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The Essays of Virginia Woolf, Vol. 6: 1933 to 1941 Hardcover – 2000

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 752 pages
  • Publisher: Chatto & Windus (2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0701206713
  • ISBN-13: 978-0701206710
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.8 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,021,502 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

VIRGINIA WOOLF (1882-1941) was one of the major literary figures of the twentieth century. An admired literary critic, she authored many essays, letters, journals, and short stories in addition to her groundbreaking novels.

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Peter Rowland on April 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is the sixth and final volume of the collected essays. The mere fact of having brought them all together at long last is, in itself, a major achievement. We now have, beyond a shadow of a doubt, a definitive edition. But this particular volume is unique in that it assembles not only the work that Virginia Woolf produced during the last nine years of her life, plus variants, plus BBC broadcasts, plus drafts of essays never published during her lifetime, accounting for 85% of the text, but it also features newly-discovered short articles and reviews which she wrote between 1906 and 1924. One is able to compare both ends of her professional life, and a thoughtful reader might well consider starting with these earliest essays (pages 299 to 400) before moving back to the later material. In truth, there is not really a great difference between them. The quality of her writing, with its fresh insights, penetrating observations and, occasionally, gentle sarcasm, all presented with a wonderful lightness of touch, was there from the outset. Virginia Woolf's thoughts on most things under the sun are almost invariably stimulating and original. She was a master of her craft, executing it with painstaking conscientiousness, and the book is a delight to read.

Mr Clarke's editing and annotating is positively awesome. One does wonder, however, whether it is really necessary - when noting that a particular item appeared in a particular journal on a particular date - to record all (or most) of the articles from other contributors to the journals in question on the dates in question. But this is a minor caveat and such editorial material can always be skipped.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Volume 6 of THE ESSAYS OF VIRGINIA WOOLF, edited by Stuart N. Clarke (2011), contains drafts of Virginia Woolf's last essays, "Anon" and "The Reader" (pages 580-607). Around the same time that Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) was writing her posthumously published novel BETWEEN THE ACTS (1941), she wrote the drafts of those two essays for a projected book that she did not live to complete.

As Clarke acknowledges, Brenda R. Silver published Virginia Woolf's two essays "Anon" and "The Reader" along with an introduction and commentary in the journal TWENTIETH CENTURY LITERATURE, volume 25, numbers 3/4 (Autumn/Winter, 1979): pages 356-441.

In my estimate, Virginia Woolf's "Anon" and "The Reader" are enormously perceptive and penetrating. They should be reprinted in Norton anthologies of British literature - and perhaps elsewhere.

Disclosure: In the fall semester of 1967, I took a graduate course at St. Louis University from Walter J. Ong, S.J. (1912-2003), on Studies in English Prose Developments in Academic and Non-Academic Renaissance Style. Had Virginia Woolf's essays "Anon" and "The Reader" been in print at that time, they would have been ideal reading for that course.

Ong's 1965 PMLA article "Oral Residue in Tudor Prose Style" was central to that course. In that article Ong emphasizes the stylized orality that was embodied in the rhetorical tradition of Latin. Latin was a lingua franca in the Renaissance. As a result, people who were educated in Latin learned the stylized orality of the rhetorical tradition. Then when those same Latin-educated persons spoke and wrote in the vernacular languages of the time, they tended to use stylized orality from Latin in the vernacular languages.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Between the Essays (6 volumes), Letters (5 volumes), and Diaries (5 volumes) of Virginia Woolf, one could spend a lifetime reading her words, and never even get to her novels and short stories. I have read some of her letters and I have read some of her diary, and I have read much of this volume of essays. Of the three, the essays, especially those which were published, are easily the most entertaining and informative.

Many of the essays are book reviews. While most of the books are no longer available outside of dealers in antique books, it is worthy to read Woolf's reviews to get a pulse of the times.

I do not put a lot of weight on her opinions of books or writers, but her ability to turn a phrase is unmatched. If one is intent on finding examples of how to get the greatest punch out of one sentence, if you are writing non-fiction, this is the place to look.

This is a thick book, but only about half of the essays were published. I find most of the unpublished essays to be equal inquality to those which were, as long as you are concentrating on how things are said, rather than the value of the opinions being expressed. I saw one essay in particular about a book with which I had some familiarity. I thought Virginia's comments were off the mark. They were followed by comments by her husband, which set things aright.

This may be the best of the six volumes of essays.
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