The purpose of this pathway is to 'reflect upon and illustrate' the process of adapting Orlando.
I was really pleased to find this. It may have little obvious connection to Orlando, but in showing a set of points that joins one railway with another it it a good image with which to explain the name of this pathway.
Why 'Only Connect'? It comes from an epigraph an to E.M. Forster novel, Howard's End. E.M. Forster was Woolf's near exact contemporary. When the film-maker Lindsay Anderson wrote an essay on the documentary film-maker Humphrey Jennings, he took the phrase for his title because it so well captured the essence of what Jennings achieved with the beautiful, lyrical films that he made during the war. He connected different people, different classes and different traditions, finding the common point at a time when national togetherness was essential. In terms of style, he used the idea of 'Only Connect' as an organizing principle. I've always thought that watching Jennings's film 'Listen to Britain' provides excellent guidance on how to connect themes and arguments, whether you're a film-maker, a novelist or a student trying to complete an essay assignment.
In reflecting upon the process of adaptation, what fascinates me is the continuous connecting of an infinite number of associations - the intertextual nature of the film, expressed in a myriad of different ways.
Sally Potter in the maze, taking the same path as Orlando, following in the path of Woolf, and taking her own new path too. So often when you write about one person, you are writing about somebody else, too. It is a feature of the intertextuality that is such a prominent theme in both novel and film, both exploiting the associations of their respective times. Through the novel, Woolf often comments on the 'spirit of the age' and it is through being open to the spirit of her age that Sally Potter takes Orlando, still living - although Woolf herself has been dead for some time - into the 1990s.
The very first asset on the site. It seems to me appropriate that out of the many images that Woolf throws at us in the early pages of the novel that Sally Potter should have homed in on the oak-tree. A fixed point of substance and certainty for a film-maker who cannot wield images with the speed and freedom of the novelist, who has only to suggest to make the image real. 'The Oak-tree' is the name of the poem that in the novel Orlando writes over a period of three hundred years. A key image of continuity - while the world around it changes, the oak-tree stays in the same spot growing only taller and more solid. No wonder than Orlando should choose to compose her poetry beneath it - Orlando who has the same longevity, the same unchanging character.
In Richmond Park, there are many oaks that are more than 500 years old. That one park has more ancient trees than the whole of France and Germany combined. They take us back to Elisabeth's time, to whom England must give some thanks for this great natural treasure.
Urging on her troops as they await the Spanish Armada, Elisabeth declares: 'I know I have the body but of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too.' The sentiment reminds one of Orlando who likewise negotiates female and male identities. Beneath the surface differences resides a more profound core of identity, 'same person. No difference at all ... just a different sex.'