Sunday, June 1, 2014

Orlando - Virginia Woolf

This fictitious biography about Woolf's lover Vita Sackville-West astutely mirrors Vita's own life, her family history and four centuries of English history. Orlando is born a man in Elizabethan England, turns woman overnight 200 years later and then finds herself "in the present day" (1928) more or less Sackville-West herself.

Woolf labelled this "a writer's holiday" and though I do consider it a bit sad that her lightest work was her best-selling in her lifetime, I also see why, as is also a 'reader's holiday' for all its playfulness and wit. Notwithstanding the merriness, it still turns around two themes that are central in Woolf's writing; gender and time.

Pertinent and helpful notes, whose only drawback is that they are situated in the end of the book = not convenient! (Footnotes should be placed at the bottom of the page. Period. Otherwise you need two bookmarks and an extra finger while reading...)


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