet <pause dur="2.1"/> that <pause dur="1.1"/> she also parodies herself <pause dur="0.5"/> # <pause dur="0.6"/> she parodies <pause dur="0.9"/> the <pause dur="0.4"/> Time Passes <pause dur="0.6"/> section <pause dur="0.5"/> of To the Lighthouse <pause dur="0.4"/> which is the novel <pause dur="0.2"/> which i said at the start is based on her childhood <pause dur="0.4"/> kind of summers spent <pause dur="0.2"/> at Talland House <pause dur="0.6"/> # <pause dur="0.6"/> and <pause dur="0.2"/> has # <pause dur="0.6"/> an elaborate first section where <pause dur="0.4"/> the comings and goings in the house are described at length <pause dur="0.4"/> and then moves into a short middle section called <pause dur="0.3"/> Time Passes <pause dur="0.4"/> where the whole of the Great

War is kind of dealt with in a few pages <pause dur="0.4"/> and including you know <pause dur="0.5"/> people <pause dur="0.2"/> kind of dying on battlefields <pause dur="0.4"/> # <pause dur="0.3"/> the <trunc>miss</trunc> <pause dur="0.2"/> Mrs Ramsey character <pause dur="0.5"/> dying and so on <pause dur="0.5"/> # <pause dur="0.4"/> and again i've just taken a small amount for the sheet to give you a kind of a feel for it <pause dur="0.5"/> # <pause dur="1.4"/> it's it's <pause dur="1.4"/> it it's that sense of trying to capture <pause dur="0.4"/> the passing of time <pause dur="0.5"/> kind of skimming over the top of it rather telling <pause dur="0.4"/> # details as you <pause dur="0.4"/> might normally <pause dur="0.6"/> # <pause dur="0.6"/> so <pause dur="0.5"/> my fifth extract <pause dur="1.1"/> is from the Time Passes section of To the Lighthouse <pause dur="0.3"/> <reading>night after night summer and winter <pause dur="0.3"/> the torment of storms <pause dur="0.5"/> the arrow-like stillness of fine weather <pause dur="0.4"/> held their court without interference <pause dur="0.7"/> listening had there been anyone to listen <pause dur="0.4"/> from the upper rooms of the empty house <pause dur="0.7"/> only gigantic chaos <pause dur="0.2"/> streaked with lightning could have heard <pause dur="0.3"/> tumbling and tossing as the winds and waves <pause dur="0.2"/> disported themselves like the amorphous bulks of leviathans <pause dur="0.8"/> whose brows are pierced by no light of reason mounted one on top of another and lunged and plunged in the darkness

or the daylight <pause dur="0.3"/> for night and day month and year ran shapelessly together <pause dur="0.5"/> in idiot games until it seemed as if <pause dur="0.3"/> the universe were battling and tumbling <pause dur="0.3"/> in brute confusion <pause dur="0.3"/> and wanton lust <pause dur="0.2"/> aimlessly <pause dur="0.3"/> by itself</reading> <pause dur="0.6"/> well i tried to read that with a slight sense of how easy it might be <pause dur="0.5"/> to parody that slightly breathless <pause dur="0.4"/> style <pause dur="0.5"/> # <pause dur="0.4"/> which is in effect what Virginia Woolf does in what i put on as the fourth extract <pause dur="0.2"/> on the sheet <pause dur="0.5"/> <reading>it was now November after November comes December <pause dur="0.3"/> then January February March and April after April comes May June July August follow <pause dur="0.4"/> next is September <pause dur="0.4"/> then October and so behold here we are back at November again <pause dur="0.4"/> with the whole year accomplished</reading> <pause dur="0.7"/> # <vocal desc="sniff" iterated="n"/><pause dur="1.7"/> but clearly there you know it's the poor biographer <pause dur="0.5"/> who she's she's turning into a kind of butt at her sense of humour <pause dur="2.2"/> and i do think there may be behind this again a kind of serious <pause dur="0.2"/> philosophical point but <pause dur="0.2"/> i'll come to that in a minute <pause dur="0.5"/> okay so that's just to alert

