"THE MOST INTENSE AND POETIC OF ALL HER WORKS": VIRGINIA WOOLF'S THE WAVES
WOOLF, Virginia. The Waves. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1931. Octavo, original blue cloth, original dust jacket.
First American edition of Woolf's most experimental and ambitious novel, exploring "the fluidity of human personality," in the original dust jacket.
"Woolf was impelled by her own 'vision of life' to emphasize the fluidity of human personality rather than its fixity… The Waves is the nearest of all the novels to poetic drama, the supreme achievement of an exquisite and enriching genius" (Joan Bennett). It is "her most experimental novel in which a group of 'early Bloomsburies' with qualities amalgamated from Keynes, Strachey, Vanessa Bell and Desmond McCarthy… are halted in a series of close-ups at various stages of their lives while their thought-trains are recorded" (Connolly). "There is no attempt to differentiate the speech patterns the six friends; their individuality is presented through a highly patterned sequence of recurring phrases and images, and what we learn of their daily lives, we learn obliquely. The organization of the novel is highly formal: the main text is introduced and divided by sections of lyrical prose describing the rising and sinking of the sun over a seascape of waves and shore… It is the most intense and poetic of all her works" (Drabble, 1050). As with all of Woolf's books, the jacket design is by her sister, Vanessa Bell. "First edition" stated on copyright page. Preceded by the same year's first English edition, issued by the Woolf's Hogarth Press on October 8, 1931. Kirkpatrick A16.
Interior fine, original cloth extremely good with fading to spine and a bit of fraying to spine ends. Dust jacket with a few very minor chips, a faint stain to front panel, spine a bit toned. An extremely good copy in the scarce original dust jacket.