Item description for To the Lighthouse (Modern Classics) by Virginia Woolf...
One of the greatest literary achievements of the 20th century and the author's most popular novel. The serene and maternal Mrs. Ramsay, the tragic yet absurd Mr. Ramsay, together with their children and assorted guests are holidaying on the Isle of Skye. From the seemingly trivial postponement of a visit to a nearby lighthouse, Virginia Woolf constructs a remarkable and moving examination of the complex tensions and allegiances of family life, and the conflict between male and female principles.
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Virginia Woolf was born in London in 1882, the daughter of Sir Leslie Stephen, first editor of"The Dictionary of National Biography." From 1915, when she published her first novel, "The Voyage Out," Virginia Woolf maintained an astonishing output of fiction, literary criticism, essays and biography. In 1912 she married Leonard Woolf, and in 1917 they founded The Hogarth Press. Virginia Woolf suffered a series of mental breakdowns throughout her life, and on 28 March 1941 she committed suicide."
Virginia Woolf was born in 1882 and died in 1941.
Virginia Woolf has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about To the Lighthouse (Modern Classics)?
Brilliant Experimental Novel Jun 3, 2008
I almost put this book down after the first 100 pages. The writing was difficult to get into and I kept thinking to myself, "is it worth the bother?"
I am SO glad that I did persist through the book, because it certainly was worth it. Woolf's writing is very lyrical and flows so freely (and so scattered!) that I sometimes had to re-read sentences multiple times to make sure I'd understood things correctly. It was slow going compared to my usual reading; but it was so beautiful! There's a passage in the book where Mr. Ramsey is reading, and it explains my approach to the book rather well: "He read...as if he were guiding something, or wheedling a large flock of sheep, or pushing his way up and up a single narrow path; and sometimes he went fast and straight, and broke his way through the bramble, and sometimes it seemed a branch struck at him, a bramble blinded him, but he was not going to let himself be beaten by that; on he went, tossing over page after page."
Woolf's brier patch of words is thick and convoluted, but it was completely worthwhile picking it apart in spite of the slow start.
To The LighthouseA beautif May 26, 2008
A beautifully and thoughtfully written novel examining and comparing life and art during the WWI era in Great Britain and contrasting those who experience life primarily through deeds and action (Mrs. Ramsay) and those who primarily experience life through thought and reflection (Mr. Carmichael)--and the underlying contempt and misunderstanding each has for the other.
An insightful, sensitive reading. Feb 18, 2008
The idea of Virginia Woolf's fiction being read aloud effectively has struck me as an impossibility. The very interiority of Woolf's style seemed to suggest that readers hear the narrative voice within themselves. This reading proves me dead wrong. Virginia Leishman's reading--and interpretation--added much to my passion for a novel I have always loved. Readers--and listeners--new to Virigina Woolf need to be able to listen for long stretches of time in order to follow the stream of consciousness that propels the story. This commitment will be amply rewarded.
I am glad I purchased this. I will listen to it many, many times.
Did not find it interesting Jan 20, 2008
Virginia Woolf's novel "To the Lighthouse" is about the inner psyche of the Ramsay family and friends as they progress over a ten year period. It is written in an stream-of-consciousness style except for an interlude between the two major time periods. I did not find this book very interesting. Although there is a lot of prose on the pages, I found that in the end I knew very little about the major characters. This book just wasn't worth the read for me. For those of you who don't like "spoilers" (there is one shocker at the end of the first time period), don't read the introduction by Eudora Welty found in this version. It reads like a book report and essentially summarizes the entire plot.
Exquisitely delicious prose invokes tragic beauty Jan 15, 2008
Lauded as a staple of the modernist canon, Woolf's stream-of-consciousness novel of alienation is better appreciated for its exquisitely delicious prose and her ability to invoke the tragic beauty of striving for intimacy and immortality (symbolized by the eponymous lighthouse), only to find it always just beyond one's grasp. Is there a sadder line anywhere in Western literature than when Mrs. Ramsey is tucking her young son James into bed? "In a moment he would ask her, `Are we going to the Lighthouse?' And she would have to say, 'No: not tomorrow; your father says not.' Happily, Mildred came in to fetch them, and the bustle distracted them. But he kept looking back over his shoulder as Mildred carried him out, and she was certain that he was thinking, we are not going to the Lighthouse tomorrow; and she thought, he will remember that all his life."