As I began reading through the list of presentations for the 2010 Conference on Virginia Woolf, I was bumfuzzled by one of the first topics, “Virginia Woolf and the Politics of Grass.” In the atmosphere of our current political and social situation, I wondered if it was not something to do with the legalization of cannabis because I cannot see the grass growing in my yard having any political leanings what so ever. Go figure that one out.
Referencing nature, as was the main theme for this conference, most of us know already that flowers are a big theme in Woolf’s novels. I like the idea of the flower permeating her stories, but again it is man controlling not only nature but also beauty. The flowers are nature and beauty cut and put in vases. Beauty tamed and contained to be held captive till it dies.
It appears that many of the articles are searching for a natural order in nature, but do we not think of nature as being somewhat chaotic? A tornado bursts into a town killing trailer parks and uprooting trees. It sounds chaotic, but it is man who takes the order out of nature by trying to contain it. And it is Virginia Woolf who takes the chaos out of stream of consciousness. Our thoughts are much like a child with ADD. “I wonder what I should do this evening? I need to do this and that and, oh, look at the sky, isn’t it pretty, I remember that day when….” Virginia Woolf puts order into these thoughts, but her readers must detect the thread that connects the chaos and creates order.