“Words, English words, are full of echoes, memories, associations…”
So spake Virginia Woolf, in a 1937 recording for a BBC radio series called Words Fail Me. On January 25, Woolf’s 134th birthday, it’s curious to listen to the physical voice of an author who gave a voice to the voiceless, helping to give birth to an entire literary movement along the way. The recording, an excerpt of a talk titled “Craftsmanship” uncovered in 2013, sounds hauntingly normal for a woman whose imaginative stream-of-consciousness novels have been read by pretty much every high school student in the United States for the past 50 years. On her birthday, it’s worth listening to her musings on the nature of words, which she was able to string together with a grace and skill no author has been able to match.
To the Lighthouse (Aziloth Books, 2010)
Woolf considered To the Lighthouse, originally published in 1927, to “easily” be the best of her works. While never as popular as Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse is rich with autobiographical detail and stream-of-consciousness style under the veneer of a simple plot.
A Room of One’s Own (Martino Fine Books, 2012)