The Common Reader

The Common Reader Woolf s first and most popular volume of essays This collection has than twenty five selections including such important statements as Modern Fiction and The Modern Essay

  • Title: The Common Reader
  • Author: Virginia Woolf
  • ISBN: 9780156027786
  • Page: 304
  • Format: Paperback
  • Woolf s first and most popular volume of essays This collection has than twenty five selections, including such important statements as Modern Fiction and The Modern Essay.

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    • Free Read [Sports Book] ✓ The Common Reader - by Virginia Woolf Æ
      304 Virginia Woolf
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    About "Virginia Woolf"

    1. Virginia Woolf

      Adeline Virginia Woolf was an English novelist and essayist regarded as one of the foremost modernist literary figures of the twentieth century.During the interwar period, Woolf was a significant figure in London literary society and a member of the Bloomsbury Group Her most famous works include the novels Mrs Dalloway 1925 , To the Lighthouse 1927 , and Orlando 1928 , and the book length essay A Room of One s Own 1929 with its famous dictum, a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.

    741 thoughts on “The Common Reader”

    1. It’s appropriate that my 100th GR review should be a book that attempts to shift literary criticism from the hallowed office into the sitting room as all of us here on are “the common reader”, a voice that in Woolf’s day barely existed. In the final essay she has a dig at (her) contemporary professional critics. I’m presently reading a novel which according to The New York Times Book Review and The Boston Globe is the work of a rare genius; the truth though is, as any common reader en [...]

    2. The first thing that occurs to you while reading Virginia’s essays is that they are not laced with academic, high brow language and style. In fact, her writing is so accessible that it easily seems to mirror a common reader’s thoughts and expressions. While writing these essays, nearly twenty five of them in this collection, Virginia offers a glimpse into her mind and it becomes clear how she manages to write so lucidly yet so unassumingly. She writes as she knows the reader will enjoy readi [...]

    3. 3.5 starsReading this notable book of essays didn't disappoint me since I've long awaited it as well as the second volume (instantly placed an order via Kinokuniya Books in Bangkok). In fact, I've already had the 2-paperback Penguin set edited by Rachel Bowlby and, I think, her interesting essays could be regarded as something that supports our further explorations of the works mentioned in her essays; therefore, we could browse any one we like as an introduction to the real thing.It's my deligh [...]

    4. “We are nauseated by the sight of trivial personalities decomposing in the eternity of print”.I think I may have a minor literary crush on Virginia Woolf. She’s so damn erudite (in absolutely her own, self-made style), witty (drily and almost unconsciously so), brazen and yet also sometimes so frustratingly elusive.The Common Reader is Woolf’s own version of literary history, mainly English, but with a few Greeks and Russians thrown into the pile.’ The common reader’, a term first co [...]

    5. This was the second time I'd read "The Common Reader", and when I reread books I always find that they show me new faces. Virginia Woolf said the same thing in one of her essays. After rereading this one, I have resolved to look at contemporary literature with a different attitude; I tend to believe that the writers of the past are better than the writers of today, which is, as William James would have said, "Contempt prior to investigation". I spend most of my reading time with books written be [...]

    6. By turns delightful, instructive, and illuminating. I don't think I've done so much simultaneous marking and laughing aloud since school. One of the great pleasures was in learning about writers I knew nothing about, from the famous ones to the totally obscure. Woolf could summarize like nobody's business; she delighted in making long semi-coloned lists of absurdities (as I believe she remarked of some other writer in the collection); she could distill a writer's entire oeuvre into a few short, [...]

    7. ". . . I rejoice to concur with the common reader; for by the common sense of readers, uncorrupted by literary prejudices, after all the refinements of subtilty and the dogmatism of learning, must be finally decided all claim to poetical honours." -Samuel Johnson, The Life of Gray"Truth, it seems, is various; Truth is to be pursued with all our faculties. Are we to rule out the amusements, the tendernesses, the frivolities of friendship because we love truth? Will truth be quicker found because [...]

    8. If there ever is a book to remind us why we read, this is it: reading for the sheer enjoyment of reading, the pleasure of the act.As probably the finest (wo)man of letters in England of her time, Virginia Woolf's take on reading is intensely personal, not in the way of "this character/situation reminds me of so-and-so/what happened in my life", but in the way of "this is how the author speaks to me, this is how I am reacting to this piece of art." Her take is refreshingly free from politics, ide [...]

    9. What strikes me in reading Virginia Woolf's nonfiction is how very much the context she's coming out of is strange to me. Her Common Reader, who might pick up Chaucer, and to whom Addison, Johnson, and Macaulay are familiar personages with no need for an identifying first name, even if he or she has not actually read them, is an alien creature. Despite her modernism, the context of her time, the newspapers in which these essays were originally printed, was one of people who were born in the 19th [...]

    10. Es una pena que el editor español solo haya publicado un extracto del libro original. Aun así, en esta selección de artículos sobre los autores y las lecturas que más influyeron en la obra de Virginia Woolf late la esencia de una escritora con una inteligencia y un bagaje cultural extraordinarios. Si yo no hubiese leído nada de Virginia Woolf, sin duda comenzaría por este libro de crítica literaria. Es de esos libros que uno atesora y se resiste a prestar. Mi ejemplar está muy subrayado [...]

