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Writer in Residence Book Group Reads TO THE LIGHTHOUSE

First meeting of TO THE LIGHTHOUSE reading group:

Wednesday, June 13, 6:30 p.m., Putney Library

On three Wednesday evenings in June, novelist Dennis McFarland (Nostlagia, Prince Edward, Letter to Point Clear, A Face at the Window, School for the Blind, The Music Room) and I will be leading discussions of Virginia Woolf’s novel To the Lighthouse.

In her wonderful foreword to the HBJ edition of this novel, Eudora Welty writes:

From its beginning, the novel never departs from the subjective. The youngest child, James, is on page one cutting out a catalogue picture of a refrigerator
which he sees “fringed with joy.” The interior of its characters’ lives is where
we experience everything. And in the subjective—contrary to what so many
authors find there—lies its clarity. There is nowhere in this radiant novel a
shadow of detachment. Such is Virginia Woolf’s genius.

In our first meeting, we’ll look closely at how Woolf creates this subjective clarity, studying the nuts and bolts of the writing, sentence by sentence. Read as much of the first section as you can and think about a few passages you would like to talk about together.

We’ll also talk about Woolf’s life and the larger context of the novel, written between the two world wars, and in the long shadow of the novels of Joyce and Proust, as well as Eliot’s The Wasteland.

In the following two meetings, Wednesday, June 20 and Wednesday, June 27, we’ll include the second and third sections in our discussion.
Books available at Putney Library! Call to reserve one: 387-4407