How to Express Your Love to Virginia Woolf
Lessons from Vita Sackville-West on the History of Literature
For tens of thousands of years, human beings have been using fictional devices to shape their worlds and communicate with one another. Four thousand years ago they began writing down these stories, and a great flourishing of human achievement began. We know it today as literature, a term broad enough to encompass everything from ancient epic poetry to contemporary novels. How did literature develop? What forms has it taken? And what can we learn from engaging with these works today? Hosted by Jacke Wilson, an amateur scholar with a lifelong passion for literature, The History of Literature takes a fresh look at some of the most compelling examples of creative genius the world has ever known.
What’s it like to be in love with a genius? How does one express oneself? Jacke takes a look at a beautiful 1926 love letter that Vita Sackville-West sent to Virginia Woolf. Then Professor Lauren S. Cardon, author of Fashioning Character: Style, Performance, and Identity in Contemporary American Literature, stops by for a discussion of how authors use fashion choices to reveal character—and how this has changed over time.