About the Work
Music: “For the First Time” by Howard Hanson
Virginia Woolf was an English novelist and essayist, regarded as one of the foremost literary figures of the twentieth century. Throughout her life, Woolf was plagued with recurring mental illness thought to have been the result of what is now termed bipolar disorder. Despite this instability her literary productivity continued with few breaks throughout her life. Woolf’s breakdowns were initially triggered by the death of her mother when she was thirteen, and subsequently (it is theorized) by the sexual abuse at the hands of her half-brothers. Later, she was also haunted by the death of her beloved nephew, Julian Bell, who was lost in the Spanish Civil War.
Woolf eventually took her own life by walking into a river near her home, her coat pockets weighted with stones. Her final letter to her husband, Leonard Woolf read:
“I feel certain that I am going mad again. I feel we can’t go through another of those terrible times. And I shan’t recover this time. I begin to hear voices and I can’t concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness…”
“Unpublished Dialogues” premiered in September of 2008 at the Ice House, Millworks Gallery in Akron, Ohio.