Many people read To the Lighthouse when they’re too young to fully appreciate it. In this novel, Woolf memorializes her parents and siblings, and it’s full of richness for mature readers about a long marriage, friendship, death, memory, and what art can offer solace and coherence. Another obstacle to Woolﬁan enjoyment for readers is her innovative style, her attempt to capture the stream of consciousness and fragmentation of our thinking and feeling that James Joyce introduced. I hope to have you see how wonderfully she handles this.
Mrs. Dalloway preceded To the Lighthouse, and provides access into Woolf’s distinctive way of describing the inner mental and emotional workings of a middleaged well-born British lady during one important day. We’ll precede a reading of both novels by looking at one of her short stories and get glimpses of her connection with the Bloomsbury culture of her time.
Members should obtain copies of Mrs. Dalloway and To the Lighthouse before the ﬁrst class. Amazon Prime has many copies of both novels in paperback (new and used) and for the Kindle. Copies of the short story and excerpts from Woolf’s diaries and letters will be shared electronically. There are also videos of both novels, which would be instructive to see on your own. Vanessa Redgrave is an excellent Mrs. Dalloway.