you to different kinds of parody <pause dur="0.8"/> in the text <pause dur="0.4"/> and i'm not going to kind of carry on <pause dur="0.2"/> talking about that <pause dur="0.5"/> now because i want to talk about <pause dur="0.3"/> the whole issue of writing history <pause dur="0.9"/> # <pause dur="0.3"/> before we finish <vocal desc="sniff" iterated="n"/><pause dur="1.0"/> okay so my next <trunc>sish</trunc> section is about history <pause dur="1.4"/> <vocal desc="cough" iterated="n"/> <pause dur="0.2"/> <vocal desc="sniff" iterated="n"/><pause dur="0.9"/> and <pause dur="2.9"/> i just want to quote you again something i quoted you earlier <pause dur="0.3"/> and just listen to it carefully <pause dur="0.8"/> <reading>Vita was the latest in a line of the noble Sackvilles <pause dur="0.4"/> whose history she had lovingly written a few years before Orlando <pause dur="0.6"/> in Knole and the Sackvilles nineteen-twenty-two <pause dur="0.6"/> on which Woolf drew extensively <pause dur="0.3"/> for her background to the novel</reading> <pause dur="1.5"/> so i quoted that to you that earlier in the lecture as a quick way <pause dur="0.5"/> of providing some background information about Vita Sackville-West <pause dur="0.9"/> and about the fact that she had an aristocratic family background <pause dur="1.0"/> however <pause dur="0.4"/> i want to come back to the quotation <pause dur="1.6"/> and think about the exact phrasing which Rachel Bowlby uses here <pause dur="0.9"/> she

says <pause dur="0.2"/> whose history she had lovingly written <pause dur="0.6"/> a few years before <pause dur="1.8"/> it's very careful <pause dur="0.6"/> very carefully chosen phrase <pause dur="0.8"/> and yet <pause dur="1.0"/> even Rachel Bowlby who i think is a great stylist <pause dur="0.4"/> cannot avoid <pause dur="0.6"/> the ambiguity of the word <pause dur="0.2"/> history <pause dur="1.5"/> does she mean <pause dur="0.2"/> Vita wrote down lovingly the authentic and true record of events as they actually happened <pause dur="0.6"/> or does she mean <pause dur="0.4"/> Vita wrote down <pause dur="0.3"/> her account of her family's past <pause dur="0.9"/> for <pause dur="0.3"/> in the English language <pause dur="0.3"/> history <pause dur="0.5"/> refers <pause dur="0.8"/> both to what has happened in the past <pause dur="0.8"/> as it happened at the time <pause dur="0.9"/> # <pause dur="0.8"/> which is perhaps what we imply by kind of saying colloquially you know <pause dur="0.3"/> that's history <pause dur="0.4"/> he's history whatever <pause dur="0.6"/> meaning you know it's past it's over i don't have to bother about it <pause dur="0.6"/> # <pause dur="1.1"/> but history also refers to the writing <pause dur="0.3"/> of history the study of history <pause dur="0.6"/> # <pause dur="0.5"/> the activity of historians working with secondary sources and producing a kind of narrative account <pause dur="0.6"/> # <pause dur="0.4"/> which we should perhaps more <trunc>accurate</trunc> <pause dur="0.2"/> accurately refer to as as <pause dur="0.4"/> historiography <pause dur="2.6"/> # in fact the only kind of

history we can ever know <pause dur="0.3"/> is actually the second <pause dur="0.5"/> historiography <pause dur="1.0"/> <trunc>th</trunc> the telling of the past <pause dur="0.3"/> shaping <pause dur="0.4"/> an account <pause dur="0.5"/> telling a story about it <pause dur="0.5"/> using a variety of sources to build up <pause dur="2.3"/> to build up what <pause dur="0.5"/> an accurate <pause dur="0.2"/> account of the past <pause dur="0.5"/> an <pause dur="0.3"/> as accurate a picture as possible <pause dur="0.6"/> or <pause dur="0.7"/> you know <pause dur="0.4"/> my interpretation of events as opposed to somebody else's interpretation of events <pause dur="0.9"/> # <pause dur="0.7"/> arguably even when we try to build up as accurate a picture as possible <pause dur="0.4"/> inevitably <pause dur="0.4"/> all we actually do is give <pause dur="0.4"/> you know <pause dur="0.4"/> our interpretation of events my own interpretation of events <pause dur="0.9"/> # <pause dur="1.3"/> so in the nineteenth century <pause dur="2.7"/> historians tended to believe that political history was more valuable than other kinds of history <pause dur="0.6"/> that the stories of nations could be told <pause dur="0.4"/> through the exploits of famous men <pause dur="0.4"/> military leaders rulers <pause dur="0.5"/> ambassadors diplomats whatever <vocal desc="sniff" iterated="n"/><pause dur="1.0"/> # <pause dur="0.6"/> and in fact there was a whole series called Story of Nations which <pause dur="0.6"/> i don't suppose anyone here is <pause dur="0.2"/> is kind of old enough to

