Virginia Woolf: A Writer's Life

Virginia Woolf A Writer s Life M easured and brave in its imaginative interpretations Carolyn Heilbrun The New York Times Book Review This original intuitive and even exciting The New Yorker portrait highlights the experiences

  • Title: Virginia Woolf: A Writer's Life
  • Author: Lyndall Gordon
  • ISBN: 9780393322057
  • Page: 352
  • Format: Paperback
  • M easured, and brave in its imaginative interpretations Carolyn Heilbrun, The New York Times Book Review This original, intuitive, and even exciting The New Yorker portrait highlights the experiences that shaped Virginia Woolf s life and art her childhood, her relationships with her father and sister, her marriage, and her descents into madness.

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      Published :2019-04-18T04:46:13+00:00

    2 thoughts on “Virginia Woolf: A Writer's Life

    1. Lyndall Gordon born 4 November 1941 is a British based writer and academic, known for her literary biographies She is a Senior Research Fellow at St Hilda s College, Oxford.Born in Cape Town, she was an undergraduate at the University of Cape Town, then a doctoral student at Columbia University in New York City She married the pathologist Siamon Gordon they have two daughters.Gordon is the author of Eliot s Early Years 1977 , which won the British Academy s Rose Mary Crawshay Prize Virginia Woolf A Writer s Life 1984 , which won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize Charlotte Bront A Passionate Life 1994 , winner of the Cheltenham Prize for Literature and Vindication A Life of Mary Wollstonecraft, shortlisted for the BBC Four Samuel Johnson Prize Her most recent publication is Lives Like Loaded Guns Emily Dickinson and her Family s Feuds 2010 , which has overturned the established assumptions about the poet s life from

    2. In writing this biography Lyndall Gordon chooses to follow Virginia Woolf’s own premise that a person’s life is shaped by essentially private moments of inspiration and humiliation rather than external events. Gordon seeks to understand Woolf more through her fiction than her social persona which she claims was in many ways stagecrafted, a pose of offhand verbal banter very much of its time. She thus debunks the somewhat patronising distorting notion that Woolf was frigid and a lesbian – b [...]

    3. "We are born with the dead:See, they return, and bring us with them. " --T.S. EliotI have read multiple Woolf biographies and as they are informed by her exquisite writing, I have found each to be illuminating. Gordon's work is a careful weave of her life and her writing--and I think is very effective in revealing both. Some bios on Woolf have focused on her tragedy- Gordon has a way of writing that focuses on her energy and brilliance. I also appreciate how he understand her precarious historic [...]

    4. In reading this luminous biography of Virginia Woolf, one learns much about the extraordinary interplay between her life and her work, which, by and large are the same thing. One might say there are actually two biographies here, one of Mrs. Woolf and the other of her work. The beauty of the book is that it discusses in great and finely researched detail the beautiful subtlety of this interplay and the incredible artistry of Mrs. Woolf in her ability to use it to bring her works into being. This [...]

    5. I really enjoyed many parts of this book, especially the first half in which Gordon analyses To The Lighthouse in the context of Woolf's childhood. Overall the biography is littered with little gleaming facts and insights that I'm glad to have read but I couldn't help finding Gordon's narrative voice rather irritating. The ease with which Gordon dismisses Orlando as a mere gender bending experiment, a trite intelligent game - an extension of Woolf's public performance, felt rather reductive and [...]

    6. I've read a lot about Woolf, and this book is light on the 'biography' aspect, but very good on Woolf as a writer. I really enjoyed Gordon's detailed look at Woolf's books, particularly The Waves and To the Lighthouse, and her take on Woolf's creative process. I was frustrated by some things - her blatant dismissal of Woolf's relationship with Vita Sackville West, and other women as lacking depth, and her (I think) overemphasis on her relationship with Leonard Woolf among them. In spite of this [...]

    7. This was an okay book. It's basically deconstructing V. Woolf's biography in light of the novels she wrote. While it's interesting, I always judge a book harshly if 30 pages from the end, I still don't care. There were moments when I was compelled to read further, but the section on the Waves felt like a watered-down version of the lecture I attended on it in college with a few biographical flourishes that were neither enlightening nor all that compelling. All the book made me do was wish I was [...]

    8. More of an attempt to understand Woolf through her writing than a conventional timeline biography. Gordon’s insights often enriched my understanding of Woolf’s novels. I especially enjoyed the chapter on The Waves. I’d definitely recommend this to anyone interested in Woolf the writer.

    9. This was a very scholarly book and difficult to read. Though despite that, I found it quite interesting.

    10. This book is great for its discussion of Woolf's novels, but as a biography, we get only a vague picture of VW's life.

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