Thursday, October 1, 2015

October New Year: October 1, 2015

River bank in front of Wren Library, Cambridge
Here then was I (call me Mary Beton, Mary Seton, Mary Carmichael or by any name you please--it is not a matter of any importance) sitting on the banks of a river a week or two ago in fine October weather, lost in thought. That collar I have spoken of, women and fiction, the need of coming to some conclusion on a subject that raises all sorts of prejudices and passions, bowed my head to the ground. To the right and left bushes of some sort, golden and crimson, glowed with the colour, even it seemed burnt with the heat, of fire. On the further bank the willows wept in perpetual lamentation, their hair about their shoulders. The river reflected whatever it chose of sky and bridge and burning tree, and when the undergraduate had oared his boat through the reflections they closed again, completely, as if he had never been.

A Room of One's Own (5)

As Jane Marcus points out (Language of Patriarchy, 27) October seems to be the patriarchal start of the year for Woolf because of its academic associations. But it is also often the beginning of a new phase in her work year as she usually returns from her long summer residences in the country in early October. Several of Woolf's works begin in October: The Voyage Out, Night and Day, A Room of One's Own.  It often seems to be October in Cambridge: Jacob goes to college in October; Room takes place during October, when Woolf in fact delivered her lectures; Percival is described in Cambridge in October in The Waves.  The "present day" is in October in both Room and Orlando.

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