Saturday, July 30, 2011

44. "The Complete Shorter Fiction of Virginia Woolf" edited by Susan Dick

Dick, Susan, Ed. The Complete Shorter Fiction of Virginia Woolf. San Diego: Harcourt Brace & Co., 1989. Print.

The more I read work by Virginia Woolf, the more I recognize Buddhist themes. The following is from her short story “The Journal of Mistress Joan Martyn,”: “And my brain that was swift and merry at first and leapt like a child at play, settled down in time to sober work upon the highway, though it was glad withal. For I thought of the serious things of life—such as age, and poverty, sickness and death, and considered that it would certainly be my lot to meet them; and I considered also those joys and sorrows that were for ever chasing themselves across my life” (58).

Here one can connect to the story of the Siddhartha Guatma (the Buddha) when he begins his journey and sees a sick man, a poor man, and a dying man. One can also connect her “merry and swift” mind to the monkey mind that, upon meditation, is settled and able to focus.

What I loved about this collection of Woolf's short fiction is that it is organized in chronological order. While reading, you are able to see how her writing evolves and it is sooooo fascinating. She wrote several short stories about characters from one of her seminal texts, Mrs. Dalloway, including such stories as "Mrs. Dalloway in Bond Street," "The New Dress," and "The Man Who Loved his Kind."

Some of my favorite stories from the collection include "Phyllis and Rosamond," "The Journal of Mistress Joan Martyn," "The Mark on the Wall, and" "The Widow and the Parrot: A True Story." If you are a fan of Virginia Woolf, I highly recommend this collection of short fiction.

4 darts out of 5

Bookshelf Project Status: KEEP

1 comment:

Friko said...

Thank you for this review. Victoria Woolf's "A Room Of One's Own" has been a leitmotif throughout my adult life.

I scrolled back and found Dubus' House of Sand And Fog. Gripping story, I was very impressed with a writer new to meat the time.