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The Waves (Paperback)

Author:  Virginia Woolf
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The Waves Woolf, Virginia 1 of 1
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Learn more about The Waves:

Format: Paperback
ISBN-10: 0156949601
ISBN-13: 9780156949606
Sku: 30020967
Publish Date: 6/1/1978
Dimensions:  (in Inches) 8H x 5.5L x 0.75T
Pages:  300
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The sun had not yet risen. (from the first line)
One of Woolf''s most experimental novels, The Waves presents six characters in monologue - from morning until night, from childhood into old age - against a background of the sea. The result is a glorious chorus of voices that exists not to remark on the passing of events but to celebrate the connection between its various individual parts.
THE WAVES, Woolf's highly experimental, almost-prose-poem of a novel, asks the reader, "What endures?" The answer calls out from the novel like an echo in a seashell: nothing. Everything changes, decays, morphs. Woolf sketches six lives--three women and three men--all focused on a leader, Percival, a classical hero. Each character narrates a set of soliloquies through which Woolf explores the ways in which each human life is like a wave that impacts another, but is always truly alone. THE WAVES is a stunning, though abstract, look at humanity--the novel about which Woolf said, "I am writing to a rhythm and not a plot."
Author Bio
Virginia Woolf
Virginia Woolf was the third of four children born to Leslie Stephen, who was editor of the Dictionary of National Biography, and the beautiful Julia Prinsep Duckworth Jackson, later to be the models for Mr. and Mrs. Ramsay in TO THE LIGHTHOUSE. Virginia and her sister Vanessa were educated at home, though their brothers went away to school and later to Cambridge. The girls did, however, have the run of their father's extensive library. An outstandingly precocious child in a gifted family, Virginia decided very early to be a writer, and at age 9 began producing a family newspaper. When she was 13, her adored mother died, and shortly after that her older half-sister Stella, who served as a surrogate--traumas from which Virginia never entirely recovered. Beginning in 1895, she had recurring bouts of suicidal madness--one reason she and Leonard Woolf, whom she married in 1912, never had children. After the death of their father, the Stephen siblings moved to the part of London known as Bloomsbury, and thus began the famed Bloomsbury Group--a loose collection of friends who were also writers and artists. Virginia and Leonard Woolf founded the Hogarth Press as a distraction for Virginia after one of her bouts of madness, and it became one of Britain's most distinguished imprints, publishing not only their own books but those of their contemporaries, including Sigmund Freud. Overcome by her mental illness, and depressed about the prospects for England during the Second World War, Virginia Woolf drowned herself in 1941.


"Mrs. Woolf's new form is absolutely valid. It represents the successful attempt of a genius to reform for its own high pursposes a medium which had been distorted to suit lesser talents: and, as it happens, it is not so much a discovery of a new model as a reversion to an old and sanctified one....Virginia Woolf has revived the Platonic dialogue. True that her persons do not argue, but merely make counterassertions. Still the form is the same. And in this form Virginia Woolf comes to a curious and secret flowers. The sight of it is far beyond the deserts of most of us." - Rebecca West 11/01/1931

New York Times Book Review
"As prose it has very often a high distinction--it is clear, bright, burnished, at once marvelously accurate and subtly connotative. The pure, delicate sensibility found in this language and the moods that it expresses are a true kind of poetry. And since literature comes before the novel, and THE WAVES reaches the level of literature, whether it is a good or bad novel, or any novel at all, is not really important....Certainly it has seductive form...; certainly it contains much distinguished and beautiful writing; certainly it reveals exquisite sensibility. These qualities make it good enough to deserve the most careful scrutinizing, when high standards of comparison must be brought into play. And measured by those standards, though it survives as something rare and unique enough, it emerges as minor writing." - Louis Kronenberger 10/25/1931

PEN America
"In THE WAVES, Virginia Woolf came closest to fulfilling her aesthetic ideal. This ideal is a fiction in which the stuff of realistic fiction--money, class, social placement, the details of family connection--is notable for its absence, and attention is paid only to that which reveals the inner life." - Mary Gordon Winter 2000-2001

Product Attributes

Product attributeeBooks:   Kobo
Product attributeBook Format:   Paperback
Product attributeNumber of Pages:   0300
Product attributePublisher:   Mariner Books
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