Tuesday, 1 May 2007

The Waves

I seem to be irresistibly drawn to re-reading 'The Waves' by Virginia Woolf. I am on my third reading. The quotation at the head of the site:

'But when we sit together, close, we melt into each other with phrases. We are edged with mist. We make an unsubstantial territory.'

comes from The Waves. Each time I visit it I am impressed and moved by different things: the rhythms - it is almost like a epic poem - the precision of its language - the ways in which the characters melt around each other. Each 'voice' is supposed to be a different facet of VW's personality.

This time it is the compelling vision of a happy childhood, in the garden, around the servants, under the full glare of the sun, hiding in the shadows. I have wanted to write about childhood for a while, but I really don't know how to start - mine was so uneventful that it is really dull.

Anyway, as I ponder this, here is another quote from the most quotable lady herself:

'The balance between the outer and the inner is, after all, a terribly precarious business. They depend upon each other with the utmost closeness. If dreams become too widely divorced from truth they develop into an insanity which in literature is generally an evasion on the part of the artist.'

This is an interesting tool to use to evaluate my Ping story. Can someone be really respectable on the surface, yet have a turbulent secret inner life? There is a case going through the Bristol courts at the moment which may yet provide us with some answers.