Reviewed by: The Edinburgh Companion to Virginia Woolf and the Arts Christine Froula The Edinburgh Companion to Virginia Woolf and the Arts. Maggie Humm, ed. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2010. Pp. xii + 500. $225.00 (cloth). On the Half-Way Landing of London's National Gallery, a visitor may find herself standing on a Clio fashioned in Woolf's unmistakable image (detail, plate 8), who, with Thalia chortling on her right, holds a quill pen toward a Clive Bell-like Bacchus while beyond him a diagonally counterpoised Melpomene/Greta Garbo gazes into the distance with her back turned, as if, even in this extraordinary company, she'd rather be alone. Boris Anrep's marble mosaic The Awakening of the Muses (1933) melds cultural capital with kitsch and overlays classical myth with glamour girls of modern print culture and the silver screen as it enshrines semibohemian Bloomsbury permanently, if ambivalently, underfoot.
Woolf, who liked both fame and anonymity, had meant \"to be Clio: not V.W.\" in Anrep's mosaic (157). In any case, throughout her life she was in direct and indirect colloquy with muses classical and modern. Centered in the metropolis of an empire on which the sun was just beginning to set; enmeshed from birth in a vast, intricate, vibrantly communicative network of writers, artists, intellectuals, politicians, editors, family, friends, acquaintances, servants, children, associates, and everyday urban and village social life; writing in many genres from public novel, essay, and biography to private diary, letter, memoir, and playscript while co-owning and -operating the Hogarth Press, Woolf left one of the richest, most extensive and resonant archives in English literary history. These twenty-five essays by various hands trawl the deep waters of \"Woolf and the arts\" with a broad net that catches galleries and exhibitions, domestic arts and architecture, bookmaking, publishing and broadcast technology, cinema, photography, music, theatre, dance, popular culture, gardens, entertaining, journalism, and more. They illuminate their findings with thirty-nine black-and-white figures and sixteen color plates.
As befits its companionable purpose, much of this hefty book retreads familiar ground and some essays reprise established scholarship. But Maggie Humm has done welcome work in [End Page 480] gathering into one kaleidoscopic compendium these myriad sightings of Woolf at galleries and museums, in concert and music halls, hearing Parsifal at Bayreuth, comparing the Ballets Russes with Henry Tate or Shaw with Chekhov, participating in early Bloomsbury's Play Reading Society, reading Pound's memoir of Gaudier-Brzeska over tea in an A. B. C., coming home wet and tired to listen to a Mozart or Beethoven quartet on the miraculous new gramophone, writing about Vanessa Bell's or Walter Sickert's paintings, commissioning Hogarth book jackets from Vanessa or a French couture ensemble with the help of Vogue's Madge Garland, compiling homemade scrapbooks of snapshots and documents, choosing pictures of Orlando. 1e1e36bf2d