Virginia’s Last Days

If you think you knew all you needed to know about Virginia Woolf, think again. I’ve just read an excellent article, “Dancing on Hot Bricks: Virginia Woolf in 1941” by Maureen E. Mulvihill. A scholar and writer in New York City, Dr. Mulvihill--who we’ve brought to your attention before with her treatment of the Paula Peyraud collection and a recent Jane Austen exhibit--was this time commissioned by Rapportage magazine to cover the last few months in Woolf’s life. Her essay was then included in a traveling exhibit of Carl Kohler’s literary portraits (now at the University of Cork, Boole Library, Ireland). The photo below here shows Mulvihill’s essay in the University of Chicago installation. By focusing on the rich details of Woolf’s last months, Mulvihill offers a magnified look at the desperate writer in her last days.

Mulvihill-Kohler.jpgVirginiaWoolf.jpgKohler’s portrait of Woolf, used in Mulvihill’s paper, is seen here at right. The Kohler collection contains fifty portraits of writers--Grass, Joyce, Kafka, and Miller among them--that has traveled from Sweden to New York City, to Brooklyn, Washington, Canada, Chicago, and now Ireland. To see more images from the exhibit, and to read Mulvihill’s essay, visit the ILAB website, which has a page devoted to it. 


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