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Areopagitica
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Re: did you like the book?



IlanaSimons wrote:


saltydog wrote:
But then I recall reading Virginia Woolf and finding her difficult going until I read her biography and then began to understand her motivations and techniques.




Cool. We're scheduling Woolf's To The Lighthouse for April, so I really hope you tune in for that one.
Ilana




I'm happy to find out that To the LIghthouse is scheduled for April's book club selection. I first read that novel in a college course entitled "Women in Literature," and it was my first encounter with Woolf's writing. I admit it was difficult to comprehend at times, and I found myself reading some sentences over and over again. However, through the assistance of my professor, accompanied by classroom discussions, I better understood the novel. Soon afterwards I read many of Woolf's works and I consider her to be my favorite author. I can't wait for the discussion to take place on Bn.com. I think that my experience reading Woolf has definitely helped me with Ford.
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IlanaSimons
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Re: did you like the book?



Areopagitica wrote:

I'm happy to find out that To the LIghthouse is scheduled for April's book club selection. I first read that novel in a college course entitled "Women in Literature," and it was my first encounter with Woolf's writing. I admit it was difficult to comprehend at times, and I found myself reading some sentences over and over again. However, through the assistance of my professor, accompanied by classroom discussions, I better understood the novel. Soon afterwards I read many of Woolf's works and I consider her to be my favorite author. I can't wait for the discussion to take place on Bn.com. I think that my experience reading Woolf has definitely helped me with Ford.




I'm glad to hear this, Areopagitica. I look forward to hearing what other Woolf books you've liked
Ilana



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Areopagitica
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Re: Dowell and Florence



Artemis wrote:
I think you hit on one of the most important points of the book: So much of what drives Dowell is his obsession with Edward. He is infatuated with Edward, and strives to become him. He refuses to acknowledge Edward's moral ambiguity, and defends him on the grounds of sentimentality. And in the end, Dowell is living in England, and he has both Edward's home and the woman that Edward loved.




Good point regarding Dowell's "infatuation" with Edward. It blinds him to the truth and, therefore, refuses to look beneath the surface. This causes him to go back and forth constantly, trying to uncover some reality while simultaneously refusing to acknowledge what is right in froont of his eyes.
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Areopagitica
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Re: Discussing the whole book

In answer to the question, "What makes a classic a classic?", I believe that it is a combination of factors that transform a particular book into one that is read for years and years. A classic is timeless, exploring one or more universal themes. The characters are memorable, becoming individuals with whom one can relate to. Sometimes a classic is a book that changed the definition of what a novel should be. THis was true with many books that constitute the Modernist era, in which writers broke away from the formulaic novels written during the Victorian Period. Modernist novels basically informed readers that life is not neatly organized. Instead, it can be chaotic, miserable and seemingly without meaning. (This also defines "The Good Soldier.")
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jd
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Re: did you like the book?

ilana and saltydog - the biography you speak of is???? I just picked up four of V. Woolf's to try and get a handle on her before the new book club in April. All input is welcome, jd
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saltydog
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Re: did you like the book?



jd wrote:
ilana and saltydog - the biography you speak of is???? I just picked up four of V. Woolf's to try and get a handle on her before the new book club in April. All input is welcome, jd





"Virgina Woolf" by Hermione Lee, published in '99. I liked because it isn't too "literary," that is you don't have to have a lot of background to enjoy it.
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Choisya
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Re: did you like the book?

[ Edited ]
You may find this online biography useful:-

http://orlando.jp.org/VWSGB/dat/vwbiog.html




jd wrote:
ilana and saltydog - the biography you speak of is???? I just picked up four of V. Woolf's to try and get a handle on her before the new book club in April. All input is welcome, jd

Message Edited by Choisya on 02-22-200701:49 PM

jd
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jd
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Re: did you like the book?

oops also what is the topic book for March???, sorry I am so slow, jd
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Re: did you like the book?



jd wrote:
oops also what is the topic book for March???, sorry I am so slow, jd




I believe it is "To the Lighthouse" and is the book for April.
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Re: did you like the book?



saltydog wrote:


jd wrote:
oops also what is the topic book for March???, sorry I am so slow, jd




I believe it is "To the Lighthouse" and is the book for April.




Hi there--
yes: the Classics group I'm moderating in March is Dostoevsky's "The Double."
The April group is Woolf's "To The Lighthouse."
Each gives some psychological insight, of different kinds
Join!
Ilana



Ilana
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jd
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Re: did you like the book?

I did find it helpful, thanx, jd
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Re: Dowell Obsessed With Edward



Artemis wrote:
I think you hit on one of the most important points of the book: So much of what drives Dowell is his obsession with Edward. He is infatuated with Edward, and strives to become him. He refuses to acknowledge Edward's moral ambiguity, and defends him on the grounds of sentimentality. And in the end, Dowell is living in England, and he has both Edward's home and the woman that Edward loved.



I agree.

Maybe Dowell let Edward commit suicide because Dowell hoped to free himself from this obsession. If I remember correctly, Dowell wrote the book eighteen months after Edward's death, so I don't think Dowell has succeeded in freeing himself from the obsession of Edward yet.
Laura

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Re: Like the Book?


jd wrote:
Overall did you like the book?



I thought the story was a good one. Unfortunately, I could not enjoy, nor completely understand, the story due to the style in which the book was written. All the elements of a good book are present, but the author's choice to stir the ingredients in the way he did ruined the experience for me.

I have made a note not to read more modernist writers.

