Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Waves

The Waves is about how identity is achieved. Each sentence is as such a building block of identity. It’s made up of what Virginia Woolf called moments of being – or those instances in life in which we make memories. We become to a large extent what those around us make of us and yet at the same remain unknowable. We create each other and then vanish to each other. We are washed up on the shore for a moment and then carried back out to sea. The pattern is repeated over and over again. 
One can dislike the alliteration and lyrical cadence of her prose style but few would deny that architecturally it’s a stunning piece of work. 
My favourite character is Rhoda, the tortured creative self-conscious soul –
Yes, between your shoulders, over your heads, to a landscape, said Rhoda, to a hollow where the many-backed steep hills come down like birds’ wings folded. There, on the short, firm turf, are bushes, dark-leaved, and against their darkness I see a shape, white, but not of stone, moving, perhaps alive. But it is not you, it is not you; not Percival, Susan, Jinny, Neville or Louis. Behind it roars the sea. It is beyond our reach. Yet there I venture. There I go to replenish my emptiness, to stretch my nights and fill them fuller and fuller with dreams.   


  1. innit amazing how books ranging from woolf's waves (which i would be tempted to call epic poetry) and the eight novels james patterson published in 2010 are termed "novels".

  2. I agree with omm above (not to be confused with him above)
    And every time I go back to her words I feel quite drunk.
    Heady, sublime stuff.