remember <pause dur="0.5"/> but anyway <pause dur="0.6"/> <vocal desc="clears throat" iterated="n"/> <pause dur="0.2"/> but there are other ways of telling stories of the past which might concentrate on <pause dur="0.8"/> the daily existence of very ordinary people <pause dur="0.9"/> # <pause dur="0.6"/> and in fact that approach to historical studies <pause dur="0.4"/> didn't really begin to be developed until <pause dur="0.4"/> around the time that Virginia Woolf was writing <pause dur="0.4"/> Orlando <pause dur="1.1"/> # the first issue of Annales came out in nineteen-twenty-nine <pause dur="0.6"/> # <pause dur="0.4"/> and this was a French journal which was the focus <pause dur="0.6"/> for a new trend <pause dur="0.3"/> in historical studies <pause dur="0.4"/> pioneered i think mainly by <trunc>hi</trunc> <pause dur="0.3"/> French historians <pause dur="0.6"/> and which led eventually to <pause dur="0.2"/> choosing my favourite <pause dur="0.3"/> # text like # Le Roy Ladurie's <pause dur="0.3"/> Montaillou <pause dur="0.2"/> Village <pause dur="0.2"/> Occitan <pause dur="0.7"/> # <pause dur="0.6"/> which came out in nineteen-seventy-five # <pause dur="0.6"/> Montaillou # <pause dur="0.7"/> Occitan Village <pause dur="0.3"/> from <pause dur="0.3"/> # twelve-ninety-four to thirteen-twenty-four takes just a very short <pause dur="0.3"/> time span <pause dur="0.3"/> and writes about what happens in the village in those rather turbulent times <pause dur="0.6"/> # <vocal desc="sniff" iterated="n"/> <pause dur="0.9"/> Knole and the Sackvilles <pause dur="0.6"/> tells us from its

title <pause dur="0.8"/> that it is a story of a stately home <pause dur="0.6"/> and its illustrious family <pause dur="1.2"/> Montaillou <pause dur="0.4"/> Village Occitan on the other hand <pause dur="0.3"/> is about a small peasant village <pause dur="0.9"/> and its inhabitants at a turbulent moment in the history of the region <pause dur="0.3"/> and one of the things it talks about is the <pause dur="0.4"/> the the Countess who lives there and and her kind of <pause dur="0.7"/> # <pause dur="0.4"/> her amour but it's only one of the things it's not the central focus <pause dur="0.6"/> # <pause dur="1.1"/> so as so often in her writing <pause dur="1.1"/> by critiquing the style and the underlying <pause dur="0.3"/> ideological assumptions <pause dur="0.5"/> of late Victorian and Edwardian culture <pause dur="1.2"/> Virginia Woolf exhibits a kind of prescience <pause dur="0.7"/> of later twentieth century trends <pause dur="0.3"/> and literary developments <pause dur="0.4"/> because she's kind of on the cusp of seeing where things need to go next <pause dur="0.8"/> so what Woolf critiques <pause dur="0.6"/> and parodies in Orlando <pause dur="0.5"/> is essentially <pause dur="0.5"/> the Whig version of history <pause dur="1.4"/> i would say that this has an <pause dur="0.4"/> an optimistic <pause dur="0.2"/> assumption <pause dur="0.3"/> that history is a steady <pause dur="0.4"/> upward progress <pause dur="0.3"/> towards the present moment <pause dur="0.6"/> which is seen as the pinnacle <pause dur="0.5"/> of achievement <pause dur="1.0"/> and it's only to

