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To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

To the Lighthouse (original 1927; edition 1989)

by Virginia Woolf, Eudora Welty (Introduction)

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13,969209260 (3.87)726
Title:To the Lighthouse
Authors:Virginia Woolf
Other authors:Eudora Welty (Introduction)
Info:Harvest Books (1989), Edition: 1, Paperback, 228 pages
Collections:Your library

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To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf (1927)

1920s (11)
Romans (30)

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» See also 726 mentions

English (194)  Dutch (4)  Catalan (2)  Italian (2)  Swedish (2)  Danish (1)  Norwegian (1)  Hebrew (1)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (209)
Showing 1-5 of 194 (next | show all)
On Side Table in Library
  42Library | Jun 20, 2019 |
The first section rambled through a day in a household on a Scottish island, knitting socks, cutting out pictures from a magazine and having dinner. There are conversations but it all moves along very slowly in this idyllic house. In the second half we meet the house again, decaying and everything has changed, characters have died during the war, children have grown up and adults have aged. They eventually sail to the lighthouse and the book ends. ( )
  Tifi | Apr 22, 2019 |
It’s a philosophical novel, very much into character and close description of things some people wouldn’t notice, much shorter and less plot-heavy than a romance or adventure novel, like the opposite of reading Dickens. (Not that you have to choose one or the other.)


Perhaps something should be said about its relation to The Popular Book. Austen, who holds out becoming a housewife as the prize, has little but aggression (“humor”) for the housewife Mrs. Bennet, once she makes it clear that she’s not perfect. Woolf, whose housewife Mrs. Ramsay has a foil in the artistic Lily Briscoe, lets you feel that the house is a little quiet once the chatty, superficial lady is dead.
  smallself | Apr 16, 2019 |
There are books I’ve had on my shelves that I have always meant to read, and that I feel I ought to have read. To The Lighthouse was one of those books, so I took it with me on holiday and read it.

But I didn’t really know what it was about, and it’s a strange book to encounter if you have no preconceptions. The first section, with its cloyingly deep analysis of the minutia of life, hundreds of pages where nothing much happens except they go to dinner, all the Meaning trapped in ‘do you think it will be fine enough to go to the Lighthouse tomorrow?’ ‘No, I think it will not be fine’. Marriage and motherhood and thwarted career ambitions and hosting and matchmaking, and the way the smallest thing can hold so much meaning. I found it quite intractable and frustrating at first, and then found a rhythm and a sympathy and settled into it...

... when all at once I hit the second part and the book simultaneously broke my brain and my heart. Ten years pass in a flurry of pages. People we had known down to the grain on their fingerprints are casually dispatched in passing in the final sentence of a paragraph. The house slowly decays, the bubble that has been there so clearly is gone, as the dust and mould creep in.

And then in the final part we are there again, and are drawn into musing around what fingerprints do we leave on the world, how are we remembered, what is success? Those complex family relationships, so much love and anger tangled up,and all inside, no ripples on the surface. But we paint. And we make it to the Lighthouse. ( )
  atreic | Feb 25, 2019 |
Lily Briscoe is a kindred spirit. She asks a pertinent question at the beginning of the final section: what does it mean then, what can it all mean? I have been asking myself that, often out loud for most of my adult life. A pair of events this weekend illuminated that disposition and likely also besmirched my reading of To The Lighthouse. My Tenth wedding anniversary was followed quickly by the funeral for my uncle Fred. The first event was grand, of course, though it does lend itself to a certain survey, of sorts. The second was simply queer. this was no great tragedy, the man was 85 years old had seven sons and had suffered through terrible health these last few years. I leaned quickly that there are no poets in that section of my family and apparently no Democrats either. It was nice to hug, slap backs and smile at one another, most of the time counting the decades since we last spoke at length. Through the depths of such I ran to the Woolf and read for an odd half hour here and there.

To the Lighthouse is a tale of caprice and desperation. It is a kaleidoscope of resonance and impressions. Much like life it can be dusty and wind swept on an even manner. I would likely have been great affected were it not for the switchbacks of the weekend. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 194 (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 (71 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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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.

(summary from another edition)

» 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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