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The Waves [NOOK Book]

Overview

One of Woolf’s most experimental novels, The Waves presents six characters in monologue - from morning until night, from childhood into old age - against a background of the sea. The result is a glorious chorus of voices that exists not to remark on the passing of events but to celebrate the connection between its various individual parts.

A novel in which the characters' lives are presented in ...

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The Waves

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Overview

One of Woolf’s most experimental novels, The Waves presents six characters in monologue - from morning until night, from childhood into old age - against a background of the sea. The result is a glorious chorus of voices that exists not to remark on the passing of events but to celebrate the connection between its various individual parts.

A novel in which the characters' lives are presented in terms of their thoughts.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Three of Woolf's top works get annotated by individual scholars, who also supply introductions and additional reading lists. Other extras include a chronology of the author's life and illustrations. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Louis Kronenberger
"'Clear, bright, burnished, and once marvelously accurate and subtly conotative. Superior, delicate sensability found in this language and the moods that it expresses are a true kind of poetry." -- The New York Times
From the Publisher
"...I am grateful for the care, intelligence, and scholarship that have produced this edition."
—Woolf Studies Annual
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547678849
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 1/1/1950
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 300
  • Sales rank: 870,041
  • File size: 264 KB

Meet the Author

VIRGINIA WOOLF (1882�1941) was one of the major literary figures of the twentieth century. An admired literary critic, she authored many essays, letters, journals, and short stories in addition to her groundbreaking novels.

Biography

Virginia Woolf is now recognized as a major twentieth-century author, a great novelist and essayist and a key figure in literary history as a feminist and a modernist. Born in 1882, she was the daughter of the editor and critic Leslie Stephen, and suffered a traumatic adolescence after the deaths of her mother, in 1895, and her stepsister Stella, in 1897, leaving her subject to breakdowns for the rest of her life. Her father died in 1904 and two years later her favorite brother Thoby died suddenly of typhoid. With her sister, the painter Vanessa Bell, she was drawn into the company of writers and artists such as Lytton Strachey and Roger Fry, later known as the Bloomsbury Group. Among them she met Leonard Woolf, whom she married in 1912, and together they founded the Hogarth Press in 1917, which was to publish the work of T. S. Eliot, E. M. Forster and Katherine Mansfield as well as the earliest translations of Freud. Woolf lived an energetic life among friends and family, reviewing and writing, and dividing her time between London and the Sussex Downs. In 1941, fearing another attack of mental illness, she drowned herself.

Her first novel, The Voyage Out, appeared in 1915, and she then worked through the transitional Night and Day (1919) to the highly experimental and impressionistic Jacob's Room (1922). From then on her fiction became a series of brilliant and extraordinarily varied experiments, each one searching for a fresh way of presenting the relationship between individual lives and the forces of society and history. She was particularly concerned with women's experience, not only in her novels but also in her essays and her two books of feminist polemic, A Room of One's Own (1929) and Three Guineas (1938). Her major novels include Mrs. Dalloway (1925), the historical fantasy Orlando (1928), written for Vita Sackville-West, the extraordinarily poetic vision of The Waves (1931), the family saga of The Years (1937), and Between the Acts (1941).

Author biography courtesy of Penguin Group (USA).

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    1. Also Known As:
      Adeline Virginia Stephen Woolf (full name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 25, 1882
    2. Place of Birth:
      London
    1. Date of Death:
      March 28, 1941
    2. Place of Death:
      Sussex, England

Read an Excerpt

The Waves
THE SUN had not yet risen. The sea was indistinguishable from the sky, except that the sea was slightly creased as if a cloth had wrinkles in it. Gradually as the sky whitened a dark line lay on the horizon dividing the sea from the sky and the grey cloth became barred with thick strokes moving, one after another, beneath the surface, following each other, pursuing each other, perpetually.

 As they neared the shore each bar rose, heaped itself, broke and swept a thin veil of white water across the sand. The wave paused, and then drew out again, sighing like a sleeper whose breath comes and goes unconsciously. Gradually the dark bar on the horizon became clear as if the sediment in an old wine-bottle had sunk and left the glass green. Behind it, too, the sky cleared as if the white sediment there had sunk, or as if the arm of a woman couched beneath the horizon had raised a lamp and flat bars of white, green and yellow, spread across the sky like the blades of a fan. Then she raised her lamp higher and the air seemed to become fibrous and to tear away from the green surface flickering and flaming in red and yellow fibres like the smoky fire that roars from a bonfire. Gradually the fibres of the burning bonfire were fused into one haze, one incandescence which lifted the weight of the woollen grey sky on top of it and turned it to a million atoms of soft blue. The surface of the sea slowly became transparent and lay rippling and sparkling until the dark stripes were almost rubbed out. Slowly the arm that held the lamp raised it higher and then higher until a broad flame became visible; an arc of fire burnt on the rim of the horizon, and all round it the sea blazed gold.

 The light struck upon the trees in the garden, making one leaf transparent and then another. One bird chirped high up; there was a pause; another chirped lower down. The sun sharpened the walls of the house, and rested like the tip of a fan upon a white blind and made a blue fingerprint of shadow under the leaf by the bedroom window. The blind stirred slightly, but all within was dim and unsubstantial. The birds sang their blank melody outside.

