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To The Lighthouse

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I`ve just finished reading this book and I am trying to decide if I liked it or not. I did`nt find it an easy read and had to re-read quite a bit. The story, at first, moves forward very slowly, revolving around one day of a holiday on Skye. The first part was particularly hard going, I did think about not finishing it, but by the middle of the book I was becoming interested in the characters and read it with more enjoyment.

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I finished this book last week and while I found Woolf's style hard to get into (it took me around 40 pages), I began to really enjoy the meandering way of her writing. Yes there is not a lot in the way of plot, but this small volume addresses many 'big' issues, such as death, the position of women in society, art, relationships in marriage... I would definitely read another of Woolf's books, but can understand why some might not enjoy her style.

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A difficult style, but well worth persevering with. Not exactly a ripping yarn, but full of insight into the way minds work, moving from petty detail and personal obsession to grand themes about life, death and their mystery.

 

Characters a bit flimsy I found and inclined to be typecast: the artist, the comforting mother, the arid male intellectual. Symbols also a bit heavy - the piercing beak of the male, the painting that gives the final vision and triumphs over mere floating life, the sea journey.

 

But you can't get everything in one parcel and within its limits a fine novel. More approachable than VW's The Waves.

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I finished this book last week and while I found Woolf's style hard to get into (it took me around 40 pages), I began to really enjoy the meandering way of her writing. Yes there is not a lot in the way of plot, but this small volume addresses many 'big' issues, such as death, the position of women in society, art, relationships in marriage... I would definitely read another of Woolf's books, but can understand why some might not enjoy her style.

 

 

Absolutely Lady Lazarus. TTL is one of Woolf's most important and personal novels. It is the only one in which she was trying to deal with her feelings about her mother. When put in that context that context readers can see the issues you pointed to above.

 

If you want to read another Woolf I'd recommend A ROOM OF ONE'S OWN and ORLANDO. But I usually try to get a little information about her books before I embark. Also the stunning biography by her nephew is a perfect way to get to know her and the other biography that is superb is VIRGINIA WOOLF by Hermione Lee. Your library will probably have a whole shelf of VW books ... I have 2. lol lol lol I collect books.

 

ENJOY

BG

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To The Lighthouse is one of the novels I treasure most.

I remember reading it for the first time and not really taking much in... This is perhaps inevitable if you've been mainly brought up on novels in which this happens and then that happens and then something else happens, and she said and he said and then she said...

 

The thing to bear in mind with a novel like To The Lighthouse is that it deals with the way we perceive things rather than the things themselves.

 

In Mrs Dalloway Woolf shows us the subjective perception of her eponymous heroine, laying stress on the way in which the human mind is bombarded by a continuous stream of thoughts and feelings. To The Lighthouse then moves forward from its predecessor by shifting constantly from one subjective consciousness to another, and this is one of the aspects that make it difficult at a first reading.

 

It is a novel I read again and again, and I still don't feel I've got everything there is to be got out of it. One of the things I remember identifying with most strongly is the way James Ramsay gradually comes to realise that his father is really not that bad after all, after literally having wanted to take an axe or a poker to him on the first page.

 

It is a novel about the passage of time, about coping with death and grief, and, perhaps more than anything else, about the way life is so tragically beautiful. As someone puts it in a novel by André Malraux, a life is worth nothing, but nothing is worth a life.

 

One of my top three of all time.

 

PS for anyone having difficulty gaining access, the chapter on TTL in Erich Auerbach's seminal Mimesis/The Representation Of Reality In Western Literature is very helpful.

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I first had to read this at school but failed to grasp anything other than the chain of events which it describes. I don't know quite why I went back to it a couple of year ago but I'm glad I did as I found it superb.

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To The Lighthouse is one of the novels I treasure most.

I remember reading it for the first time and not really taking much in... This is perhaps inevitable if you've been mainly brought up on novels in which this happens and then that happens and then something else happens, and she said and he said and then she said...

 

The thing to bear in mind with a novel like To The Lighthouse is that it deals with the way we perceive things rather than the things themselves.

 

In Mrs Dalloway Woolf shows us the subjective perception of her eponymous heroine, laying stress on the way in which the human mind is bombarded by a continuous stream of thoughts and feelings. To The Lighthouse then moves forward from its predecessor by shifting constantly from one subjective consciousness to another, and this is one of the aspects that make it difficult at a first reading.

 

It is a novel I read again and again, and I still don't feel I've got everything there is to be got out of it. One of the things I remember identifying with most strongly is the way James Ramsay gradually comes to realise that his father is really not that bad after all, after literally having wanted to take an axe or a poker to him on the first page.

 

It is a novel about the passage of time, about coping with death and grief, and, perhaps more than anything else, about the way life is so tragically beautiful. As someone puts it in a novel by André Malraux, a life is worth nothing, but nothing is worth a life.

 

One of my top three of all time.

 

PS for anyone having difficulty gaining access, the chapter on TTL in Erich Auerbach's seminal Mimesis/The Representation Of Reality In Western Literature is very helpful.

 

Going to add this to my re-read list, first time round I found it boring but hopefully second time I'll pick up on some of the themes mentioned here. Thx

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Read this with my RL book club last year. Some of us thought, oh, just 150 pages, that'll be a very quick read. They were in for quite a surprise. ;)

 

I loved the writing. Granted, not much happened, the book focuses on one day and then another one ten years later. Not much conversation, either. This book has to be seen as poetry, the sentence structure, the words used ... mmmh

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