Branded "unreadable" even by Virginia Woolf herself, not a novel but, again in her own words, "a playpoem", "The Waves" is one challenging book. In my experience this was probably the most daunting and tough book I've ever read after Gabriele D'Annunzio's "Il Fuoco".
Written in pure "stream of consciousness" style, we follow the thoughts of six different characters, all friends, from their childhood through to their middle aged life.
The novel is divided into nine sections, each of which corresponds to a time of day, and, symbolically, to a period in the lives of the characters. Woolf enters their minds and reports their thoughts and perceptions as they occur, with few external clues to provide shape or context.All six characters struggle with who they are, they all long to make sense of the world around them, and they all try and make sense of the concept of death and try to incorporate it into their lives.
I loved the still, beautifully poetic quick images Woolf conjures up. It was a bit like looking at mental photographs with one's own mind eye.
I recommend it only if you like Virginia Woolf. If you've never read anything by her, don't start with this one!
I posted some photos I took on a still, sunny morning in a little village in Sardinia. The beginning of the book reminded me of this particular morning there. So, here they are!