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Virginia Woolf

Intro lecture for Spring 2013 undergrad Woolf class

Anne Fernald

on 20 June 2013

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Transcript of Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf
English 3504
Introductory Lecture
Virginia Woolf
Blue & Green (1921)

THE POINTED FINGERS of glass hang downwards. The light slides down the glass, and drops a pool of green. All day long the ten fingers of the lustre drop green upon the marble. The feathers of parakeets–their harsh cries–sharp blades of palm trees–green, too; green needles glittering in the sun. But the hard glass drips on to the marble; the pools hover above the desert sand; the camels lurch through them; the pools settle on the marble; rushes edge them; weeds clog them; here and there a white blossom; the frog flops over; at night the stars are set there unbroken. Evening comes, and the shadow sweeps the green over the mantlepiece; the ruffled surface of ocean. No ships come; the aimless waves sway beneath the empty sky. It's night; the needles drip blots of blue. The green's out.


The snub-nosed monster rises to the surface and spouts through his blunt nostrils two columns of water, which, fiery-white in the centre, spray off into a fringe of blue beads. Strokes of blue line the black tarpaulin of his hide. Slushing the water through mouth and nostrils he sings, heavy with water, and the blue closes over him dowsing the polished pebbles of his eyes. Thrown upon the beach he lies, blunt, obtuse, shedding dry blue scales. Their metallic blue stains the rusty iron on the beach. Blue are the ribs of the wrecked rowing boat. A wave rolls beneath the blue bells. But the cathedral's different, cold, incense laden, faint blue with the veils of madonnas.
Grading Breakdown
•long annotations---10%
•paper 1---10%
•paper 2---20%
•paper 3---30%
•discussion leading---5%
•response paper (on intertext)---10%
•on-line participation (blog posts)---10%
•quizzes and in-class participation---5%
This week:
Sign up (check email) for discussion leading (with a friend or take your chances) and for your response paper & presentation.
Sign in to the blog (link on bb) & figure out how to post.
Long annotation 1, due 1/25 (1 page)
Paper 1, due 2/1 (2-3 pages): In The Voyage Out, Terence Hewet is an aspiring novelist. To what extent do you think Woolf’s aspirations for her first novel overlap with his? Answer this question with reference to specific moments in the text.
Attendance and classroom community: You are expected to come to class prepared to discuss the day’s assignment. Bring the appropriate texts and assignments. You may read on a tablet, but a phone’s screen is too small and I would strongly prefer you not read on your phone. Students caught doing non-academic web browsing, texting, or whose phones ring during class will be counted absent and the offending device will be confiscated. If you are absent, it is your responsibility to keep up with the reading and the assigned homework by speaking with me and at least one classmate. Attendance and participation affect grades. Miss more than two classes, and your grade will be affected; miss four or more classes and you risk serious consequences—likely including failure of the course.
any questions?
age 20
painted by her sister, Vanessa Bell
Full transcript