Thursday, November 09, 2006

Waving or Drowning?

I've now been reading Virginia Woolf's The Waves for a month. It's less than 200 pages long, gorramit, but I just can't seem to finish it. It's actually a great book for public transit reading -- absorbing yet non-linear enough to roll with the punches (yup, actual punches sometimes, along with sophisticated elbow blocks and shoulder barges). I have read it before, back in the distant mists of my adolescent Virginia Woolf obsession (inspired by Sally Potter's Orlando) but the impetus to re-read came from the incipient multimedia stage production by Katie Mitchell at the National Theatre. I've wanted to re-read it for a while, since doing some work on how Virginia Woolf haunts contemporary films about women academics -- Charlotte Rampling gives a scintillating reading from The Waves in Sous le sable, very much a film about waving and drowning.

So -- will I finish the book before the show tonight? Or is it a book that - with its cyclical nature - can never truly be finished without beginning it again?

1 comment:

Delirium's Librarian said...

Did finish the book, which is lucky as Mitchell's production ditches the final section (in Bernard's voice). Apart from that rather abrupt decision, it's an incredible 2 hours of theatre, film, sound, light, feet, petals, mirrors, toy trains, bananas and quick-change artistry. High risk theatre of dreams.