This is our universe Libretto

This is our universe
an experimental opera film by Misha Penton

Text by Virginia Woolf, adapted by Misha Penton. Virginia Woolf’s text for This is our universe is used by permission from The Society of Authors as the Literary Representative of the Estate of Virginia Woolf.

“Let us now crawl under the canopy of the currant leaves, and tell stories. Let us inhabit the underworld. Let us take possession of our secret territory, which is lit by pendant currants like candelabra, shining red on one side, black on the other... if we curl up close, we can sit under the canopy of the currant leaves and watch the censers swing. This is our universe.”

[— all our moments strung on sky wire, ever translucent:] “even my body now lets the light through” [and] “I tremble, [and] I quiver, like the leaf in the hedge, as I sit dangling my feet, on the edge of the bed, with a new day to break open.” 

“Alone, I often fall down into nothingness. I must push my foot stealthily lest I should fall off the edge of the world into nothingness…” [and] “There is nobody – here among these grey arches, and moaning pigeons, and cheerful games and tradition and emulation, all so skilfully organised to prevent feeling alone.”

[Where is] “the girl who had shaken her head and made all the jewels, the topaz, the aquamarine, the water-coloured jewels with sparks of fire in them, dance…[who] bared her brows and with wide-opened eyes drove a straight pathway over the waves” [: the small dark-haired girl with dreams in her basket,] “Her shoulder-blades meet[ing] across her back like the wings of a small butterfly…This is our Universe.”


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