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The Years (Annotated) Pa by Virginia Woolf
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The Years (Annotated) Pa (original 1937; edition 2008)

by Virginia Woolf (Author)

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1,535249,086 (3.79)72
"The Years is perhaps Virginia Woolf's most politically and historically embedded novel. It covers a period of intense social change from the 1880s to the 1930s, making direct reference to suffrage, Irish Home Rule, the First World War and anti-semitism. The novel's composition history is unusually complex; the text changed radically from its inception in 1931 to its publication in 1937. This edition provides readers with a fully collated and annotated text. It includes a substantial introduction that charts the composition process, a detailed chronology and full annotation of all historical, cultural and topographical references. All variants from extant galley and page proofs, as well as editions of the novel produced in Woolf's lifetime, are included, and reveal the significant and crucial changes Woolf made even in the months before publication"-- "How should we read the writings of Virginia Woolf? This is not so much a question of interpretation as of practice. How are we to read this writer for whom reading is an activity that requires almost the same talents and energies as the activity of writing itself ? For Woolf responds to the question, 'How should one read a book?', as a person of immense, virtuosic skill and experience in both activities. She understands the reader to be the 'fellow-worker and accomplice' (E5 573) of the writer. The 'quickest way to understand [. . .] what a novelist is doing is not to read', she suggests, 'but to write; to make your own experiment with the dangers and difficulties of words' (E5 574); and 'the time to read poetry', she recognises, is 'when we are almost able to write it' (E5 577). Not only has Woolf left a richly rewarding oeuvre, but she has also left ample documentation of her meticulous processes of composition and of her detailed involvement in the production and publishing of many of her works, all of which her active and conscientious reader will wish to negotiate. If we are going to read Woolf creatively and critically, ifwe are to follow our own instincts, use our own reason and come to our own conclusions, as she herself advises, we need to read her works in a form that provides us with the fullest means possible to exercise these powers, one that gives us as much unmediated access as possible to the record of these processes. This Cambridge edition of Woolf's writings consequently aims to provide readers and scholars, Woolf's fellow-workers and accomplices, with an extensively researched, fully explicated and collated text"--… (more)
Member:Saviarre
Title:The Years (Annotated) Pa
Authors:Virginia Woolf (Author)
Info:Mariner (2008), Edition: First, 560 pages
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The Years by Virginia Woolf (1937)

  1. 00
    Neznámý člověk by Milada Součková (_eskarina)
    _eskarina: Similar method of writing: capturing and re-writing "History" on the basis of detailed, fragmentary scenes from everyday life.
  2. 00
    War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (roby72)
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» See also 72 mentions

English (22)  Catalan (2)  French (1)  All languages (25)
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
My first time reading this Woolf, and I can see why it would have been a shock when it first came out. on the other hand, it's just as experimental as her previous handful of novels, but the experiment is different. And it's quite enjoyable, though I confess it was a bit too long. The last quarter was comparatively tedious. ( )
  stillatim | Oct 23, 2020 |
Reviewed in conjunction with Margery Sharp's Lise Lillywhite

One of the things I do in Geneva is hang out at the local flea market trying to suppress my urge to preserve dead lives. Every week you'll see people disrespectfully pawing over the beloved libraries of the deceased, libraries which with possibly indecent haste, have been taken away by market vendors who, I can imagine, don't pay a cent for them. It is merely enough that they are willing to cart them off. There in the market they sit in boxes, 2CHF a book. Amongst them will often be intimate belongings such as photo albums, travel diaries or autograph books. Every time I see this, I want to save the memory even if nobody else does. Could I not keep just a skeleton of the library's existence?

As it is, my own library is, as much as anything else, a cemetery of book bones, nothing as whole as a skeleton no doubt, but each death provides my shelves with something more. There are many reasons for loving a book. Some of mine I love simply because they belonged to people who cared about them and I have inherited them if only by chance. Not least, the library remnants of the Hautevilles' library.

When the sale of the chateau and its contents was first mooted, the best of the books went to a posh auction house. The refuse of that process ended up at the local flea market. Each time I see one of these discarded deceased estates, lying higgledy-piggledy in boxes, I don't just look at the books one by one, deciding which small treasure to take home. I also read the story of the library itself. Ah, so and so was a jazz and cinema lover, as I see a record collection, the reference books lovingly collected on its side, now the junk man's province. This Swiss person made trips to Australia in the 1950s, here are the photo albums, the travel books of the period. Oh, and he was into....

