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Orlando: A biography

Orlando: A biography

I began reading this book after discovering a blog post that completely intrigued me on Brain Pickings.

http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2013/10/11/virginia-woolf-orlando-lesbian-readings/  

(If you dont follow this website you definitely should consider it Maria Popova is fantastic)

This is actually the most recent book I finished; one in which was so dense I had to jump right into another book before I could actually sit back and think about what I just read. There is so much going on in this love letter/novel/biography. 

Initial Ideation

Virginia Woolf had an incredible gift of hiding tiny golden nuggets of pure metamorphic genius in her writing and the key is to not overlook them while reading. The problem though is that they come and go so fast as she proceeds onto the next thing. You really have little time to sit and digest her words. Before going back through the book and really trying to spot these metaphors that I thought would make great illustrative letters; I just kind of worte down everything and anything that came to mind... super sporadic. There are a couple more of these sheets but this one was where my head was most at and the ideas of the book that I felt a strong connection with which are a complete love of nature and a goose... which totally confused me at first but after researching its meaning I thought it was completely powerful.

Sketching some stuff...

The first direction really came from this passage from the book:

"...she felt the bones of the tree running out like ribs from a spine this way and that beneath her. She liked to think that she was riding the back of the world. She liked to attach herself to something hard." 

While Orlando experiences physical and phsycological changes throughout three centuries of advetures the Oak Tree/nature remains a consistent place where Orlando can find solitude, love, and inspration. From childhood Nature allowed Orlando to momentarily extricate himself/herself from society and so a love of nature naturally ensued. As if you could just dissolve into the Earth. Would'nt that be wonderful!

Another direction I decided to also look into was this elusive wild goose that was brought up at different stages throughout the later half of the novel. 

"...flies out to sea and always (she flings) after it words like nets...which shrivel as she seen nets shriveld drawn on deck with only seaweed in them; and sometimes and inch of silver." 

Orlando is drawing on her inner language to catch the wild goose of inspiration, and beyond that the timeless moment in which the wild goose is almost caught. But, there are no words and the goose gets away. Here I thought a trail of feathers creating a W might be fun and subtle. The W would definitely be centered and the goose probably does not need to make a front cover appearance.

 

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