be bettered <pause dur="0.3"/> by the future achievements of the human race <pause dur="0.7"/> so it might intend to be implicitly <pause dur="0.4"/> self-congratulatory and self-affirming <pause dur="1.0"/> # <pause dur="0.5"/> and one of its assumptions is indeed that history is <pause dur="0.3"/> the history of mankind <pause dur="0.5"/> of the deeds of great men <pause dur="1.4"/> but not necessarily apart from a few honourable exceptions <pause dur="0.3"/> of great women <pause dur="0.2"/> or women at all <pause dur="0.6"/> # so in British history <pause dur="0.8"/> # at the time that that Virginia Woolf was was writing <pause dur="0.6"/> # <pause dur="0.8"/> the honourable <pause dur="0.2"/> kind of exceptions might include <pause dur="0.5"/> # Boudicca <pause dur="0.2"/> Boadicea <pause dur="1.1"/> Queen Elizabeth the First <pause dur="0.5"/> who becomes a kind of mythologized in Victorian culture <pause dur="0.6"/> Queen Victoria herself is kind of mythologized while she's still alive <pause dur="0.6"/> and possibly you get kind of Nell Gwyn <pause dur="0.2"/> selling oranges <pause dur="0.5"/> # and getting a passing mention as as <pause dur="0.2"/> Charles the Second's mistress <pause dur="1.6"/> so <pause dur="0.2"/> i think one of the aspects of <pause dur="0.2"/> Orlando's sex change <pause dur="1.1"/> is the effect it has on a historical <pause dur="0.7"/> narrative <pause dur="0.7"/> # and in a way Virginia Woolf is asking the question <pause dur="0.3"/> does it make a difference <pause dur="0.7"/>

would it alter our perspective substantially <pause dur="0.7"/> if history were routinely <pause dur="0.3"/> her story <pause dur="0.4"/> as well <pause dur="0.9"/> # <pause dur="0.5"/> so i believe this is one of the questions Virginia Woolf wishes to raise here <pause dur="0.9"/> again i've given you a couple of small <pause dur="0.4"/> extracts <pause dur="0.4"/> extracts six and seven <pause dur="0.7"/> where we have the biographer in again <pause dur="0.7"/> <reading>to give a truthful account of London society <pause dur="0.3"/> at that or indeed at any other time <pause dur="0.4"/> is beyond the powers of the biographer <pause dur="0.7"/> or the historian <pause dur="1.0"/> only those who have little need of the truth <pause dur="0.3"/> and no respect for it <pause dur="0.6"/> the poets and the novelists can be trusted to do it <pause dur="1.4"/> for this is one of the cases where the truth <pause dur="0.6"/> does not exist <pause dur="1.1"/> nothing <pause dur="0.8"/> exists <pause dur="0.7"/> the whole thing is <pause dur="0.8"/> a miasma <pause dur="1.1"/> a mirage</reading> <pause dur="2.4"/> <unclear>i think</unclear> he's having a rather kind of bad day this biographer i think at this stage <pause dur="1.6"/> # <pause dur="0.8"/> and then again a few pages later <pause dur="0.4"/> they're both <pause dur="0.3"/> quotes from chapter four <unclear>to</unclear> when we're in the eighteenth century <pause dur="0.6"/> # <pause dur="1.8"/> he says <pause dur="0.3"/> <reading>as that is not a question that can engage the attention of a sensible man <pause dur="0.3"/> let us <pause dur="0.2"/> who enjoy the immunity of all

biographers and historians from any sex whatsoever <pause dur="0.6"/> pass it over <pause dur="1.0"/> and merely state that Orlando <pause dur="0.3"/> professed <pause dur="0.4"/> great enjoyment in the society of her own sex <pause dur="0.7"/> and leave it to the gentlemen to prove as they are very fond of doing <pause dur="0.3"/> that <pause dur="0.4"/> it is impossible</reading> <pause dur="2.1"/> so both these quotes are as i say are from chapter <trunc>f</trunc> <pause dur="0.3"/> four when we're in the eighteenth century <pause dur="0.6"/> and in both Virginia Woolf <pause dur="0.6"/> elides the biographer and the historian <pause dur="0.6"/> suggesting that their's are very similar activities <pause dur="0.6"/> namely trying to get at <pause dur="0.2"/> the truth <pause dur="0.8"/> by scrutinizing a variety of secondary sources <pause dur="2.7"/><vocal desc="cough" iterated="n"/> <pause dur="0.7"/> but also suggesting that this is you know an impossible <pause dur="0.4"/> task in a way <pause dur="1.1"/> now this is at a stage in the text <pause dur="0.9"/> where Orlando vacillates <pause dur="0.3"/> between genders <pause dur="0.4"/> on a daily basis <pause dur="0.8"/> # <pause dur="0.5"/> but i don't want to <pause dur="0.2"/> kind of as i say talk about that in great detail now <trunc>t</trunc> talk about all those shifts in sexuality gendered identity <pause dur="0.5"/> the clothes and so on <pause dur="0.5"/> # <pause dur="0.9"/> what i do want to to just draw your attention to <pause dur="0.6"/> is the ways in which <pause dur="0.4"/> arguably <pause dur="0.3"/> Virginia

