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A Haunted House and Other Stories: The Complete Shorter Fiction of Virginia Woolf (Vintage Classics)

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  1,268 ratings  ·  100 reviews
Written between 1906 and 1941 (shortly before her death), this complete collection of Woolf’s shorter fiction offers invaluable insight into her development as a writer, and serves as a fascinating introduction to her novels.
Paperback, 314 pages
Published April 7th 2003 by Vintage Classics (first published 1921)
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Terry Ferrell
Calling this collection "short stories" can be slightly misleading. I understand why a lot of people hate Woolf's writing; I really do get it. Reading Woolf reminds me of the first time I tasted beer and wine: I took a sip and then politely declined any further tastings for a while. After a while, I decided I was missing something, so I gave them both another try. After the 5th or maybe 500th sip, I realized I was beginning to enjoy the taste. Such as it was with Woolf. The first time I read her ...more
Virginia Woolf's prose is quite lovely in this collection of short stories. Here she offers the reader a glimpse into some raw scatterings of thoughts; these are transient pieces beautifully unvarnished. The reader will also find short compositions which begin to unravel some of her ideas for new novels, unwritten novels. Furthermore, a good handful of these short stories quite gently brush against characters from a now complete, established and well-known novel - Mrs. Dalloway and friends are i ...more
Jul 18, 2011 Kristen rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kristen by: Not Blake, who knew all along how insanely awesome Virgina Woolf is and failed to tell me! Why would he want to keep this from me?!?!?
So fucking beautiful and dark it makes my soul ache.

My Favorites:

Solid Objects:
"his eyes lost their intensity, or rather the background of thought and experience which gives an inscrutable depth to the eyes of grown people disappeared, leaving only the clear transparent surface, expressing nothing but wonder, which the eyes of young children display."

Kew Gardens:
"and in the drone of the aeroplane the voice of the summer sky murmured its fierce soul. Yellow and black, pink and snow white, shapes
A collection of short, impressionistic stories by the woman who famously pioneered the stream of consciousness technique, and equally famously drowned herself by filling her pockets with stones and walking into a lake.

Typical of her style is the following start and end paragraphs from the title story:

Whatever hour you woke there was a door shutting. From room to room they went, hand in hand, lifting here, opening there, making sure – a ghostly couple.
‘Here we left it,’ she said. And he added, ‘O
I'm not sure the short story format really suits Virginia's style. These aren't so much compact, little stories as they are iridescent fragments of stories. I get the impression she was more interested in questions than she was in answers and only ever gave a concluding thought because she had to. Her prose here is exquisite, as always.

(If anyone can explain The Shooting Party or The Searchlight to me, please do!)
Eddie Watkins
Not all the stories are of equal quality (some, according to the intro, not quite finished sketches), but the writing and the observations (focus on minute particulars - the shade cast by a leaf more important in the moment than a war another world away) as well as the unwavering precedence given to highly sensitized individuals (and their relations with other highly sensitized individuals) are consistent and absolutely enthralling and inspiring.
Sara Berger
g o r g e o u s

the perfect book to end the year.
Greetings from Praha. A lovely short-story by Virginia Woolf.
I spotted the orange library binding of this book a split-second before I saw "Woolf" on its spine. Those wonderful thick, sturdy covers that one saw so much more commonly back when the world was young. This copy was the original 1944 American edition, a "Wartime Book" whose title page assures us it is in full compliance with regulations "conserving paper and other essential materials." And when one starts on the individual stories, printed chronologically, the reader finds himself in a similarl ...more

Sono una grande amante di Virginia Woolf e tutto è partito da questa raccolta. Dovevo leggere alcuni di questi racconti per la scuola, poi è diventato un lavoro che ho continuato da sola, leggendo anche i rimanenti (non tutti).

