The last novel for the Woolf course. Its idea of following a family for some generations (while focusing on one generation in particular) seems appealing, but it's simply too long. Although The Years reads easier than The Waves, the plot is still rather loose and vague sometimes. Good prose, but it just couldn't capture my full attention.

26 May 2008

Oxford University Press, 2000
Originally published 1937


Comments

Tough nut to crack. Beautiful language is interspersed with almost boring passages. Hard to stay focused. The Waves is all form and hardly any plot. The form may be interesting, but some content would be nice as well. Perhaps on a re-read it is easier to appreciate this experimental, difficult novel. I hope The Years reads a bit better.

25 April 2008

Oxford University Press, 1998
Originally published 1931


Comments

It's witty, it's elusive, it's remarkable and it's probably a novel. Orlando is one of those books that refuse to be categorized; it mocks categories simply. Although radically different from Mrs Dalloway, the style is somehow still Woolf's. It's certainly a style I like. Here comes The Waves.

19 March 2008

Oxford University Press, 2000
Originally published 1928


Comments

Interesting to see how much you forget in a few years. I'd read this book before, in 2005, but reading it now it almost felt new. Perhaps it's because Mrs Dalloway doesn't really have a plot? Probably. Well, it's a good thing really. Since this re-read hardly felt like a re-read the book impressed me all over again. It was still as hard to go through as last time, but it was just as rewarding in the end. It's quite brilliant, the way the characters' minds are linked by all sorts of subtle remarks and parallels. And all the techniques Woolf uses - cinematographic cuts and zoomings, free indirect discourse - they still amaze me. Mrs Dalloway is certainly a difficult read, but once you overcome its resistance and start enjoying it you'll want to come back to it again and again. At least, that's how I feel.

27 February 2008

Oxford University Press, 2000
Originally published 1925


Comments

Woolf's debut. Quite easy-going compared to later novels, although a bit lengthly and some less interesting parts within. Has some good, searching questions and original ideas though. Plus some nicely-developed characters. Good introduction to her oeuvre.

10 February 2008

Oxford University Press, 2001
Originally published 1915


Comments

The second novel I've read by Woolf. It's the last one she wrote before committing suicide and one of her shortest. Using a lot of Modernist techniques it also illustrates Woolf's feeling for language. With a short and economic style she can create moments of beautiful literature in this novel. The point of Between the Acts is this use of language. Forget the plot, read and reread the lines.

18 April 2007

Oxford University Press, 2000
Originally published 1941


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