    11. Woolf writes for her own time, which unfortunately, means that this book does not translate so well into our own. Save for some pieces written about great authors of literature who are still read (at least in some circles) today, such as Jane Austen, many of her essays are very easily ignorable because they have no familiarity or importance to today's reader; I had no knowledge about many, probably most, of the people she writes about. The book is not so much for the common reader as about commo [...]

    12. A set of widely diverse essays and literary criticism, ranging from Chaucer to Conrad, with many off-the-beaten-path excursions into the absurd (reviews of truly dreadful works) and the very practical (the author's difficulty infinding a patron). Some essays meander all over and never come to a point; some demonstrate two diametrially opposed opinions, each defended and proved sound; some are comically spiteful reviews. Well worth dipping into.

    13. OK, how common is it nowadays to handle the untranslated Greek, Latin, and French? But the concept of fresh eyes and an unacademic look at literature works very well for Woolf and the reader a hundred years later. A bit slow for me to get into because she starts far back in history--and because she often picks the obscure and the sideways way in to talking about great writers (e.g talking about The Paston Letters [note: ????] as a way to talk about Chaucer). I felt on firmer ground once she reac [...]

    14. This is the first of two collections of essays by Virginia Woolf about various writers, their books, and style for the common man. Unlike her novels, these are fairly easy to readif you know the material. Some essays I found easy to understand like the ones about the Greeks, the Russians, George Eliot, Joseph Conrad and others I had no idea who she was talking about, thus making it hard for me to get what she was talking about. One thing I will say I got from this collection was Woolf got picky [...]

    15. Se me llena la boca cada vez que hablo de Virginia Woolf, así que me voy a limitar a decir que esta colección de ensayos es fantástica y que, sobre todo, lo que más alucinada me tiene de ella es que todas y cada una de las cosas que cuenta aquí las aprendiera ella misma, sin ningún tipo de respaldo académico. Menuda bofetada en la cara a toda la sociedad de su tiempo que es esta mujer, me encanta.

    16. "The weather has varied almost as much in the course of generations as mankind. The snow of those days was more formally shaped and a good deal softer than ours, just as an eighteenth-century cow was no more like our cows than she was like the florid and fiery cows of Elizabethan pastures. Sufficient attention has scarcely been paid to this aspect of literature, which, it cannot be denied, has its importance" (184).

    17. Though much of the criticism in this volume is focused on work that a lot of contemporary readers will either never have read, or may not have looked at in a long while, it's still not only an instructive read, but a fun one. You get to wander into her felicitous constructions here and there and find yourself gasping with delight at passages like this one, from "The Modern Essay": “Yet, if the essay admits more properly than biography or fiction of sudden boldness and metaphor, and can be poli [...]

    18. This collection of essays (some original, many revised from publications for the Times Literary Supplement) was published in 1925 a month prior to Mrs. Dalloway, and apparently many of the critics who disliked the novel, admired this work. Most contemporary readers would invert that judgment, accepting the canonization of her modernist novels but finding the essays in this collection dated, still rooted, by and large, to a pre-war, perhaps even Victorian, style and tone. Feminist readers looking [...]

    19. It's hard to even say how much I love those book. Woolf does essays on random literary topics that interest her, and she's so, so skilled, they interest you. For example, Jacobean drama. She starts out saying what everyone really thinks who bothers to read or watch it (I paraphrase), "Who are these crazy people following self-destructive plots?" She joins with us. Then, slowly, she makes us putty in her hands to the point where we can see magic in the plays. I think it's these essays we should r [...]

    20. I'm marking this as "read," which is not the case. I read about a hundred pages of it. But I'm not "currently reading it" anymore either. I'm picking it up now and again and reading an essay. I'll finish it at some point this year, but it doesn't seem honest to leave it up there on "currently-reading."And if we bookworms can't be honest on our bookshelves at least, whatever is the world coming to?

    21. In this collection of essays about other writers through history, some known and some less-known, Woolf brilliantly weaves description and character study into her astute commentary to place each author into an historical context that is absolutely alive and vibrant, moving from ancient times toward our own.

    22. One is struck by the sheer amount of reading Virginia Woolf must have done. Her passion for literature, especially English literature, its history, its greatest practitioners and some of its lesser, leaps out of every essay.

    23. On fiction - "The writer seems constrained, not by his own free will but by some powerful and unscrupulous tyrant who has him in thrall, to provide a plot, to provide comedy, tragedy, love interest, and an air of probability embalming the whole so impeccable that if all his figures were to come to life they would find themselves dressed down to the last button of their coats in the fashion of the hour. The tyrant is obeyed; the novel is done to a turn. But sometimes, more and more often as time [...]

    24. This was an extraordinary book of essays. Whether it is some obscure diarist or Jane Austen, Woolf looks at other writers with a unique perspective that makes them live again and leaves us wanting more.

    25. "Not only is the book of this sort, but it is of this value; her it fails; here it succeeds; this is bad; that is good". I like her writing. With this written, I put down this book and picked up papers for my dissertation research.

    26. To be read primarily if you're interested in English -- as a source of learning, probably best ignored for other sets of essays.

    27. This collection came out in the same year as Mrs Dalloway (1925), and gives good insight into Woolf’s philosophies and inspirations for writing. It starts with reasserting Dr. Johnson’s importance on “the common reader” on who is read, which given Woolf’s reputation as difficult could be seen ironic. But these essays show just what an inviting writer she could be. Despite criticisms of snobbery found in her dismissals of some writers she mostly shows complex opinions on authors and the [...]

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