'I, who would wish to feel close over me the protective waves of the ordinary, catch with the tail of my eye some far horizon.' Intensely visionary yet absorbed with the everyday; experimental, daring and challenging, The Waves is regarded by many as Virginia Woolf's greatest achievement. It follows a set of six friends from childhood to middle age as they experience the world around them and explore who they are and what it means to be alive. As the contours of their lives are revealed, a unique novel is slowly unveiled. Enfolded within Woolf's lyrical and mysterious language, the mundane takes on a startling new significance while distant pasts are no less in play than the clamorous sounds and kaleidoscopic sights of the modern city. Yet precisely where the alluringly enigmatic pages of The Waves are leading, and what deeper meanings are held within its undulant chapters and shimmering interludes, are questions that have never ceased to enthral readers and critics alike. In this new edition David Bradshaw considers the spellbinding oddness and originality of The Waves, helping the reader to negotiate a way though this most poetic and haunting of novels.
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David Bradshaw has written widely on twentieth-century literature and is the editor of A Concise Companion to Modernism (Blackwell, 2006) and A Companion to Modernist Literature and Culture. For Oxford World's Classics he has edited Woolf's To the Lighthouse, Mrs Dalloway, The Mark on the Wall and Other Stories, and Selected Essays.