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**spoiler alert** This book must get two separate ratings, I feel. It was amazing (which is the five-star assertion). But also, I liked it (which is t**spoiler alert** This book must get two separate ratings, I feel. It was amazing (which is the five-star assertion). But also, I liked it (which is the three-star assertion). Rather than getting it wrong from both sides and making an average, I will embrace the duality of Woolf herself and give it both, and neither.
It was a house full of unrelated passions, thinks Lily Briscoe upon returning to the Scotland summer home in search of closure. The woman artist stands on the lawn facing the house, trying to finish her painting after years of neglect. She feels she has escaped somehow, the life that these people, with their unrelated passions, have led. She pities them, and yearns for them.
To the Lighthouse is about "subject and object and the nature of reality." It is about "nothing that could be written in any language known to men, but intimacy itself, which is knowledge." It is about fear and need, unresolved.
It is about beauty, and it is heartrending, broken beauty. "It was love, she thought, pretending to move her canvas, distilled and filtered; love that never attempted to clutch its object; but, like the love which mathematicians bear their symbols, or poets their phrases, was meant to be spread over the world and become part of the human gain."
It is about Virginia Woolf, and about lost humanity. Men, women, husbands, wives, children, friends, artists, all in her eyes and within her own life story, are answering or not answering the questions. What is truth? What is love? Why are we here? It is about choosing one's own way, and leaving others free to do the same.
I see gushing reviews and know that Woolf's writing deserves the praise. But her answers to the questions, espoused by so many now, have not resolved the fear and the need. Oh, that the world would come to know and glorify God, and find in Him all the abundance He freely offers through His Son, Jesus Christ!
My initial purpose for reading this book was to get a better perspective of the man who wrote Mere Christianity. What had been the factors in his lifeMy initial purpose for reading this book was to get a better perspective of the man who wrote Mere Christianity. What had been the factors in his life that had made him the man he was, and who indeed was he? I had no idea from the simple language and many metaphors of Mere Christianity that the man Lewis was so cerebral and INTIMIDATINGLY well-read. In fact, if I were to write my own subtitle for this book, for humorous purposes only, it would be "You Can Never Read as Much as C.S. Lewis." But that would be only part of the point. ;) I say "part of the point" because Lewis' reading really did play a key role in the intellectual and spiritual journey that brought him to Christ. What gave him the feeling of longing he described as Joy? Reading. What helped to convince him that atheism was unreasonable (in addition to key friendhips)? Reading. And on, and on, through his journey, the reflections of God's truth that he recognized as Joy came to him through the written word (in addition to rhetorical banter with a few good friends), and also through nature. The lessons he learned through his reading and also through his experiences with nature were to "close his mouth, open his eyes and ears, and take in what there is." This lesson was much harder for him to learn in his philosophy of life, but the book shows how God's faithful hand guided him to that final point of submission, when he finally realized the futility and shame of resisting the call of Christ. I'm not going to lie--this book is quite heady. There were pages I had to read three times before I even thought I'd assimilated it. But the book reflected Lewis at each stage of his journey, and in the end his philosophical musings took a back seat to the truth that Joy is simply a guidepost--a reflected glory of the One behind it--and the business of journeying heavenward must be his new occupation. P.S. I also got a few more books for my "to-read" list out of the deal, which had been of great influence in Lewis' life. :)...more
A very good book on the importance of Classical education based partly on Dorothy Sayers' essay, "The Lost Tools of Learning." Written from the perspeA very good book on the importance of Classical education based partly on Dorothy Sayers' essay, "The Lost Tools of Learning." Written from the perspective of a Christian school administrator, there are several chapters that apply directly and exclusively to that area of education. Wilson does a good job of pointing out the places where public school fails, and discussing what, if anything, can be done. One chapter does address "The Homeschooling Alternative," but from an outsider's perspective that makes certain assumptions that may not apply. More recently, Wilson collaborated on a book called The Classical Education at Home, which I have yet to read. A great book for those interested in Classical homeschooling is The Well-Trained Mind by Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer. Wilson's book is a good and informative read, though, and very biblical. ...more