کتاب سال ها

اثر ویرجینیا وولف از انتشارات نگاه - مترجم: فرهاد بدری زاده-دهه 1930 میلادی

The Years is the story of three generations of the Pargiter family - their intimacies and estrangements, anxieties and triumphs - mapped out against the bustling rhythms of Londons streets during the first decades of the twentieth century. Growing up in a typically Victorian household, the Pargiter children must learn to find their footing in an alternative world, where the rules of etiquette have shifted from the drawing-room to the air-raid shelter. A work of fluid and dazzling lucidity, The Years eschews a simple line of development in favour of a varied and constantly changing style, emphasises the radical discontinuity of personal experiences and historical events. Virginia Woolfs penultimate novel celebrates the resilience of the individual self and, in her dazzlingly fluid and distinctive voice, she confidently paints a broad canvas across time, generation and class.


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611. The Years, Virginia Woolf
The Years is a 1937 novel by Virginia Woolf, the last she published in her lifetime. It traces the history of the genteel Pargiter family from the 1880s to the @present [email protected] of the mid-1930s.
عنوانها: سال‌ها؛ نویسنده: ویرجینیا وولف؛ انتشاراتیها: (نگاه، روزگار، و ...) ادبیات؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: بیست و ششم ماه دسامبر سال 2007 میلادی
عنوان: سال‌ها؛ نویسنده: ویرجینیا وولف؛ مترجم: فرهاد بدریزاده؛ تهران، نگاه، 1377؛ در 568 ص؛ شابک: 9646174604؛ چاپ سوم 1385؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران روزگار؛ 1394؛ در 504 ص؛ شابک: 9789643746230؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان انگلیسی قرن 20 م
پیچیدگی سبک نگارش «ویرجینیا وولف»، خوانشگر را در برزخی قرار میدهد، که حتی در پایان داستانهایش نیز، از آن رهایی نمییابد. رمان «سال‌ها»، داستان: پسرها، دخترها، پدر، مادر، عمو، زن‌عمو، پسرعموها، دخترعموها، مستخدم و یک خانواده است. کتاب به فصل‌ها تقسیم شده و در هریک شرح زندگانی چند نفر بازگو میشود. «ویرجینیا وولف» از دیدگاه خویش کوشیده تا بیهودگی زندگی انسان، خانواده و فامیل را بنگارد. انگار کنید همان داستان «سال‌ها»ست. کودکی نیز همواره دریغای ولف بوده، برای همین است که در کتاب‌هایش، کودکان و کودکی، جایگاه ویژه دارند. بنگرید: «یکی از بدترین جنبه‌ های بزرگ شدن این بود که نمی‌توانستند با هم درد دل کنند». مرگ از نگاه «ولف» وقوع حادثه‌ ای است بی‌همتا. درست همانند زندگی: «دیلیا از خود پرسید: مرگ این است؟ لحظه‌ هایی چنین می‌نمود که چیزی در شرف وقوع بود». آدم‌های «ولف» مصنوعی نیستند. معنی دارند و گوشت، پوست و خون، خندیدن به همه چیز، به زندگی، کار درست و صادقانه آن‌هاست. ا. شربیانی

مشاهده لینک اصلی
my favorite


بعد از سه سال دوباره خوندمش. جالب این جاست که تو این سه سال هر وقت به یاد این کتاب می افتادم حس خوبی پیدا می کردم، اما داستانش به یادم نمی یومد! از این کتاب فقط یه حس برام باقی مونده بود. حالا هم که برای دومین بار خوندمش باز هم برام همون حس خوب رو زنده کرد و باز هم نمی تونم تعریفش کنم!


دلیلش اینه که:
ویرجینیا وولف عزیز ِ من تو این کتاب چیزی رو تصویر کرده که بهش می گیم @زندگی@، حسش می کنیم و نمی تونیم تعریفش کنیم.



مشاهده لینک اصلی
May 2nd 2015

The Years is Virginia Woolfs ninth novel, and since it is composed of a series of vignettes about the Pargiter family covering a fifty year period, it is tempting to review it as if it were an old photograph album, one of those with layers of tissue to protect the images. As we slide the delicate paper aside, each image gradually assembles itself:

1880. A family group. The bewhiskered patriarch is squarely camped on the only chair, one elbow propped against a little table on which sits an elaborate china teapot. His grown and semi-grown children are massed about him. He looks as if he has just finished speaking. The others look like they haven’t yet begun. The mother is missing from the picture.

