Join Dr Vanessa Berry, Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Sydney discussing Flush by Virginia Woolf (1933) in our third Rare Bites talk of the year.
Virginia Woolf wrote Flush, a fictional biography of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s cocker spaniel, after having been captivated by the dog’s presence in the love letters of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning. Flush was “not an ordinary dog”, by Woolf’s description, and he is certainly more extraordinary for his persistence in literary imagination. Although Flush was a bestseller for the Hogarth Press at the time of its publication, it has long been considered one of Woolf’s minor works. However with the rise of animal studies in the humanities there has been an upsurge of interest in Flush.
This presentation will introduce Flush and the genre of the canine memoir, and consider the literary potential of the human-canine relationship.
Dr Vanessa Berry is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Sydney, and a writer known for her work with history, memory and archives. Her most recent book Mirror Sydney, which examines the city’s marginal and undercurrents, was published in 2017 and won the Mascara Avant Garde literary award.