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Between the Acts

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  4,975 ratings  ·  290 reviews
In Woolf's last novel, the action takes place on one summer's day at a country house in the heart of England, where the villagers are presenting their annual pageant. A lyrical, moving valedictory.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published October 21st 1970 by Mariner Books (first published 1941)
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3.64  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,975 ratings  ·  290 reviews

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Oct 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: uk, reviewed, 2016
Fragments of life’s rich pageant

Sharp, witty, vital, brilliant. With Between the acts, Woolf sings an eudaimonic valediction to her readers, and finally, to life, as Woolf was still working on the final revisions when she walked into the Ouse and the novel was published by Leonard Woolf four months after her death. Although sometimes perceived as unfinished and jokingly referred to as her ‘Portrait of the Artist as an Old Woman’, she gave birth to a full-term child. A full-blown, proficient no
The last act.

This is the tenth and last of Virginia Woolf’s novels. Of the other nine, I read the two most famous ones some years ago; the rest I’ve read in the last three months, which makes eight in a row, non-stop.

I feel as if I’ve attended a series of plays, each with a differently decorated set and its own cast of characters but each sharing themes, locations and character types with the others. There are even characters who appear in more than one of the works: Clarissa Dalloway and her h
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Audiences ready to look themselves in the mirror
Shelves: read-in-2017
The last book that Woolf wrote before she entered the Ouse, never to return. There is a sense of premonition in this hybrid work; a play within a play like in “The Tempest” and a novel of manners with the most British of pedigrees; a presage that the world is never going to be the same, even if people keep acting as if nothing were the matter. The feeling is mostly portrayed in a global scale because the characters are not ready to acknowledge it and make it personal, but it can be perceived in ...more
Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
Virginia Woolf inserts her gaze into the lives of her characters; there are no introductions, no preambles: we are simply there.

And her gaze is microscopic. She narrates every last detail about her characters; everything is brought to life in all its shades of grey and ordinariness. She does not comment on her descriptions, but simply provides thorough detail. As such, Between the Acts does not have a beginning per say or any usual sense of narrative progression. The novel feels more like an in
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
il romanzo che virginia woolf lasciò sulla sua scrivania insieme alle lettere per il marito leonard e la sorella nessa, quando uscì di casa per entrare in un fiume, quello di cui disse che era troppo sciocco e frivolo per essere pubblicato, è in realtà la cosa più struggente che io abbia letto di suo finora.
l’impalpabilità della trama, l’esperimento con una scrittura centripeta che cambia continuamente asse e lo spunto lieve - una compagnia di attori dilettanti che imbastisce uno spettacolino te
Lynne King
Dec 03, 2016 added it
Shelves: v-woolf
I have a real sense of regret here with this final book of Virginia Woolf. I personally feel that it should not have been published. The poor woman was mentally unwell, perhaps due to the strain of writing this final work? Who knows. Her permisson had not been given to publish it either. Still many other people love this book and that's the main thing.

This is a fascinating individual who wrote the most superb Diaries and Letters. I love them and they are a great source of joy to me.

In conclusion
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Don’t bother with the plot: the plot is nothing.

Between the Acts is Virginia Woolf’s last novel. In the introduction, Leonard Woolf explains that Virginia had finished the book, and although some grammar editing was still needed, at the time of her death, she considered it finished. Only obvious errors were corrected.

The story takes place in June 1939 but was written while WWII was being fought. The story opens before the summer pageant and play at Pointz Hall, about a three-hour train ride from
Nov 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Don't bother with the plot: the plot is nothing.

Between the Acts is Virginia Woolf's last novel. In the introduction, Leonard Woolf explains that Virginia had finished the book, and although some grammar editing was still needed, at the time of her death, she considered it finished. Only obvious errors were corrected.

The story takes place in June 1939 but was written while WWII was being fought. The story opens before the summer pageant and play at Pointz Hall, about a three-hour train ride fro
Jan 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: the-list
Maybe it's because this is technically unfinished (a forward from Leonard Woolf states that although the draft was completed, Virginia Woolf died before she was able to make final corrections and revisions, so it was sent to the printers as is), but this one didn't strike me quite in the way Woolf's other books have. But that's not to suggest that it isn't good - remember, this is Virginia Woolf, so when I say that it didn't strike me as much as her other ones, I only mean that this book felt li ...more
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Opera postrema della Woolf, questo libro ha goduto di minor fama rispetto ai suoi più noti capolavori: è in effetti un’opera un po’ strana, di cui la scrittrice non ebbe modo di curare una revisione; parlandone, le premeva metterne in luce un’asserita frivolezza: io parlerei piuttosto di leggerezza, che in realtà è anche apparente, perché il romanzo, sebbene rorido d’ironia sommessa e tipicamente inglese, suona tutt’altro che leggero e frivolo. Tutto si svolge in poche ore: nei pressi d’una vecc ...more
Lynne King
I love Virginia Woolf's "Letters" and "Diaries". I often look at them as they show her wit. They are brilliant and compelling reading. I also thoroughly enjoyed her novel "Mrs Dalloway" but this book, well I'm sorry but it's not for me at all. I liked it initially and then I lost interest. It appeared to be full of fripperies.

