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To the Lighthouse (1927)

by Virginia Woolf

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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15,384238262 (3.88)750
To the Lighthouseis at once a vivid impressionist depiction of a family holiday, and a meditation on a marriage, on parenthood and childhood, on grief, tyranny and bitterness. Its use of stream of consciousness, reminiscence and shifting perspectives, give the novel an intimate, poetic essence, and at the time of publication in 1927 it represented an utter rejection of Victorian and Edwardian literary values.… (more)
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English (217)  Dutch (4)  Catalan (3)  Italian (3)  Spanish (3)  Swedish (2)  Danish (1)  Norwegian (1)  Hebrew (1)  French (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (237)
Showing 1-5 of 217 (next | show all)
The middle chapter (Time Passes), in which light moves through a room when we're not there, is what did it for me. The way someone can transform before us simply as we move and walk and be. I didn't realize words could do what they did here for Woolf. ( )
  poirotketchup | Mar 18, 2021 |
  pszolovits | Feb 3, 2021 |
"It was a miserable machine, an inefficient machine, she thought, the human apparatus for painting or feeling; it always broke down at the critical moment."

Virginia Woolf's To The Lighthouse is different and brilliantly so. It demands your full attention and each of your emotion. It knocks on your door, persuades you to let a room to it in your mind, set a comfortable bed, and welcome its stay then embrace its hovering presence once it decides to leave. It is a wonderfully-crafted introspection that broods and muses within different lives link — the comings and goings of the ideas, the rushing and disappearing of the waves by the shore — by a Lighthouse (Woolf wrote the word 'Lighthouse' as a proper noun), by a woman who seemingly serves the same purpose: to guide, to enlighten, to comfort.

The wrath and peace of perception tear this novel apart and put it back together. Memories and thoughts are hives the characters protect and destruct their selves in over and over again. The ordinary is extraordinary, the extraordinary is ordinary. There is no lesson here. Death does not change anything although it changes everything. Life continues to flow, to happen and it is grief and absence that painstakingly, persistently impact these characters, these people we may find a common ground with. Nothing is left out with Woolf be it a glance, a touch, a gesture, a sigh; their weight is conspicuous; they lose, contradict, and fight themselves in this eminent passage of time.

"She had a sense of being past everything, through everything, out of everything, as she helped the soup, as if there was an eddy — there — and one could be in it, or one could be out of it, and she was out of it." (p94)

There is no doubt that the mind flies inside the paragraphs of To The Lighthouse, it traverses every nook and corner, sweeps its every floor of thought and opens a window to an array of interpretation. It lingers on regret, yearning, anger, and affinity. Here, nothing happens yet everything does. It is a loyal servant of mood rather than a narrative pleaser. It is a food for thought, a home for sentiments. It nudges to question and to ponder on women's societal roles, demands of marriage, a sense of career failure and dissatisfaction, and most importantly life's purpose whilst stimulating the smell of childhood and sketching the complexities of adult relationships accompanied by a bleak summer backdrop.

After closing this book at once, I knew that it doesn't end there. It will show itself, every now and then, on empty plates, busy harbours, passing empty moments, words on random book pages, some thoughts I thread, some thoughts that insist, and some people I part with and encounter.

"Sitting alone (for Nancy went out again) among the clean cups at the long table she felt cut off from other people, and able only to go on watching asking, wondering. The house, the place, the morning, all seemed strangers to her. She had no attachment here, she felt, no relations with it, anything might happen, and whatever did happen, a step outside, a voice calling ('It's not in the cupboard, it's on the landing,' someone cried), was a question, as if the link that usually bound things together had been cut, and they floated up here, down there, off, anyhow. How aimless it was, how chaotic, how unreal it was, she thought, looking at her empty coffee cup." ( )
  lethalmauve | Jan 25, 2021 |
I found this really enjoyable but really heavy going.
It's all twisted and mixed about and layered and zig-zagging and I found myself unable to keep up with what I was reading. Not something to read when you're tired or ill or hungover.

I think it would easily get 6 stars from me if I read it again when I have lots of energy, time and wakefullness, so it's on the to try to read again pile. ( )
  mjhunt | Jan 22, 2021 |
I am not sure that I finished it because everyone was talking, or I should say thinking, all at once. I got confused. I got lost. I finished it. I think.
Kudos to those who liked it and gave 5-star reviews.
Reading this book is a little like riding a bronco. You either manage to ride it to the end or, like me, keep falling off. ( )
  Pharmacdon | Dec 20, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 217 (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 (55 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Woolf, Virginiaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alfsen, MereteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Öncül, Naciye Aksekisecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bell, QuentinIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bertolucci, AttilioForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bradbury, NicolaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bradshaw, DavidEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Briggs, JuliaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carabine, KeithEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Celenza, GiuliaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dop, Jo FiedeldijTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Drabble, MargaretEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dunmore, HelenIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fastrová, JarmilaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fiedeldij Dop, JoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fischer, PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Foa, MaryclareIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fusini, Nadiasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hoare, D.M.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hoffman, AliceIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holliday, TerenceIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kaila, KaiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kidman, NicoleNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lanoire, MauriceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Law, PhyllidaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, HermioneIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Malago, Anna LauraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Matar, Hishamsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mathias, RobertCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McNichol, StellaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Munck, IngalisaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nathan, Moniquesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pellan, FrançoiseTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Phelps, GilbertIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Richards, CeriCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ryall, AnikaForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, JulietNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Valentí, HelenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Welty, EudoraIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zazo, Anna LuisaTranslatorsecondary 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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Wikipedia in English