“I SEE a ring,” said Bernard, “hanging above me. It quivers and hangs in a loop of light.”

 “I see a slab of pale yellow,” said Susan, “spreading away until it meets a purple stripe.”

 “I hear a sound,” said Rhoda, “cheep, chirp; cheep, chirp; going up and down.”

 “I see a globe,” said Neville, “hanging down in a drop against the enormous flanks of some hill.”

 “I see a crimson tassel,” said Jinny, “twisted with gold threads.”

 “I hear something stamping,” said Louis. “A great beast’s foot is chained. It stamps, and
stamps, and stamps.”

 “Look at the spider’s web on the corner of the balcony,” said Bernard. “It has beads of water on it, drops of white light.”

 “The leaves are gathered round the window like pointed ears,” said Susan.

 “A shadow falls on the path,” said Louis, “like an elbow bent.”

 “Islands of light are swimming on the grass,” said Rhoda. “They have fallen through the trees.”

 “The birds’ eyes are bright in the tunnels between the leaves,” said Neville.

 “The stalks are covered with harsh, short hairs,” said Jinny, “and drops of water have stuck to them.”

 “A caterpillar is curled in a green ring,” said Susan, “notched with blunt feet.”

 “The grey-shelled snail draws across the path and flattens the blades behind him,” said Rhoda.

 “And burning lights from the window-panes flash in and out on the grasses,” said Louis.

 “Stones are cold to my feet,” said Neville. “I feel each one, round or pointed, separately.”

 “The back of my hand burns,” said Jinny, “but the palm is clammy and damp with dew.”

 “Now the cock crows like a spurt of hard, red water in the white tide,” said Bernard.

 “Birds are singing up and down and in and out all round us,” said Susan.

 “The beast stamps; the elephant with its foot chained; the great brute on the beach stamps,” said Louis.

 “Look at the house,” said Jinny, “with all its windows white with blinds.”

 “Cold water begins to run from the scullery tap,” said Rhoda, “over the mackerel in the bowl.”

 “The walls are cracked with gold cracks,” said Bernard, “and there are blue, finger-shaped shadows of leaves beneath the windows.”

 “Now Mrs. Constable pulls up her thick, black stockings,” said Susan.

 “When the smoke rises, sleep curls off the roof like a mist,” said Louis.

 “The birds sang in chorus first,” said Rhoda. “Now the scullery door is unbarred. Off they fly. Off they fly like a fling of seed. But one sings by the bedroom window alone.”

 “Bubbles form on the floor of the saucepan,” said Jinny. “Then they rise, quicker and quicker in a silver chain to the top.”

 “Now Biddy scrapes the fish-scales with a jagged knife on to a wooden board,” said Neville.

 “The dining-room window is dark blue now,” said Bernard, “and the air ripples above the chimneys.”

 “A swallow is perched on the lightning-conductor,” said Susan. “And Biddy has smacked down the bucket on the kitchen flags.”

 “That is the first stroke of the church bell,” said Louis. “Then the others follow; one, two; one, two; one, two.”

 “Look at the table-cloth, flying white along the table,” said Rhoda. “Now there are rounds of white china, and silver streaks beside each plate.”

 “Suddenly a bee booms in my ear,” said Neville. “It is here; it is past.”

 “I burn, I shiver,” said Jinny, “out of this sun, into this shadow.”

 
 
Copyright © 1931 by Harcourt, Inc.
Copyright renewed 1958 by Leonard Woolf
Annotated Edition copyright © 2006 by Harcourt, Inc.
Preface copyright © 2005 by Mark Hussey
Introduction copyright © 2006 by Molly Hite

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

Requests for permission to make copies of any part of the work should be submitted online at www.harcourt.com/contact or mailed to the following address: Permissions Department, Harcourt, Inc., 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Florida 32887-6777.

 

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Table of Contents

General editors' preface; Chronology; Introduction; Chronology of composition; The Waves; Explanatory notes; Textual apparatus; Textual notes.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

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(8)

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2014

    Intensely subjective.

    A beautiful work. Bear with it for a few pages, it picks up.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Just read it!

    Amazing. This was my first Virginia Woolfe novel and after reading it she had me hooked. Original. Difficult? Yes. Worth the patience it takes to read? Very much. If u want to have to actually think and become actively involved in a novel this is for you.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2004

    A Smart-Kid (yes!) who likes to read!!

    THE WAVES is a strong book from my point of view being a thirteen-year-old; I have read MRS. DALLOWAY and to me the two-books are complitly differnt. This book says alot more (maybe) because the thought, or dialouge--which is put in perenthasis--are strong, much like in the begging where they in-a-way discribe where they are at and what's around them--that was smart and realistic!! I like how she studies with not one or two charectors but six people! This is a good book that I recomand to a person that wants to close the last page happy, in shoke, thinking, asking, and wanting more.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2004

    What a Great Concept

    There is no plot and no one complete character. However, together, the unique characters form a whole 'created' person (assumed by Bernard at the end). Percival is the false hero we all think we want and Bernard is the person we really hope to be. 'Against you I will fling myself, unvanquished and unyielding, O Death!'-one of the best endings ever.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted December 23, 2009

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    Posted October 27, 2008

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    Posted July 20, 2009

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    Posted December 30, 2010

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