This concert explores the music behind Virginia Woolf’s fifth novel and recent compositions that respond to her work. The inaugural concert of a series on Woolf, Bloomsbury and music, it intertwines readings with Scottish folk song and compositions for voice and piano by composers including Benjamin Britten, Thea Musgrave, Judith Weir and David Knotts. The concert is preceded by a free talk, and there is a small exhibition in the Byre Theatre to accompany it. A free symposium will be held the preceding afternoon, with papers and discussion by Woolf scholars and musicians: contact lmg3@st-andrews.ac.uk for details. [Read More]

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An extract from James Wood’s 2011 review of Open City for the New Yorker
Teju Cole, Open City
Teju Cole, Open City
Publishers now pitch their books like Hollywood concepts, so Teju Cole’s first novel, “Open City” (Random House; $25), is being offered as especially appealing to “readers of Joseph O’Neill and Zadie Smith,” and written in a prose that “will remind you” of W. G. Sebald and J. M. Coetzee. This is shorthand for “post-colonialism in New York” (O’Neill), “lively multiracial themes” (Smith), “free-flowing form with no plot, narrated by a scholarly solitary walker” (Sebald), “obviously serious” (Coetzee), and “finely written” (all of the above). There is the additional comedy that Cole’s publishers, determined to retain the baby with the bathwater, boldly conjoin Smith and O’Neill, despite Smith’s hostility, advertised in an essay entitled “Two Paths for the Novel,” to O’Neill’s expensive and upholstered “lyrical realism.”

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