Monday, September 24, 2007

Reading Virginia W

Prowling the house for some bedtime reading last week, I came across my old copy of To the Lighthouse. I had forgotten how much I like this book. I'm what Virginia Woolf herself would call a "Common Reader", so I can't give a literary analysis. The best I can do is to say that it's about memory and change, the fleetingness of time and impressions, and the persistence of feeling. It's elegiac and lyrical and beautiful.

So I've ordered some other things from the library. The first I've started on is a collection of her complete short fiction, arranged in chronological order. This is very interesting, because the opening stories "show promise", as they say, but are a little trivial or a little flat, compared to the novel, which only makes sense. She was a beginning writer. But some of interests are there already: exploring what the past might have felt like when it was the present, examining the lives of women who are bound by traditional roles and imagining women who push those boundaries. I think I'm going to enjoy watching her develop. After that, I will move on to Mrs. Dalloway.


magnusmog said...

Now there's an idea - I've got an unread copy of To the Lighthouse on the bookshelf. Might be time dust it off:)

kmkat said...

I've not read Virginia Woolf (still on my TBRBID -- to be read before I die -- list) but I love the idea of reading all the works of a favorite author in order. I've done it with mystery series to follow the protagonist's life story, but to do it with a REAL author sounds intriguing.