zondag 27 november 2016

Virginia Woolf: Orlando

Hi everyone

This is my review for my fourth Virginia Woolf’s Orlando. I read Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse and The Waves a few years ago.
My copy has a 16-page introduction and 162 pages of story.
I got it at the Standaard Boekhandel.

Virginia Woolf's Orlando, "The longest and most charming love letter in literature," playfully constructs the figure of Orlando as the fictional embodiment of Woolf's close friend and lover, Vita Sackville-West. Spanning three centuries of boisterous, fantastic adventure, the novel opens as Orlando, a young nobleman in Elizabeth's England, awaits a visit from the Queen and traces his experience with first love as England, under James I, lies locked in the embrace of the Great Frost.
At the midpoint of the novel, Orlando, now an ambassador in Costantinople, awakes to find that he is a woman, and the novel indulges in farce and irony to consider the roles of women in the 18th and 19th centuries. As the novel ends in 1928, a year consonant with full suffrage for women, Orlando, now a wife and mother, stands poised at the brink of a future that holds new hope and promise for women.”

I had a mixed experience reading this book and I know I should love this but my reading over the past few years has made me realize that I don’t usually love the classics everyone seems to love.

Orlando’s gender switch was great and different, unlike other things I’ve read so far. It’s not an important part of the story though, it doesn’t matter most of the time whether she’s a man or a woman.
And I really appreciate the philosophy in Woolf’s books. She’s never really moralizing but she still manages to get her message out there.

But the book is so boring and dull! There’s nothing to the story, the writing-style is uninspired and the book didn’t captivate me at all. I struggled to get through it because it made me go to sleep.

2.5 STARS

Happy reading!
Helena