Credo che sia un ottimo inizio per entrare nel mondo della Woolf, che scrive nella prima metà del Novecento con uno stile che si basa sullo stream of consciousness, secondo cui i personaggi pensano più cose contemporaneamente. Per fare un esempio, posso essere in metropoli

Gabriel Suzume
Gran elección para acercarse a la obra de Virginia por tratarse de relatos cortos escritos a lo largo de toda su vida. La autora demuestra tener un domino soberbio de la narrativa, utilizando multitud de recursos desde el texto encontrado hasta la introspección psicológica. Descripciones sublimes pueblan los relatos; en los que destaca sobremanera el análisis de los personajes, realizado en la mayoría de las ocasiones desde dentro hacia fuera, desde cómo piensa el personaje a cómo lo ven los dem ...more
Nonostante non ami i racconti, devo ammettere che, a differenza di altre volte, questi racconti mi sono piaciuti. Sarà la penna raffinata ed elegante della Woolf, ma questi racconti mi hanno colpito. I racconti che la Woolf ci presenta compredono un periodo che va dal 1906, l'anno di "Phyllis e Rosamond", a "La stazione balneare" del 1941, il racconto che chiude la raccolta e che mette la parola fine alla sua vita di scrittrice.
In questi racconti la Woolf tocca varie tematiche, che già conoscia
russell barnes
Wow, what a brilliant little collection of short stories. I love Virginia Woolf, but sometimes you've got to steel yourself to wade through her novels, content in the knowledge you're only going to get about 80% of what's going on.

However in this slim volume you not only get perfect little morsels of Woolf's stream of consciousness style, and her contained explorations of her characters inner thoughts and reflections which are stimulated by outside actions, without having to wade through pages
Paula Cappa
I'm not a Woolf fan actually, but these short stories were interesting bites of her style. Generally I find her prose to be a bit obtuse and the stream of consciousness prose heavy. I get a bit weary of overhearing the characters' meandering thoughts and their fragmented complexities; and her long sentences tend to leave me mentally breathless. But one short story in this anthology, A Haunted House, was a lovely story about ghosts that I really enjoyed probably because it was more direct than he ...more
Kathryn Bashaar
I knew I should read Woolf, but I kept putting it off because I knew she wrote alot of stream-of-consciousness, which is not my favorite style. And the stream-of-consciousness stories in this collection are not my favorites, but there are some absolute gems, too, which make me understand why everyone makes such a big fuss over Woolf. I would count "Solid Objects" and "The Journal of Mistress Joan Martyn" among the best short stories every written. I could read them over and over just for the lov ...more
"And what is knowledge? What are our learned men save the descendants of witches and hermits who crouched in caves and in woods brewing herbs, interrogating shrew-mice and writing down the language of the stars? And the less we honour them as our superstitions dwindle and our respect for beauty and health of mind increases... Yes, one could imagine a very pleasant world."
fatima pure
I really loved this story that carries a deep feeling of hope and ambition .It takes me to a fantasy world where the precious love exist between people ;where in reality it is hard to find that treasure that the ghostly couple eventually found in deep inside of each one of them.<3
Assala Mihoubi
I loved it so much!! it absolutely resemble the immortal love and attraction, even with some terrifying aspects, it still represent the treasure inside us, in between. At least they found out that the treasure was there all the time.
unbelievably romantic and I'm so in the atmosphere.
Honestly, I've read most of these stories more than once, and half the time I have no idea what's going on. Woolf used her short stories as vehicles to experiment with different voices, and it shows. I love the ones I do understand and as for the rest, I'll keep on trying.
Skipping around, I like her earlier stuff more than the later stuff. I'm just not deep enough to see where the more abstract pieces are going ... although I am deep enough to realize it's somewhere beyond my intellectual comfort zone.
Nicholas Trandahl
An absolutely stunning collection. If I hadn't already started reading Virginia Woolf with 'To the Lighthouse', this would have been an excellent introduction to her writing style. I highly recommend it. I liked just about every little piece of fiction in here but my favorites are 'Kew Gardens'and 'Lappin and Lapinova'. 'Lappin and Lapinova' is the best short story that I've ever read. It rings so true to my own life and secret things that I share with my fiancee. Beautiful.
It's crazy that my fa
Greg Youmans
(I gather that my version of the book isn't the same one that some of the other reviews here are referencing. Mine is a paperback with a different cover, published in 1949, and features Leonard Woolf's selection of Virginia Woolf's stories made soon after her death.)

Many of the stories are wonderful. Stand outs for me are "Kew Gardens," "The Mark on the Wall," "The New Dress," "Solid Objects," "Moments of Being" (aka "Slater's Pins Have No Points"), and "A Summing Up."

