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Monday, November 03, 2008

Transcience and Woolf

The BBC has run a story on the newly released recordings from the British Library, featuring some of the greatest writers of the past century, including the complete version of the only known recording of Virginia Woolf. (A two-minute excerpt is available with the article, and over seven minutes of her "Eulogy to words" is available on the BBC Four's Interviews site.)

What has this to do with maritime history? Her novel, To the Lighthouse, has often been called a meditation on transience. Lighthouses, beacons of life-saving, remind us always of the transience of life; of the need for the light because of the loss of life at that site.

Woolf's living voice--lost. This recording? We strive to preserve it not only through the British Library's staff's care, but through publication and wide distribution of many, many copies.

The sea? Eternal?

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