July is just days away, and on July 1st phase 4 of #Woolfalong will begin.
Although June still has three days to go I am posting my round up of #Woolfalong phase 3 now, if I have missed anyone in my round up please shout and I will edit you in.
Phase 3 was all about the short stories of Virginia Woolf – I had intended to read them all, but I didn’t quite manage it. I read two collections; Mrs Dalloway’s Party and Monday or Tuesday, and I have the remaining stories in the collected shorter fiction, but they will have to wait for another day.
Some of Virginia Woolf’s short stories read very experimentally, they seem to have been writing exercises for Virginia Woolf as she explored her talent. The second collection I read Monday or Tuesday was the earliest, first published in 1921. These stories are very modernist, experimental and the title of the only collection she published herself comes from her work ‘Modern Fiction’ in which she explains her new approach to writing, of which she said:
“Examine for a moment an ordinary mind on an ordinary day. The mind receives a myriad impressions—trivial, fantastic, evanescent, or engraved with the sharpness of steel. From all sides they come, an incessant shower of innumerable atoms; and as they fall, as they shape themselves into the life of Monday or Tuesday..”
(Virginia Woolf: Modern Fiction).
The first volume I read, and the one I liked the best – was ‘Mrs Dalloway’s Party’, the pieces it contains were originally written in the period between writing ‘Jacobs Room’ (1922) and ‘To the Lighthouse’ (1927). ‘Mrs Dalloway’ itself was of course also written during this period, and these stories show Woolf’s continuing fascination with that character, and particularly with the that social minefield – the society party.
lovely that I still have a lot of Woolf-a-long-ers with me at half way through the year – I have enjoyed reading everyone’s comments, blog posts and tweets – thank you all for sticking with me.
Mary from Twitter – read The Mark on the Wall collection from Oxford World Classics, which contains some of the stories I read. She rated it five stars.Ms Arachne also from Twitter read A Haunted House and other stories which she said ‘was an enjoyable read & piqued my imagination’.
Ravenscroftcloud reviewed Monday or Tuesday in May, and revealed that they hope to go back to Night and Day (phase 2) at some point, I hope they do, I loved it.
Lisa from Bluestalking Journal began reading the Complete Shorter fiction
Liz read Mrs Dalloway’s party and Kew Gardens, a story included in Monday or Tuesday and in the complete shorter fiction. David also read Mrs Dalloway’s Party, to which he made the musical comparison, of it being like listening to offcuts of a familiar album. Caroline from Bookword wrote a wonderful piece about Mrs Dalloway in Bond Street, the first story in the Mrs Dalloway’s Party collection.
Karen at Kaggsy’s bookish ramblings posted some links to her own reading of Virginia Woolf short stories.
So phase four begins in a few days, for those who need reminding my focus will then switch to biography. So any biography written about Virginia Woolf will count as will Virginia Woolf’s own two biographies: Orlando and Flush. I read Orlando last year – and it was that which started me on my Woolf journey – it blew my mind, a love letter to Vita Sackville West, a fantastical romp through four hundred years – it could only have been written by one woman. I am intending to read a slim little biography written by Nigel Nicolson (Vita’s son) which I read before many moons ago, and Flush – I have the gorgeous Persephone edition naturally. Any other biographical works of which there must be dozens would also be appropriate.