on 11 February 2010
Some of these essays were written to be read aloud but most were for the reading audience. As ever Virginia Woolf's command of prose is awe-inspiring; she argues elegantly. Her wit and passion are evident throughout. I was very taken with a Mrs Brown, a metaphor for how different authors approach the characters that people their novels. She also demonstrates a great deal of humanity and dispels the notion that essays on such esoteric subjects as "Memories of a Working Women's Guild" by such an illuminatory will be academic and bloodless.
However, I got a sense of history in these essays and how society and writing have moved on since Mrs Woolf argued her case for getting to the heart of her subjects along with Joyce as opposed to the Victorian writers who excelled in extensive descriptions of place and situations. But maybe on reflection the same comparison can also be drawn with contemporary novelists.....So a thought provoking read. Also, not to be missed for the brilliant essay "On being ill". Here is a lady who knows something about being unwell.