Virginia Woolf and the Perils of Hindsight at the Freud Museum
Part of a four-month exhibit under the title Mad, Bad and Sad: Women and the Mind Doctors, this one-night talk by Susan Sellers delved into the trying, complicated life of Virginia Woolf, arguably one of the most critically acclaimed female writers of the 20th century.
The Mad, Bad and Sad exhibition plays host to a plethora of events, discussions and displays of work from a variety of artists throughout the museum, all of which centre around women in states of mental distress and their mind doctors, who both learned from and cared for them.
Virginia Woolf and the Perils of Hindsight takes a personal look into Woolf’s life – from her struggles as a young adolescent, right up until her suicide in 1941. Through passages from her diary and other excerpts from work surrounding her life (and later, her meetings with Freud himself), we learn of a woman struggling with her mental health. We discover the strength of a truly admirable figure who threw herself into her work as a writer whenever she was capable of doing so, and an avid reader, who inflicted a strict regimen on herself to produce more work and further her own skill.
The Perils of Hindsight discussion took place in the house of Sigmund Freud, the well-known innovator of the Oedipus complex, as well as a founding work on psychoanalytic theory. The guests are invited to tour his home on the low slopes of Hampstead, where he lived with his daughter and wife before his death at the start of the Second World War, after fleeing from his residence in Nazi-occupied Vienna.
Woolf’s diaries, as well as her novels, have inspired the work of many authors, including Susan Sellers herself, who published a fictional biography Vanessa and Virginia, which divulges into the sisterhood bond of Woolf and her older sister. A truly fascinating leading woman in the prime of a male dominated society, the words and work of Virginia Woolf live on today and inspire many critics, academics – and of course, bookworms – to explore her life in minute detail. Here, you can do the same.
Mad, Bad and Sad is at the Freud Museum until 2nd February 2014. For further information or to book visit the museum’s website here.