The first six stories were
Non mi piace la Woolf. No, scusate, proprio no. La trovo terribilmente pretestuosa, finta, poco obbiettiva. Il problema infatti non è tanto lo stile, il tratto che si snoda (che almeno nella Signora Dalloway, tempo e tempo fa, avevo un pochino, ino, di più apprezzato), ma proprio il fatto che mi urta i nervi. Mi innervosisce in una maniera clamorosa, non ce la faccio proprio. Quando ho finito i racconti ero sollevata, come quando ci si libera di una persona sgradita che continua a sparlare bench ...more
Thick, dense prose. Deeply allegorical.
More a series of impressions and reflections, with a couple stellar exceptions (See "Lappin and Lapinova" or "Solid Objects"). But as some have noted, Woolf seems stifled by the SS format, becomes overly reliant on frames and where plot is strong the seductive prose we love her for diminishes. Despite this, Leonard has compiled a beautiful collection of pieces which are haunting, contemplative, and whimsical. Often the Dalloways serve as connective tissue which should please fans of that novel, ...more
Caroline Gurgel
Dizem que começar a ler a obra de um escritor pelos seus contos não é a melhor maneira. Bem, não tive muita escolha, esse foi daqueles livros que escolhe o leitor, e não o contrário. A intenção era começar por Mrs Dalloway, mas entre os livros da autora na estante da livraria aquela capa vermelha, rígida, minimalista, tão bonita gritou por meu socorro.

É difícil comentar um livro de contos, pois gostamos de uns, de outros nem tanto; nos identificamos com tantos e alguns, mal compreendemos. Sim, a
From Monday or Tuesday
“Lazy and indifferent, shaking space easily from his wings, knowing his way, the heron passes over the church beneath the sky” (6).
From An Unwritten Novel
“Such an expression of unhappiness was enough by itself to make one’s eyes slide above the edge to the poor woman’s face—insignificant without that look, almost a symbol of human destiny with it” (8).
“Five faces opposite—five mature faces—and the knowledge in each face. Strange, though, how people want to conceal it!” (8).
"A Haunted House" has become my favorite short story of all time. So dense and beautiful in two and a half pages. "Safe, safe, safe," the pulse of the house beat gladly. "The Treasure yours." My daughter Ash's favorite from "Monday or Tuesday": "Lazy and indifferent, shaking space easily from his wings, the heron passes over the church beneath the sky." Another great description of childhood from "Solid Objects": "That impulse, too, may have been the impulse which leads a child to pick up one pe ...more
Interesting little set of selected short stories by Virginia Woolf. Some of these are sketchy ideas or experiments, and that's OK. They're more like curiosities - a look at an alternate way she to chose write some of the time. A Haunted House, Kew Gardens and Moments of Being are real standouts. Even the stories that mention the famous Mrs. Dalloway in only a cursory sense still reflect the world the author created for this character. Toward the end of the set, you see less illustration of a par ...more
Reading this book was an intense experience. The stories show the evolution of Wolff's writing as well as the arc of her life. The first stories were just overflowing with ideas while lacking in structure. The middle stories were sharp and cutting observations of her culture as clear and bright as light through crystal. The later stories were more sophisticated experiments about relationships. The highlight of the book was a series of 9 stories that take place in a single party where everyone fe ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Alternate book cover 3 7 Aug 06, 2014 01:53PM  
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(Adeline) Virginia Woolf was an English novelist and essayist regarded as one of the foremost modernist literary figures of the twentieth century.

During the interwar period, Woolf was a significant figure in London literary society and a member of the Bloomsbury Group. Her most famous works include the novels Mrs Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927), and Orlando (1928), and the book-length es
More about Virginia Woolf...
Mrs. Dalloway To the Lighthouse A Room of One's Own Orlando The Waves

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“I want to think quietly, calmly, spaciously, never to be interrupted, never to have to rise from my chair, to slip easily from one thing to another, without any sense of hostility, or obstacle. I want to sink deeper and deeper, away from the surface, with its hard separate facts.” 12 likes
“The root of things, what they were all afraid of saying, was that happiness is dirt cheap. You can have it for nothing. Beauty.” 9 likes
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