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Virginia Woolf

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Can't find much mention of Virginia Woolf on this thread, or indeed elsewhere.

 

Have recently reread Mrs Dalloway and absolutely loved it - far more than the first time. I think that was because second time around, I was able to get stuck into it properly, reading the first half of the book in one sitting, and because I'd worked out that her books have to be read word by word, line by line. Miss one out, and the whole sense evaporates!

 

Then moved on to The Years. Have reviewed this on my reading list thread, but essentially found the first three quarters as good as anything I've ever read - her sense of place and development of character had me spellbound - candidate for one of my all-time favourites. I felt the book stumbled a bit from about 80 pages from the end - all focused on an all-night party - but recovering in the last 5-10 pages. However, I read it somewhat tired and unfocused, and reckon the book will nead a reread soon.

 

All in all, reading Virginia Woolf has been a revelation, not least because I'm not usually keen on 20th century classics. I can't get over how much I've enjoyed these two books, and certainly want to read more. She's reputedly difficult, and I'm sure I've picked up a couple of her easier books (The Years was her best seller during her lifetime), but on this evidence, I find her eminently readable, if demanding (which is what I like!). Really looking forward to exploring her other works now.

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Mrs. Dalloway is one of my favorite books. I also recently read A Room of One's Own, which was fantastic and shows the humorous side of Woolf. I tried starting To the Lighthouse, but got bored, but it's still on my list. She's definitely a writer I'm interested in reading more of.

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I've read 'A room of one's own', 'To the lighthouse' and 'Mrs. Dalloway' some years ago and loved them. My favorite is 'To the lighthouse'. Now I'm catching up on the rest of her work.

 

Recently I've read some of her short stories and yesterday night I finished 'Jacob's Room'. Today I'm going to begin reading 'The Waves'.

 

Woolf is one of my favorite authors of all time. I like the way she explores characters and behaviour and how the scenery becomes a part of life and it's various emotions instead of just a background. Sometimes her words sound like reading poetry.

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My favorite is 'To the lighthouse'....I like the way she explores characters and behaviour and how the scenery becomes a part of life and it's various emotions instead of just a background. Sometimes her words sound like reading poetry.

 

I like that as a summary - can only agree. Since my opening post, have read a couple more of her books, and 'To The Lighthouse' is now at the top of my VW list too - indeed it's one of my all-time half dozen favourite books. I think that's because as I've got older, I've become more and more interested in the development of character and place, and that is what TTL is totally focused on. I can see why some find it boring or tough going, but for me it was a very easy read, one of her easiest. Didn't find Orlando quite as engaging, but still enjoyed it.

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That is so true, when you become older, your reading habits change a bit and you have a different view on literature and a different understanding. Orlando is one of the books I still have to read. Your naming it is a reminder for me that I'm not done reading all the novels by Woolf yet, but still having some of her novels to read is a joy. :readingtwo:

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I only read Mrs. Dalloway, and it's quite a few years ago. I didn't get that into it, I have to say. Maybe I wasn't ready to read it. Should I give it another spin?

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You could if you want to. With more and perhaps different life experience and more reading experience too of course, perhaps you'll have a new experience with that book. Sometimes you still like or dislike a certain book even years later though.

 

You'll never know if you won't try. Reading never hurt anyone, well, only the eyes when you read too much for too long and your back and neck if your body position while reading isn't accurate, :giggle2: but if you still don't like it that much, you could stop after a few chapters when you reread it.

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Can't say she's my favorite authoress. I just finished Between the Acts and that stream of consciousness thing just drove me crazy. I have enough going on in my own head without having to roam through someone elses!:giggle2:

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If you want to read something by Woolf that's completely different from her other work, you might try Orlando. It's something of a mock epic, written not as stream-of-conciousness but in more mythical language combined with a modern focus on ordinary shortcomings.

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I've only read Mrs Dalloway - I feel like I need to read her books when I can really take the time for it, and that time has yet to come. I have read a few biographies and read about her life on the internet as well.

 

I recently finished "Mrs Woolf & the Servants" by Alison Light - about Virginia's ambiguous relationships with her servants. I recommend it!

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I read Mrs Dalloway and found it tedious, possibly because I did not like any of the characters. I wasn't taken with all the head hopping, and I like books to have chapters. To be fair there were the bongs of Big Ben where one could put one's bookmark. I also read To The Lighthouse in which very little happened. There was a woman in it who was having difficulty finishing a painting to her satisfaction, because of a tree being in the wrong place or something. Why didn't she just set up her easel somewhere she liked the view? I think I must be emotionally very shallow and that there is no hope for me.

 

In the BBC culture poll of the 100 best British novels as voted by foreign academics and book critics, Mrs Dalloway came 2nd and To the Lighthouse 3rd. The only two books in the top 20 I have not read are The Waves by Virginia Woolf at 16, and Clarissa by Samuel Richardson at 14. Clarissa is huge, longer than War and Peace, so I won't have to worry about The Waves for a while.

Edited by KEV67

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I enjoyed A Room of One's Own which I read for a book club but one of our members, Welsh from the valleys, was so enraged by it that he could barely  say "Pheasant, we never got pheasant!".

 

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