Woolf <pause dur="1.0"/> also shifts and vacillates <pause dur="0.4"/> in the text here <pause dur="2.4"/> so <pause dur="0.2"/> to begin with i suggested when talking about the biographer <pause dur="0.6"/> that we should differentiate between <pause dur="0.4"/> this perplexed biographer <pause dur="0.2"/> historian figure <pause dur="0.5"/> and Virginia Woolf the author <pause dur="0.3"/> who lurks somewhere behind and beyond the text <pause dur="0.3"/> doing her best to make us all giggle <pause dur="0.4"/> at the biographer <pause dur="0.5"/> and historian and his limitations <pause dur="1.4"/> but in chapter four arguably <pause dur="0.7"/> in fact arguably throughout <pause dur="0.3"/> # <pause dur="0.3"/> she's also a presence in the text <pause dur="0.8"/> a distinct voice <pause dur="0.4"/> that's kind of <pause dur="0.7"/> moves in and out so sometimes it's the biographer and sometimes it's this other <pause dur="0.7"/> arch <pause dur="0.2"/> voice <pause dur="0.5"/> # <pause dur="1.5"/> and i think <pause dur="0.9"/> she her voice destabilizes our reading <pause dur="0.7"/> of the novel <pause dur="0.8"/> # <pause dur="0.2"/> so we can't read it as if it were just written by the biographer it's not that straightforward <pause dur="0.7"/> # <pause dur="0.3"/> she is the poet and novelist <pause dur="0.5"/> gesturing towards <pause dur="0.4"/> other kinds of knowledge <pause dur="1.4"/> other ways of <trunc>compremen</trunc> <pause dur="0.2"/> comprehending his <pause dur="0.5"/> or her <pause dur="0.4"/> stories <pause dur="0.7"/> # <pause dur="0.6"/> and i think she's a kind of <pause dur="0.5"/> androgynous or possibly female consciousness <pause dur="0.4"/> # <pause dur="0.4"/> which suggests that the biographer who

assumes that masculinity is synonymous with universal truth <pause dur="0.5"/> is missing something <pause dur="0.9"/> # <pause dur="0.7"/> so <pause dur="0.4"/> i mean i think if one feels kind of worried and anxious reading this text <pause dur="0.4"/> this is partly because <pause dur="0.5"/> # <pause dur="0.3"/> what Virginia Woolf is doing is precisely trying to to throw you <pause dur="0.5"/> and throw your assumptions about you know <pause dur="0.2"/> where you think you are <pause dur="0.9"/> # <pause dur="1.1"/> Gerda Lerner <pause dur="0.5"/> an American <pause dur="0.3"/> historiographer of women's history <pause dur="0.6"/> has commented <pause dur="0.7"/> and i'm sorry i'm <trunc>g</trunc> you know moving into American 'cause i was kind of where i'm really based <pause dur="0.5"/> # <pause dur="0.3"/> <reading>the key to understanding women's history <pause dur="0.6"/> is in accepting <pause dur="0.5"/> painful though it may be <pause dur="0.8"/> that it is the history <pause dur="0.4"/> of the majority <pause dur="0.5"/> of the human race</reading> <pause dur="0.9"/> so Virginia Woolf i think toys with the reader <pause dur="0.4"/> trying to tease out this recognition <pause dur="0.6"/> without quite stating it as emphatically as Gerda Lerner <pause dur="0.2"/> would for our generation which is a <pause dur="0.3"/> post-war <pause dur="0.4"/> generation <pause dur="0.3"/> <vocal desc="sniff" iterated="n"/> <pause dur="3.6"/> i want to mention briefly # just a few other aspects of Orlando <pause dur="0.4"/> as a kind of meditation on on history <pause dur="0.5"/>

