Happy Birthday, Virginia Woolf
Yes, yesterday was author Virginia Woolf's birthday. Most people know her from their school reading, or that (god awful) movie the hours. I discovered her work in college when a lit professor assigned us To The Lighthouse (right before I got into a car wreck that threw me out of school for a while. Ugh). Mainly her fictional work, but she also wrote essays, short stories, and tons of letters and diary entries.
Yes, I found her novels a little hard to wrap my head around, the flow of her narrative is not what we've come to expect. Dare I say, it takes work to understand? Her writings are definitely not for the lazy reader. And she didn't bother herself with the "rules". Remember, she was writing in the 19-teens and '20s, so, unlike the writers today, not everything is always wrapped up in a nice little bow.
And she wasn't afraid to try things no one else had. I mean, think about it? Who else do you know who takes a paragraph out of their narrative to give the point of view to a crab? The Modernists might've played around with the novel's form, but as far as I know, none of them (*coughmencough*) had the balls to do that.
But, to me, I think that's probably what makes her so cool. The fact that I have to wrap my head around her stories makes it worth it to me. One of my favorites? Well, Jacob's Room. I won't tell you why. You have to read it, and follow it all the way to the end, to find out. I wouldn't recommend a new to her reader start with Jacob's Room, though. If you've never read her before, her earlier books, The Voyage Out and Night and Day, especially, are easier reads. But her experimentation, to me, even outside the impact she made on feminism, is what I especially love her for. (It's a shame writers aren't allowed to try such bold experiments, these days...but I digress) Even today, she still inspires me to forge ahead, and try things I maybe haven't before.
So, I have to take this day just to say, once again, happy birthday, Virginia and salute her bravery as a writer and a woman. :)
A smattering of her work:
- The Voyage Out (1915)
- Night and Day (1919)
- Jacob's Room (1922)
- Mrs Dalloway (1925)
- To the Lighthouse (1927)
- Orlando (1928)
- The Waves (1931)
- The Years (1937)
- Between the Acts (1941)
- The Diary of Virginia Woolf 1915-1919:
- The Diary of Virginia Woolf 1920-1924
- A Room of One's Own
- Moments of Being
“Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.” —Virginia Woolf
“So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say. ”
“My writing now delights me solely because I love writing and don’t, honestly, care a hang what anyone says....”
Have you ever read any Virginia Woolf?
What's your favorite book by Virginia Woolf?
Other links about Virginia:
On Wayne McGregor's ballet Woolf Works
Virginia Woolf: The Highs and Lows of Her Creative Genius
The Unsaid: The Silence of Virginia Woolf
Juli D. Revezzo is the author of the MOURNING DOVE LOCKET, the latest in the Antique Magic paranormal series, also the Celtic Stewards Chronicles fantasy romance series, as well as the Gothic romance LADY OF THE TAROT. Her books are available at Amazon and elsewhere.
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