It is evident in every chapter; whether the person is talking to themselves; or to a group of imagined f What makes this a Superior book is the Research.
It is evident in every chapter; whether the person is talking to themselves; or to a group of imagined friends; to their psychotherapist; their husband; their sister; their lover; a famed poet...etc. And every chapter contains Conversation/s...a rare jewel these days, when most people DON'T listen and most conversations from the Mobile Broadcasters has me fleeing train or bus rather than missing my stop to find out 'What Happened Next', whereas many a book I've had my nose in has DONE JUST THAT !!!!
The book's FULL title is ..."Adeline....A Novel Of Virginia Woolf" This is intriguing in Itself. For me, it gave more insight into VW than most straight biographies ever could. And I've read Much about the Bloomsbury Group.
Norah Vincent has read the journals, letters and autobiographical works of Virginia and Leonard Woolf, as well as the letters of Lytton Strachey and T.S.Eliot; and read excellent biographies of most Bloomsbury characters, she tells us,(see final page), and I BELIEVE her !!! Where else could she have got these intimate, searching and wonderful conversations!!?? Just one or two I ran aground on, but look forward to rereading them, because they hold keys to understanding. Her huge and thorough research has enabled her to get into the minds of a host of characters...especially Virginia. This was eventually UNPUTDOWNABLE !! I found myself regrettably getting closer to the end.
I regret my usual 'rush to judgement' which I have retained (read on!) as a Disciplinary Measure on myself ...thankfully I was holding out for a BIG improvement...and my Hopes were rewarded...happily, surprisingly and rewardingly.
I went from 'barely reading' to "galloping through". Hope you get to enjoy it too. A prior knowledge of the Bloomsbury Group would be a necessary prerequisite I strongly feel. And I can assure you there is no other biographical work like THIS one. But there are plenty of informative and enjoyable ones. They will definitely enhance Norah Swift's Very Original Work.
* * * *
On First Opening Norah's "Adeline":
WHEW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have just waded through the First Chapter of this overwritten bombastic prose. A far cry from the Bloomsberries who had a reputation for speaking and writing with great simplicity ....it is their lives which are regarded as highly complicated !!!
For someone who is claiming to be channelling Virginia Woolf this does not bode well. I needed a transfusion and went where I usually go after this rough sort of experience ....I read some "Virginia Woolf" ...and It was like a breath of Fresh Air. AND put me in touch with The Real Thing !!
I very soon began to wonder whether this writer was not going through an early obsession with Virginia Woolf, as do some fans of Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte. It leads many to complete Jane's unfinished novels; or write an account of how on one of Charlotte's visits to London she witnessed a murder which led to adventure and a romance !!! Ludicrouus ? YES ! Here we have someone who is getting right inside the Someone, a Very Dubious Task .
Listen...just go to Virginia's Nephews. They knew her personally and LOVED her, were amused by her. Nigel Nicholson found her a lively and amusing visitor, "a favourite aunt who brightened our simple lives with unexpected questions." Quentin Bell has written a two volume biography of this famous Aunt and it reads easily and perceptively as only an insider can. I do hope Norah Vincent used these sources as well. You see, I DO HOPE for an improvement. Shame the publisher ever noticed Chapter One !!!
There is another site on Goodreads of this short novel of 108 pages. It contains many interesting reviews.And it contains 50 editions of the book. ThisThere is another site on Goodreads of this short novel of 108 pages. It contains many interesting reviews.And it contains 50 editions of the book. This site contains only TWO editions and has far fewer reviews. The difference being that this edition also contains FIVE Short Stories and so gives a much better idea of the talents of Jack Schaefer. And they are GREAT. I unwillingly read the stories first but was sorry when they ended. They were unpredictable, real, credible, with characters just the same. And ALL original. They were not in the mythic Old West tradition of the novel "Shane" which has since been so copied that it is now a Cornerstone of the Western Tale. Clint Eastwood has resurrected it very successfully. Lone gunman rides into town and out again at the conclusion...and you can imagine what goes on inbetween...everything except the solving of the 'mystery' of the Mystery Man. But he has left behind him a better world and a memory that will never be erased. Shane was probably the First of the Hundreds that have followed, just as Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre" has been replicated ad nauseam for the Romantics, probably at its best in Daphne du Maurier's "Rebecca". The imitators mostly seem to copy on the most obvious of levels, lack of talent or of anything substantial to say leaving us with a hollow shell. All the short stories here and the Shane story do not disappoint. It's a Rich Read. Enjoy !!
