Don’t Be Afraid of Virginia Woolf

Many people read To the Lighthouse when they’re too young to fully appreciate it. In this novel, Woolf memorializes her parents and siblings, and it’s full of richness for mature readers about a long marriage, friendship, death, memory, and what art can offer solace and coherence. Another obstacle to Woolfian enjoyment for readers is her innovative style, her attempt to capture the stream of consciousness and fragmentation of our thinking and feeling that James Joyce introduced. I hope to have you see how wonderfully she handles this.

Mrs. Dalloway preceded To the Lighthouse, and provides access into Woolf’s distinctive way of describing the inner mental and emotional workings of a middleaged well-born British lady during one important day. We’ll precede a reading of both novels by looking at one of her short stories and get glimpses of her connection with the Bloomsbury culture of her time.

Members should obtain copies of Mrs. Dalloway and To the Lighthouse before the first class. Amazon Prime has many copies of both novels in paperback (new and used) and for the Kindle. Copies of the short story and excerpts from Woolf’s diaries and letters will be shared electronically. There are also videos of both novels, which would be instructive to see on your own. Vanessa Redgrave is an excellent Mrs. Dalloway.

  • Group Leader(s): LIZ CABOT
  • Days: Mondays
  • Times: 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
  • Start Date: 10/7/2019
  • End Date: 11/18/2019
  • Sessions: 6
  • Exceptions: 10/14/2019
  • Venue: King's Chapel Parish House
  • Teaching Style: Lecture and discussion
  • Weekly Preparation: 2 - 2.5 hours
  • Biography:

    Liz Cabot currently juggles her two long-time teaching careers. For 20+ years, she taught English literature and composition, mostly at UMass Boston and Boston University, where she specialized in early twentieth-century literature, especially Virginia Woolf, for her Ph.D. Then she shifted to English as a Second or Other Language (ESL) for another 15+ years in biotech companies and community education programs in Newton and Wellesley. She moved to Cambridge in 2017. Recently she taught three courses in a senior learning cooperative on Woolf and contemporary poetry. At present she does substitute ESL teaching and private tutoring.

  • Address: 64 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108