A bril­liant piece of lit­er­a­ture but story that’s hard to fol­low

To the Light­house was first pub­lished on May 5, 1927 by Vir­ginia Woolf and was a land­mark novel. Re­porter Aden Miles read the book when he was 19 years old and said it was a way of telling sto­ries that he had never read be­fore

South Waikato News - - ENTERTAINMENT -

Any­one who has read To the Light­house will in­form you that it is of ex­treme mod­ernism and can be dif­fi­cult to fol­low.

The story cen­tres on the Ram­say fam­ily and their vis­its to the Isle of Skye in Scot­land be­tween 1910 and 1920.

Fol­low­ing in the tra­di­tions of other mod­ernist nov­el­ists like James Joyce, Woolf’s plot is sec­ondary to thought­ful re­flec­tion and can be hard to grasp.

There is lit­tle di­a­logue and no ac­tion as most of it is writ­ten as ob­ser­va­tions. Hence the rea­son for the dif­fi­culty to fol­low the story.

To the Light­house has many themes where it seeks to in­ves­ti­gate the means of per­cep­tion, at­tempt­ing to un­der­stand peo­ple.

The themes also in­cludes the of loss sub­jec­tiv­ity, per­cep­tion and the pass­ing of time, which can oc­cur mid-sen­tence.

Some of the char­ac­ters also dis­play el­e­ments of mod­ernist think­ing. One such char­ac­ter in­clude Mrs Ram­say abuse Vic­to­rian stan­dards of so­ci­ety and she chal­lenges the ex­is­tence of God.

To the Light­house isn’t a light read. It is writ­ten on thoughts and re­flec­tions and can change mid-sen­tence. How­ever, it is a bril­liant piece of lit­er­a­ture that ex­plores story telling in such a dif­fer­ent form.

NOVEL: To the Light­house by Vir­ginia Woolf is a land­mark novel.

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