The Waves (Oxford World's Classics) ペーパーバック – 2008/12/1
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Woolf described this work on the title-page of the first draft as `the life of anybody'. The Waves (1931) traces the lives and interactions of seven friends in an exploratory and sensuous narrative.
The Waves was conceived, brooded on, and written during a highly political phase in Woolf's career, when she was speaking on issues of gender and of class. This was also the period when her love affair with Vita Sackville-West was at its most intense.
The work is often described as if it were the product of a secluded, disembodied sensibility. Yet its writing is supremely engaged and engaging, providing an experience which the reader is unlikely to forget.
ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
'Together these ten volumes make an attractive and reasonably priced (the volumes vary between £3.99 and £4.99) working edition of Virginia Woolf's best-known writing. One can only hope that their success will prompt World's Classics to add her other essays to the series in due course.'Elisabeth Jay, Westminster College, Oxford, Review of English Studies, Vol. XLV, No. 178, May '94
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Six characters, followed from childhood to old age, narrating what they see, think and feel, always in the present tense. As with her other novels, Woolf's insights into the individual's inner realm of emotion and thought are keen and complex. But the true magic of the book lies in the writing and the way all this is expressed. The language is uniquely lyrical; Woolf's words almost paint pictures on the page.
This is not to say that The Waves is for everyone. So try this simple test: pick it off the shelf in a bookstore and read the first dozen or so pages. You will likely have one of two reactions: either that it is extraordinary, magical prose poetry, or a less prosaic "Huh?" If you're in the latter category, don't read the rest... and if you're still curious about Woolf, start with To The Lighthouse or Mrs Dalloway, both of which are more conventional in their form (though Woolf's work can rarely be termed conventional).
I return to this book every few years as I myself advance in age and can relate more directly to a different part of the characters' lives. The old dinner party question about which three or four books one would take to a desert island finds, for me, one of its answers here in this wonderful, unique novel (for the record, the others would be Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamazov, Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, some good trash - maybe James Clavell's "Shogun" - and an anthology of poetry of my own choosing).