So it goes on. Most of these deceased book lovers leave only a small tale. The Hautevilles, however, were a prominent family for many generations and their story is told via important legal battles, their castle and through the auction of the contents of that castle. They loved theatre and put on productions, so the auction included the costumery collected over the years. At the 'junk' end, ordinary books not worth anything, was a lovely collection of children's and adult's fiction from the pre and post WWII period. It contained many gems of the period including an author, almost forgotten these days, Margery Sharp. She is perhaps due for the requisite revival, not least because it would not be entirely unreasonable to call her the Jane Austen of her day. I hesitate to do that, but as it may get somebody to read her, and as almost nobody on GR - none of my friends - have read this, I will take the chance.

reset here: https://alittleteaalittlechat.wordpress.com/2017/10/20/3256/ ( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
Reviewed in conjunction with Margery Sharp's Lise Lillywhite

One of the things I do in Geneva is hang out at the local flea market trying to suppress my urge to preserve dead lives. Every week you'll see people disrespectfully pawing over the beloved libraries of the deceased, libraries which with possibly indecent haste, have been taken away by market vendors who, I can imagine, don't pay a cent for them. It is merely enough that they are willing to cart them off. There in the market they sit in boxes, 2CHF a book. Amongst them will often be intimate belongings such as photo albums, travel diaries or autograph books. Every time I see this, I want to save the memory even if nobody else does. Could I not keep just a skeleton of the library's existence?

As it is, my own library is, as much as anything else, a cemetery of book bones, nothing as whole as a skeleton no doubt, but each death provides my shelves with something more. There are many reasons for loving a book. Some of mine I love simply because they belonged to people who cared about them and I have inherited them if only by chance. Not least, the library remnants of the Hautevilles' library.

When the sale of the chateau and its contents was first mooted, the best of the books went to a posh auction house. The refuse of that process ended up at the local flea market. Each time I see one of these discarded deceased estates, lying higgledy-piggledy in boxes, I don't just look at the books one by one, deciding which small treasure to take home. I also read the story of the library itself. Ah, so and so was a jazz and cinema lover, as I see a record collection, the reference books lovingly collected on its side, now the junk man's province. This Swiss person made trips to Australia in the 1950s, here are the photo albums, the travel books of the period. Oh, and he was into....

So it goes on. Most of these deceased book lovers leave only a small tale. The Hautevilles, however, were a prominent family for many generations and their story is told via important legal battles, their castle and through the auction of the contents of that castle. They loved theatre and put on productions, so the auction included the costumery collected over the years. At the 'junk' end, ordinary books not worth anything, was a lovely collection of children's and adult's fiction from the pre and post WWII period. It contained many gems of the period including an author, almost forgotten these days, Margery Sharp. She is perhaps due for the requisite revival, not least because it would not be entirely unreasonable to call her the Jane Austen of her day. I hesitate to do that, but as it may get somebody to read her, and as almost nobody on GR - none of my friends - have read this, I will take the chance.

reset here: https://alittleteaalittlechat.wordpress.com/2017/10/20/3256/ ( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
Reviewed in conjunction with Margery Sharp's Lise Lillywhite

One of the things I do in Geneva is hang out at the local flea market trying to suppress my urge to preserve dead lives. Every week you'll see people disrespectfully pawing over the beloved libraries of the deceased, libraries which with possibly indecent haste, have been taken away by market vendors who, I can imagine, don't pay a cent for them. It is merely enough that they are willing to cart them off. There in the market they sit in boxes, 2CHF a book. Amongst them will often be intimate belongings such as photo albums, travel diaries or autograph books. Every time I see this, I want to save the memory even if nobody else does. Could I not keep just a skeleton of the library's existence?

As it is, my own library is, as much as anything else, a cemetery of book bones, nothing as whole as a skeleton no doubt, but each death provides my shelves with something more. There are many reasons for loving a book. Some of mine I love simply because they belonged to people who cared about them and I have inherited them if only by chance. Not least, the library remnants of the Hautevilles' library.

When the sale of the chateau and its contents was first mooted, the best of the books went to a posh auction house. The refuse of that process ended up at the local flea market. Each time I see one of these discarded deceased estates, lying higgledy-piggledy in boxes, I don't just look at the books one by one, deciding which small treasure to take home. I also read the story of the library itself. Ah, so and so was a jazz and cinema lover, as I see a record collection, the reference books lovingly collected on its side, now the junk man's province. This Swiss person made trips to Australia in the 1950s, here are the photo albums, the travel books of the period. Oh, and he was into....

