Virginia is a quiet woman with an excitable mind Chatty in the presence of enjoyable company yet prone to sink into silence and solitude She puts one in touch with the myriad blubbering of the mind, the sporadic genius and how the both, while at odds, lend themselves to each other With this collection of short stories, one is offered a peak into her process The range of variety among her stories is something to note, yet most of the stories are characteristically in the mind than a sequence of events A Society is a satire on the incompetence of society, that still chose to shut out women It vaguely reminded me of Louisa May Alcott s Little Women, with the girls all grown up and aware of their disenfranchisement from nearly every aspect of living that didn t involve cooking or a baby These were privileged women who felt illiterate of so many thing and they sought to to ask questions by impersonating men in positions of influence This was story was all the amusing given the allusion to the Dreadnought Hoax.Blue Green is about colours, about seeing the colours among other details It s barely a page and could have been a poem, as could have Monday or Tuesday and A Haunted House I might be slightly biased because these are my favourite colours and I ve bored quite a few of my acquaintances rhapsodising about the special place in the palette that blue and to a lesser extent green my argument is that green is a kind of blue deserve Kew Gardens reminds me of To the Lighthouse and perhaps it was the polished version of an experiment she orchestrated in Kew Gardens Couples pass by a flower bed, where a snail absorbs its surroundings and attempts a manoeuvre around a leaf blocking its way The couples are all of varying genders and ages, so are the power balances between them The mindset of each couple of couple is disjointed than in To The Lighthouse given that they aren t aware of the bed or the snail, but ever so often their contrast with the snail is readily apparent.A Mark on the Wall was without doubt my favourite It is Woolf meditating I want to think quietly, calmly, spaciously, never to be interrupted, never to have to rise from my chair, to slip easily from one thing to another, without any sense of hostility, or obstacle I want to sink deeper and deeper, away from the surface, with its hard separate facts. She proceeds to catch the first thought and carefully following the thread from there Every once in a while she realises that she was initially trying to discern a mark in the wall It s an enjoyable flow of thoughts that reminded me of a form of meditation, Anapanasati, where one focuses on one s breathing An untrained mind tends to wander and on awareness of the wandering it is brought back to the breathing Unlike the jumble of thoughts that can harass a mind for attention, these thoughts have a calmer demeanour The collection as a whole has some humour to it She takes a dig at The Times by noting that English Literature was in the top floor of the library while The Time at the very bottom In An Unwritten Novel, she writes about how one can find anything in The Times if they looked for it Later on she declares that it can t protect from a sorrow such as hers and in the last story about how it had nothing to offer view spoiler The presence of a snail in both Kew Gardens and A Mark on the wall made me burst out laughing A Mark on the Wall is the last story in this collection, immediately after Kew Gardens and she realises that the mark was a snail on the wall It made me laugh considering that Kew Gardens was roughly told from the perspective of a snail hide spoiler This thin book of short stories started slow for me, but then picked up speed as I began to see the author s multifaceted world Virginia Woolf was a writer who, from the early years of the twentieth century, saw many of the changes that were to come More s the pity that she cut short her own life Monday or Tuesday is an experimental easel for her to begin to paint the world in a different way Take, for instance, these observations from the last story in the book, The Mark on the Wall Wood is a pleasant thing to think about It comes from a tree and trees grow, and we don t know how they grow For years and years they grow, without paying any attention to us, in meadows, in forests, and by the side of rivers all things one likes to think about The cows swish their tails beneath them on hot afternoons they paint rivers so green that when a moorhen dives one expects to see its feathers all green when it comes up again I like to think of the fish balanced against the stream like flags blown out and of water beetles slowly raising domes of mud upon the bed of the river I like to think of the tree itself first the close dry sensation of being wood then the grinding of the storm then the slow, delicious ooze of sap I like to think of it, too, on winter s nights standing in the empty field with all leaves close furled, nothing tender exposed to the iron bullets of the moon, a naked mast upon an earth that goes tumbling, tumbling, all night long The song of birds must sound very loud and strange in June and how cold the feet of insects must feel upon it, as they make laborious progresses up the creases of the bark, or sun themselves upon the thin green awning of the leaves, and look straight in front of them with diamond cut red eyes One by one the fibres snap beneath the immense cold pressure of the earth, then the last storm comes and, falling, the highest branches drive deep into the ground again Even so, life isn t done with there are a million patient, watchful