|And here is some of the fiery colour Woolf's narrator admires on the riverbank of the fictional town of Oxbridge.|
Virginia Woolf is known more for her interior consciousness than for her scenery, but she opens A Room of One's Own with this lovely description of a fine October day in Oxbridge -- a fictional combination of the venerable English colleges of Oxford and Cambridge. Her narrator is sitting on the banks of the river, surrounded by autumn colours, pondering a lecture she is to give about women and fiction. (She famously concludes: "A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.") I have just started reading the book -- shamefully, for the first time -- and am delighted it is conversational and readable, not the dull tract I had always feared. I was especially delighted because her opening setting -- October, water, glowing foliage -- made me feel right at home.
|Another view of the water course at VanDusen. Perhaps Virginia is just a little further along the bank.|
|This is a garden worker doing maintenance in the lake, not an undergraduate oaring along a romantic college river. But it's a boat, it's water, there are reflections -- close enough.|