I almost forgot that today is Virginia Woolf’s anniversary, I just got reminded of this when searching for The Common Reader essays on the web. Woolf was born on the 25th of January 1882, in London.
Ma vie avec Virginia Woolf? I’ve read most of her novels and essays in high school, they were recommended by my wonderful English teacher Mrs Rogoz. Among the novels, at that point of my life I liked Orlando best, it was such a good read at 16, when you’re cheerful and open to experience, you take your backpack and go wherever you want to, and you secretly fantasize about other girls; I’ll have to reread that, to see if in the meantime I’ve changed that much in terms of literary tastes. Actually, I should carefully read most of what this woman has written, maybe also force myself with The Waves which I never managed to read to its end, it was just so gloomy, so depressing, so much stream of consciousness.
So I declare 2014 as Virginia Woolf year.
Because it is a thought I had ever since high school: that we lost that fresh look upon literature – the way we read, the way we perceive literature, our choices in terms of books are pretty much determined by what others read, what others say about books. This is, up to a certain point, normal. However, I think that we can also read just for the joy of doing it, with out meta-discussions in our heads. And, most importantly, without reading what everybody else does, and thinking just like everybody else. And this is precisely what I want to do. Read. And share this joy with you all.
The term Common Reader was coined in a series of Virginia Woolf essays, that I have crossed my path long ago. It was a groundbreaking text for me. So I’m starting this blog having this in mind also, maybe the Common Reader deserves a re-reading. My intention is to write on a book every month. I’m starting with Roberto Bolano’s “Savage Detectives”, that I am currently reading.
Keep in mind, however, that I’m writing this blog on-the-go; I’m a full-time mum, a full-time student, and an occasional freelance language tutor and translator. This will limit the content of this blog to the essence of what I’m reading.