+4 votes
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I have read perhaps three of her books, along with two biographies, I think...an early stream-of-consciousness author...

Her writing introduced me to the idea that you do NOT need lots of action and drama for a fascinating story; the inner dynamics of drawing room conversation can be VERY compelling! 

The first novel I read was MRS. DALLOWAY; it begins with Mrs. Dalloway going to the florist for a bouquet for her evening dinner party. Well I counted the pages, and I think it took something like eighteen pages just to make that trip to the flower shop!

So I grew to love her, and I just saw that this is her birthday...so, to hear your impressions along with celebrating her life and her art.

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3 Answers

+4 votes
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I can't say much, and the first I have been thinking is, that you share the same first name, Virginia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_Woolf

Yes, she was a remarkable, modernist writer, had a tragic, too short life, and your description says much more than certain "analyses" from so-called "insiders". And her pictures show a beautiful, somehow earnest and secrete young woman having experienced tragic losses.

Her quote or "dictum": "A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction." says a lot about the living conditions in her times, which were darkened by two world wars.


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Marianne, the conditions of her times...I recall from her biographies that her beloved mother died too young; speculations that overwork contributed to her collapse. It was Victorian times, and the role of the woman was to serve the man - and the mother was devoted to Virginia's father, fulfilling his every need/whim plus working very hard for a charitable organization. 

And yes, our shared name...I remember as a youngster thinking that I might read her books someday...and as I got older, her writing did seem wondrous to me; but when younger, too tedious!

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Yes, Virginia, "tedious" is the word (and many philosophers were/are rather "complicated" to read; kids and teens need "action" and simpler definitions, escaping from grey, dull routine; contemplation and reflection are more for grown-up people.


+4 votes
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Haven't read any of her books but I know who she is and it's a shame she commited suicide. Reckon I'll have to look at her list of books and pick a couple to read. If I can find them.

Virginia Woolf - Journalist, Author - Biography.com

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Rooster, her suicide...from her biographies, I came away with the impression that when she felt herself descending into another nervous breakdown, it was the harsh medical "treatment" of those times that she could not bear to endure again!

+3 votes
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I tried reading To the Lighthouse as a teenager, but like you, Virginia, found her writing tedious.  I really should try again.

It is a pity that so many geniuses seem to have had tormented personal lives, but maybe without the torment, they would not have produced as much great work.

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O'Tink, I still have not made it through James Joyce' ULYSSES, although I sometimes open my copy just for the feeling of his remarkable stream-of-consciousness...in the aftermath of enjoying Virginia I even tried Faulkner's THE SOUND AND THE FURY, but it was just too much mental illness for me, I quit it...I tend to get very drawn into books. I loved Edith Wharton, however!

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