Writers: Virginia Woolf

  • Frances Taylor

    Good, but not Great!

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    Unfortunately, I can't say that I enjoyed Mrs. Dalloway very much! Although it is said as being one of Woolf's finest novels, I felt it was tough going getting through it. As you would expect from Virginia Woolf, the quality of the writing is very good and the capturing of character's thought processes is very interesting. However, I found it difficult to sympathise with the characters of Clarissa Dalloway and Septimus Smith- two characters living in London in 1923 and both experiencing very different lives- and so I felt that this restricted my potential enjoyment of the novel. 'To the Lighthouse', also by Woolf, is proving a much more enjoyable read so far!

  • Will Roszczyk

    Surprisingly witty and insightful

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    Viriginia Woolf's famous book 'Orlando' tells the tale of the eponymous individual, whose bizarre life story spans centuries and takes many interesting terms. Woolf writes of the idiocy of high society, and the steps to which the title character takes part in and mocks it. However, the book's main focus is that of gender and identity, and a book that many might turn away from due to its author manages to confound expectations. Having attempted 'To the Lighthouse' in my first year of uni, I didn't think I would ever get through a Woolf book. 'Orlando' however proved me wrong, Woolf's incisive language and complex characterisation making the narrative that much more entertaining and engrossing - despite the lack of a coherent plot journey. She also causes herself problems with her languid descriptions and musings, but the wit that is presented makes up for this at many points within the novel.

  • Louise Potter

    ...I'd rather visit somewhere else.

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    Sometimes I read books not because they have been recommended to me, or because I find the subject interesting, or even because the cover looks appealing, but instead because I feel that I have some kind of innate responsibility as someone who "likes reading" to have read them. Virginia's Woolf's work is one of these novels. Whilst I fully believe that I should love her overly long sentences, complex stream-of-consciousness approach, and deeply conflicted and overcomplicated characters... I just don't. To The Lighthouse exemplifies everything for me that I think literature should be. Yet, I cannot help but find distain for its confusing complexity and painfully obvious self-awareness. Virginia Woolf is clearly an extremely talented and highly intelligent woman; however I find it impossible to enjoy her work. Mrs Ramsey infuriates me, Lily seems completely one dimensional... and don't even get me started on that lighthouse.

  • Cathy Adams

    Mrs Dalloway

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    Mrs Dalloway is quite simply the most mystifying book I have ever come across. Written wholly in free indirect discourse in the height of modernism, Woolf jumps from one character

  • Cathy Adams

    DON'T BOTHER

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    The title says it all. Easily the most confusing book I have ever clapped eyes on: with no apparent meaning or resolution. Readers, you have been warned.

  • Amanda Leduc

    Relevant in every possible way that matters

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    I first read 'Room' when I was nineteen, and happily sloshing my way through first year university. At the time, I was madly in love with all things contemporary literature and, hence, was not terribly impressed by Ms. Woolf -- I didn't like the fact that she rambled, and her posturings on the role of the woman in literature felt outdated and a little ridiculous. Plus, as I was myself finding plenty of time to write, I couldn't quite identify with her insistence on time and money as being necessary precursors to the literary life. _Anyone can write if they make the time,_ I scoffed. _It's the easiest piece of cake there is!_ Fast forward eight years. A few weeks ago, feeling battered and disheartened by yet another week of struggling to find time to write in between work and all the other commitments of regular life, I picked up 'Room' again. I don't know what happened. I was instantly hooked, elated, astonished. Every second word, it seemed, rang some bell nestled deep i...I first read 'Room' when I was nineteen, and happily sloshing my way through first year university. At the time, I was madly in love with all things contemporary literature and, hence, was not terribly impressed by Ms. Woolf -- I didn't like the fact that she rambled, and her posturings on the role of the woman in literature felt outdated and a little ridiculous. Plus, as I was myself finding plenty of time to write, I couldn't quite identify with her insistence on time and money as being necessary precursors to the literary life. _Anyone can write if they make the time,_ I scoffed. _It's the easiest piece of cake there is!_ Fast forward eight years. A few weeks ago, feeling battered and disheartened by yet another week of struggling to find time to write in between work and all the other commitments of regular life, I picked up 'Room' again. I don't know what happened. I was instantly hooked, elated, astonished. Every second word, it seemed, rang some bell nestled deep in my stomach. _Yes!_ I thought, reading as if for the first time Ms. Woolf's thoughts on the wasted genius of Shakespeare's sister. _Yes, yes, yes!_ Suffice to say, this second reading has changed my mind somewhat. Far from finding 'Room' outdated, I find it now to be incredibly -- and frighteningly -- relevant to this day and age. The struggle of the writer is wonderfully detailed in here, and the importance of women and fiction is highlighted in a way that I don't think has quite been equalled since. A lovely, lovely book, full of incredible insight and unexpected flashes of humour. (You'll never look at visiting the library quite the same way again.) If you're a woman trying to write, or simply a writer, getting discouraged at having to fit your artistic life in with all the other aspects of staying alive, please read this book. I wish I'd appreciated it more eight years ago! (more)

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