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Orlando: A Biography (1928)

by Virginia Woolf

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
8,828144653 (3.89)2 / 516
Virginia Woolf's exuberant `biography' tells the story of the cross-dressing, sex-changing Orlando who begins life as a young noble in the sixteenth century and moves through numerous historical and geographical worlds to finish as a modern woman writer in the 1920s. The book is in part ahappy tribute to the `life' that her love for Vita Sackville-West had breathed into Virginia Woolf's own day-to-day existence; it is also Woolf's light-hearted and light-handed teasing out of the assumptions that lie behind the normal conventions for writing about a fictional or historical life. Inthis novel, Virginia Woolf plays loose and fast: Orlando uncovers a literary and sexual revolution overnight.… (more)
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    FFortuna: They have the same kind of wide-eyed satirical quality.
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    Orlando [1992 film] by Sally Potter (JuliaMaria)
  3. 00
    The Art of Joy by Goliarda Sapienza (julienne_preacher)
Romans (32)
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English (130)  Italian (2)  Swedish (2)  Catalan (2)  French (2)  Spanish (2)  Danish (1)  Dutch (1)  Finnish (1)  German (1)  All languages (144)
Showing 1-5 of 130 (next | show all)
What can I say that hasn’t already been said about Orlando? Impressively forward looking on its satire of gender roles, English literature, love, and all the stuffiness in between (not even the present participle was safe). The gender parody was best when Orlando first transitioned and later when she meets Shel, though from that point time moved so sporadically and quickly it was harder to make sense of what was happening. In awe of Woolf for the concept though the prose wasn’t my cup of tea. ( )
  jiyoungh | May 3, 2021 |
Orlando by Virginia Woolf is entitled a "biography". It is a biography of Orlando, a person that is obviously a time traveler and also a man that has morphed into a woman, over the ages. Orlando was always searching for something; mostly approval (conduct, poetry, wealth, etc.), but several times found that after he had slept for seven days he would wake up as someone else. I swore I would never read another Woolf book after reading Mrs. Dalloway, but I do try to give authors a second read. I can now definitely say, "no more Woolf for me!" 304 pages ( )
  Tess_W | Apr 23, 2021 |
I really enjoyed this less hyper-stylised Woolf with less of an explicit formal focus on iteriority as seen in her most well-known works. Each subject and time flowed on to the next, making Orlando a very fluid reading experience which I loved. I really liked the clever interjections of the narrating biographer!
1 vote booms | Mar 2, 2021 |
woolf was thinking about transgenders and bathrooms 88 years ago.
  CLARPUS | Feb 25, 2021 |
Being ignorant about much English literary history, I think I missed a lot of inside jokes in Orlando. But I did enjoy the playful tone and the way that Woolf engaged with gender.
  b.masonjudy | Feb 7, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 130 (next | show all)
Next time anyone tries to tell you – as people often do – that Virginia Woolf was a cold fish, just direct them to her seductive writing about winter. It warms the heart.
added by Nickelini | editThe Guardian, Sam Jordison (Dec 5, 2011)
 

» Add other authors (148 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Woolf, Virginiaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alfsen, MereteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bowen, ElizabethAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gilbert, Sandra M.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Herlitschka, Herberth E.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Herlitschka, MarlysTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Higgins, ClareNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Livi, GraziaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lyons, BrendaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nuie, CorneliusCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scalero, AlessandraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scalero, GraziaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Simonsuuri, KirstiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whitworth, Michael H.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Winterson, JeanetteIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To V. Sackville-West
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He - for there could be no doubt of his sex, though the fashion of the time did something to disguise it - was in the act of slicing at the head of a Moor which swung from the rafters.
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Sull'uomo oscuro, l'Oscurità distende i suoi veli misericordiosi. Nessuno sa dove egli vada, né donde venga. Gli è concesso di cercar la verità, e di dirla; egli solo è libero; egli solo è veritiero; egli solo è in pace.
Gli edifici avevano una simmetria aerea eppur rigida sconosciuta alla luce del giorno. La volta del cielo pareva un intonaco abilmente disteso per completare i contorni dei tetti e dei camini.
… e il vento sparpagliò le parole che salirono turbinando come falchi selvaggi fra le guglie e sempre più in alto, sempre più lontane, sempre più rapide, finché s'infransero e ricaddero in terra in una pioggia di sillabe; …
Si figurava che le stanze s'illuminassero al suo entrare; che si sgranchissero, aprissero gli occhi come se in assenza di lei avessero sonnecchiato. E per quanto le avesse viste centinaia, anzi migliaia di volte, mai le apparivano due volte sotto lo stesso aspetto: in un'esistenza lunga come la loro, avevano radunato tra le pareti una miriade di stati d'animo, i quali mutavano con l'estate e con l'autunno, col sole e con la pioggia, a seconda delle vicende di Orlando e del carattere di chi vi entrava. Cortesi lo erano sempre, coi forestieri, ma un poco stanche; con lei invece si aprivano interamente, si rianimavano. E come avrebbe potuto esser diverso? Si conoscevano da secoli, ormai. Non avevano nulla da nascondersi. Ella conosceva le loro gioie e i loro dolori. Sapeva l'età di ogni minima parte della casa, e i piccoli segreti: un cassetto celato, un armadio mascherato; qualche lieve difetto, anche, come una parte aggiunta posteriormente o restaurata. E le stanze, a loro volta, conoscevano ogni suo capriccio, e ogni sua trasformazione. Nulla aveva loro nascosto, mai; era venuta a loro fanciullo e donna, piangendo e danzando, pensosa e gaia. Sul banco nel vano di quella finestra aveva scritto i primi versi suoi; in quella cappella era andata a nozze. E qui sarebbe stata sepolta, pensava, i ginocchi sul sedile sotto la vetrata, nella lunga galleria, assaporando il vin di Spagna.
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Virginia Woolf's exuberant `biography' tells the story of the cross-dressing, sex-changing Orlando who begins life as a young noble in the sixteenth century and moves through numerous historical and geographical worlds to finish as a modern woman writer in the 1920s. The book is in part ahappy tribute to the `life' that her love for Vita Sackville-West had breathed into Virginia Woolf's own day-to-day existence; it is also Woolf's light-hearted and light-handed teasing out of the assumptions that lie behind the normal conventions for writing about a fictional or historical life. Inthis novel, Virginia Woolf plays loose and fast: Orlando uncovers a literary and sexual revolution overnight.

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Penguin Australia

4 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141184272, 0140622810, 0141198524, 0143566458

Urban Romantics

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