Unravelling Virginia

It’s 2016 and a new year is the best time to take new resolutions. Who cares if the resolutions don’t last long! Nothing in life goes to waste, and that includes the task of taking resolutions as well. The good intent, the good spirit is all that matters. Taking resolutions has a positive connotation and resolutions have the power to bring about a significant change in a person’s personality and behaviour, no matter for however short a span it might be.

I love taking resolutions. Not that I am any better in keeping them than others, but the thought of talking them gives me an amazing thrill. I feel I have been given a chance to start the journey of life afresh, a new kind of optimism dawns over my sensibilities and I don’t hesitate from taking them with renewed zest. Among the many resolutions that I have taken this year, I have decided to dedicate 2016 to books.

Last year I did associate myself with several good books. Some of them were so gripping that I had to invent excuses to tear myself away from them, while some were fairly okay and there had also been books that I read only because someone close had recommended them to me and finishing them was mostly a compulsion.

This year I started off with Venessa and her sister and ever since then I seem to have fallen in love with Mrs. Woolf.

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Venessa and her sister  introduces the readers to the lives of Virginia Woolf, her sister Venessa Bell and their mystical world back then. In the form of a diary penned by Venessa, the book explores many unknown character traits of Virginia, which can certainly be a revelation for her ardent followers. Her eccentricities, her brilliance, her childishness, her passion and her unique soul, unbridled from the eyes of her closest ones, will certainly cast a spell over the readers. Reading this book is giving me this extraordinary feeling that I need to devour much more of Virginia than I had planned initially.

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I had heard a lot about her in my college days. She is considered one of the biggest proponents of modern writing in English with stream of consciousness thinking being her main technique of writing. I had harboured a reserve about reading her texts and felt that they could be unnecessarily difficult to comprehend. She was one woman who made maximum use of her mind while penning her thoughts. Now this is what all writers do, but what set Virginia apart was that her mind was restless and often said to have steered away from the bounds of conventionality. She had her bouts of depression and in the end one of those bouts created such a strong suicidal urge within her that she finally gave in to the temptation and killed herself.

Virginia Woolf's country home, Monk's House
Virginia Woolf’s country home, The Monk House

 

So, along with Venessa and her sister, I have decided to start reading books that she had penned like A Room of One’s Own, Mrs. Dalloway, Orlando and others. I have also decided to start reading The Diary of Virginia Woolf. I have decided to dedicate the beginning of 2016 to Virginia Woolf, a woman who seems to me every inch extraordinary. A woman so brilliant, talented, and insightful – someone who along with being one of the giants in the literary world was also a women’s rights activist. Her works exude a uniqueness and sensitivity that make the readers sit back and think about incidents and emotions, from their daily lives, which they had previously ignored. Her characters are not usually lofty. Mrs. Dalloway can be any one of us planning a party. Septimus, Orlando are flawed to the core.

The best part of why I, as a reader, am finding her characters so close to my heart, is that they also think and act like me. Their lives are far from perfect and situations often make them sad, happy, petty, depressed and insane some time or the other. The don’t carry the baggage of being lofty all the time. Reading about her and reading her books is giving me a rare joy. It’s a feeling where elation is mixed with surprise. I for sure get a feeling of happy surprise when I am being able to fathom the inner meaning of a tricky situation, maybe after the eighth reading. Comprehending the situations and analysing them give me a sense of discovery, along with a feeling of self actualisation.

Hope my journey of Virginia Woolf enriches me and makes me a profounder human being in the days to come.

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5 Replies to “Unravelling Virginia”

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