To the Lighthouse

To the Lighthouse

Book - 1992
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Though its fame as an icon of twentieth-century literature rests primarily on the brilliance of its narrative technique and the impressionistic beauty of its prose, To the Lighthouse is above all the story of a quest, and as such it possesses a brave and magical universality.

Observed across the years at their vacation house facing the gales of the North Atlantic, Mrs. Ramsay and her family seek to recapture meaning from the flux of things and the passage of time. Though it is the death of Mrs. Ramsay on which the novel turns, her presence pervades every page in a poetic evocation of loss and memory that is also a celebration of domestic life and its most intimate details. Virginia Woolf's great book enacts a powerful allegory of the creative consciousness and its momentary triumphs over fleeting material life.

(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)

Publisher: New York : Knopf : Distributed by Random House, 1992, c1955.
ISBN: 9780679405375
0679405372
Branch Call Number: WOOLF V
Characteristics: xxix, 242 pages ; 22 cm.

Opinion

From Library Staff

I got this one, but looking at it now, I didn't deeply understand the depth of the feminism and the plight of the characters. I think this one might improve upon a re-read with more life experience.


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Thank you M. Cook [below] for your excellent analysis of this book. True wit is nature to advantage dressed.....i was compelled to slog through it for book club. The characters are shallow, i would not have tea with them let alone spend a summer vacation. Why did Lilly the plain faced untalented artist endure while some potential heroic characters got killed off in child birth or as cannon fodder? I would have thrown the book against the wall except I have to return it to the library to lie in wait for the next hapless reader.

t
trcookIIImddmd
Oct 01, 2016

A moron, an imbecile, and an idiot met and discussed To The Lighthouse, praising it for its beauty, masterly use of volume, emotional swings...the book is tiresome to read and I had to make myself finish it; the conclusion is as disappointing as the rest of it. The book lacks the poetic beauty of Robert Penn Warren's classic All The King's Men; a line in the story says women can't write, and if Woolf were the only example, that would be a truism, but there is the wonderful tale by Harper Lee which puts that claim to rest. Woolf is pretentious to the point of incredulity and completely lacks the plot development of such true greats as Great Expectations. A dreary, moribund work at best.

AL_ANDREW Aug 02, 2016

Absolutely beautifully written and philosophically driven. Lacks the combination of prose and description to paint a picture in the reader's mind, but certainly a thinking novel.

a
annlid
Nov 19, 2014

Capturing time, place and relationships through exquisite language.

multcolib_central Jul 11, 2014

With unmistakable genius the fluid and gorgeous prose carries you completely into this book. The reader becomes a spirit flitting between the minds of the novel's characters. it's about beauty, about the unpreventable tragedy of time passing, about art and people.

s
stephaniedchase
Dec 06, 2013

A beautiful study not just of family dynamics in a changing society, but also of the deep shifts in writing and narration happening in the novel. TO THE LIGHTHOUSE is one of the first to actively explore shifting perspectives, partially unreliable narration, and the power of language to support a story.

g
GerryD
Jun 19, 2013

Considered one of the Top 10 classic novels (my #10) of the western world. This novel centres on the tensions within a family during a vacation. The novel was written in 1927 between two of her other popular novels, Mrs. Dalloway and Orlando. See my GerryD Lists for other great novels.

jaelle May 29, 2013

Recommended by KCTS

t
tacobell4
May 29, 2012

The use of stream-of-consciousness narrative and nonlinear plot makes this book difficult to follow for those like me used to a formal structure of chronological time.

Nwagner Jan 10, 2011

Lovely lyrical novel.

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