David's Reviews > A Haunted House and Other Short Stories

A Haunted House and Other Short Stories by Virginia Woolf
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Nov 11, 09


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, ‘Oh, but here too!’ ‘It’s upstairs,’ she murmured. ‘And in the garden,’ he whispered. ‘Quietly,’ they said, ‘or we shall wake them.’
...................................................
‘Safe, safe, safe,’ the heart of the house beats proudly. ‘Long years -’ he sighs. ‘Again you found me.’ ‘Here,’ she murmurs, ‘sleeping; in the garden reading; laughing, rolling apples in the loft. Here we left our treasure-Stooping, their light lifts the lid upon my eyes. ‘Safe! Safe! Safe!’ the pulse of the house beats wildly. Waking, I cry ‘Oh, is this your buried treasure? The light in the heart.’


When I bought this book many years ago I was disappointed because I expected a 'proper' ghost story. But re-reading it now I realise that it really is a proper ghost story, and a heart-rending one at that.


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David Yes, I'd forgotten.


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