Solid Objects

Virginia Woolf

Read time: a minute

This story is from the collection called ‘That Glimpse of Truth’ selected and introduced by David Miller. Miller himself talks about the story as This rather extraordinary story. It is rather extraordinary, truly. And, probably the first that I had to refer an analysis of online to make sure I have understood Woolf well. I did of course! Rather proud of myself.

This is my first story from by the author, first work that I have ever read, actually.

This particular story is about two friends- John and Charles. While walking on the beach one John and Charles were arguing over a trivial matter. Then as if to give their argument a break John starts mindlessly digging into the sand making moat and dipping fingers in water. After much digging and spreading of sand onto his fingers John finds himself in possession of a beautiful green stone. To have found this stone out of so many in the world accidentally feels like an achievement.

From then on, John continuously looks for these tiny stones that could mean anything to him. He goes through dumpsters and random throwaways.

He now began to haunt the places which are most prolific of broken China, such as pieces of waste land between railway lines, sites of demolished houses, and commons in neighbourhood of London.

He falls for iron objects and hunts for China. The interest slowly turns into obsession where he starts putting his day job on the back burner. The story talks about fleeting passions taking over his entire world where the daily important work start diminishing in importance. John’s life gets out of control. He is not the friend Charles knew once.

He neglected his duties, perhaps, or discharged them absent-mindedly, or his constituents when they visited him were unfavourable impressed by the appearance of his mantelpiece.

This is a beautiful story but what makes it click is Woolf’s narration style. She is truly extraordinary.

Join in for fun as we read only women author this month. Share stories that you would want us to read! Actually, read along with us!

Happy women’s month!

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Veena Choudhary

An avid reader and history fanatic.

Mumbai, MH