Selected Short Stories – Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf is one of a kind. She doesn’t write traditional stories that we are so used to reading. They are plotless for most of the time. Nevertheless, her beautiful writing, with her powerful wordplay, blending symbols and scenery, wonderfully paints the picture of our humdrum existence.

The collected short stories here too have similar characteristics. They are plotless, but the sensations she awakes through her allegory are mind-blowing. Her words are so powerful and intense, and bring to life our mundane routines, the bygone conventions, the social views at the time, and women’s position in society through reflections as if she’s trying to tell a story through a picture. She weaves images and invokes sensations, and in combination creates odd yet delightful stories.

From the collection, Kew Gardens is what I loved the most. It is a reflective painting of life. The Mark on the Wall is Virginia’s story as to how certain objects and images awaken thoughts and emotions in us. Lapin and Lapinova is an in-depth look into marital relationships. Solid Objects shows how we connect and anchor ourselves to objects to keep some stability in our fragile, ever-changing lives. Society is a scathing attack on patriarchy. The Haunted House is a beautiful portrait of past memories. I can go on and on, but I’ll stop here and let you explore. 🙂

Virginia Woolf loved to experiment. The short stories highlight her amazing ability to experiment, bringing in different types of narrative forms and structures. Yet, even though she writes in different voices, such as narrative, musings, or reflections, and in new experimenting styles, each and every short story has a theme that is well explored. The combination doesn’t exactly create the story form that we’re so used to reading, yet it creates enough story to capture the reader’s interest.

I have nothing but praise for Virginia Woolf. She influences me as a woman as well as an artist. She makes me conscious of life, and her works have broadened my perspective on creativity. She is really a blessing to the literary world, and I feel so privileged to know her through her work.

Rating: 4/5

About the author

Piyangie Jay Ediriwickrema is an Attorney-at-Law by profession. Her devotion to literature has taken shape in reading and reviewing books of various genres set in different periods of time. She dabs at a little poetry and fiction of her own and hopes to share her work with the readers in the future.