Here I am leaving my Classics Challenge post ’til the end of the month again. I left it late because I was hoping I’d have more material to work with for this month’s prompt the further I read in The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf. But the majority of the book takes place on a boat and Woolf is not much for describing the sea, so I’ve taken a few passages from the beginning of the novel to illustrate her writing.
First, here is the prompt: “Select a quote from the Classic you’re currently reading and create, what I call a visual tour.”
“The Embankment juts out in angles here and there, like pulpits; instead of preachers, however, small boys occupy them, dangling string, dropping pebbles or launching wads of paper for a cruise.”
“After watching the traffic on the Embankment for a minute or two with a stoical gaze she twitched her husband’s sleeve, and they crossed between the swift discharge of motor cars. When they were safe on the further side, she gently withdrew her arm from his , allowing her mouth at the same time to relax, to tremble; then tears rolled down, and leaning her elbows on the balustrade, she shielded her face from the curious.”
“Some one is always looking into the river near Waterloo Bridge; a couple will stand there talking for half an hour on a fine afternoon; most people, walking for pleasure, contemplate for three minutes; when, having compared the occasion with other occasions, or made some sentence, they pass on.”
These scenes take place at the very beginning of The Voyage Out as Mr. and Mrs. Ambrose are on their way to board a ship that will take them to South America. This was Woolf’s first published novel and I am enjoying it to this point. Her writing is a bit ponderous, but she is funny and it helps to lighten her prose. Have you read Woolf? What is your favorite Woolf novel?
*click on images to see credits.