To the Lighthouse – once again.
It won’t leave me alone. It’s the dinner-scene, it keeps coming back to me, asking to be investigated, scrutinised, analysed … dissected?
I have posted on it before, but I can see there is more to explore. I will try to write an essay on it, this autumn, just to get it out of my mind …
I think Emily Colette Wilkinson have some really good points in her short note on the novel:
In its intermingling of separate consciousnesses, To the Lighthouse is both intellectually and psychically difficult. Not only is it hard to tell who’s who and who’s saying or thinking what, it is also disconcerting—even queasy-making—to be set adrift in other minds, with their private rhythms and associative patterns. It feels, at times, like being occupied by an alien consciousness. Some readers don’t ever find their sea-legs with Woolf. The trick is to surrender yourself (true with other high modernists too), to let the prose wash over you and take you where it will—not to worry too much about understanding a dogmatic way.
It’s easy to lose track of whose mind you’re listening to, whose words you’re hearing, who’s being spoken about. But in this is also something ghostly and god-like: you drift, as if disembodied, into the minds of others, through the rooms of the Ramsay family’s summer house on the Isle of Skye; you hear snatches of conversation from the drawing room, wisps of another conversation on the lawn. The plot of the novel, such as it is, is diffuse and amorphous; By the standards of most 18th and 19th century novels, it’s not really a plot at all.