See, I ended up posting more about Lighthouse than I did Dalloway. That being said, I’ve finished re-reading it. You? 😊 So I’m going to go ahead and start re-reading Orlando so I can get a jump on it. We all know how holiday weekends end up. We’re staying home for Thanksgiving, to be safe, but I intend to make up for that by watching every single holiday movie on Netflix that I haven’t already watched. (Or as many as my sweetie will tolerate.) Reading and prepping posts early is a good idea, if you ask me.
Speaking of, have you watched the adorable Dash & Lily on Netflix? Oh my gosh, so cute.
Oh, and I’ve just started my third novel. I hadn’t meant to get serious about it, but I made out with it at the office Christmas party and now we’re dating. (JK, JK!) Don’t tell anyone, but I’ve already written 50 pages! (I wish I could say more, but you know how it is…I don’t want to introduce it to anyone until we’ve dated awhile.)
Now, how to wrap this Lighthouse study when there’s so much more to say? As I read, I had so many things to share, but each could fill pages.
Here are the story’s ending thoughts, our eyes on Lily as she finishes her painting: “Yes, she thought, laying down her brushes in extreme fatigue, I have had my vision.”
Sure, you can argue that Mrs. Ramsay is the book’s main character, but I would disagree. Lily is the one who notices, who watches, who paints observations of the main couple and their family, of all of those around her. She memorializes them in her painting with her acute scrutiny. I, for one, am grateful she did.
We could talk about Mr. Ramsay and his insistence that he and his youngest children go to the lighthouse. The two clearly don’t want to go. They decide they will fight tyranny to the death, meaning they won’t give their father the time of day. James never does capitulate, but Cam softens when their father asks her about the new puppy.
Most of the long trip, however (I’d like to know exactly how long, because they bring a meal and Mr. Ramsay brings a book), Mr. Ramsay spends his time reading. Is the actual visiting of the lighthouse the point, then, or is it the journey? It would seem the journey is not what he cares about. Much buried there.
Lily imagines the journey at the novel’s end. She thinks they must be there now. It’s then she can complete the novel, so she’s not the only one who has gotten stuck in this loop, this unfulfilled promise.
While I think it would be difficult to make a good film of this book because so much of the importance and beauty of it is in the prose, its structure would lend itself to that.
And that leads me to more thoughts, on and on. I want to mention other spoilers that I won’t, of Lily’s imagining of what happens to various members of the family’s circle, of actual facts versus her impression of them, impressions that change.
By the book’s end, her attitude towards even Charles Tansley softens. Art helps her “see” life.
I’m going to stop now because I don’t know where to stop. One line leads to another! And guess what? I didn’t even really touch what I covered in my master’s thesis, because I mined that for novel number two. (“Briscoe” is in its name, so…)
Remember: we start Orlando next! Have you read it before?