Now all I have to do is rustle up some more Jack Schaefer...I'm happily addicted ! ...more
I've always been a poetry fan. Nursery Rhymes and song lyrics come unbidden when we are babes. We are soon reciting or singing along. My old Pre-Review:
I've always been a poetry fan. Nursery Rhymes and song lyrics come unbidden when we are babes. We are soon reciting or singing along. My older sister reading poetry to her grandson found a distinct alteration in his behaviour when she went from prose to poetry. It's rhythm really caught his attention in eyes, expression and gesture.
When we were teenagers she had received a Complete Works of Tennyson for Xmas and we took it with us to the beach that Summer to read, loving the stories,the topics, the rhythm,the beauty of his words. "The Lady of Shalott" was to be an enduring favourite. Later we were to discover the Victorian artists who had done justice to these poems. We'd lie on the beach taking turns reading to each other. Our dear Mum sat by, astounded. But poetry had come into our ownership and by itself, with no poor teacher or school getting in the way.
So often I see the products of Poor Teaching, where children come out hating authors along with their novels and/or poetry. "I hate Jane Austen!!" one student teacher blurted out passionately when she saw me reading one of JA's witty social satires. Sometimes reflection sends them back to a book as adults and they become passionate about the book they once fiercely rejected. I expected to see this phenomenon on Goodreads when I went to review "The Scarlett Letter". Yes, there were the hating present day students and there were the adults discovering a wonderful book years later, but under their own steam, not under a teacher's orders, a teacher who couldn't teach appreciation because they too hated the novel.
At school I really enjoyed teaching and analysing poetry. Often I would write a poem for the class based on our current topic. The kids LOVED it and brought favourite poems to share or ones they had written. We ransacked the school library. Getting them to dip into a poetry anthology to find a poem to share with the class was a Great Way of exposing them to a wide range of poetry and getting them to express why they liked a poem or preferred one to another. Often they would pick out a poem they could not really understand, ones that I myself had also enjoyed in Primary school or my older sister brought home but hadn't really the faintest idea what was going on sometimes. William Blake's "Tiger,tiger, burning bright,in the forests of the night" and the Witches' chanting their spell from Shakespeare's "Macbeth" was another. We talked about really liking something we didn't really understand. I didn't bother if they plagerised words, phrases or lines when composing. Fancy plagerising Shakespeare when you were only eight years old!!!! Often I would get them to respond to a book,a poem,a maths problem, an historical incident etc. with a Cinquain, Rhyming Couplet, Limerick, Haiku etc these being poetic forms I'd allow them to discover and attempt to compose with themselves.
I found inadvertently at one stage in my life that poetry helped me deal with personal problems. But then it always had...through the philosphies expressed. But soon I realised that I couldn't find anyone who perfectly addressed my problems. No alternative but to write them myself. This wasn't a daunting decision. They were for my eyes only. I'd dabbled with writing poetry before but never with such purpose; and I found I really enjoyed the whole process. As with John Donne who liked to share his poetry with friends, I sent copies to friends too. No need to publish it formally. Fame had absolutely nothing to do with it. It has never interested me. Privacy is a treasure.
So today when visiting the local bookshop to wish staff a Happy New Year, and there on the Bargain Tables outside lay a thick, broad paperback (you don't get to SEE a book when its an E-Book, do YOU !!?) titled :Bill Moyers- this at the very top, below which a carved apple with assorted plants growing in a window in its front; and below bold scribed: THE LANGUAGE OF LIFE...a language book,I said, having bought two thick beauties here recently. But in smaller italic letters below lay the key: A Festival of Poets. Without more ado I grabbed it up and swept into the store. Chris praised Bill Moyers as an excellent journalist...so it was bought.