and historiography <pause dur="1.4"/> now the first is that i said that Orlando is a kind of critique a parody of the Whig version of history <pause dur="1.2"/> but we also get <pause dur="0.4"/> as it were <pause dur="0.3"/> the alternative <pause dur="0.2"/> to the Whig version of history <pause dur="0.5"/> and it's personified in the figure of Nick Greene <pause dur="1.4"/> the poet and man of letters <pause dur="0.6"/> who occurs in the Elizabethan era <pause dur="1.2"/> and reoccurs in modern times <pause dur="0.6"/> and if you recall <pause dur="0.7"/> he's always disaffected with the present age <pause dur="1.4"/> as an Elizabethan poet <pause dur="0.3"/> he prefers the classics <pause dur="0.8"/> and as a modern critic <pause dur="0.4"/> he abhors contemporary writing <pause dur="0.6"/> and harps back to the Elizabethan era <pause dur="0.6"/> as a glorious period in English literature <pause dur="0.6"/> its <pause dur="0.3"/> golden age <pause dur="0.6"/> now i've not given you this quotation i don't think but just to remind you <pause dur="0.4"/> when # <pause dur="1.6"/> Orlando meets him <pause dur="0.2"/> in London <pause dur="0.3"/> in the kind of the modern times <pause dur="1.2"/> <reading>ah he said heaving a sigh which was yet comfortable enough <pause dur="0.2"/> ah my dear lady <pause dur="0.3"/> the great days of literature are over <pause dur="0.4"/> Marlowe Shakespeare Ben Jonson <pause dur="0.3"/> those were the giants <pause dur="0.4"/> Dryden Pope Addison <pause dur="0.5"/> those were the heroes <pause dur="0.6"/> all <pause dur="0.4"/> all are

dead now <pause dur="1.6"/> and whom have we left us <pause dur="0.6"/> Tennyson Browning Carlyle <pause dur="1.1"/> he threw an immense amount of scorn into his voice <pause dur="0.7"/> the truth of it is he said pouring himself a glass of wine <pause dur="0.4"/> that all our young writers are in the pay of booksellers <pause dur="0.2"/> they turn out any trash that serves to pay their tailor's bills <pause dur="0.7"/> it is an age he said helping himself to hors d'oeuvres <pause dur="0.5"/> marked by precious conceits and wild experiments <pause dur="0.5"/> none of which the Elizabethans would have tolerated for an instant</reading> <pause dur="1.5"/> so rather than believing that <pause dur="0.4"/> history is the story of the ascent of man <pause dur="0.3"/> to higher and higher peaks <pause dur="0.5"/> Nick Greene subscribes to the belief that <pause dur="0.3"/> history is all downhill <pause dur="0.6"/> moving <pause dur="0.4"/> further and further away from a <pause dur="0.4"/> putative golden age <pause dur="0.9"/> and Woolf indicates the kind of subjectivity <pause dur="0.5"/> and the fallacy <pause dur="0.5"/> in this analysis by having him <pause dur="0.4"/> glorify <pause dur="0.2"/> in modern times <pause dur="0.3"/> the exact same literary period <pause dur="0.3"/> which he was so dismissive about <pause dur="0.5"/> at the time in Elizabethan times <pause dur="1.3"/> okay one further <pause dur="0.4"/> reflection i think i have time for <pause dur="0.9"/> # <pause dur="0.6"/> is

that <pause dur="3.3"/> Orlando <pause dur="0.4"/> is both <pause dur="1.5"/> a fantastical <pause dur="0.9"/> biography a fantastical history of <pause dur="0.2"/> the lives and times of <pause dur="0.3"/> Orlando <pause dur="1.7"/> and as i say also a history of <pause dur="0.7"/> the English literary imagination and its succeeding styles <pause dur="0.4"/> which is perhaps the only proof we have <pause dur="1.5"/> and this is highlighted by Orlando's poem <pause dur="0.4"/> The Oak Tree <pause dur="0.8"/> which survives the centuries to win a literary prize in modern times <pause dur="0.7"/> # <pause dur="0.6"/> and it's also <pause dur="0.4"/> there in Woolf's parodying different literary styles <pause dur="1.0"/> <vocal desc="cough" iterated="n"/> <pause dur="0.5"/> but <pause dur="0.6"/> the general point i want to make is that <pause dur="2.2"/> and it applies both to history and literary history <pause dur="0.4"/> we tend to think of history <pause dur="0.6"/> in terms of <pause dur="0.3"/> periods <pause dur="0.2"/> and also to think of literary history in terms of <pause dur="0.4"/> periods which become <pause dur="0.3"/> synonymous or interchangeable with descriptions <pause dur="0.2"/> of style <pause dur="0.6"/> so in the course of this lecture <pause dur="0.6"/> i've referred to the Elizabethan era <pause dur="0.4"/> the eighteenth century the nineteenth century late Victorian culture modern times <pause dur="0.5"/> with a fairly confident assumption <pause dur="0.5"/> that when i use these terms they