So it goes on. Most of these deceased book lovers leave only a small tale. The Hautevilles, however, were a prominent family for many generations and their story is told via important legal battles, their castle and through the auction of the contents of that castle. They loved theatre and put on productions, so the auction included the costumery collected over the years. At the 'junk' end, ordinary books not worth anything, was a lovely collection of children's and adult's fiction from the pre and post WWII period. It contained many gems of the period including an author, almost forgotten these days, Margery Sharp. She is perhaps due for the requisite revival, not least because it would not be entirely unreasonable to call her the Jane Austen of her day. I hesitate to do that, but as it may get somebody to read her, and as almost nobody on GR - none of my friends - have read this, I will take the chance.

reset here: https://alittleteaalittlechat.wordpress.com/2017/10/20/3256/ ( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |

The Years by Virginia Woolf is the story of the Pargiter family. The story starts in 1880 and the family is headed by Colonel Abel Pargiter. The colonel has seven children (Eleanor, Edward, Milly, Delia, Morris, Rose, Martin) and a sickly wife. In Woolf's style, some details are left out and considered not important such as the name of the Colonel's wife. Her death which is written in more detail than To the Lighthouse's Prue Ramsay's death, which was passed along to the reader in parenthetical information, but little is known or said about her. It is the reaction of other characters that are important in the death of the wife and mother as well as character reactions to the world around them. Reaction is more important than action.

Woolf's method of putting the reader in the head of the characters to listen to their thinking and to see their observations is perfected. The book is so much than about the plot and plot development, which covers over fifty years, but the characters and their personal interactions. The story extends to the extended Pargiter family and a few outsiders like Edward's friends at Oxford, one who marries his sister Milly. The housemaid, Crosby, gets her own chapter, 1918, but it is also the shortest chapter and is used to mark the end of the war. Inside the mix of acquaintances is Nicholas Pomjalovsky a Polish homosexual who Elenor meets through her sister Maggie and her French husband Rene.

Elenor seems to be the character that binds everything together. She is never far from the reader from start to finish. She runs the day to day of the family while the colonel is still alive, budgeting and shopping. Later she seems to be the thread that ties everyone together from siblings to nieces and nephews. She never marries and remains as an anchor point to the family. Outside the extended family little seems to happen. Historical events like the death of Charles Parnell, King Edward, and the end of World War I are used to mark a point in time rather than center around the event. With the exception of bricking throwing Rose, who lands herself in jail, not much is made of politics.

Perhaps the best reason to read Woolf is her use of words and descriptions. This is the opening paragraph for the chapter 1911 :

The sun was rising. Very slowly it came up over the horizon shaking out
light. But the sky was so vast, so cloudless, that to fill it with light took time.
Very gradually the clouds turned blue; leaves on forest trees sparkled; down
below a flower shone; eyes of beasts — tigers, monkeys, birds — sparkled.
Slowly the world emerged from darkness. The sea became like the skin of an
innumerable scaled fish, glittering gold. Here in the South of France the
furrowed vineyards caught the light; the little vines turned purple and yellow;
and the sun coming through the slats of the blinds striped the white walls.

Woolf writes not a novel or a story but literature. There is more to writing than plot alone and Woolf demonstrates this flawlessly. ( )
  evil_cyclist | Mar 16, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Virginia Woolfprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bell, VanessaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johnson, JeriEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Munck, IngalisaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Oliver, Maria AntòniaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Williams, FintyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"The Years is perhaps Virginia Woolf's most politically and historically embedded novel. It covers a period of intense social change from the 1880s to the 1930s, making direct reference to suffrage, Irish Home Rule, the First World War and anti-semitism. The novel's composition history is unusually complex; the text changed radically from its inception in 1931 to its publication in 1937. This edition provides readers with a fully collated and annotated text. It includes a substantial introduction that charts the composition process, a detailed chronology and full annotation of all historical, cultural and topographical references. All variants from extant galley and page proofs, as well as editions of the novel produced in Woolf's lifetime, are included, and reveal the significant and crucial changes Woolf made even in the months before publication"-- "How should we read the writings of Virginia Woolf? This is not so much a question of interpretation as of practice. How are we to read this writer for whom reading is an activity that requires almost the same talents and energies as the activity of writing itself ? For Woolf responds to the question, 'How should one read a book?', as a person of immense, virtuosic skill and experience in both activities. She understands the reader to be the 'fellow-worker and accomplice' (E5 573) of the writer. The 'quickest way to understand [. . .] what a novelist is doing is not to read', she suggests, 'but to write; to make your own experiment with the dangers and difficulties of words' (E5 574); and 'the time to read poetry', she recognises, is 'when we are almost able to write it' (E5 577). Not only has Woolf left a richly rewarding oeuvre, but she has also left ample documentation of her meticulous processes of composition and of her detailed involvement in the production and publishing of many of her works, all of which her active and conscientious reader will wish to negotiate. If we are going to read Woolf creatively and critically, ifwe are to follow our own instincts, use our own reason and come to our own conclusions, as she herself advises, we need to read her works in a form that provides us with the fullest means possible to exercise these powers, one that gives us as much unmediated access as possible to the record of these processes. This Cambridge edition of Woolf's writings consequently aims to provide readers and scholars, Woolf's fellow-workers and accomplices, with an extensively researched, fully explicated and collated text"--

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