Next page: 1891. This time the image is of a London trolleybus*, the kind that ran on tram tracks and were pulled by horses. There’s a woman sitting on the upper deck. She looks uncomfortable travelling shoulder to shoulder with strangers but she needs to get to her workplace. She also looks like she doesn’t speak about her work to many people, least of all to her father when she diligently returns home every afternoon at five oclock to serve his tea.

1907: In the centre of the photograph a woman pours tea for her daughter. The daughter stares at her mother pouring tea as if she is imagining the scene as a painting. Another daughter sits in a window-seat holding a book and a pen in her hands, staring into the distance. She looks like she may be thinking about writing.

1908: An old man is lying in a bathchair, covered in a blanket. On a table beside him is a tea pot and some newspaper cuttings, one a photograph of a woman with a brick in her hand, another an obituary for the King.

1911: A group of women taking tea on a terrace. One of them is brown from the sun. She’s been travelling on her own in Spain and Italy. There is an owl in the background.

1913: An elderly woman pours tea for herself in a little room on the top floor of a lodging house in Wandsworth using the old china tea pot she saved from the house at St John’s Wood where she worked all her life.

1914: Some people sitting in a café and, yes, you’ve guessed it, they are drinking tea…actually I can’t do this anymore. This review is turning into a farce and Virginia Woolf’s book doesn’t deserve that treatment.

………………………………………………………


May 8th 2015

The Years has been the hardest of Woolf’s novels for me to get through and it has also been a challenge to write about, such a challenge in fact that I’ve been forced to do something I rarely do before writing a review: read up on the writers life to help me understand her work. I bought A Writers Diary a few days ago, and started it in the middle - 1932 - the year Woolf began The Years.

Here’s an entry from the autumn of 1932: I have entirely remodelled my Essay. It’s to be called The Pargiters (The Years) - and to take in everything, sex, education, life etc.; and come, with the most powerful agile leaps, like a chamois, across precipices from 1880 to here and now…Everything is running of its own accord into the stream, as with Orlando. What has happened of course is that after abstaining from the novel of fact all these years - since Night and Day in 1919 - I find myself infinitely delighting in facts for a change, and in possession of quantities beyond counting: though I feel now and then the tug to vision, but resist it. This is the true line, I am sure, after The Waves - this is what leads naturally on to the next stage - the Essay-novel.

The Essay she is talking about at the beginning of that quote is Professions for Women** published in 1931, which was the inspiration for both The Years and Three Guineas, the Essay-novel she spoke of at the end. As we can see, she had great plans for The Years and wrote nearly two hundred thousand words very quickly. In 1933, she wrote in her diary:
I visualise this book now as a series of uneven time sequences - a series of great balloons, linked by straight passages of narrative. I can take liberties with the representational form which I didn’t dare when I wrote Night and Day.

She began editing that enormous mass of words soon afterwards but the process took years during which she lurched between loving and hating every scene she had written. It appears that she reduced the body of the novel quite a bit during the rewrites, although it is still one of her longest. She removed many of the themes that would have been of interest to us today, the sex, education, life themes which she had spoken of with such enthusiasm at the beginning. The result is a series of beautifully written vignettes, but without a strong underlying theme to knit them together (that’s why my initial attempt to review this book failed - I couldnt find a common thread and was left with nothing but...an elaborate teapot).

(view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)]

To the Lighthouse was the first of Woolfs novels I read and I remember feeling that there was more beauty than realism in the text. In The Years, she set out to write a book full of realism, full of ‘facts’, but she seemed to become uncomfortable with so much fact and the book had to fall back on ‘vision’, on poetic flights, on beautiful images. The ‘facts’ mostly seem to have been in the material Woolf cut from this book and we are left to wonder why. The diary gives accounts of her fragile state of health during this time which may have caused her nerves to fail at the thought of the sniping of her many critics. All books now seem to me to be surrounded by a circle of invisible censors, she noted around this time. She had grown more and more fearful of reading negative criticism, leading as it did to days and weeks of depression, of inability to write.

The five long years which Woolf spent struggling with the manuscript of this book were sad ones, difficult ones, years during which she constantly doubted her own talent. But what is really sad for us today is that the doubts she experienced led to the removal of such a quantity of exciting material from The Years, a project that should have been the high point of her entire novel writing career.

…………………………………………………………………….

