Raw, adjective: 7. brutally or grossly frank: a raw portrayal of human passions.
The Times tells me there's another Woolf literary adaptation for the theater onstage right now. Little good that does me, given that it's running at Lincoln Center and only through the end of the week, so I suppose I'll have to be content with reading Ben Brantley's review.
As conflicted as I was about Berkeley Rep's attempt to bring To the Lighthouse's stream-of-consciousness beauty to the stage, I still claim intrigue at these adaptations. By all accounts, it sounds like this newest version of The Waves actually somewhat succeeds.
Brantley writes that "the world that is so magically summoned in this improbable page-to-stage translation of 'The Waves,' Virginia Woolf’s most challenging novel, is one of fragmentation and flux, of impenetrable solidity and ghostly transparency, of simultaneous bloom and decay."
You know that shit is good when even the review leaves you breathless. As I get older and see with more ambiguous eyes the ways in which relationships and the natural trajectory of life and aging inhabit exceedingly fluid and dynamic grey spaces, my appreciation for Woolf's complex and moving prose increases. Even more amazing is her prescience; The Waves was published in 1931, and yet all of these themes that reviewers mention - fluidity, "moments of being," the construction of identity and the fundamental interrelationality of the self - emerged in the kinds of process theologies and queer theologies that were only elucidated in the 1960s and beyond. I guess that's part of what always drew me to theology in the first place: the ways in which its reflections on "being" and "meaning" take on such poetic and literary qualities, in ways that philosophy or science or even sociology never quite can.
Woolf was so remarkably ahead of her time. I can't help but wonder if that brilliance was part of what made it so hard for her to be alive.
Read the review, see the show if you're in the neighborhood, and check out the preview piece that was published in the NYT last week while you're at it.