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To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

To the Lighthouse (1927)

by Virginia Woolf

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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13,763206260 (3.87)724
1920s (11)
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» See also 724 mentions

English (190)  Dutch (3)  Catalan (2)  Italian (2)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  Norwegian (1)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (203)
Showing 1-5 of 190 (next | show all)
When I sat down to continue "catching up" on my reviews, I wasn't sure what was going to be the earliest one I hadn't reviewed yet, but I was sure, damn it, that it wasn't To the Lighthouse. How the hell am I gonna review To the Lighthouse?

I still haven't grasped the concept of reading Woolf slowly. I devour her. The language and structure are rich and complex, but I can't help scooping it all up and rolling it around my mind-tongue and going back for more until its all gone.

Now here I am, my mouth rimmed with Lighthouse ichor and my eyes blank and dazed. Memory has lost another battle to Time. Again: How am I gonna review The the Lighthouse? I can't. Not today. Possibly not ever. ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
Not very interesting for a classic ( )
  DannyKeep | Feb 8, 2019 |
Impressionistic rather than descriptive.

Divided in three parts. The first, and the longest, serves as an introduction to the setting, the characters, and their interactions. And this part was tough going, especially towards the end, simply because nothing really happens in the first part, and yet it keeps on going, without any real purpose. Characters were kept at a stand-still, just so that the author could paint a detailed picture. My 21st century attention span -- used as it is to snappy, streamlined characterization and world-building -- made me put the book down a few times

The second and third parts, though, are very much worth the effort of struggling through that lengthy set-up. This is where [To the lighthouse] comes into its own: once you understand what’s going on, the whole thing pays off beautifully. ( )
  Petroglyph | Jan 16, 2019 |
This book reads more like a poem than a novel. Evocative, fragile, nuanced, ephemeral moments of family life set in a gorgeous landscape. It would make a beautiful arthouse movie with long scenes filled with stark seascapes and little action. ( )
  Firewild | Jan 3, 2019 |
Virginia Wolf está por encima de cualquier consideración crítica. Es imposible realizar una reseña, sin que mis sentidos se abrumen por los sentimientos y realidades que se materializan al leerla, al deleitarme en sus letras, y al abrazarlas con fuerzas. No sé puede "leer" a Wolf, tan sólo se puede escuchar su latir con fuerza, tan sólo se puede sentir, sentir, sentir. Sentir cómo hiere y cómo se infla de dicha, sentir tan dentro que desgarra el alma.

Con un fuerte componente autobiográfico, la novela nos traslada a la vida de los Ramsay, recayendo la mayor parte del peso de la trama en la madre y esposa de la familia. El hilo argumental está, prácticamente, desprovisto de acción o de diálogo. Se basa en pensamientos, apreciaciones, divagaciones, angustias, miedo, filosofías... de los diferentes personajes que intervienen en el mismo. Wolf, con una narrativa compleja y poética, ahonda en temas importantes para ella cómo lo son la vida, el paso del tiempo, la maternidad, el matrimonio o el arte. Con brillante destreza, a ratos con desaliento, enfocando al mar y al eterno rugir de las olas (Las Olas, un tema muy recurrente en la escritora), la señora Ramsay contempla el mar, y el faro. Y piensa en la soledad de encontrarse en esa isla.

Es la belleza, y las imágenes metafóricas ahí plasmadas, donde radica el arte y la genialidad de "Al faro". El enfoque de la cotidianidad de la vida, con asuntos del alma sumamente trascendentales. ¿No es a caso cómo funcionan los seres humanos? El transcurrir de las horas, y su efímera realidad, entre pensamientos, y diálogos extraños, y diálogos mudos. Es apabullante y asombrosa la forma en la que crece y nace, se expande, la creación de Wolf. Una narrativa modernista, tan personal y tan especial, que parecía intensificarse a cada nueva obra de la escritora.

El faro, al faro, que pareció convertirse en una obsesión poco clara de la señora Ramsay. Especial mención el personaje de Lily Briscoe, y su eterna tortura con la pintura. La pintura, el arte y la necesidad de crear. Sus creaciones, precisamente, parecen ser incomprendidas. Lily teme tanto a la crítica de sus creaciones como teme la señora Ramsay la negativa de su marido de visitar el faro. Creo que entre estos dos personajes femeninos se crea el mensaje que Wolf quería transmitir, a modo de experimento, o de grito, de de denuncia.

Hay muchísimos análisis de la obra. Pero yo tan sólo palpo angustia, desesperación y detención. La novela se encuentra detenida en dos puntos claves de la vida, y baila entre ellos. Virginia Wolf estaba torturándose mientras escribía, se desahogaba pensando sólo en ella y no en el lector. Tal vez por eso su lectura resulte tan compleja... y tal sumamente hermosa. ( )
  MiriamBeizana | Dec 3, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 190 (next | show all)
How was it that, this time, everything in the book fell so completely into place? How could I have missed it - above all, the patterns, the artistry - the first time through? How could I have missed the resonance of Mr Ramsay's Tennyson quotation, coming as it does like a prophecy of the first world war? How could I not have grasped that the person painting and the one writing were in effect the same? ("Women can't write, women can't paint..." ) And the way time passes over everything like a cloud, and solid objects flicker and dissolve? And the way Lily's picture of Mrs Ramsay - incomplete, insufficient, doomed to be stuck in an attic - becomes, as she adds the one line that ties it all together at the end, the book we've just read?
"To the Lighthouse" has not the formal perfection, the cohesiveness, the intense vividness of characterization that belong to "Mrs. Dalloway." It has particles of failure in it. It is inferior to "Mrs. Dalloway" in the degree to which its aims are achieved; it is superior in the magnitude of the aims themselves. For in its portrayal of life that is less orderly, more complex and so much doomed to frustration, it strikes a more important note, and it gives us an interlude of vision that must stand at the head of all Virginia Woolf's work.

» Add other authors (91 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Woolf, Virginiaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fiedeldij Dop, JoTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Alfsen, MereteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bertolucci, AttilioForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Briggs, JuliaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Celenza, GiuliaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dunmore, HelenIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fastrová, JarmilaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fischer, PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Foa, MaryclareIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hoare, D.M.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hoffman, AliceIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holliday, TerenceIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kaila, KaiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, HermioneIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mathias, RobertCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McNichol, StellaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Munck, IngalisaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Phelps, GilbertIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Richards, CeriCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, JulietNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Welty, EudoraIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"Yes, of course, if it's fine tomorrow," said Mrs. Ramsay. "But you'll have to be up with the lark," she added.
She was thinking how all those paths and the lawn, tick and knotted with the lives they had lived there, were gone: were rubbed out; were past; were unreal, and now this was real
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0156907399, Paperback)

“Radiant as [To the Lighthouse] is in its beauty, there could never be a mistake about it: here is a novel to the last degree severe and uncompromising. I think that beyond being about the very nature of reality, it is itself a vision of reality.”—Eudora Welty, from the Introduction


The serene and maternal Mrs. Ramsay, the tragic yet absurd Mr. Ramsay, and their children and assorted guests are on holiday on the Isle of Skye. From the seemingly trivial postponement of a visit to a nearby lighthouse, Woolf constructs a remarkable, moving examination of the complex tensions and allegiances of family life and the conflict between men and women.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:28 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

At their holiday home in Cornwall, a distant lighthouse holds a haunting attraction for the members of an Edwardian family as disillusionment, turmoil, and a world on the brink of war plague the family's relationships.

» see all 31 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141183411, 0141194812, 0141198516

Urban Romantics

2 editions of this book were published by Urban Romantics.

Editions: 1909175676, 190917548X

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