Amanda Golden is Assistant Professor of English at the New York Institute of Technology. She edited This Business of Words: Reassessing Anne Sexton (University Press of Florida, 2016) and her book Annotating Modernism: Marginalia and Pedagogy from Virginia Woolf to the Confessional Poets is under contract with Routledge. She edited a cluster on Feminist Modernist Digital Humanities for Feminist Modernist Studies (2018), is Book Review Editor of Woolf Studies Annual, and has published in Modernism/modernity, The Ted Hughes Society Journal, and Woolf Studies Annual.
Alice Walker began 1982 with Virginia Woolf. Walker would spend the year recording events, plans, and phone numbers in spiral-bound pages of a calendar she had acquired filled with photographs of Woolf and her contemporaries. As Walker crossed out days, her purple ink seeped through one page, partly obscuring Woolf’s photograph on the verso. The lines meet Woolf’s likeness, a purple X just passing her eye. The range of inks that Walker used throughout her calendar suggest that this was chance, but the ink also recalls Walker’s novel published the same year, The Color Purple; likely unbeknownst to Walker, it was also a color in which Woolf preferred to write. It is the materiality of circumstance that makes this artifact a vestige of mass culture, everyday life, and artistic creation.