Sometime around this time last year I came up with the idea of a yearlong read-a-long of Virginia Woolf. Suddenly it is very nearly over.
“what is this moment of time, this particular day in which I have found
myself caught? The growl of traffic might be any uproar – forest trees or
the roar of wild beasts. Time has whizzed back an inch or two on its reel;
our short progress has been cancelled. I think also that our bodies are in truth
naked. We are only lightly covered with buttoned cloth; and beneath these
pavements are shells, bones and silence.”
(Virginia Woolf – The Waves)
Our final phase of #Woolfalong was to read one or more of the novels: Jacob’s Room, The Waves and The Years. Originally – and perhaps optimistically, I intended to read all three – and I haven’t managed that. I read Jacob’s Room and The Waves, enjoying them both, but although I do have a few days of the year left, The Years must wait.
Fewer people managed to join in this phase – but I’m not surprised at that, the end of the year is always so busy. Still as ever I like to take a look at what other people read for phase 6.
#Woolfalong has enabled me to connect with non-blogging Woolf readers on Twitter. For phase 6. Mary, Adeline and Kate read The Waves, Anne read Jacob’s Room.
Caroline – from Bookword read and reviewed The Waves, which she admits to not having enjoyed as much as she had hoped. Liz from Adventures in reading, writing and working from home, read The Waves too, which Liz says in part is a critique on gender rolls (I hadn’t thought of this while I read it, but of course it is).
Karen from Kaggsysbookishramblings re-read Jacob’s Room after a gap of more than thirty years. Her reaction to reading Jacob’s Room was enormously positive, and she considers Jacob’s Room a good book for someone to begin their Woolf reading.
O from Beholdthestars read The Years which she describes as being measured by the changing seasons, her review makes me want to read it at some point in 2017.
So, that’s it – #Woolfalong has taken rather more energy than I realised, but I am so very glad I did it, and so happy that so many lovely readers and bloggers joined in. I will continue reading Virginia Woolf, there are essays I still haven’t read, some short stories and The Years. I also have a books called The Marriage of True Minds about the relationship between Leonard and Virginia Woolf. On balance, I’m rather glad I haven’t read everything yet.
Last year, before embarking on #Woolfalong I read Orlando, The Voyage Out and A Room of One’s Own. It was those books which got me started, I had previously read To the Lighthouse and Mrs Dalloway though many years earlier, and knew I needed to re-visit them first. #Woolfalong was born, so to speak, and since then I have read a lot more by and about Virginia Woolf. It’s been a wonderful experience, and I have gained so much by reading these books. There was no one else quite like her, and while I encountered some challenges along the way, they were welcome ones.
My favourites: To the Lighthouse, Night and Day, Flush, A writer’s Diary. Though for those of you who might be interested, below is a list of titles with links to all my #Woolfalong reviews.
Finally, I want to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported #Woolfalong – including Oxford World’s Classics – who back at the beginning of the year sent me a lovely box of Virginia Woolf books, some for me some for a giveaway. Also to Vintage books who provided books for a giveaway last December. Whether you’ve joined in all year – or once or twice along the way I was happy to have your company and your contributions, those who have retweeted, or posted comments on blog posts – your support is just as appreciated.
To the Lighthouse
Night and Day
Between the Acts
Monday or Tuesday
Mrs Dalloway’s Party
A Writer’s Diary
Virginia Woolf – Nigel Nicolson
Virginia Woolf; a critical memoir by Winifred Holtby
Recollections of Virginia Woolf -ed Joan Russell