kind of mean something you have kind of clusters of associations which build up a picture <pause dur="0.6"/> of sort of snapshot picture of the these times <pause dur="0.8"/> but i think the terms are deceptive <pause dur="1.4"/> and they're a very shorthand way of indicating how time passes <pause dur="0.6"/> and how that passage of time affects cultures <pause dur="0.8"/> in actuality the passage of time from the Elizabethan era to the eighteenth century <pause dur="0.4"/> is not a handful of photographic images <pause dur="0.5"/> a succession of imagined snapshots <pause dur="0.5"/> but is a continuous <pause dur="0.3"/> fluid process <pause dur="0.4"/> the passage of time from seventeen-ninety-nine to eighteen-hundred <pause dur="0.8"/> similarly was fluid <pause dur="0.4"/> even if we speak of <pause dur="0.5"/> the eighteenth century as <pause dur="0.5"/> the time of the Enlightenment the age of reason <pause dur="0.4"/> and then the nineteenth century as the Victorian era <pause dur="0.9"/> # and <trunc>victu</trunc> <trunc>vic</trunc> <pause dur="0.5"/> and Virginia Woolf <pause dur="0.9"/> born into late Victorian culture <pause dur="0.4"/> didn't wake up one morning <pause dur="0.4"/> in nineteen-hundred <pause dur="0.6"/> # <pause dur="0.6"/> to discover that somehow she and everything around her had transformed <pause dur="0.4"/> overnight had metamorphosed like a kind of butterfly out of a <pause dur="0.4"/>

you know pupa <pause dur="0.8"/> so <pause dur="0.3"/> i think this is why in her other writing <pause dur="0.7"/> # <pause dur="0.4"/> she is famously known as writing stream of consciousness <pause dur="0.4"/> style <pause dur="0.5"/> which is trying to capture the fluidity of the process rather than fix it <pause dur="0.5"/> in snapshots <pause dur="0.6"/> # <pause dur="0.4"/> and stream of consciousness is actually a translation of a French term <pause dur="0.3"/> <distinct lang="fr">élan vital</distinct> <pause dur="0.4"/> which is introduced # by the philosopher Henri Bergson <pause dur="0.6"/> # <pause dur="0.9"/> and in fact <distinct lang="fr">vital</distinct> is that word again <pause dur="0.3"/> Vita </u><gap reason="break in recording" extent="uncertain"/> <u who="nf0062" trans="pause"> if we look at the text of Orlando i <trunc>bo</trunc> <pause dur="0.2"/> A Biography <pause dur="0.6"/> # i think we find that most of the time <pause dur="0.5"/> she's <pause dur="0.6"/> not doing stream of consciousness <pause dur="0.3"/> because she is doing this kind of satire this parody this critique <pause dur="0.7"/> and one of the things she parodies <pause dur="0.3"/> is precisely our tendency <pause dur="0.5"/> to frame historical periods <pause dur="0.5"/> so at the end of chapter four she writes <pause dur="0.3"/> and i've given you that as the eighth extract <pause dur="0.4"/> # i don't think i'm going to give it to you all now <pause dur="0.7"/> <reading>Orlando could remember even now the smell of tortuous Elizabethan highways <pause dur="0.4"/> on a hot night <pause dur="0.4"/> in the little rooms and narrow pathways of

