In the past week I’ve gotten two virtually identical comments from readers of The Great American Desert: Beautiful writing, but where’s the plot? I may have it engraved on my headstone. What do people want anyway? An adventure story? There are lots of true adventure stories out there. There are history books, too, and biographies. […]

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But wait.  Is Mrs. Dalloway really about buying flowers?  Not exactly, although in A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf says that buying flowers is a perfectly worthy topic.  Actually, what she suggests is that buying dresses is as important as things that men do, such as fight wars and play football. I once found […]

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Sharp-eyed readers of my recent attempts to work out a theory of literature will be excused if they have begun to suspect that I’m more interested in how something is written than what it is about.  Virginia Woolf once responded to a correspondent as follows: . . . don’t, I beg of you, father on […]

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I’ve just read a very peculiar novel, The Waves, by Virginia Woolf.  As far as I know, all of her novels are peculiar; there are some I have not yet read.  Woolf pushes narrative technique in all kinds of interesting directions.  She writes sort of the way Impressionists paint.  Bits of scenery, a half-seen face, […]

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