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Old 19-12-2012, 15:59
xxtimbo
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Does anyone still read the novels of this abstruse writer ?
Personally Ive started reading a few, but never got to the end !
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Old 19-12-2012, 18:13
bugloss
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I was a fan.
What I thought about her was that she was writing the same novel over and over (apart from Orlando). I started with the best one and worked backwards, so they seemed to get less interesting....
The <best> one I think is The Waves. It reads like a poem or a dream, and it's tough going sometimes.
I hated her last novel The Years, just so full of snobbery......I made a point of finishing it just to make sure I didn't miss anything to hate about it
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Old 19-12-2012, 18:30
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I read Mrs Dalloway recently. I thought that the writing was beautiful but I found the novel quite depressing. I'm going to give To The Lighthouse a go in the new year. I quite like a bit of middle class angst from time to time.
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Old 19-12-2012, 18:42
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I read Mrs Dalloway recently. I thought that the writing was beautiful but I found the novel quite depressing. I'm going to give To The Lighthouse a go in the new year. I quite like a bit of middle class angst from time to time.
and you'll find that Mrs Dalloway was a dry run for a huge chunk of To The Lighthouse
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Old 19-12-2012, 19:58
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She was born into a very elite family... her mother was a beauty who modelled for the Pre-Raphaelites.
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Old 19-12-2012, 20:19
tuppencehapenny
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I've read The Lighthouse - that was for A level - Mrs Dalloway and The Waves. I think I had a bit more stamina as a reader then. I do like A Room of Ones Own - not a novel but thoughts about women and writing where she puts forward the idea of Shakespeare's sister who was never able to write as he did, but had all the same potential.
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Old 19-12-2012, 23:23
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I've been attempting to read Mrs Dalloway on and off for the past year but never get past the first page. I have most of her other stuff but it's put me off reading them.

Her life fascinates me though so I should probably finally get around to reading a biography on her.
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Old 20-12-2012, 12:20
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I've read Mrs Dalloway and A Room of One's Own. I've yet to start on Orlando or The Waves, although I bought them both a few years ago. I find her hard to start reading, but once I've read the first chapter or so, I enjoy her style.
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Old 20-12-2012, 15:32
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Where is the modern equivalent of the Bloomsbury Set ?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloomsbury_Group
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Old 20-12-2012, 18:01
Sue_C
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Where is the modern equivalent of the Bloomsbury Set ?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloomsbury_Group
This is something that I know absolutely nothing about and I am prepared to be shot down in flames.

I guess that a more modern day "set" would be in alternative comedy during the 1980s when the likes of Ben Elton, Richard Curtis, Stephen Fry, French & Saunders, Rik Mayall, and Adrian Edmondson were appearing at the Comedy Store and in programmes like The Young Ones & Black Adder.

I'm not aware of a similar literary set, but that's probably due to my ignorance!
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Old 20-12-2012, 18:18
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I was thinking of Melvyn Bragg and some of the types that always got on TV like Marina Warner..... Maeve Haron... etc.

The Bloomsburys used to enjoy getting together with house parties not just literature but artists too like Clive Bell and Duncan Grant.....
( not sure if Edith Sitwell ever got involved with the gang ! )
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Old 20-12-2012, 19:01
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Woolf can seem good when I'm in a suitable frame of mind, but if I'm not, she can seem laughably bad.

From To the Lighthouse:

... But after Q? What comes next? After Q there are a number of letters the last of which is scarcely visible to mortal eyes, but glimmers red in the distance. Z is only reached once by one man in a generation. Still, if he reached R it would be something. Here at least was Q. He dug his heels in at Q. Q he was sure of. Q he could demonstrate. If Q then is Q -- R ... Here he knocked his pipe out with two or three resonant taps on the ram's horn which made the handle of the urn, and proceeded. 'Then R ...' He braced himself. He clenched himself.

Qualities that would have saved a ship's company exposed on a broiling sea with six biscuits and a flask of water -- endurance and justice, foresight, devotion, skill, came to his help. R is then -- what is R?

A shutter, like the leathern eyelid of a lizard, flickered over the intensity of his gaze and obscured the letter R. In that flash of darkness he heard people saying -- he was a failure -- that R was beyond him. He would never reach R. On to R once more. R ...

Qualities that in a desolate expedition across the icy solitudes of the Polar region ... (continues) ...
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Old 22-12-2012, 00:10
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Did nt Nicole Kidman play Virginia Woolf in a movie ... way back ?

( lets not mention the nose !)
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Old 22-12-2012, 10:48
bugloss
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yes indeed. the film you're thinking of is "The Hours". Not sure if 2002 counts as way back

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0274558/
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Old 23-12-2012, 20:14
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I've been interested in Woolf's life for a while, but what's the best novel
of hers for a newcomer to her work?
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Old 27-01-2013, 16:01
Sue_C
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I've just finished listening to To The LIghthouse as an audiobook narrated by Juliet Stevenson. As with Mrs Dalloway I thought that the writing was beautiful and I thought that Juliet Stevenson's narration was excellent.

and you'll find that Mrs Dalloway was a dry run for a huge chunk of To The Lighthouse
I entirely agree with the above and felt that the characters of Mrs Dalloway and Mrs Ramsay were indistinguishable really. In fact, there were parallels between several if not all of the other characters too.

I had totally fallen in to "Mrs Dalloway mode" in Part 1 and so I was quite shocked by Part 2. Part 3 was interesting and I guess that the character of Lily Briscoe was partly autobiographical.

I love Woolf's poetic prose and enjoy the flow of consciousness form of writing. I think that she shows great insight into people's innermost thoughts and feelings, but ultimately I feel that she had a very depressing view on life. (Obvious really in view of her eventual suicide).

She was hugely constrained by the way of life that she was expected to conform to in the early twentieth century and I wonder how different her life would have been if she had been born fifty years later. Would she have been a Germaine Greer or a Sylvia Plath?
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Old 17-03-2013, 10:44
Abigail88
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I was just wondernig if any of you had any thoughts on Woolf's short story 'Monday or Tuesday'? I say short story, but its more of a prose poem, or word collage and its only a couple of pages long. Have some coursework due on it and it is pretty difficult to unravel, which is what is great about her work...although when you're being assessed on it, it's kind of a bitch. Any thoughts?
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Old 17-03-2013, 13:02
bugloss
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there must be book "The heron in literature"

While she looked a heron arose on that side of the sky and flew on with his face towards the sun. He had come dripping wet from some pool in the valleys, and as he flew the edges and lining of his wings, his thighs and his breast were so caught by the bright sunbeams that he appeared as if formed of burnished silver. Up in the zenith where he was seemed a free and happy place, away from all contact with the earthly ball to which she was pinioned; and she wished that she could arise uncrushed from its surface and fly as he flew then.

THE RETURN OF THE NATIVE by Thomas Hardy
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Old 20-03-2013, 10:52
hornbeam
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I have been trying to read "To the Lighthouse" for a long time but am finding it very hard.
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