Saturday, October 29, 2011

Really Long Virginia Woolf Sentence

Here is a doozy of a sentence from To The Lighthouse, by Virginia Woolf. Smarter people have already written too many smart things for me to add anything useful, but this book is fantastic. Nothing happens. There's a whole section that describes the goings on in an empty house. The maid is sent to open the place back up, and here's a sentence (a single sentence) describing her singing some old song to herself as she works alone in the long-empty house:
"Rubbing the glass of the long looking-glass and leering sideways at her swinging figure a sound issued from her lips—something that had been gay twenty years before on the stage perhaps, had been hummed and danced to, but now, coming from the toothless, bonneted, care-taking woman, was robbed of meaning, was like the voice of witlessness, humour, persistency itself, trodden down but springing up again, so that as she lurched, dusting, wiping, she seemed to say how it was one long sorrow and trouble, how it was getting up and going to bed again, and bringing things out and putting them away again."

 If you haven't read this book, read it.

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I am the author of 8 books: Android Down, Firewood for Cannibals, Brain Giblets, The Cubicles of Madness, Booze and News, Get Your Zen On, Zen Happens, and most recently, Robot Stories. I live and write in Michigan. My website is at danmanning.com

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