According to Wikipedia, "Modernist literature was at its height from 1900 to 1940, and featured such authors as Vladimir Nabokov, T. S. Eliot, James Joyce, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Franz Kafka, Joseph Conrad, Virginia Woolf, Andrei Bely, W.B. Yeats, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, H.D., Jaroslav Hašek, Menno ter Braak, Marcel Proust, Thomas Mann and Boris Pasternak."
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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Choisya
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Re: Like the Book?

You mean you aren't going to read ANY of those writers???? You will miss an awful lot:smileysurprised:




Fozzie wrote:

jd wrote:
Overall did you like the book?



I thought the story was a good one. Unfortunately, I could not enjoy, nor completely understand, the story due to the style in which the book was written. All the elements of a good book are present, but the author's choice to stir the ingredients in the way he did ruined the experience for me.

I have made a note not to read more modernist writers.

According to Wikipedia, "Modernist literature was at its height from 1900 to 1940, and featured such authors as Vladimir Nabokov, T. S. Eliot, James Joyce, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Franz Kafka, Joseph Conrad, Virginia Woolf, Andrei Bely, W.B. Yeats, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, H.D., Jaroslav Hašek, Menno ter Braak, Marcel Proust, Thomas Mann and Boris Pasternak."


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Choisya wrote:
You mean you aren't going to read ANY of those writers???? You will miss an awful lot:smileysurprised:





On the contrary --- I will have more time to enjoy more books!
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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Choisya
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Re: Like the Book?

Forty years of writing is four decades - how will you appreciate post-modernism if you haven't tackled modernism?:smileyvery-happy: These books have vastly varying styles and you might actually like some of them.




Choisya wrote:
You mean you aren't going to read ANY of those writers???? You will miss an awful lot:smileysurprised:




Fozzie wrote:

jd wrote:
Overall did you like the book?



I thought the story was a good one. Unfortunately, I could not enjoy, nor completely understand, the story due to the style in which the book was written. All the elements of a good book are present, but the author's choice to stir the ingredients in the way he did ruined the experience for me.

I have made a note not to read more modernist writers.

According to Wikipedia, "Modernist literature was at its height from 1900 to 1940, and featured such authors as Vladimir Nabokov, T. S. Eliot, James Joyce, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Franz Kafka, Joseph Conrad, Virginia Woolf, Andrei Bely, W.B. Yeats, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, H.D., Jaroslav Hašek, Menno ter Braak, Marcel Proust, Thomas Mann and Boris Pasternak."





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Re: Like the Book?



Fozzie wrote:I thought the story was a good one. Unfortunately, I could not enjoy, nor completely understand, the story due to the style in which the book was written.




Laura,
thsi makes me think of a woman portrait that Picasso painted. The woman is there-just depicted in a very "personal"(modern) way. I'd say this story is also told so, composed from different fragments that nevertheless hang together.

Maybe if you reread it some time later you might experience it differently. And maybe not.

Thanks for sharing
ziki
jd
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jd
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Re: Like the Book?



ziki wrote:


Fozzie wrote:I thought the story was a good one. Unfortunately, I could not enjoy, nor completely understand, the story due to the style in which the book was written.




Laura,
thsi makes me think of a woman portrait that Picasso painted. The woman is there-just depicted in a very "personal"(modern) way. I'd say this story is also told so, composed from different fragments that nevertheless hang together.

Maybe if you reread it some time later you might experience it differently. And maybe not.

Thanks for sharing
ziki




I hope you do not really give up just yet. This story may not be as appealing as some of the others in this period, but you will not know that until you have given other authors a try. It is just too soon to quit, jd :smileyhappy:
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Fozzie
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Re: Like the Book?


jd wrote:


I hope you do not really give up just yet. This story may not be as appealing as some of the others in this period, but you will not know that until you have given other authors a try. It is just too soon to quit, jd :smileyhappy:



I hear you all. I have read other authors from the list, during different times in my life, and have not liked them. I have looked into other books from this period/style and not been compelled to read them --- the subject/story doesn't interest me.

I think of it this way...

If I went to a restaurant which served a particular type of ethnic food, but found I did not like that type of food, would I be expected to eat that type of food once a month? No.

If I went to a museum and viewed a particular period of art, but didn't care for it, would I be expected to display it in my home? No.

If I read several authors of a particular time and style, but found I did not like the works, should I be expected to read more? No.

I have literally hundreds of books I want to read. Maybe when I'm done with those, I will consider some of these authors and books again. :-)
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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ROSIE
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Re: Dowell and Florence



Areopagitica wrote:


Artemis wrote:
I think you hit on one of the most important points of the book: So much of what drives Dowell is his obsession with Edward. He is infatuated with Edward, and strives to become him. He refuses to acknowledge Edward's moral ambiguity, and defends him on the grounds of sentimentality. And in the end, Dowell is living in England, and he has both Edward's home and the woman that Edward loved.




Good point regarding Dowell's "infatuation" with Edward. It blinds him to the truth and, therefore, refuses to look beneath the surface. This causes him to go back and forth constantly, trying to uncover some reality while simultaneously refusing to acknowledge what is right in froont of his eyes.





Dowell is not only blind to Edward's faults, he is blind to his own. And in the end did he fail to act morally in permitting Edward to commit suicide?

Is his caretaking of the "girl" his reparation for his sins?

Interesting too that throughout the book FMF mentions the ability of Catholics to keep confidences, keep quiet etc. Isn't the girl's "madnessa" with the repetition of the one Latin phrase the ultimate in such muteness?

Leonora to me also is "mad." Pity the poor child that she will mother. If her cruelty to the "girl" is any predictor, she may very well repeat abuse with her own child.

I liked the book's style, by the way. The narrator's jumping from part of the story to another and perspective of one character to another seems like the way I think. His style is a bit mnic but then again who does not have some touch of mania?
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