Such a shame...
Entre os Actos - o último romance de Virginia Woolf, que concluiu mas já não reviu, - foi publicado, pelo seu marido, meses depois do seu suicídio.
É uma obra com uma estrutura original constituída por dois planos narrativos: o romance tradicional no qual, a dado momento, as personagens assistem a uma peça de teatro representada por eles próprios.
As personagens principais são um casal, Isa e Giles, que não sabem se se amam ou se odeiam e cuja sombra da infidelidade, potencial não real, paira sobr
Apr 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
2011 Update: This is the third consecutive spring in which I've read BTA. I'll confess my reading this go-round felt less urgent (I...dare I say it?...skimmed parts of the pageant), but nevertheless increased yet again my love for this novel. Deceptively minimalist, austerely affective, Between the Acts feels somehow so apart from and so integral to Woolf's canon. The characters themselves are powerfully immediate; almost allegorical in the way Woolf employs metaphors, images, or emotions as sho ...more
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Il Palcoscenico della Vita

Alla vigilia dello scoppio della seconda guerra mondiale gli abitanti di Pointz Hall, l’anziano Oliver e sua sorella Lucy (Old Flimsy), il figlio Gilles e la nuora Isabelle, ospitano la rappresentazione teatrale amatoriale che si svolge ogni anno nel piccolo paese dove abitano. E tra gli atti della commedia, insieme agli altri abitanti e spettatori, recitano la commedia della vita, ciascuno con il proprio ruolo e la propria maschera. Sul palcoscenico si recita la stor
Jul 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I took a class on Woolf in the last semester of my third year. This was the last book we read. We had the option of taking an in-class final or writing a paper. As I had not finished much of the assigned reading, I opted for the paper. That quarter, all of my finals were done Monday, and this paper wasn't due until Friday at 5pm. I figured I'd gun this out and turn it in Wednesday at the latest. Ha. No.

Woolf never finished editing this book. It was the middle of WWII and she lost hope. She kill
Ronald Morton
Jan 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
(I read over half of this yesterday - so, again, happy birthday Virginia Woolf)

Between the Acts was Virginia Woolf’s final novel, published posthumously following her suicide by drowning. It was written between 1939 and 1940 – the beginning of World War II into the beginning months of The Blitz on London (which Woolf experienced and wrote about in some of her correspondence). Both events weigh heavy on the text, though it is impossible to say how much of her eventual suicide should be read into
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
در میان نقشها
ویرجینیا وولف
الهه مرعشی
نشر فرهنگ جاوید
دوستداران ادبیات ولف را معمولا با چهار اثر دوره اوج خلاقیت ادبی اش (خانم دلووی، به سوی فانوس دریایی، اورلاندو و موج ها)می شناسند گرچه وولف به غیر از این چهار اثر ، اثاری دیگر نیز دارد . در میان نقشها، از جمله آثار نه چندان معروف وولف و اخرین اثر او ،متعلق به زمانی است که شیدایی و افسردگی وولف به منتهای خود رسیده بود.
این اثر دشوار و بسیار سخت خوان ،بدون طرح داستانی و حتی بدون پیرنگ ، با حضور بیش از پنجاه شخصیت و همچنین با دارا بودن ریتمی بسیا
Apr 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 20th-century, classics, uk
3.5 stars.
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kai atsirado LT vertimas, susigriebiau, kad nebuvau skaičiusi. O čia juk paskutinis Woolf romanas - atidavusi jo rankraštį, nusiskandino. Bet pasiėmiau angliškai - man taip patinka jos žodžiai, inversijos, pakartojimai, švelnūs atsikartojimai ir aidai, net skyrbos ženklai, kad nesinori to ieškot jokia kita kalba, kad ir koks geras, tikiu, gali būti vertimas.

