The Common Reader by Virginia Woolf

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by Virginia Woolf

Non-fiction Essays Literary Criticism Reading Literature Analysis Cultural Commentary Individual and Society

6 hours 53 minutes

The Common Reader is a collection of essays by Virginia Woolf, published in two parts, the first in 1925 and the second in 1932. This edition contains only the essays published in the 1925 edition of Harcourt, Brace and Company, New York.

Most of the essays appeared in magazines of the time and are intended, as the title itself suggests, to be read by the common reader who simply uses reading for personal enjoyment.

Virginia Woolf develops her literary philosophy through the first essay The Common Reader, which serves as the introduction and title of the book. She then conducts essays on highly relevant authors such as Jane Austen or Joseph Conrad, in addition to reflecting on the modern essay or the Greek language.

For Woolf, the common reader differs from the critic and the scholar mainly in that he reads for his own pleasure, rather than to impart knowledge or criticize the opinions of others.

"For it is vain and foolish to talk of Knowing Greek, since in our ignorance we should be at the bottom of any class of schoolboys, since we do not know how the words sounded, or where precisely we ought to laugh, or how the actors acted, and between this foreign people and ourselves there is not only difference of race and tongue but a tremendous breach of tradition."


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The Common Reader by Virginia Woolf is believed to be out of copyright restrictions only in the United States. It may still be copyrighted in other countries. If you are not located in the United States, you must check your local laws to make sure that the contents of this eBook are free from copyright restrictions in the country where you are located in before downloading The Common Reader in PDF or ePub.

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About Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf was an English writer and is considered one of the most important modernist 20th century authors and also a pioneer in the use of strea...

We have 10 books by Virginia Woolf in Alice and Books library

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