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CallMeLeo
Posts: 513
Registered: ‎11-08-2006
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Re: Water-thoughts

Ziki, I'm blown away by the symbolism. This is great!

ziki wrote:

IlanaSimons wrote:smileyembarrassed:I’d love to know more about how you read water as a symbol in this book.





Generally water is a symbol for the feminine. One can also experience freedom and connectedness in water, not just isolation as Leo said. The image of whales is neat, pmath, water calls forward our playfullness. Maybe that is the fascination with water, the many facets; from gentle to killing. Water is also a vast distance (my thought at the beginning of The Voyage Out). Sailors, rough as they could be also knew that the sea (nature, weather) was their master. They had to accept the limits. (i.e.Hemingway Old Man and The Sea. Captain Ahab refused, driven by his obsession and that was his sure death. The main idea in both books: the man actually doesn't win.--It sounds like a thesis.) :smileyvery-happy:

Water demands respect. Water is life. No woman (nature), no life. Nowadays we think that we can construct the woman as we wish her to be. Wrong. Too much emphasis was given to the seed (phalos) instead of the soil (holding, mysticism). Both are needed because the conditions need to be in total balance for a new life to happen, develop and thrive. A meeting of both is required.

Consequently, the feminine force should be respected, it is a power to count on but it can also drown you. Any man knows that intuitively and hence his archetypal fear of the Mother. Water is a power that is not apart of us (H20) but that is a part of us; our nature that we want to govern instead of cooperating with it. Think of the attempts to control the feminine by starving her out of our bodies, and all she ever needs is a room of her own, an acknowledged, respected free space).

That leads us back to patriarchal values and patriarchal style of society we live in: so many subtle nuances that we, women, no longer even notice them, question them, instead we try to adjust and accept them thus unconsciously violating our true nature.

This constitues a sick circle, an unhealthy inversion, also a Catch 22: Drowning as a symbol for VW's suicide (if I dare to go that far)= returning home to the feminine?
The feminine can exists only as the darkness of death because the light dimension was not acknowledged. (Here you can study the Inanna myth or Persephone etc.)

Hemingway shot himself. Are there gender specific modes of suicide for writers? :smileytongue:

ziki
Thank you all for being here :smileyhappy:



Frequent Contributor
Posts: 3,107
Registered: ‎10-27-2006
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communicate (Reisman)

[ Edited ]

CallMeLeo wrote:

ziki wrote:


CallMeLeo wrote:
Could be, pmath. Luckily they don't drown in their attempt to communicate as VW's characters do.



Isn't it rather so that they drown in their inability to communicate?

ziki


"Inability" is more appropriate. Thanks, ziki. :smileyhappy:

Leo




I am presently reading a book called The First Desire by Nancy Reisman. (I think I mentioned that elsewhere, too.) Critics compared this writer to VW and I can see why even if I am not sure if that is totally fair (to both of them). Reisman moves mostly within the psychological realm of the characters and the plot is like a thin paper wraped around that untouchable 'sphere'.

The frame is one Jewish family in Buffalo and a couple of some additional people. She generates a world existing on its own, floating 'around' the people,a world they can't escape even if they try to. They become strangers both to others and to themselves and they cope with it very differently. Each person is like an island trying to both communicate and differentiate yet it is not the 'usual' existential dilema. They live and have no intention to die, if I say so but they all have a hole in their soul and it is not really clear why.....(or I just didn' yet think it through well enough).

Why am I mentioning it? In some way maybe it is how the next generation after VW can write (depending of what they inherited from her) and the style in that respect is very 'female'(however we could define that :smileysurprised:). Not chatty like chick lit but floating, ever moving and not sharply defined like Hemingway's 'male' depictions. I wouldn't call it dreamy because it is very real but it is not chiseled out of stone, it's more like an accomplished water-color study (haha, water again!)

ziki

Message Edited by ziki on 04-26-200702:00 PM

Frequent Contributor
JesseBC
Posts: 278
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Part 3: The Lighthouse

I so loved this book! I wish there were still people here wanting to discuss it!

All I'll say about Part III (should anyone happen through here later) is that I saw it as contrasting James' and Lily's experiences.

James has longed for the lighthouse all his life, only to find that, when he finally gets there, it's a disappointment. The way grand goals always have a way of eluding us in the achievement of them because the expectation of a peak experience is shattered as soon as we've grasped that experience, when it becomes part of the real world and no longer counts.

Conversely, when they reach the lighthouse, Lily is finally able to see the Ramseys for who they really are -- the ironic frailty of Mr. Ramsey's desire for intellectual immortality and the surprising strength of Mrs. Ramsey's creation of a social fabric that will long outlive her. Thus, Lily is able to see them with compassion and finally complete the vision of the painting that has, until now, escaped her.

Incidentally, this is how I interpreted the passage that was being discussed earlier in the thread from Chapter XI: "Love had a thousand shapes. There might be lovers whose gift it was to choose out the elements of things and place them together and so, giving them a wholeness not theirs in life, make of some scene, or meeting of people (all now gone and separate), one of those globed compacted things over which thought lingers, and love plays."

If anyone should come by later and wants to talk about this book, PM me! I'd be happy to come back and discuss it! This is one of the most fabulous books I've read in a long time!
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IlanaSimons
Posts: 2,223
Registered: ‎10-20-2006
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Re: Part 3: The Lighthouse

I can't tell you how happy I am that this book touched you so deeply. YAY and YUM for Woolf.
I think your observations here make a lot of sense. Lily sees most vividly when she sees with compassion--not insisting on getting the realistic details of her portrait technically "correct," but exploring the human feeling. She only finishes her painting when the subject (Mrs. Ramsay) is physically gone, and Lily has to remember her in the mind's eye.
James doesn't achieve the same level of empathy.
Come talk about emotions & art in the Lit & Life group?



JesseBC wrote:
I so loved this book! I wish there were still people here wanting to discuss it!

All I'll say about Part III (should anyone happen through here later) is that I saw it as contrasting James' and Lily's experiences.

James has longed for the lighthouse all his life, only to find that, when he finally gets there, it's a disappointment. The way grand goals always have a way of eluding us in the achievement of them because the expectation of a peak experience is shattered as soon as we've grasped that experience, when it becomes part of the real world and no longer counts.

Conversely, when they reach the lighthouse, Lily is finally able to see the Ramseys for who they really are -- the ironic frailty of Mr. Ramsey's desire for intellectual immortality and the surprising strength of Mrs. Ramsey's creation of a social fabric that will long outlive her. Thus, Lily is able to see them with compassion and finally complete the vision of the painting that has, until now, escaped her.

Incidentally, this is how I interpreted the passage that was being discussed earlier in the thread from Chapter XI: "Love had a thousand shapes. There might be lovers whose gift it was to choose out the elements of things and place them together and so, giving them a wholeness not theirs in life, make of some scene, or meeting of people (all now gone and separate), one of those globed compacted things over which thought lingers, and love plays."

If anyone should come by later and wants to talk about this book, PM me! I'd be happy to come back and discuss it! This is one of the most fabulous books I've read in a long time!





Ilana
Check out my book, here and visit my website, here.


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