For Proust enthusiasts (may contain spoilers): (view spoiler)[
The Years covers a similar period to Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu. His work explored a fity year period, from the 1870s - the early Swann/Odette sections - up until the 1920s.
In both works, the action, if it can be called action, revolves around privileged people often seen in drawing room settings. There is a character in The Years, Lady Lasswade, who bears a remarkable resemblance to the Comtesse de Guermantes - we even see her in her opera box at one point. Another character is described making a phonecall for the first time, later seeing an aeroplane rising above rooftops, also a first. There is an uneasy relationship with a faithful family servant who is retired off when the family have no need of her. Taboo subjects such as anti-semitism and homosexuality are skirted around rather than addressed directly.
The biggest resemblance however is the ending. Proust closes his Recherche with an evening party at which many of the principle characters are seen and where their destinies are finally revealed - with many surprises, and the effects of age and time passing are examined. The Years also ends with an evening party at which all the principle characters gather. We find out what they have all become - there are also some surprises - and Woolf writes some fine paragraphs on ageing.

I also noted a comparison between how these two writers gathered their material. Proust was well known for picking up inspiration for his Recherche at his friends soirées. Woolf did the same thing. Around the time she realised that she shouldn’t add any more scenes to The Years but should be preparing it for printing, she wrote in her diary:
If I go to Edith Sitwell’s cocktail this evening I shall only pick up some exacerbating picture: I shall froth myself into sparkles; and there’ll be the whole smoothing and freshening to begin again.
She spent so much time smoothing and freshening the manuscript that she grew entirely sick of it. Near the end she wrote: I wonder if anyone has ever suffered so much from a book as I have from The Years.
Actually, I think Proust probably suffered more. (hide spoiler)]


*
**In Professions for Women, Woolf argued for the killing of of the Angel in the House figure, the self-sacrificing mother who perpetuates the idea that a womans role is simply to be decorative and charming. In The Years, the mother figure dies at the beginning.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
“The Years” is a mature novel but also a hybrid work straddling a family saga and a collection of robbed moments that would have vanished into the river of time hadn’t it been for Woolf’s brilliant descriptive skills.

Capable of capturing the elusiveness of an atmosphere, of words left unsaid, of a particular landscape in any season, of the details that dress a room or the people that come in and go out of it scarcely leaving any trace, Woolf manages to give human quality to the passage of time, the real protagonist of this story.

It’s true that she uses the Pargiter, a bourgeois family in extinction at the beginning of the twentieth century, to flesh out something as ungraspable as the passage of time. We get to know the Pargiters in their childhood days and observe, in fragmentary manner, the evolution of their personalities as they grow up and become active actors in their lives. Oddly enough, the cumulative changes they suffer only strengthen their innate characters, boosting their childhood traits.

As usual in Woolf’s novels, London appears as a backdrop to the Pargiters’ doings, materializing the transformation of the city and its society over the years. The end of the Victorian era, WWI, the British colonies, women’s causes or politics are addressed tangentially; it’s the alternating cycle of rebirth and decline of the main protagonists and their descendants that centers the focus of the storyline.

Despite the lyrical harmony of Woolf’s subtle prose, this has been a tough novel to get through. There is a certain detachment between the characters as years go by, and the style of the narrative evolves from an initial delightful family portrait to an oblique semi-essay on the generational gap that is most evident in the last section of the novel titled “present time”, which takes place in a party reminiscent of Proust’s long-winded chronicles of the social soirees he loved and despised at once.

What I will mostly remember of this novel is the atmospheric openings of each section and Woolf’s pristine, heart-lifting passages that provide eternal quality to the ephemeral existence of the passersby who walk in the pathways of unstoppable time.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
I will not call the early going a slog, but the novel did fail to engage me until page 140 or so. After that, all was well. The novel took off as a proper Virginia Woolf novel should. By the end of the long party scene which closes the book I was familiarly dazzled. I have to admit that I find the content almost unsummarizable. Theres no plot to speak of. Its the technique that astonishes. Woolfs concern is not the quotidian, and often not the particular, but the structural. There are any number of exchanges between characters, sometimes arguments, in which the reader has no idea of the issues involved. Woolf deliberately takes the emphasis off the particular here and this somehow pulls the characterizations into the foreground more strongly. Im not sure how she does it. Its impressive. She uses the technique throughout. As for the timeline, it seems almost capricious. Here are the years which form the chapter heads: 1880, 1891, 1907, 1908, 1910, 1911, 1913, 1914, 1917, 1918 and Present Day. As with a bildungsroman, Woolfs interest is in the developmental arc over time. The overwhelming feature of the novel is the sense of the result of experience. But unlike the bildungsroman there is no movement toward a set goal, life being thinly plotted. Neither is there a single central character but rather an ensemble effect. Much takes place offstage: births and deaths and weddings and childbirth. Woolfs concern is with the interstitial moments, when the effect of time, certainly Proustian time though not flashbacks so much as flash-forwards has its collective impact. This novel is certainly a candidate for rereading, so enigmatic are its means of advancing the narrative. Highly recommended.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
That is true, Rose thought as she took her pudding. That is myself. Again she had the odd feeling being two people at the same time.