the city <pause dur="0.4"/> now <pause dur="0.2"/> she leaned out of her window <pause dur="0.6"/> all was light <pause dur="0.3"/> order <pause dur="0.3"/> and serenity <pause dur="1.4"/> there was a faint rattle of a coach on the cobbles <pause dur="0.3"/> she heard the faraway cry of the night watchman <pause dur="0.4"/> just twelve o'clock on a frosty morning</reading> <pause dur="0.7"/> and then i'll skip a bit <pause dur="0.5"/> <reading>with the twelfth stroke of midnight <pause dur="0.4"/> the darkness was complete <pause dur="0.7"/> a turbulent welter of cloud covered the city <pause dur="0.7"/> all was darkness all was doubt all was confusion <pause dur="0.4"/> the eighteenth century was over <pause dur="0.5"/> the nineteenth century <pause dur="0.2"/> had begun</reading> <pause dur="0.3"/> so the eighteenth century is <pause dur="0.5"/> all was light <pause dur="0.2"/> order and serenity <pause dur="0.6"/> and then as soon as you get the last stroke of midnight <pause dur="0.3"/> all was darkness all was doubt all was confusion <pause dur="0.3"/> clearly there's a critique <pause dur="0.8"/> of the ways in which we talk about historical <pause dur="0.2"/> times <pause dur="1.3"/> so what do we conclude from all this <pause dur="2.0"/> one of Virginia Woolf's <pause dur="0.2"/> recurring preoccupations <pause dur="0.6"/> is to do with her own situation as a woman of letters in patriarchal culture <pause dur="0.9"/> and she returns again and again to note <pause dur="0.4"/> the difference it makes to be a woman in a patriarchy <pause dur="0.9"/> and she can

be witty and scathing about this <pause dur="1.0"/> but <pause dur="0.2"/> one of the benefits of her position <pause dur="1.3"/> is that she cannot <pause dur="0.2"/> take for granted all the things <pause dur="0.4"/> which a man of letters whether he be historian biographer <pause dur="0.4"/> editor <pause dur="0.5"/> # <pause dur="0.3"/> critic publisher poet or novelist <pause dur="0.3"/> just <pause dur="0.2"/> takes as read <pause dur="0.7"/> so i would argue that Virginia Woolf's lesbian attraction <pause dur="0.6"/> to Vita Sackville-West <pause dur="0.4"/> might well have been a catalyst <pause dur="0.7"/> # the catalyst which <pause dur="0.2"/> decided her to write <pause dur="0.2"/> this <pause dur="0.2"/> jeu d'esprit <pause dur="0.5"/> a satire a whole fantasy <pause dur="0.5"/> and these are all phrases <pause dur="0.4"/> which Virginia uses in her diary as she starts to conceive the project <pause dur="1.0"/> but the the completed work <pause dur="0.2"/> is far more than just this jeu d'esprit <pause dur="0.7"/> through parody <pause dur="0.6"/> Woolf <pause dur="0.2"/> both enacts and then critiques the history and literary history of her culture <pause dur="0.8"/> from <pause dur="0.2"/> as it were a different space <pause dur="0.4"/> now what the diary entry actually says is <pause dur="1.0"/> <reading>no attempt is to be made to realize the character <pause dur="0.5"/> sapphism is to be suggested <pause dur="0.6"/> satire is to be

the main note <pause dur="0.5"/> satire <pause dur="0.5"/> and <pause dur="0.3"/> wilderness</reading> <pause dur="1.8"/> now you might object that there's not much wilderness <pause dur="0.2"/> in the text <pause dur="0.5"/> # <pause dur="0.6"/> and i think literally speaking that's true <pause dur="0.6"/> but conceptually <pause dur="0.2"/> the text is written from if you want the cultural wilderness <pause dur="0.5"/> from the wild spaces of female culture <pause dur="0.5"/> which gazes <pause dur="0.3"/> sceptically on patriarchal culture <pause dur="0.3"/> from the margins <pause dur="0.5"/> now Elaine Showalter in the eighties <pause dur="0.5"/> theorized this wild zone of female culture <pause dur="0.6"/> # <pause dur="0.3"/> when trying to talk about a female aesthetic in woman's writing <pause dur="0.7"/> # <pause dur="0.3"/> and so that's why next term when i talk about modernism and gender <pause dur="0.4"/> i want to come back to those issues and try and give <pause dur="0.6"/> # <pause dur="0.3"/> a more coherent account of of Virginia Woolf's <pause dur="0.3"/> ideas about women's writing <pause dur="0.3"/> and again how it might be applied to a reading <pause dur="0.2"/> of this text <pause dur="0.4"/> sorry i've overrun again by a few minutes