Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Outward Action versus Inner Thoughts

This is an important book, the critic assumes, because it deals with war. This is an insignificant book because it deals with the feelings of women in a drawing-room.
The quote above from Virginia Woolf illustrates the difference between what a man and a woman see as being in a book. The critic mentioned, would almost certainly be a man, who sees that war, action, bravery and heroism are all important things and part of being British and obviously worthy subjects of a book. Woolf's novels focus on the inner thoughts and can be construed as boring and unimportant from the action point of view, but as an illustration of the nuanced thoughts and conversations of women it is significant.

The move to take such a stance and move away from strong storylines was another radical departure pioneered by Woolf.