lives still for a tree, all over the world, in bedrooms, in ships, on the pavement, lining rooms, where men and women sit after tea, smoking cigarettes It is full of peaceful thoughts, happy thoughts, this tree I should like to take each one separately but something is getting in the way Where was I I kept running into these Buddhist bursts of contemplation in such stories as An Unwritten Novel or the mesmeric Kew Gardens This little collection is a good place to start reading Virginia Woolf. This is another of the lovely Hesperus Press books which introduce or re introduce little known works by otherwise well known writers from across history Each is less than 100 pages in length and indeed some are much less This volume only consists of 61 pages of actual Virginia Woolfness and it is a swiftly pleasurable read though, as with all Woolf, it repays much slower and patient re visiting.There are eight pieces collected together Some,A SocietyorAn unwritten novelread as obvious stories whilst othersMonday or TuesdayandBlue and Greenread as simple descriptive meanderings, though simple might be a rather unambitious word for the flow of impressions given This is Woolf at her liquid best and again, as always with her, they demand to be read out loud.My mother used to say sometimes, when telling me off if i had been holding forth a little too arrogantly about something, that i quite evidently liked the sound of my own voice This used to make me suitably contrite or at least embarrassed Now i wonder whether she is looking down on me every time i pick down a Virginia Woolf and jabbing in the ribs the poor angelic soul she shares her cloud with to say Yep, I think that is the only reason the boy likes Woolf, so he can hear himself read Well mum, there is a truth in amidst the accusation I love the way Woolf uses words, the way thoughts bleed into one another like colours as Scarlett Thomas says in her introduction, and this demands to be read out loud and as i can not always have Juliet Stevenson or the late lamented Anna Massie on hand, needs must My favourite piece isKew Gardensa simple commentary on couples walking and talking and reflecting back and forth to each other, observed by a snail contemplating its own journey across a flower bed Nothing happens but beautiful phrases In the drone of the aeroplane the voice of the summer sky murmured its fierce soul There is the mention on a number of occasions of the flowers with their heart shaped or tongue shaped leaves This suggests and it is just that, a hint and nothing , a gesture in the direction of the parallel or perhaps opposing standard of voice and feeling, declamation and empathy The couples featured, play and interplay and we are left none the wiser of any of their futures but there is a unnoticed sting in the tail of the story Our almost narrator , if you will, has been the observant snail but he is not observant enough Towards the end of the essay this line features How hot it was So hot that even the thrush chose to hop, like a mechanical bird, in the shadow of the flowers, with long pauses between one movement and the next Again Woolf says no but every schoolboy and girl knows what thrushes do with snails It is a clever shadow cast over the gentle scene in the same way as the flowers, previously spoken of in bright, light coloured words suddenly become the bearers of shadow Simple, yep wonderfully suggestive.The last piece is the equally wonderfulThe Mark on the wallI remember reading this years ago in a few minutes and wondering what it was all about The i read it now with its wonderful meanderings but in the light of her final end, its apathy or even dismal,empty sound, I am so thrilled that I recognize the value of re reading as I grow older or hopefully maybe just grow. Rating 3.5 of fiveThe Publisher Says A collection of eight deliberately fragmentary and experimental sketches, Monday or Tuesday remains unique in being the only volume of short stories that Virginia Woolf published herself A woman gazes at a mark on a wall and ponders the vagaries of thought and opinion a succession of couples are caught up with nostalgia for their past as they stroll among the vibrant flowers of Kew Gardens a heron soars high above cities and towns, lakes and mountains, while below, life continues in all its mundanity and blue and green are given their expression in words Monday or Tuesday is a brilliant and striking series of impressions, written in Woolf s characteristic lyrical and startling prose.My Review This short book, only 54pp in my Dover Thrift Edition, is the best and the worst of La Woolf Some pieces are incomprehensible to the merely mortal, others are simply brilliant evocations of mood, of consciousnessit s in reading this book that I came to the realization that what many people dislike about Woolf s writing can be traced back to the sense one has of Woolf staring, staring, staring, with eyes darting hither and thither, while speaking aloud what most of us simply allow to slide from one eye to the other.I don t think stories were Miss Virginnie s m tier, the way they were Miss Eudora s for example, but there is something in each experience of a story in these pages to make one glad to have met with it A Haunted House, a few brief words, a simple story of a ghostly apparition and her husband re experiencing their home after death not much to it, not much of it, but so haunting 3.5 stars A Society, of women you see, a society that undertakes A Study, frankly uninteresting to me as a 21st century reader, and pretty much a clunker 2.5 stars Monday or Tuesday