well of course i’m not going to write about this book’s prominence in 20th century’s feminist literature. that had been done by Hermione Lee in the introduction and many other critics and scholars.
as one of Woolf’s fan – who feels that she’s probably more intrigued by her personal life than by her works, or probably she feels that her personal life romanticised her works, which makes Woolf a really interesting subject for her, if not an obsession – i always find that her writings (that i’ve read) feels like floating. even in this essay. i think that’s why it is categorised as novel-essay.
as usual, i always find my self groping every time i begin to read her writing. what is she saying? where is this going? where the hell am i? but quite differently than her last book that i read, The Waves, which i was totally and still am lost until now, i soon get a grip of what this whole thing is about.
i think this is one of the most interesting form of writing i’ve ever read so far. she’s going everywhere, jumping from one form to another, from one point of view to another. repeating words, repeating sentences, repeating terms, just like what i’m doing right now.
one time she wrote from the point of view of “the daughter’s of educated men” and the other time she wrote from “the educated men”‘s point of view. and then she wrote letters that feels like a one-way conversation.
though she constantly changing forms, one thing remains consistent. the feeling of floating. the facts are hard-hitting, but the feeling is floating. though she wrote a thorough observasion involving history, political and economic conditions, cultural, social and even religion influences, i can’t help but feel that somewhat the writing feels more like a story-telling rather than an essay.
the difficulty of course was to follow the flow of this book without having a wide or even just a slight knowledge about England’s history. well, it always feels like choking reading something without having a good knowledge and comprehension about it’s context and background. so i have to confess that i turn to Wikipedia for a brief summary haha.
of course it’s worth to note that Woolf wrote this essay with a-daughter-of-middle-class-educated-man’s perspective. one critic even said that Three Guiness should just be titled: “How to Be Privileged and Yet Feel Extremely Aggrieved”. but of course i also agree with other scholar’s response who said that the critic misread Woolf’s hyperbole.
it’s also always interesting for me to learn that in many cultures, the act of discrimination is always practised and conducted by the upper middle class and the bourgeoisie and less by the lower or working class. this is probably because the lower or working class cannot afford such luxury. their men and women must work to make ends meet among other reasons.
i think i’m going to re-read it in the future when my english vocabulary and grammar are improved. Woolf always have a massive vocabulary that for me her works are the most difficult writings in English that i’ve ever read.