Sunday, March 16, 2008

A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf

For that visit to Oxbridge and the luncheon and the dinner had started a swarm of questions. Why did men drink wine and women water? Why was one sex so prosperous and the other so poor? What affect has poverty on fiction? What conditions are necessary for the creation of works of art?-a thousand questions at once suggested themselves. But one needed answers, not questions...

In 1929, Woolf was asked to give lectures on the topic of "women and fiction" at both Girton and Newnham colleges. Later she expanded those two lectures into this book. A Room of One's Own is a unique blend of writing styles. It is essentially a book about writing, however, it is not about the art of writing. It is about what it takes for women to become writers. Even more interesting, the thoughts of Woolf are filtered through the words of a character she created. The book follows this young, nameless woman as she attempts to find out why so few women are writers.

Woolf comes to a simple conclusion: women must have a fixed income and a room of their own in order to be successful writers. She acknowledges that there have been female writers that did not have these accommodations, such as Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte. But she views them as exceptions, not the rule. This book was not at all what I expected, but I actually found it very interesting.

6 comments:

Nihil Novum said...

Ironic that this review was written by a man with a second job.

Carlton said...

You're like George Carlin. You're funny...but you also make me think.

Brooke said...

I find reading anything by Woolf to be painful.

Carlton said...

Woolf is the original chick-lit.
Jennifer Weiner can go suck an egg.

Brooke said...

I understand her literary value and accomplishments, Carlton. I just don't personally care for her writing style.

Elizabeth said...

Of Course, everyone knows that the MAIN component of being a great female writer is also being a lesbian.