A Haunted House by Virginia WoolfDeath was between us but the house vibrantly beats like a happily pulsating heart for the hidden treasure, the traces of sun beamed love left behind, in the trees, the apples, on the glass, the trees spinning darkness for a wandering beam of sun.
Transcending the boundaries of life and death, love opens doors in the mind making itself palpable, in sleeping, in kisses without number, during the years and the seasons. The living and the dead wandering the house, a ghostly couple and a living one, hearing and observing each other, listening to the music of love upon their lips singing in multiple voices while the radiance of tender love glows on in the present.
No need to further marvel at the iridescence and luminosity of Woolf’s quicksilver, lyrical and gossamer prose. This heart-warming, genre-playing and tender short story can be read on line here, a virtual treasure box of short stories.
Cherish the treasure. The light in the heart.
A Haunted House by Virginia Woolf
In A Haunted House by Virginia Woolf we have the theme of struggle, loss, commitment, connection, love and acceptance. Taken from her The Complete Shorter Fiction collection the story is narrated in the first person by an unnamed female narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Woolf may be exploring the theme of struggle.
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January 09, A Haunted Hous e. Whatever hour you woke there was a door shutting. From room to room they went, hand in hand, lifting here, opening there, making sure—a ghostly couple. Oh, no. And then, tired of reading, one might rise and see for oneself, the house all empty, the doors standing open, only the wood pigeons bubbling with content and the hum of the threshing machine sounding from the farm.
In less than two pages of prose, Woolf explores, summons, and subverts the conventions of the ghost story, offering a modernist take on the genre. In summary, the narrator describes the house where she and her partner live. The narrator whom we can assume, tentatively, is female claims to be able to hear this ghostly couple talking to each other. Next, the narrator describes reading a book outside while hearing the ghostly couple, in the background, hunting for this mysterious thing around the house. But as soon as she drops the book and goes to look for them, there is no sign of the ghostly pair — just the sound of the wood pigeons and the threshing machine. The narrator confides that you could never see the ghosts, just reflections of apples and leaves in the sunlit windows.