It has been months since I read The Years. There have been many books in my life. Light bulbs switched on and off over my head. They glow and brightness hot to the touch. I dont know how long theyll last but they often come back when I had been trying too hard to get inside other windows. Hey, you forgot about it and left all of the lights on. This next part might sound like a backhanded compliment. In my little book loving heart that could it does not feel like a backhanded compliment. I started to forget about The Pargiters when I was still reading about them. There were men and their faces look like dream faces. If you try to look at them up close you dont see anything. I didnt care about the end or what happened to them. You could sweep everyone out onto lit up streets in the safety of lit up faces for all I could care. I was already in the other room with the lights left on. When I was reading The Years I had a mental conversation going with myself about how I would explain my apathy about how it all turned out and be believed that they and the book had meant something to me. I could have stopped reading it and never found out what happened. What really happens, anyway? People die and the next day and whats left is the other stuff that Im going to think about anyway.

@You want your supper, do [email protected] said Maggie. She went into the kitchen and came back with a saucer of milk. @There, poor puss,@ she said, putting the saucer down on the floor. She stood watching the cat lap up its milk, mouthful by mouthful; then it stretched itself out again with extraordinary grace.


What followed this has come back to bite me, to sting me, to warm me and confuse me. When I wasnt trying to hold it I almost had why I had not felt such acute envy. It was this next part:

Sara, standing at a little distance, watched her. Then she imitated her.
@There, poor puss, there, poor puss,@ she repeated. @As you rock the cradle, Maggie,@ she added.
Maggie raised her arms as if to ward off some implacable destiny; then let them fall. Sara smiled as she watched her; then tears brimmed, fell and ran slowly down her cheeks. But as she put up her hand to wipe them there was a sound of knocking; somebody was hammering on the door of the next house. The hammering stopped. Then it began again- hammer, hammer, hammer.
They listened.


Its that Sara imitates her. This much I know. When reading some other books these days that made me feel the loss of I dont know what I wondered if it was that security that I knew they had people who loved them (a soul mate? Another part of me to have faith in? H.D. had an idea I wanted to run away with as my own to have the dog of your own in HERmione. I wanted that dog but make it a mental Mariel dog and it would be as if you could feel your own soul). But Im not jealous of Maggie it is something about how Sara measures where Maggie fits and it is her measuring that makes it so. Someone loves you. I dont want to say it is altogether that because it isnt. It would also ruin it. I like to think about this scene in The Years. Ill be some place I shouldnt be seen having entire other worlds going on in my head (surely I look off). I wish I could make the gesture, to feed the kitten and be in the warm kitchen and some place safe.

Maggie must have been some kind of great hope for the Pargiters. When shes a baby there is a deal made about purchasing her a necklace. Eleanor must pick it out. The Colonel will pay for it. See to it that it is done. This special important Pargiter baby must have the necklace. If they were in a garden their plants would turn to her as if she was the sun. Maybe they all reenacted the future kitchen scene through things before there was a hungry kitten to be fed in place of the warm family of her own in the future. The safety of her assured warm place in their hearts turned me to her cousins and sister who must make their own, when they can, when they are lucky.

