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The Waves by Virginia Woolf

I would probably not have read this had I not been in the Woolf literature study at the University of Colorado Denver last year. Of all the titles that we read, this one was one of my favorites. In Virginia Woolf's classic novel The Waves, six characters--three men and three women--struggle with the death of a beloved friend, Percival. Though where most novels follow such events from an outward perspective, Woolf uses a series of soliloquies and internal thoughts from the six to paint their stories on the page. In between each chapter as well is a general unnamed perspective describing the waves of the ocean at different times of day. The movement of the tide up and down the coast paralleled with the internal grapplings of concepts like death and life, and the nature of the world is beautifully weaved together into a character-driven drama that you won't soon forget. "It is a poetic dreamscape, visual, experimental, and thrilling."

The core concept of this book really is the conceptualization of death as both an unnatural state of being and a natural occurrence. Woolf does an excellent job using the romanticized image of the ocean at different points of the day to create a wave-like, fluid movement to her story, one that compliments the characters' internal struggles in the wake of tragedy.

This is considered one of Virginia Woolf's most famous works, and is often considered her greatest. It is a classic modernist narrative that has and will continue to withstand the test of time.

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