Msnowe's Blog

Again with the Necromancy Fancy

Posted in Uncategorized by m.snowe on March 23, 2010

Remember when m.snowe talked about the speculation over Jane Austen’s death? Well, apparently, these folks at the NYTimes are much more interested in learning about a female writer’s mysterious demise than they are about getting people to actually appreciate her literature.

Here’s a poorly titled mini-article on Virginia Woolf’s offing. Don’t get us wrong, new correspondence being released to the general public is great (we do appreciate this book, so how can we complain?). But “shed light”? Really, NYTimes?

A. We’re just repelled when anyone uses that turn of phrase in this circumstance. Can you really “shed light” upon a suicide? Because last time we checked, there ain’t much that’s shiny and sun-kissed about walking into a body of water with rocks in your pockets. And depression is a complex, psychological condition. Someone else’s letters aren’t exactly going to get any closer to Woolf’s state of mind at the time.

B. What “new” information do these letters tell us, exactly? If you’re looking for what other people were thinking and feeling around the time of her death, then fine. There’s nothing here about Woolf herself that we didn’t already know.

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