RECOLLECTIONS OF VIRGINIA WOOLF by Joan Russell--Ed. Noble

RECOLLECTIONS OF VIRGINIA WOOLF

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A very tasteful congeries (how could it be otherwise with these contributors -- John Lehmann, Elizabeth Bowen, David Garnett, T.S. Eliot, David Cecil, etc. etc.) of short personal reminiscences designed to fix the memory of the woman, not the writer (although Spender's and E.M. Forster's dosing piece are directed at her work) who eluded so many. Strangely, in one sense, since there are many concurrences throughout (with the exception of Rebecca West who was not one of her admirers). Thus affirmed and reaffirmed is Virginia Woolf's gaiety, her curiosity about people, her proneness to tease ""like the child that puts its finger into the anemone to see if it will close up""; also of course her ""fathomless melancholy"" and her ""inner fierceness""; and also her jealousy and malice and occasional rudeness. Her sister Vanessa and Clive Bell and Strachey and Leonard, protecting and monitoring her, appear simultaneously as well as others representing that very special civilized, leisurely world of elegant sensibility. The pieces have been for the most part collected from existing materials and there's a nice memento by the faithful cook-general who served the Woolfs for 36 years. All agree that she was a genius, perhaps only a ""delicate"" or rather special genius, who ""gave acute pleasure in new ways [and] pushed the light of the English language a little further against darkness.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1972
Publisher: Morrow