Scholars who wish to delve into the work of Virginia Woolf should go through the Complete Stories, as they cover the entire literary career of the author. And reading them chronologically, as they are presented to us by the latest editions in which the unpublished stories are already included, allows us to know both the amazing evolution of the writer, as well as her great talent. His desire, as we have already pointed out, was "to renew the novel and capture a multitude of things in the transience of the present, to encompass the whole and model infinite strange forms," he said in one of his letters. In another, he comments on "how terribly clumsy and overwhelming" the current novel was, and re-emphasized: "I daresay we should invent some entirely new form. In any case, it is a lot of fun trying it with short pieces." And because he experimented with different narrative techniques, his short stories are so varied. Some are short stories; others, daydreams; others, stories without conclusion etc. but as a whole we perceive a writer with a narrative capacity who knows how to express into language the most expressive sensations that arise from the most immediate present, the passing of time, the longing for freedom and the desire to transform the old and obsolete , in modernity.
"Phillis and Rosamond" (1906), the first story that is known to her, is a story in which she describes, on the one hand, the world that she wants to renew - the bourgeois family with marriageable daughters as Jane Austen puts it in " Pride and prejudice ", for example, with all the network of social norms and conventions - in front of the society that they discover in the house of some friends precisely in the neighborhood of Bloomsbury, full of sincerity, freedom and not very stereotyped manners. Doubt enters the minds of the two sisters, who yearn for the change to new ways of life, but Phillis, the more sensitive, will come home with the strange feeling that something has gone wrong in her education, but she is so helpless to change this state of affairs, which assumes its tragic destiny accepting the pre-established: "at least that way I wouldn't have to think; and the parties were fun on the river."
"The Strange Case of Miss V." it is a kind of literary exercise, a flash, a very short, but very well resolved "palette cleaning". The author identifies Miss V, with the everyday, a shadow equivalent to a piece of furniture or at any time of day, something that one misses as soon as it disappears from the usual environment. And the writer worries about such an absence. Here we are caught by the reflections that V.Woolf overturns on loneliness and oblivion. Miss V. has died, "and I began to wonder," says the writer, "if the shadows could die and how they would bury them."
We find Woolf in "The Diary of Joan Martín" speaking in the first person and transfigured in Rosamond Merridew, forty-five years old, who has exchanged the possibility of a husband, children and home for a profession: the study of the tenure system of land during the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries in England, and searching for scrolls, documents, old books in farms and villages, because she believes that these ancient tracks are what really illuminates the story. They are the truth of the past. On his walk through luscious green meadows of the English countryside, he comes across a farmhouse that looks old and neglected but still preserves remnants of ancient grandeur. The married couple that inhabit the mansion receive her with great kindness and during her visit, Merridew discovers, above all, the diary of an ancestor that shows her the way of thinking and living of the people of yesteryear, which the reader identifies right away with that decadent society that V. Woolf so despises. The young woman from the newspaper sadly reveals that, despite knowing legends of knights and ladies passionately in love, that is not the reality, and that she will marry the wealthy and elderly husband that her parents have chosen for her safety. And "although there will be little time left for princes and princesses in married life," at that moment it was "as if the air was filled with ladies and gentlemen who paraded before our lives." "But it will be difficult to breathe between so much calm and so much peace, says the young Joan of the newspaper" And she thinks, as she walks, that she will leave the newspaper at her parents' house, and that she will never write about Norfolk, or about herself, but about ladies and gentlemen and adventures in distant lands. Even the clouds on that distant afternoon were shaped like shining helmets. A halo of nostalgia traps the reader
V.Woolf insistently points out here the need to leave testimony. A delicious story in which the rhetorical style of the 19th century novels is already intertwined with the lively and modern prose of the 20th century writer.
The story "Mrs. Dalloway in Bond Street" appeared in 1923, a piece that marked an important stage in the evolution of V Wolf, as it was here that he found a way to place the narrator in the mind of the character and of this way to have the possibility of showing what you think and feel while things are happening. This is what has come to be called "the inner monologue." And although we find it at the beginning of Joyce's "Ulysses", it also appears in some of our writer's stories, such as "The mark on the wall" and "The unwritten novel". This Clarissa Dalloway that crosses the streets of downtown London to buy white gloves above the elbow, with pearl buttons, French of course, gives us the most fun, profound, picturesque and poetic report of any morning. This short but masterful story earned him a passport to immortality. In her next and longest appearance, "Mrs. Dalloway said she would take care of buying the flowers herself"
Virginia Woolf contributes to the emergence of the modern novel ... she achieves the technique with which to convey the inner monologue ... the psychological effects are achieved through images, metaphors, symbols ... she delves into the dimension of time ...
But better read it and enjoy such a torrent to the fullest. In this case, leave the dissection to the surgeons.
Buy Virginia Woolf's Complete Stories