MOLESKINE ® LITERARIO

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El servicio doméstico y los Woolf

Las empleadas de la familia Bell con la pequeña Angelica. 1922. Fuente: the telegraph

A los escritores anglosajones importantes, sus biógrafos los expurgan por todos lados. Ya Vladímir Nabokov lo había advertido en varios de sus libros más divertidos. La periodista Alison Light ha querido recordar al grupo Bloomsbury y en especial a su astro más brillante, Virgina Woolf, por el lado inesperado: el mundo doméstico. ¿Cómo era la relación de la autora de La señora Dalloway con sus empleados? El resultado es un libro titulado Mrs. Woolf and the servants (Bloomsbury Press) y que lleva el subtítulo: "An Intimate History of Domestic Life in Bloomsbury". Dice la reseña en NYT:

Light, a British academic and journalist, has illuminated Woolf’s upstairs-­downstairs life in a manner intended to exemplify the broader socioeconomic shifts of the first third of the 20th century, deftly spanning the intimate (“Who emptied the sewage was a serious issue among the servants since it affected their earnings and their self-respect”), the socio-­historical and the literary. The result is an absorbing and complex portrait of Woolf’s particular relation to domestics and domesticity (in her later years, amazingly, she learned to cook),but also an analysis of the shifting mores of the period and, most particularly, of the often forgotten individuals whose faithful service to the Woolfs and to servant­-swapping Bloomsbury enabled the creation of much high-modernist art. The book, broadly chronological, is divided into chapters about several of the Woolfs’ most loyal retainers. Sophie Farrell came to work as a cook for Virginia’s parents, Julia and Leslie Stephen, in 1886, when Virginia was only 4 years old. Sophie stayed on with the family after Julia Stephen’s early death from rheumatic fever in 1895, and would remain a presence in Virginia’s life right up to its end: “Sophie lived long enough to write Virginia’s epitaph, to supply the character reference which only she could give.” As Light notes, “In a life full of ruptures, Sophie kept the continuity of memory.” She “was one of the abiding mother-figures in Virginia’s life and represented that maternal care which Virginia always sought.” Sophie worked for one or the other of the Stephens until 1914, a total of 28 years of service; and then finished her working life in service to extended family members before finally retiring in 1931. From then on, Virginia sent her a pension of £10 a year, an indication of her concern and feelings of responsibility. That said, as young adults, Virginia and her sister Vanessa experienced Sophie’s devoted service as a burden: “They thought of taking a country house for the summer months, but Sophie seemed ‘insuperable’ — having no home, she would need to come with them; she was increasingly like an aging parent, a tie.”

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10:13 a.m.

Me agrada mucho la escritura de la Sra. Woolf, y su vida me parece extremadamente interesante, tendré que leer este libro.
Saludos    



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