To the Lighthouseis at once a vivid impressionist depiction of a family holiday, and a meditation on a marriage, on parenthood and childhood, on grief, tyranny and bitterness. Its use of stream of consciousness, reminiscence and shifting perspectives, give the novel an intimate, poetic essence, and at the time of publication in 1927 it represented an utter rejection of Victorian and Edwardian literary values.

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Book description
A 4-page biographical preface, 36-page introduction, 5-page Note on the Text, 6-page bibliography, 7-page Chronology, 170-page novel, 24 pages of Explanatory Notes.

Μια οικογένεια, μερικοί φίλοι, ένα παραθαλάσσιο σπίτι στις Εβρίδες και ένας φάρος συνθέτουν το πιο αυτοβιογραφικό μυθιστόρημα της Γουλφ, "Μέχρι το φάρο". Ο κύριος και η κυρία Ράμσεϊ και τα οκτώ παιδιά τους είναι η οικογένεια της Γουλφ. Το σπίτι, που από τα παράθυρά του βλέπει κανείς το φάρο, είναι το εξοχικό σπίτι των παιδικών της χρόνων, μόνο που εκείνο βρισκόταν στην Κορνουάλη και όχι στη Σκωτία.
Απελευθερωμένη από την κλασική δομή του μυθιστορήματος, όπως ο Μαρσέλ Προυστ ή ο Τζέιμς Τζόις, η Γουλφ δεν δίνει βάρος στην πλοκή. Η ιστορία της εκδρομής στον φάρο είναι η αφορμή για να αναδυθούν σκέψεις, σχέσεις, κοσμοθεωρίες, συναισθήματα. Δύο μόνο ημέρες - με απόσταση μεταξύ τους μιας δεκαετίας, ενός παγκοσμίου πολέμου και τριών θανάτων - διαρκεί η εκπληκτική διείσδυση της συγγραφέως στους χαρακτήρες και στις συνειδήσεις των ηρώων της. Δεν υπάρχει αμφιβολία ότι η εκκολαπτόμενη ζωγράφος Λίλυ είναι η Βιρτζίνια. Η Λίλυ παρατηρεί την οικογένεια Ράμσεϊ από την απόσταση της φίλης, αν και τα στοργικά της αισθήματα προς την κυρία Ράμσεϊ την επηρεάζουν ψυχικά, τουλάχιστον ως λίγο πριν από το τέλος του βιβλίου. Η μαεστρία της Γουλφ επεκτείνεται στην αναβάθμιση άψυχων πραγμάτων, όπως το σπίτι και ο φάρος, σε σχεδόν αυτεξούσιες οντότητες. Σημαντικό ρόλο επίσης παίζει ο χρόνος και το πέρασμά του. Το παρόν γίνεται αμέσως παρελθόν, σκέφτεται η κυρία Ράμσεϊ. Το μέλλον αγχώνει τον κύριο Ράμσεϊ, όπως και τη Λίλυ, αλλά μόνο ως τη στιγμή της καλλιτεχνικής της ολοκλήρωσης. Ένα από τα αριστουργήματα της παγκόσμιας λογοτεχνίας του 20ού αιώνα.

(εφημερίδα "La Repubblica", Italia)
Woolf, Virginia, 1882-1941.
Μέχρι το φάρο / Βιρτζίνια Γουλφ · μετάφραση Έλλη Μαρμαρά. - Αθήνα : Alter - Ego ΜΜΕ Α.Ε., 2007. - 219σ. · 21x13εκ. - (Το Βήμα Βιβλιοθήκη· Ανάγνωση · 5)
Επανέκδοση: "Οδυσσέας", 1981, 2006. Copyright έκδοσης: Metropoli Spa (Gruppo Editoriale L' Espresso). Εκτύπωση & βιβλιοδεσία: Grafica Veneta Spa, Italy. Ημερομηνία 1ης κυκλοφορίας: 15.6.2007.
Γλώσσα πρωτοτύπου: αγγλικά
Τίτλος πρωτοτύπου: To the Lighthouse
ISBN 978-88-8371-279-1 (Πανόδετο) [Εξαντλημένο]
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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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