Iš toliau, bet susišaukė: viena iš paskutinių skaitytų knygų buvo Binet "HHhH", apie pasikėsinimą į Hitlerio dešiniosios rankos Himmlerio de
May 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
You know what I love the most about Virginia Woolf? I am completely captivated by her novels. When I am reading her, I find myself completely lost in her words. Her descriptions bring her world together and it surrounds me in such a way that I just become part of it. It’s so wonderful…

“Between the Acts” was brilliant, the kind of brilliant that doesn’t ask to be adored, but that just is due to its simplicity. Virginia Woolf’s observant side is so evident here… it really takes your breath away if
Oct 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
В навечерието на втората световна война В.У. написва книга. Между действията = Между войните = Между антракта = Между отношенията.

Тази книга раказва за една пиеса, която проследява развитието на Англия от малко невинно момиче, което говори с езика на елизабетинската епоха в първо действие, еволюира в езика на викторианската епоха във второ действие, а в трето действие завършва вместо с поклон от актьорите - с огледала срещу публиката. От заглавието до най-незначимото и кратко изречение в съдържа
Aug 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
I always forget about Virginia Woolf despite everything of hers that I have read hits me in the gut and stays with me for years. Maybe I carry her around in my bones.
Lee Foust
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I'm so pleased that Ms. Woolf was able to shake off the malaise of The Years and write one more masterpiece before her demons caught up with her.

Amazingly, after so many fine novels--and then the one real dud--she finds some new ground to tread here and it's very beautiful. Although she's always been a mistress of the finely wrought sentence, here she fell into sheer poetry at times, using alliteration, assonance, syllabic rhythms, and even rhyme, making Between the Acts the most musical of all
Adriana Scarpin
Obra magnífica, o simbolismo presente mesmo abarca não só a história cultural da Inglaterra, como arremata não apenas o momento em que foi em escrito em tintas diacrônicas como também a metalinguagem da autora. Três aspectos importantíssimos a serem considerados na leitura desse livro: 1939 e o século das guerras, modernismo literário e musical, por último mas não menos importante, o fato deste ser o último livro de Woolf antes do suicídio - se você se ater a essas três chaves mestras o simbolis ...more
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"Her gift meant nothing. If they had understood her meaning; if they had known their parts; if the pearls had been real and the funds illimitable - it would have been a better gift. Now it had gone to join the others.
'A failure' , she groaned, and stooped to put away the records."

Ainda bem que o li em inglês, talvez o livro mais orquestrado de virginia, os compassos, as rimas, as repetições, as pausas. Não tendo nenhuma tradução portuguesa, ficou-me a sensação que é das obras de Virginia que ser
Not my favorite novel by Woolf—not by a longshot—but as the unanticipated terminus for one of literature’s great oeuvres it strikes an incredibly powerful and poignant note, its deliberate, hard-fought expansiveness resisting any sense of finality or closure (indeed, the end is revealed to be just another beginning). On this reading I was struck with how the novel itself feels positioned at a stylistic juncture, an attempt to fuse together the gorgeously abstracted soliloquies of The Waves with ...more
Simon Robs
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Isa Oliver, the Virginia Woolf-like character in "BtA" reflects that "Books are the mirrors of the soul."  And so do plays with mirrors but we'll get to that.  Isa's inner world like the inner world of all human beings if held to mirror would as all Woolf's characters do display clipped and jangled fragments of thought aflight in barn swallow dips and dives between the acts of everyday life.  She's given to poetic flights of fancy to counteract her threadbare and borne acceptancy of matronly mar ...more
Brenden O'Donnell
Jan 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I think I tried to make this novel conform to the rest of Woolf's work when I first read it. This reading, done in the context of a Modernism seminar after having read "Ulysses" and "Nightwood," has provided a more appropriate frame. Though throughout most of this reading it still felt a little more like Djuna Barnes than Woolf, once I got through to the end I was surprised how much Woolf I recognized in it.

I read it as a prophetic vision of the end of human meaning, though it's really ambiguou
Virginia Woolf tries to execute an ambitious concept and, while she’s not entirely successful, she doesn’t fail either. Even though the play within this story doesn’t mesh as flawlessly as I would have liked with the story itself, the ideas that do work, the allusions to war, the exhibit of life’s patterns and human nature show that unmistakeable Virginia Woolf mark of brilliance.

I was going with 3 stars initially, up close it’s easier to notice the imperfections, but looking from a distance I
Helen McClory
nostalgia for the age it was written in. Tragedy of connection. Fragmented gestures. Whispers of drowning.
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The Morality of Posthumously Publishing Unfinished Work 1 3 Jan 03, 2019 08:42AM  
Devon Book Club: Woolf Week 22-29 October 2018 12 7 Oct 24, 2018 11:09PM  
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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 e
“Books are the mirrors of the soul.” 5116 likes
“Often on a wet day I begin counting up; what I've read and what I haven't read.” 240 likes
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