explores simultaneity with simple imagery and makes flight seem magically mundane 3.5 stars An Unwritten Novel, now, this is the Woolf of Orlando and how I adore her, what a gorgeous thing it is to be there in her head as her eyes move ceaselessly and her brain which can not shut itself off like mere mortals can, and see the details that tell than the words alone can describe, creating a huge and varied landscape from a twitch 4.5 stars The String Quartet, again, brings the Orlando touch to a musical evening, but came too soon after An Unwritten Novel for me to drool on it so hard 4 stars Blue Green, on the other hand, makes not one whit of sense and is a mere catalog of responses to the colors 2.5 stars Kew Gardens, color and light and the air, with people moving through them and leaving vapor trails of self that commingle not at all, but swirl intricately around and past each other 3.5 stars The Mark on the Wall, the ultimate Woolfy story, staring staring staring while brainwaves toss up Landseer paintings, housemaids, Heaven and Hell 4 stars This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. I ve been meaning to try out Virginia Woolf for awhile and and clicked on this file at Project Gutenburg tonight Honestly, I didn t like it, but she definitely had an interesting way with words.For example, my favorite sketch of the eight, Blue Green, begins thus The pointed fingers of glass hang downwards The light slides down the glass, and drops a pool of green In many ways, poetry than prose, without being truly either one Yet the moments of brilliant wordplay slip in and out, impossible to grasp onto and hold, because the next moment it blurs into an action, or into the next scenealmost in the same way as watching analog tv with static Brief glimpses of something beautiful, but then a blur and a fuzz, leaving you wondering what was really supposed to have come next.Most of all, what stood out to me in strong relief was the hopelessness of a soul wandering aimlessly through life In one, a woman speaks of her friend s young daughter It s no good not a bit of good, I said Once she knows how to read there s only one thing you can teach her to believe in and that is herself The title essay, Monday or Tuesday, is a heartbreaking little blurb about the search for truth and coming back defeated Desiring truth, awaiting it, laboriously distilling a few words, for ever desiring a cry starts to the left, another to the right Wheels strike divergently Omnibuses conglomerate in conflict for ever desiring the clock asservates in twelves distinct strokes that it is midday light sheds gold scales children swarm for ever desiring truth And yet the seeker is doomed to failure. Having never read anything by Woolf before I m not sure this was perhaps the best place to start Most of the stories veer towards the stream of consciousness prose poetry end of the spectrum apart from the second story, A Society which is pure satire and made me think of Bulgakov of all people all the others reminded me of Elizabeth Smart who, apparently, was a fan of Woolf s writing The stories are not without their moments but as complete works none really excited me Probably the one I related to the most was the last one, The Mark on the Wall , where the narrator contemplates a mark on the wall is it a hole, the head of a nail, a stain and, of course, it s none of these, but I can relate to her not wanting to get up and find out for sure preferring to relish wandering down the various imaginative trails her mind conjures up It s not much of a story though and so anyone looking for pieces with beginnings, middles and endings might find themselves a little disappointed by these pieces Another Goodreads reviewer says, This is Woolf at her liquid best and again, as always with her, they demand to be read out loud, and it s the word liquid that really jumps out at me because these pieces are hard to get hold of and run easily through your fingers But if you re interested in the writing process then there s something here In An Unwritten Novel the narrator finds herself in a train compartment with another women and creates an elaborate narrative around her only to have it shattered once the woman reaches her destination That I get Made me think of Amos Oz s novel Rhyming Life and Death I decided to see if I could find an audio recording to have a listen to The entire book s available here but I chose to just listen to a recording of Monday or Tuesday here It reminded me of why I hate poetry readings and that s exactly what it sounded like It was pleasant don t get me wrong but I found it even harder to follow than when I read it myself at my own pace Apparently the piece has been described as prose collage and that s as good a description as any As I m writing this now a couple of hours after finishing the book and a few minutes after listening to the audio recording I find I couldn t tell you what Monday or Tuesday is about This is not good So I went to Robert Stanley Martin s article on the story here but as far as I m concerned any story that needs to get explained is bad writing Or maybe I m just a bad reader.I d glanced at her writing before and noted her heavy use of punctuation I know the modern trend is to shy away from excessive punctuation but I find it helpful and I didn t struggle with her sentence structures at all This was an interesting selection and I m glad I ve read it I did hope I d enjoy her but maybe I ll do better with one of the novels which I do intend to get round to I m always wary of anything that gets labelled as experimental The thing