The Novels of Virginia Woolf

The Novels of Virginia Woolf #1: The Voyage Out

I’m doing an independent study for my graduate program – it’s just called “Virginia Woolf Independent Study.”  So the obsessive completist in me was like “I know I’ll just do what I did with Dostoevsky (i.e., read everything he wrote and blog about it) with Woolf.”  But that turns...Read More »


The Novels of Virginia Woolf #2: Night and Day

Night and Day is not generally counted as one of Woolf’s “experimental” novels, but it experiments in its own subtle way with the style and conventions of the late Victorian social novel.  One way of understanding its experimentation can be seen by exploring the use to...Read More »


The Novels of Virginia Woolf #3: Jacob's Room

There is a lot more going on in Jacob’s Room, especially compared with both The Voyage Out and also Night and Day.  To begin with, let’s consider its genre.  In some ways, Jacob’s Room is a...Read More »


The Novels of Virginia Woolf #4: Mrs. Dalloway

Along with my recent experiences of Woolf’s three earlier novels (it was striking how much more introspective it felt than Jacob’s Room, and obviously the time-compression of the main line of the narrative was different), three ideas other informed my reading.  Idea...Read More »


The Novels of Virginia Woolf #5: To The Lighthouse

But what she [Lily] wished to get hold of was that very jar on the nerves, the thing itself before it had been made anything.  Get that and start afresh; get that and start afresh; she said desperately, pitching herself firmly against her easel.  It was a miserable...Read More »


The Novels of Virginia Woolf #6: Orlando

Orlando feels like a detour when taken in the context of Woolf’s other novels.  Obviously the parody biography style, and the fact that Woolf began the book as a joke colored my  reading of it.  It’s also hard to ignore the transsexual nature of its protagonist.  But...Read More »


The Novels of Virginia Woolf #7: The Waves

This book is very difficult to write about; below I’ve only just mentioned most of the characters and their myriad interactions.  As a matter of subjective perception, I will say this book was the most rewarding to re-read so far.  I’ve tried to put some semi-coherent thoughts down here, but...Read More »


(The Novels of Virginia Woolf #8: Flush)

Not the best-known (or the best) of Woolf’s novels, it’s also debatable whether it’s a novel.  Its cover page calls it a “biography,” which is strange, especially considering Flush is a cocker spaniel.  It was Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s dog, one Woolf must have read about in her ongoing attempt, seemingly,...Read More »


The Novels of Virginia Woolf #9: The Years

The big question for me while reading The Years was about whether it’s a reversion to an earlier writing style – something more like a Victorian social novel, or if it’s a step forward in Woolf’s own evolution. The earlier novel of Woolf’s that most resembles this is Night and...Read More »


The Novels of Virginia Woolf #10: Between the Acts

“Parsimony may be the end of this book.  Also shame at my own verbosity, which comes over me when I see the 20 it is–books shuffled together in my room.  Who am I ashamed of?  Myself reading them.  Then Joyce is dead: Joyce about a fortnight younger than...Read More »