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Each self exist once on earth, in one moment of collision with everything around – Reality, Society, the beauty, ecstasy and tragedy or ordinary life.Each one of us speaks of ‘myself’ and ‘yourself,’ distinguishing the lone self from a bewildering array of other selves.The introduction, written by Joanna Kavenna, is very academic and a bit existential but it’s nothing that Virginia Woolf fans aren’t used to. The self of the individual coerced by ordinance, the self behind the mask? She is eloquent on social inequality and the agony of war.
Yet, as Woolf acknowledges, this is also the enterprise of any writer: to discern the self in a crowded room, to isolate a single vantage point, to communicate this vantage point to others.
How to express the perceptions of this self, in received language, within the baggy old conventions of the novel, and yet without sacrificing any trace of authenticity or personal realism?
Her essays informed her fiction, and vice versa; this volume shows her thinking about the possibility of poeticising the novel (The Waves was the result) and in some of these pieces ('Women and Fiction', 'Women and Leisure') she considers the relationship between women, writing and society - the preoccupation that would become such a large part of her legacy.
The Common Reader: Second Series comprises a significant part of this volume - it was first published in 1932 to excellent reviews. They are sensitive, acute, picturesque, humorous, and yet severe.' Vita Sackville-West; 'Is there anybody writing anywhere in the world at this moment who could surpass the essay..beautifully moulded into a form appropriate to its content that what is an authentic critical masterpiece seems as light on the mind as a song?
Julia Margaret Cameron, her aunt and one of the greatest portrait photographers of the 19th century.
Both Julia Jackson’s first husband, Herbert Duckworth, and Leslie’s first wife, a daughter of the novelist William Makepeace Thackeray, had died unexpectedly, leaving her three children and him one.
– this is the dilemma of any writer who is not enslaved by choice or compulsion to an overarching ideology.
The originality of the self is the one certain route to originality in art; the self, undisguised and unbridled, is inevitable distinctive.”The introduction is written by British novelist and travel writer Joanna Kavenna, whose other works include The Ice Museum, The Birth of Love and Inglorious.
Suffering from depression, she drowned herself in the River Ouse in 1941.
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