Virginia Woolf The Waves (Annotated)

ISBN 13: 9781291550160

The Waves (Annotated)

9781291550160: The Waves (Annotated)

This ebook includes a biographical introduction, a short, critical analysis of Woolf's career and a brief introduction to this work.

The Waves, published by Hogarth Press in 1931, might be said to be plotless in essence whilst also serving as a counterpoint to her earlier novel Jacob’s Room. The structure, because that’s a more helpful notion, is built around the soliloquys of six characters while a seventh, much like Jacob but this time kept silent, hovers in the background. Interspersed between these six voices are attendant naturalistic descriptions of waves breaking on a shore at different points of the day from dawn to dusk; another instance of Woolf’s childhood memories surfacing.

Through the different characters, and using the seventh, Perceval, as a collective, but flawed, icon, Woolf examines notions of the self and the collective through differing viewpoint. Some see Woolf’s peers in a selection of the characters including Llyton Strachey, E. M. Forster and T. S. Elliot, but such identifications are less important than what she has to say using these points of view as distinct mouthpieces. Perceval, and the name with its Arthurian connections can’t be overlooked, is assumed to relate to Woolf’s brother Thoby and if this is the case, then such a relationship must have more importance.

The Waves represented the fourth major novel published in a six year period and arguably brought to an end Woolf’s most creative stretch.

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Full of sensuous touches...the sounds of her words can be velvet on the page (Maggie Gee Daily Telegraph)


This edition will be the most extensive and authoritative, the most fully collated, scrupulously researched and explicated text available to scholars to date, and for considerable time to come. Based on the first edition of Woolf's most challenging novel, this volume is an essential purchase for libraries and scholars.

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