Before there was a who we want to be in young Pargiter flesh there was an angry young woman who secretly wishes that her mother would just die already. I could hear her angry heart beating in her chest. Stop beating, stop bleeding, just die. Before anyone could learn all of the details, before conditions were right I could hear Rose with her lights left on memory. Intense, willed alone. With a knife in her hand she cuts a gash, thin and white still, into her wrist. What made her do such a thing? When she meets another of her own kind. When she finally feels she can talk to another she doesnt choose one of her own kind. She tries to wish on Maggie. My eyes could follow her into the never-ending conversation. The kind where you repeated yourself and said something stupid. When you are not you that you know because you didnt find another of your own kind after all. You found someone who doesnt have to build. My eyes could follow them into all of the rooms they ever go into and see that she doesnt see Eleanor and she doesnt see Sara. I feel lonely when the men talk a lot and know what people are thinking. When they know what each other are thinking. When Eleanor wonders what made Rose do such a thing as to cut herself I had the feeling that she didnt know what else to do. She will remember that forever and I know that. Sometimes I find Rose again in my mind too. She would be felt hot on the other side of concrete of me. Intense memories of not knowing what else to do with not belonging. When you dont feel like yourself. When you dont feel real. Eleanor sits somewhere off to the side, in a half light. Sara must be looking out the window. I know she will be happy some day but I want her to look out the window because I dont feel like me when it is assurance and the great hope. I want to look at their faces and see faces when they get up close because they havent walked off too far in The Years. I like to think about that kind of stuff. I dont want to be Delia and wanting her mother to die already and let the living people live. I just want to feel that knowing that Sara had that people could. Thats probably going to be my The Years for my days. The longing feeling about people I dont really know because they arent real but they seemed real because they had feelings Ive had about wishing stuff was real.

This isnt the review I wanted to write back then. I was happy when I went on goodreads and found reviews from Elizabeth, Sam and William. They all like The Years and mentally I hugged and high five all around. Others dismissed the book as something unspecial because it isnt The Waves or To the Lighthouse. To that I say that the specialness was not only breathing in daring tattoo permanence. I wish the disappointed or scornful The Years faces could see what I see that Woolf used paints on the inside, behind the eyes. Right where you go to cry or something. Something like that. Something intense like a memory you turned into that something intense. To me that is special to capture that. To capture it because you didnt hold it. You let the light come on afterwards by knowing what you held onto about how you feel about your family.

Does everything then come over again a little differently? she thought. If so, is there a pattern; a theme, recurring, like music; half remembered, half forseen?... a gigantic pattern, momentarily perceptible? The thought gave her extreme pleasure: that there was a pattern. But who makes it? Who thinks it? Her mind slipped. She could not finish her thought.


مشاهده لینک اصلی

The Years by Virginia Woolf is the story of the Pargiter family.   The story starts in 1880 and the family is headed by Colonel Abel Pargiter.  The colonel has seven children (Eleanor, Edward, Milly, Delia, Morris, Rose, Martin) and a sickly wife.  In Woolfs style, some details are left out and considered not important such as the name of the Colonels wife.  Her death which is written in more detail than To the Lighthouses Prue Ramsays death, which was passed along to the reader in parenthetical information, but little is known or said about her.  It is the reaction of other characters that are important in the death of the wife and mother as well as character reactions to the world around them.  Reaction is more important than action.

Woolfs method of putting the reader in the head of the characters to listen to their thinking and to see their observations is perfected.  The book is so much than about the plot and plot development, which covers over fifty years, but the characters and their personal interactions.  The story extends to the extended Pargiter family and a few outsiders like Edwards friends at Oxford, one who marries his sister Milly.  The housemaid, Crosby, gets her own chapter, 1918, but it is also the shortest chapter and is used to mark the end of the war.  Inside the mix of acquaintances is Nicholas Pomjalovsky a Polish homosexual who Elenor meets through her sister Maggie and her French husband Rene. 

Elenor seems to be the character that binds everything together.  She is never far from the reader from start to finish.  She runs the day to day of the family while the colonel is still alive, budgeting and shopping.  Later she seems to be the thread that ties everyone together from siblings to nieces and nephews.   She never marries and remains as an anchor point to the family.  Outside the extended family little seems to happen.  Historical events like the death of Charles Parnell, King Edward,  and the end of World War I are used to mark a point in time rather than center around the event.  With the exception of bricking throwing Rose, who lands herself in jail, not much is made of politics. 

Perhaps the best reason to read Woolf is her use of words and descriptions. This is the opening paragraph for the chapter 1911 :

The sun was rising. Very slowly it came up over the horizon shaking out
light. But the sky was so vast, so cloudless, that to fill it with light took time.
Very gradually the clouds turned blue; leaves on forest trees sparkled; down
below a flower shone; eyes of beasts — tigers, monkeys, birds — sparkled.
Slowly the world emerged from darkness. The sea became like the skin of an
innumerable scaled fish, glittering gold. Here in the South of France the
furrowed vineyards caught the light; the little vines turned purple and yellow;
and the sun coming through the slats of the blinds striped the white walls.

Woolf writes not a novel or a story but literature.  There is more to writing than plot alone and Woolf demonstrates this flawlessly. 

مشاهده لینک اصلی
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