Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Three Guineas

Three Guineas

 Three Guineas is a book-length essay by Virginia Woolf, published in June 1938. 

Three Guineas: The Virginia Woolf Library Authorized Edition

The entire essay is structured as a response to an educated gentleman who has written a letter asking Woolf to join his efforts to help prevent war. War was looming in 1936–7 and the question was particularly pressing to Woolf, a committed pacifist.[2] In the gentleman's letter (he is never named), he asks Woolf her opinion about how best to prevent war and offers some practical steps. Woolf opens her response by stating first, and with some slight hyperbole, that this is "a remarkable letter—a letter perhaps unique in the history of human correspondence, since when before has an educated man asked a woman how in her opinion war can be prevented."

Drawn from life: why have novelists stopped making things up?

 Drawn from life: why have novelists stopped making things up?


"Where does this leave invention? The question of its meaning and value seems to grip the current tranche of autofictioneers, keen to probe the hierarchies and hypocrisies that impose themselves on writing. Long have aspiring fiction writers been told to write what they know, only to find themselves criticised for lacking imagination. In other words, give voice to your subjectivity but avoid narcissism; make it up, or we’ll think you can’t. Tell the truth, or we’ll think you’re a liar."


"To write autofiction, however, requires a willingness to treat oneself as the central character, a countercultural celebrity, and this is probably what has sparked resistance to it. It requires ego, it demands the bold determination to make a mark. In the case of Cusk, that started some time ago, when she wrote about motherhood and divorce in A Life’s Work and Aftermath and faced a censure that declared itself on behalf of the unknown others – the children, the husband – in her story. It seemed a convenient moment for such scruples to arise in a culture otherwise fairly used to the blithe incorporation of others’ lives, and it brought to mind Virginia Woolf’s imagined objections of those who would thwart female creativity in Three Guineas:

    But to sell a brain is worse than to sell a body, for when the body seller has sold her momentary pleasure she takes good care that the matter shall end there. But when a brain seller has sold her brain, its anaemic, vicious and diseased progeny are let loose upon the world to infect and corrupt and sow the seeds of disease in others. Thus we are asking you, Madam, to pledge yourself not to commit adultery of the brain because it is a much more serious offence than the other.

Saturday, May 18, 2024

History of Mother’s Day as a Day of Peace: Julia Ward Howe

 History of Mother’s Day as a Day of Peace: Julia Ward Howe

While Mother’s Day has presently lost much of its early edge for justice, it’s important to note some of the underpinning intentions and re-commit ourselves to its prescient calling. At a time when our country is again engaged in devastating and costly wars abroad and many of our own communities are torn apart by violence, it’s time for Mother’s Day to return to its roots.

In the spirit of Ward Howe’s original call, this occasion can be a time to dedicate ourselves, on behalf of mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers everywhere, to rise up and protect our most vulnerable by calling for our leaders to make a directional shift in the course of our nation. There is no need more urgent than addressing the devastation brought on by violence in all of its forms – affecting the lives of untold millions in our nation and around the world. Then, we may finally see the carnage and devastation of violence and war fade into its own history. There could of course be no better way to honor our mothers.
Boston, 1870

“Arise, then… women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts,
whether our baptism be that of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies.
Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage,
for caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country
to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.

From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own.
It says:  Disarm, Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.
Blood does not wipe out dishonor,
nor violence vindicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
at the summons of war,
let women now leave all that may be left of home
for a great and earnest day of council.

Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them then solemnly take council with each other as to the means
whereby the great human family can live in peace,
each bearing after his own kind the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
but of God.

In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask
that a general congress of women, without limit of nationality,
may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient,
and at the earliest period consistent with its objects,
to promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
the amicable settlement of international questions,
the great and general interests of peace.“

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Chicago Dramatists Celebrates Studs Terkel

This Friday and Saturday at Chicago Dramatists!

Back to the Studs:

A Celebration of Mark Larson’s New Book!
Please join us at 7pm on May 17th & 18th for two evenings of
performances, roundtable and salon conversation, book-signing, and live
music, all in celebration of Mark Larson’s newest publication!

Meet the Roundtable Panelists:

Mark Larson - Author of Working in the 21st Century
Carson Becker - Artistic Director, Chicago Dramatists
Friday only:
Natalie Y. Moore - 91.5 WBEZ
Kerry Reid - Chicago Reader
Jamie O’Reilly - Singer, Producer, Activist
Rev. Erik Christensen - Lutheran School of Theology

Saturday only:
Holly Mulcahy - Wichita Symphony
Trung Lê - Epic Decade
Marilyn Halperin - Chicago Shakespeare Company

All  proceeds will help fund Chicago Dramatists’ mission to nurture and grow  the next generation of new American plays, and to support and uplift playwrights at all levels of their careers. Purchase your tickets at the link in our bio!

May be an image of 9 people and text that says 'BACK ΤΟ THE STUDS Friday Saturday BothDays Both Panelists'