Friday, 20 July 2012

Orlando - Virginia Woolf

Orlando was a weird book, there really is no other way to describe it. In what other world would a man simply go to sleep for a week and wake up a woman? In what other world would someone be alive for 400 years and yet only be 36 years old at the end of the time frame? I know that it is really a comment on literature and it's evolution in many ways and that's the reason behind it's oddity but still it weirded me out a little.

The book had some pace at the beginning, and then Orlando changed sex. This threw me and I practically put the book down for a week. When I picked it up again I was by bribery able to make it to the end, but I can't say I relished the time I spent reading it. 

I felt some empathy towards the character of Orlando and sympathy for him in the beginning, he seemed to be someone who had feelings, was repressed and even rebuked for them. He left the country to escape their effect, and on his return was a woman who spent 300 years in a slightly mental state. She was cruel to a suitor as a woman she had suited as a man had been cruel to her.

There was some small connection with her in the 10 pages or so leading up to her eventual marriage, but as her husband then left and was never really seen again it wasn't lasting. As for the son she gave birth to, he was mentioned only in the line informing of his birth and a vague reference to the need to buy 'boy's boots'.

On the whole it seemed disconnected and I would avoid reading it if I had my time again I think. 


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