“To the Lighthouse” – Virginia Wood (1927)

The literally cadence of this work is found to be a harmonious ebb of life’s sensations. The key word here is ebb or rather flow as they go so seemingly together. The story emits a clear feeling of destitution, not only in the hearts of the characters but also within the narrative. At times we ask, who is this about? and then it becomes all too apparently clear for a haltering moment and yet thereafter recedes once again quickly and quite dramatically, into the fog of an omnipresent consciousness inherent to the whole book.

The characters who amble transparently through their existence all do contrast with one another in their mannerisms and their perspectives and their physicality. However, as Lily (or rather Virginia) so masterfully puts it: the fact remained, it was almost impossible to dislike anyone if one looked at them. Clearly this does create the semblance of a problem because ultimately Lily, like Charles and Mr & Mrs Ramsey all stem from the same consciousness. They all think in the same way and their perspectives are identical, they are however imbued by the impossibly interesting feature that their thoughts all yield different results.

In the same way that Lily’s dots of paint thrust their individual existence on the quality of the painting itself, they are however inextricably woven together in their essence. Each life lived in To the Lighthouse is seen through the same lense, the incredible and overarching lense of self-reflection: at the moment her eyes were so clear that they seemed to go round the table unveiling each of these people, and their thoughts and their feelings; without effort like a light stealing under water so that its ripples and the reeds in it and and the minnows balancing themselves, and the sudden silent trout are all lit up hanging and trembling. So she saw them; she heard them… 


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