Main Data
Author: Virginia Woolf, August Nemo
Title: Virginia Woolf - Essays
Publisher: Tacet Books
ISBN/ISSN: 9783986772680
Edition: 1
Price: CHF 1.90
Publication date: 01/01/2021
Content
Category: Essays, features, literary criticism, interviews
Language: English
Technical Data
Pages: 157
Copy protection: Wasserzeichen
Devices: PC/MAC/eReader/Tablet
Formate: ePUB
Table of contents
Welcome to the Essays collection. A special selection of the nonfiction prose from influential and noteworthy authors. This book brings 22 of best essays of Virginia Woolf, across a wide range of subjects, including writing, feminism, Jane Austen, literature, poetry and many more topics.Virginia Woolf was an english writer known for her novels, essays and book reviews. Her fiction and ideas about literature, feminism and art, altered the course of literature. Many of her most relevant works were published by Tacet Books.The book contains the following texts:- Introduction by Edmund Gosse- The Modern Essay- A Room of One's Own- Modern Fiction- How Should One Read A Book?- How It Strikes a Contemporary- Craftsmanship- The Art of Biography- Why?- The Death of the Moth- The Humane Art- The Man at the Gate- The Novels of E. M. Forster- A Letter to a Young Poet- Jane Austen- Joseph Conrad- The Russian Point Of View- 'Jane Eyre' And 'Wuthering Heights'- George Eliot- American Fiction- The Art Of Fiction- On Re-Reading Novels- The Artist And Politics

Adeline Virginia Woolf (25 January 1882 28 March 1941) was an English writer, considered one of the most important modernist 20th-century authors and a pioneer in the use of stream of consciousness as a narrative device.
Table of contents

 

The Modern Essay


 

 

 

As Mr. Rhys truly says, it is unnecessary to go profoundly into the history and origin of the essay—whether it derives from Socrates or Siranney the Persian—since, like all living things, its present is more important than its past. Moreover, the family is widely spread; and while some of its representatives have risen in the world and wear their coronets with the best, others pick up a precarious living in the gutter near Fleet Street. The form, too, admits variety. The essay can be short or long, serious or trifling, about God and Spinoza, or about turtles and Cheapside. But as we turn over the pages of these five little volumes2,containing essays written between 1870 and 1920, certain principles appear to control the chaos, and we detect in the short period under review something like the progress of history.

Of all forms of literature, however, the essay is the one which least calls for the use of long words. The principle which controls it is simply that it should give pleasure; the desire which impels us when we take it from the shelf is simply to receive pleasure. Everything in an essay must be subdued to that end. It should lay us under a spell with its first word, and we should only wake, refreshed, with its last. In the interval we may pass through the most various experiences of amusement, surprise, interest, indignation; we may soar to the heights of fantasy with Lamb or plunge to the depths of wisdom with Bacon, but we must never be roused. The essay must lap us about and draw its curtain across the world.

So great a feat is seldom accomplished, though the fault may well be as much on the reader's side as on the writer's. Habit and lethargy have dulled his palate. A novel has a story, a poem rhyme; but what art can the essayist use in these short lengths of prose to sting us wide awake and fix us in a trance which is not sleep but rather an intensification of life—a basking, with every faculty alert, in the sun of pleasure? He must know—that is the first essential—how to write. His learning may be as profound as Mark Pattison's, but in an essay it must be so fused by the magic of writing that not a fact juts out, not a dogma tears the surface of the texture. Macaulay in one way, Froude in another, did this superbly over and over again. They have blown more knowledge into us in the course of one essay than the innumerable chapters of a hundred text-books. But when Mark Pattison has to tell us, in the space of thirty-five little pages, about Montaigne, we feel that he had not previously assimilated M. Grün. M. Grün was a gentleman who once wrote a bad book. M. Grün and his book should have been embalmed for our perpetual delight in amber. But the process is fatiguing; it requires more time and perhaps more temper than Pattison had at his command. He served M. Grün up raw, and he remains a crude berry among the cook meats, upon which our teeth must grate for ever. Something of the sort applies to Matthew Arnold and a certain translator of Spinoza. Literal truth-telling and finding fault with a culprit for his good are out of place in an essay, where everything should be for our good and rather for eternity than for the March number of the Fortnightly Review. But if the voice of the scold should never be heard in this narrow plot, there is another voice which is as a plague of locusts—the voice of a man stumbling drowsily among loose words, clutching aimlessly at vague ideas, the voice, for example, of Mr. Hutton in the following passage:

Add to this that his married life was very brief, only seven years and a half, being unexpected

 
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