about experiments is that they mostly fail in themselves but we learn from them and that s how progress is made Would Woolf have written To the Lighthouse and Mrs Dalloway had she not first written An Unfinished Novel Probably not So three stars may seem a little mean but the bottom line is that I didn t love these stories They all felt like sketches, well executed sketches as may be. I am strangely fascinated by Virginia Woolf, and that even though I have not read many of her works as yet Like any collection of short stories some of the stories are appealing than others, but all of them show Woolf s creative powers creating the minutest of observations and turning it into a journey of ideas What I liked best about this collection of shorts apart from the witty satire in A Society was the rhythm of the language It s almost like you could read the stories at least parts of most of the stories aloud to the beat of a metronome. Tiny book of short stories Some are great and some didn t engage me at all But, the underlying theme is feminism.Women stop being a meek submissive Women stop sacrificing your youth on childcare One of the biggest obstacles to women s advancement is pregnancy and typically especially when this was written being the primary or sole caregivers of children.Women stop thinking your contributions to society are worthless.Women stop idolizing menThis is exactly the type of book I needed in this moment of my life My favorite story is A Society An empowering read in one sitting book Chastity is nothing but ignorance a most discreditable state of mind We should submit only the unchaste to our society Haven t we bred them boys and fed and kept them in comfort since the beginning of time so that they may be clever even if they re nothing else Let us devise a method by which men may bear children It is our only chance Everybody follows somebody, such is the philosophy of Whitaker and the great thing is to know who follows whom. One Of The Most Distinguished Critics And Innovative Authors Of The Twentieth Century, Virginia Woolf Published Two Novels Before This Collection Appeared In However, It Was These Early Stories That First Earned Her A Reputation As A Writer With The Liveliest Imagination And Most Delicate Style Of Her Time Influenced By Joyce, Proust, And The Theories Of William James, Bergson, And Freud, She Strove To Write A New Fiction That Emphasized The Continuous Flow Of Consciousness, Time S Passage As Both A Series Of Sequential Moments And A Longer Flow Of Years And Centuries, And The Essential Indefinability Of CharacterReaders Can Discover These And Other Aspects Of Her Influential Style In The Eight Stories Collected Here, Among Them A Delightful, Feminist Put Down Of The Male Intellect In A Society And A Brilliant And Sensitive Portrayal Of Nature In Kew Gardens Also Included Are An Unwritten Novel, The String Quartet, A Haunted House, Blue Green, The Mark On The Wall, And The Title StoryIn Recent Years, Woolf S Fiction, Feminism, And High Minded Sensibilities Have Earned Her An Ever Growing Audience Of Readers This Splendid Collection Offers Those Readers Not Only The Inestimable Pleasures Of The Stories Themselves, But An Excellent Entr E Into The Larger Body Of Woolf S Work This is Woolf s third book after The Voyage Out and Night and Day Monday or Tuesday is a group of short stories and though I m concurrently reading Night and have already read her fourth book, Jacob s Room, this is where she begins to work in her uniques style of letting one train of thought blend into or deflect into somewhere you wouldn t logically expect or maybe you would but we ve been taught not to let that happen, were admonished to stay with the path we began on I m sure this isn t original from me but her prose feels very like stretched out poetry.It seems to me she refers directly or indirectly to the social strata of her characters As an American I can t boast a real knowledge of this but it seems like most of her settings are middle or upper middle class people but they re mostly intellectuals or work at self education They definitely esteem knowledge with an emphasis on the arts I ve been dipping in and out of Hermione Lee s biography of Woolf and it seems this is the same class that Woolf hails from.Last I m seeing a pattern of Woolf s characters being confrontational or at least at times willfully rude though when confronted in turn they often back down from this stance It s like a short cut in getting to know one another, rather than being conventionally polite poke your opponent and get them to say what they truly think or if you re feeling out of your depth and thus uncomfortable growl at your opponent to bring yourself back to comfort.Last, Woolf s humor is on display in her story in this collection she labels A Society where a group of women go out into a men s room to explore how they run their affairs in order to determine how women could better run things It s insightful, it s tragic event but it s also funny in the way the women express their critical analyses of men and their bluster Woolf laughs as much at women as she does men.
Adeline Virginia Woolf was an English novelist and essayist regarded as one of the foremost modernist literary figures of the twentieth century.During the interwar period, Woolf was a significant figure in London literary society and a member of the Bloomsbury Group Her most famous works include the novels Mrs Dalloway 1925 , To the Lighthouse 1927 , and Orlando 1928 , and the book length
- 155 pages
- Monday or Tuesday
- Virginia Woolf
- 21 October 2017 Virginia Woolf