Thursday, January 31, 2008

Bloomsbury TMI

For everything you wanted to know about John Maynard Keynes but were afraid to ask, see "The Sex Diaries of John Maynard Keynes" at More Intelligent Life, the quarterly from The Economist.

This site of The Economist's quarterly is quickly becoming one of favorite reads, so check it out if you're looking for good text.

The Bloomsbury group continues to be an endless source of fascination for me. My link into the tribe is Virginia Woolf, but the other characters tend to be quite entertaining as well.

For instance, there's Angelica Garnett (that's her up there on Clive's lap), Virginia Woolf's niece, daughter of Vanessa Bell, who was fathered not by Vanessa's husband(Clive Bell), but by Vanessa's lover, Duncan Grant (who was usually a homosexual, except obviously in this instance). Angelica wasn't told until she was thirteen who her real father was. She subsequently went on to marry one of Duncan's ex-lovers, David "Bunny" Garnett. They had two children, and eventually separated. See Angelica's memoir, Deceived with Kindness, for more.

I had the privilege of visiting Charleston, Vanessa's gorgeous house in West Firle, a few years ago. It's literally one of the most beautiful places I have ever been, filled with the imprints of the people who lived and worked there.

Bloomsbury, what a crazy group. They also managed to pump out some pretty good art, in their spare time.


Mary-Laure said...

Have your read Angelica Bell's memoirs? I didn't know she had written a book; it sounds fun.

I have read a selection of letters by Virginia Woolf and I have to say I grew to admire her tremendously as an author ('A room of one's own' - sacred, sacred book!), and really dislike her as a person.

Snobber said...

I did read the book, and it's very interesting. Not as juicy as you would expect, but v. interesting.

Aw, you dislike Virginia? Why, because she's a snob?

Mary-Laure said...

She's a snob alright but she also seems to despise people, in a very haughty and hypocritical way. I like it when writers are mean and cruel, I really do, but some letters made me cringe.

Didn't you love the little girl who played Angelica in The Hours?

Snobber said...

i agree, there are a few letters that i find v. disturbing. that said, plenty of other (namely male) artists and writers get away with being racist, misogynist, or murderers and everyone continues to hold up their art as the gold standard without ever mentioning the fact that they were a nazi, a pedophile, what have you. that bothers me intensely. woolf had her issues. i'm sure if someone took a gander at my e-mail correspondence they'd think i was a raging bitch as well.

the personal virginia i prefer to read is her diaries. i think those are the closest one comes to knowing her.

and yes, that little girl was adorable.
"she looks smaller."
"yes, that's what happens when we die, we become smaller."

design dna said...

ooh, that tangled web. i love it. i love the sharp edges, when someone really commits.