Since I got home I've browsed the Feast in store. Oh, this is gonna be GOOD, Man !!!!!! This is gunna be damned GOOD!!! ...more
Not always easy reading a 'Virginia Woolf'. To The Lighthouse, Orlando and A Room of One's Own I ate up. Mr I'd read the book..."Mrs Dalloway" that is!!
Not always easy reading a 'Virginia Woolf'. To The Lighthouse, Orlando and A Room of One's Own I ate up. Mrs Dalloway, Between the Acts and Jacob's Room not so digestible.
It so happened that Michael Cunningham's 'take' on "Mrs Dalloway" was more accessible than his book in terms of proximity and time, so I nicked into the movie theatre and was...BOWLED OVER !!!
I saw the film again a couple of days later and was amazed how much I'd missed the first time. A few weeks later I took my Mum and a friend to see it, prepared to be bored,and again was riveted...acting, story ,music... it was always a deeply moving experience. I reread Mrs Dalloway and saw its film starring a favourite Vanessa Redgrave.
AND THEN...the BIG MISTAKE!!!...I read Michael Cunningham's "The Hours"
I could not even RECOGNISE the film. It was lame. No PUNCH at all!!! That was years ago and I'm still PUZZLED!!!
So someday soon, I hope, I will be able to reread "The Hours" and hopefully be able to alter the present Star Rating.
When Television arrived in Australia in the 1950's our Visual World was MIGHTILY expanded ...along with our minds and our knowledge. Names unknown and Ta When Television arrived in Australia in the 1950's our Visual World was MIGHTILY expanded ...along with our minds and our knowledge. Names unknown and Talents never before seen were laid before us and devoured. Our Parents, thrilled to be reliving their Cinema Youth, introduced us to Al Jolson...his film biography and his LP discs; Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn in "The African Queen"; Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers films with their fantastic dancing. We got our first taste of Shakespeare in Hollywood's superb 1935 rendition of "A Midsummer Night's Dream"...my primary school classes were fascinated with the same film in the early 2000's.
BUT...then there was Bette Davis!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"I HATE her. She has POPPY eyes!!!"I proclaimed. (She was playing the inspirational Welsh teacher of the future actor Emlyn Williams in the film of his play "The Corn is Green" released in 1945.)
Many of the people we saw were still BIG in film and would be for years to come. We unwittingly learned Film History and appreciated our Parents' Past. The War was still a Fresh Memory.I thought everyone would be over it when 1955 came.(They're STILL talking about it, making films and documentaries, writing novels and memoirs.)
Happily, just yesterday, I bought the DVD of Bette Davis' 1938 Academy Award winning performance in "Jezebel". I saw it once only on the telly in the late 1950's...and have NEVER FORGOTTEN...the film or her!! I'm still on the look out for her riveting performance in "The Letter" based on the Somerset Maugham short story. I don't notice the eyes now. But someone who really DID penned the song "Bette Davis Eyes"!!! She IS rather beautiful...and one of the Cinema's Greatest Actresses.
Alexander Walker's brief 135 page book concentrates on her films and her career of making them; and of the powerful will and personality behind them; of how she fought the Studio System; of how women relied on her to represent their lives. For six decades. In 1942's film "Now, Voyager" she played a young woman breaking free from her possessive mother. Copious fan mail arrived for Bette... especially from the daughters of possessive mothers AND from possessive mothers repenting their possessiveness!!!
She learned that women relied on her and that her range of acting could help, warn, counsel in the broad spectrum of women's lives and experiences. From a snappy aging Elizabeth the First in love in "The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex" to an actress dealing with the limits of her career at its peak in "All About Eve",she had something to offer.
ALL her films are listed in the book's final pages with Title, Director, Scenario and Source, Photography, Editor, Cast, Running Time, When Released and Producer. ...more