Am höchsten bewertete kritische Rezension
Decipher the cryptic 20's narrative to find the substance
am 30. Juni 1999
I struggled passed the cryptic, abstract narrative to really get to know the characters. I wanted to know their thoughts and feelings and kept hoping that at some point in time a full, rich character development would become clear to me. Although some under-the-surface insights into their psyches were excellent, they were no more earth-shattering than other 20th century literature that I have read. These solid character-defining excerpts that I enjoyed so much were also few and far between, and I felt annoyed that I had to wade through the "filler" to get to the real thing. Even with these excellently written insights, I still never had a powerful image in my mind about the characters, and I did not empathize with any of them. It was a very detached experience.
In order to appreciate the book more for what it was I tried to take into consideration the timing of the book. Today our society is very self aware and we are able to articulate what we are thinking and feeling so much more than we did in the 20's. This book was written before Freud and Oprah were household names, and before we had access to TV and other forms of mass media. Perhaps the lack of clarity of the characters was symptomatic of the lack of self-understanding that people (or Virginia Woolf) experienced at that time. I am sure if I read it again and did not filter it through my late 20th century perspective on life, I would find it to be the masterpiece that it is revered to be. But I will not read it again - I would much rather read another book that grabs me the first time.
Overall I am happy that I read it simply to have experienced a novel by Virginia Woolf and check off another book from the New York Times 100 best books of the 20th Century.