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Between the Acts (The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Virginia Woolf) Hardcover – 24 Feb 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (24 Feb. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521847176
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521847179
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 2.2 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,088,013 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

Review of the series: 'The new collection [The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Virginia Woolf] will prove itself indispensable to serious Woolfians.' The Times Literary Supplement

'This edition of what critics call Woolf's last novel will be the definitive one for years to come.' Pamela L. Caughie, Woolf Studies Annual

Book Description

Woolf's last and most lyrical novel, a playful study on the merging of art and life --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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By A Customer on 10 May 2004
Format: Paperback
Between The Acts was completed just weeks before Woolf's suicide, and it shows. The novel is dark and brooding - throughout there is a dark undercurrent that the villagers refuse to acknowledge - the upcoming war. While perhaps not reaching the same heights as The Waves or To The Lighthouse, it remains a breathtaking work. Out of all her novels that I have read, it is the one in which her radical ideas are set out most firmly. She deals with madness, homosexuality, the class system and of course (as always) the transience and futility of life. In particular, the last monologue of Miss La Trobe is pointed and cutting - a final message from Woolf to the world where she in essence cuts through the illusion and points out the dark, sick heart of "civilisation". Irreverant to the past, plunging headfirst into the future, it is certainly not just for Woolf fanatics. I would certainly rate it amongst her best.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Bit of a slog to read. It is Virginia Woolf's last novel. Somehow her impending suicide hangs more heavily over it than the Second World War which had already started. It feels like a pre-War, almost Edwardian novel.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I haven't finished the book as yet but the jacket is beautifully presented.
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Format: Paperback
Reading Between the Acts is a little like walking through an art gallery and seeing a succession of beautiful paintings, each of which catches a fleeting moment from life. Woolf was superb at creating a tapestry of 'impressions', moments caught in amber, all separate and yet all, when skillfully stitched together, forming part of one magnificent whole.

The novel catches the thoughts, memories, loves and fears of a group of people over one day in the summer of 1939. War looms, it's in the air, rumbling like an approaching storm, but while the sunshine remains the characters in Woolf's novel focus their attentions on more personal matters - they gossip, they moan, they present one emotion on the surface while feeling quite another deep down; they flirt while simultaneously being too afraid, or two restricted by the conventions of society, to admit their love. Summer blooms, butterflies rest in sunlight, flowers in vases catch the light.

There is a deep love of nature in this novel and, I would argue, a deep love of England. While Miss La Trobe hurries her actors and actresses into presenting their play - a series of scenes from various eras in English history - for the annual village pageant the movement of sunshine across hills and through the leaves of trees, along with the sights and sounds of nature, all merge together to form an exquisite rural backdrop to the lives of the village inhabitants. It is the descriptions, and the fashion in which Woolf catches the fleeting impressions of her characters as they watch the play, that bring the novel to life.
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Format: Paperback
'Between the Acts' is Woolf's last book, said to be, in her own words, 'the most quintessential' of her works. Published posthumously, its characters show many of the classic traits in her previous novels. In many ways, Lucy can be likened to Mrs Ramsay from 'To the Lighthouse' and William Dodge has the untapped intellect and shy arrogance of Mr Tansley. Somehow we see a very different Woolf, one contemplating mortality and the gift of life with nature and the violence of war. Its characters show no signs of realisation of the war which is about to tear them apart and the pageant or play within the novel, rolls on under the guidance of the frustrated artist, Miss La Trobe.
A mysterious and introspective book, perhaps also a little depressing as the reader can, with hindsight, see how prophetic Woolf was being about herself.
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Format: Paperback
This is beautifully written about the English way of life, its history, its class systems, about the nonsense we all talk about all the time. It writes about nature and spaces and places, at the end the reader feels part of the village and its all reflected back! Well worth reading.
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By Mr. G. Morgan TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 8 Jan. 2017
Format: Paperback
With 'Mrs Galloway' this is my favourite of her novels after 'Lighthouse' and is at least as poignant as them since, as usual, Woolf is put to trap time in her stream-of-thought narrative voice. With the benefit of hindsight her suicide of 1941 can be descried, although all of her novels are suffused with the elegiac note. Shades of a modernist 'Cavalcade' yet as with Lily Briscoe's painting and Mrs Ramsay's boeuf en daube, Miss La Trobe's pageant is a centre that cannot quite hold.
Less to be read for it's slight plot, this is more in the way of keen observations of world and character the appeal of which is brilliantly articulated by James Wood in 'The Irresponsible Self' where he easily rescues Woolf from the charges of preciousness and snobbery. Her house in Rodmell near Lewes is, I find, strikingly well observed she is a delightful realist as well as a close hewer to the free indirect speech pioneered by Jane Austen (as close to her morally if not aesthetically), the latter close to Joyce whom she, somewhat disingenuously, disparaged as vulgar. It is an exquisite novella in her habitual virtuouso style and delicious observations in pin-sharp phrases and almost rhapsodic interludes. If you like poetic prose, Woolf is the best and with a keen intelligence quite her own.

'
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