Review: Virginia Woolf’s “Jacob’s Room”
A random op-shop pick, I don’t think I did it justice by squeezing its poetic scissoring of time and perspective into snippets of a busy week – it took oh so long to get into. The novel is meant to be a stepping stone on Woolf’s path to literary greatness, genre breaking, etc. etc. I was remaining unimpressed by the mirrored emptiness of Jacob’s character – just this dull, upper-class bloke leading a privileged, fatuous life in London á la Edwardian loafer – but when I got really into it I appreciated that this was precisely what she was showing you, his soul’s emptiness, as symbolised in his surprisingly abandoned room which ends the narrative. Glad I finished it, glad there’s more Woolf to be read.
Where it came from: Opshop
Time and manner of reading: Confusing, time-passing handbag reads, leading to the final, attentive 100pp spurt
Where it went: ???
Reminds me of/that: There is yet more Woolf to be read and reread
Who I’d recommend it to: Those interested in Woolf’s development as a writer
Also reading: Rabbit #4; How to Read a Poem by Edward Hirsch; The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon; Being Alive edited by Neil Astley; The Light between Oceans by M.L. Stedman; Great Expectations by Charles Dickens; The Bone People by Keri Hulme