Monday, November 28, 2016

Review: The Voyage Out

The Voyage Out The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever

The Voyage Out or living beyond things

Describing things or just looking at things…

… thus when you describe things they change

… things are immortal but you can change them

… and things are changing you.

Earth, Sky, Mortals, Divine (Heidegger):
things belong to the earth, to the sky…
things are mortals and divine.

All lovely tales that we have heard or read

that we are not really at home in our interpreted world

daß wir nicht sehr verläßlich zu Haus sind
in der gedeuteten Welt.

quanto poco sa per noi di focolare
il mondo interpretato

That we are not really at hearth in our interpreted world

daß wir nicht sehr verläßlich zu Heim sind
in der gedeuteten Welt

“Jane Austen? I don’t like Jane Austen,” said Rachel.
“You monster!” Clarissa exclaimed. “I can only just forgive you. Tell me why?”
“She’s so-so-well, so like a tight plait,” Rachel floudered.


D’you know, Miss Vinrace, you’ve made me think? How little, after all, one can tell anybody about one’s life! Here I sit; there you sit; both, I doubt not, chock-full of the most interesting experiences, ideas, emotions; yet how communicate? I’ve told you what every second person you meet might tell you.”
“I don’t think so,“ she said. “It’s the way of saying things, isn’t it, not the things?”


She was next overcome by the unspeakable queerness of the fact that she should be sitting in an arm-chair, in the morning, in the middle of the world. Who were the people moving in the house-moving things from one place to another? And life, what was that? It was only a light passing over the surface and vanishing, as in time she would vanish, though the furniture in the room would remain.

She was overcome with awe that things should exist at all…


Flowers and even pebbles in the earth had their own life and disposition, and brought back the feelings of a child to whom they were companions. Looking up, her eye was caught by the line of the mountains flying out energetically across the sky like the lash of a curling whip. She looked at the pale distant sky, and the high bare places on the mountain-tops lying exposed to the sun. When she sat down she had dropped her books on to the earth ate her feet, and now she looked down on them lying there, so square in the grass, a tall stem bending over and tickling the smooth brown cover of Gibbon, while the mottled blue Balzac lay naked in the sun. With a feeling that to open and read would certainly be a surprising experience, she turned the historian’s page and read that - ...

“Novels,” she repeated. “Why do you write novels? You ought to write music. Music, you see” - she shifted her eyes, and became less desirable as her brain began to work, inflicting a certain change upon her face-”music goes straight for things. It says all there is to say at once.

“What I want to do in writing novels is very much what you want to do when you play the piano, I expect,” he began, turning and speaking over his shoulder. “We want to find out what’s behind things, don’t we?...

For some time Rachel made no reply; but every sentence Helen spoke increased her bitterness. At last she broke out-
“Thank God, Helen, I’m not like you! I sometimes think you don’t think or feel or care to do anything but exist! You’re like Mr Hirst. You see that things are bad, and you pride yourself on saying so. It’s what you call being honest; as a matter of fact it’s being lazy, being dull, being nothing. You don’t help; you put an end to things.”


After a silence she asked, looking up into the sky, “Are we on the deck of a steamer on a river in South America? Am I Rachel, are you Terence?”
The great black world lay around them.


They stood together in front of the looking-glass, and with a brush tried to make themselves look as if they had been feeling nothing all the morning, neither pain nor happiness. But it chilled them to see themselves in the glass, for instead of being vast and indivisible they were really very small and separate, the size of the glass leaving a large space for the reflection of other things.

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