“The fact that I have litle aptitude for reflection. I require the concrete in everything. It is so only that I lay hands upon the world. A good phrase, however, seems to me to have an independentt existence. Yet I think that it is likely that the best are made in solitude.”
(The Waves, Virginia Woolf, Publisher Collector’s Library)
The British Library together with The Woman Writers Club has started a monthly book club with the purpose of descovering the most wonderful stories written by famous female writers. The access to the book club is free regarding the available places.
The first eveninig meeting was about “The waves” the book writen by Virginia Woolf, whom was discussed by Erika Ciuică, president of Woman Writers Club (Clubul Scriitoarelor) and journalist and writer Ioana Bâldea Constantinescu. The discussion was conducted in Romania and took place at British Council from Bucharest, Romania.
Erika Ciuică: The initial title fot this book was The moths. Both the waves and moths are ephemeral organisms, that lead their existence and then it’s over, just like the characters from Virginia’s Woolf book. What the author wants to say through this book is that our whole life can be just a day. The same motif appears also in Mrs. Dalloway and To the lighthouse.
I actually have a personal story regarding Virginia Woolf’s three novels that are mentioned here. While I was in Oxford a few years ago, I was shopping at a bookshop and I found these three novels at the offer 3 books for the price of two. Virginia Woolf was one of the authors I had the great honor of translating for my master classes at the University of Bucharest. So I bought the three volumes at the size of a donut and I stepped outside to catch up with the group. It started pouring like hell. Although I had them in my backpack, when I arrived in my room from the student campus I found out that they were soaking wet. What a disappoinment! I thought they were compromised. But I was wrong. They dried up at the stingy rays of the British sun and now I can read them as if almost nothing has happened to them. They travelled by plane to be with me, though. So they survived the rain, they survived the plain, I cannot wait to fall into the British literature charms once again.
In The Waves there is always happening a scene and each character has his or her own vision upon that certain scene. You read about their thoughts, their perceptions, their ideas. You cannot get bored while reading this book, added Mrs. Erika Ciuică.
Ioana Bâldea Constantinescu: Virginia Woolf stated The Waves as a biographical literary work of hers. Regarding the choice of the book’s title, The Waves, Virginia Woolf said that there was a moment when she woke up in an infirmary, where the curtains were drawn and she did not know what moment of the day it was. The only thing that she heard were the waves from outside, it was the sea. In that moment of awakening, she passed through three or four alternative states. First, it was the fright of waking up in a place with no light. Then it was the delight caused by the soud of the waves. Then she imagined the light and warmth from outside. This whole cluster of images and feelings made her entitle the novel The waves.