Monday, October 14, 2013

To the Lighthouse

To the Lighthouse
Virginia Woolf

I do not think that one can do justice to a book like To the Lighthouse based on mere one reading. I also do not think that it makes any sense to read it again back to back, although the temptation to do is quite strong in my case. The book has already started calling me and i know, after sometime, as the call grows louder, i will have to answer it.  At the moment, i would like to just pen down a few thoughts that have been lingering with me since i had read this book.

The stream-of-consciousness style of writing is highly inventive and even with no action, it is amazing to read it. So much goes in our minds between two eye blinks. One goes and sits at a beach staring at the waves, or one just strains his neck to stare at Mt. Pandim at 7000 meters, nothing moves, yet our thoughts are active. To capture what those thoughts are and to present them in a way it has been done in To The Lighthouse, it is a great work of art.

The ending of first act is few of the best pages written ever. I had to read it twice, back to back, just to confirm that my thought imagery was correct. Poetic.

The second act is highly creative in its own way. It feels Homeric as each depiction ends with a factual event. But the act comes without any announcement. It is like a lullaby has ended and next thing we are listening to Requiem for a dream - you will not complain for either tracks but will not place them next to each other.

I am still not clear on symbolisms in the third act. For me, it was just few more pages to enjoy the style. And what a style it is. The first two acts alone justify that the book has to be in Modern's top 100 list.

This book was read as part of the Modern and Post Modern course. What is "really" real? Thats what the Modernist wanted to address, each in their own manner. Woolf's style is a perfect answer to such a question.

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