1. salami

    salami New Member

    Jul 16, 2020
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    Virginia Woolf books?

    Discussion in 'Discussion of Published Works' started by salami, Jul 19, 2020.

    hi everyone, I'm new here :) just wanted to ask what Virginia Woolf books you would recommend me? I haven't read any of her books and to say I'm intimidated is an understatement! I don't read a lot of classics so I'm extra intimidated and I have no idea where to start. would love some recs! thanks
  2. Lemex

    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

    Oct 2, 2007
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    Northeast England
    It's worth pointing out first that Woolf uses the 'stream of consciousness' technique. It's worth looking that up before diving in, I think.

    Anyway, what I think are her best books and which ones I'd recommend to someone who hasn't read her before might be different. Honestly, I think her best book is To the Lighthouse, but the book I think everyone interested in reading her for the first time should read is Mrs. Dalloway. It has everything people who like Woolf like about Woolf, and it's written extremely well.

    There is also another, if you are studying literature at a university and want an entry into feminist criticism, or more context on what was going on around the Modernist era, and that's Room of One's Own, where she makes some strange (not 'strange' in a negative sense, but the mysterious and difficult-to-unpick sense) comments about John Milton and posits the thought experiment of Judith Shakespeare - William Shakespeare's just as talented sister.

    That said, Woolf was a snob. I'm not saying that as a good thing or a bad thing, but what I am saying is that she isn't writing with large sways of the population in mind. Everyone has their 'ideal reader' - for Woolf it was spesifically someone from the upper classes. Someone who had excellent literary tastes, who had a good knowledge of philosophy, and who could understand the learned allusions she'd make. I am not trying to put you off reading her, just understand that she's not writing democratically.
    EFMingo likes this.
  3. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

    Jul 5, 2010
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    California, US
    Agree regarding Mrs. Dalloway and To The Lighthouse. Both good. I have started The Waves, and I'm not certain about it yet, though it is interesting.
  4. More

    More Active Member

    Dec 11, 2019
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    I would suggest you start with A Writer's Diary . It was edited by Leonard Woolf and is a collection of things written over period of about twenty years . It is a bit of a mixed bag , some interesting and some tedious. But it is a good introduction to her work and personality .

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