Mr. Ramsay has lost his wife. Her death has left the proudly rational mathematics professor confused and needy, and he turns to Lily Briscoe, his wife's close friend and an artist, for help. There's a problem, however: Lily never much liked Mr. Ramsay, resenting his bullying self-assurance. But in what follows Virginia Woolf presents a remarkable insight into the sources of empathy. Lily is an artist and, as such, she has finely-tuned observational skills that allow her, almost by accident, to overcome her dislike of Mr. Ramsay.
Virginia Woolf was born in England in 1882. In addition to To the Lighthouse, Woolf wrote Mrs. Dalloway. A Room of One's Own, and Orlando, and other works of fiction, essays, and criticism. The home of Woolf and her sister Vanessa was the original meetingplace of the famed Bloomsbury Group of avant garde writers, artists, and critics. She committed suicide in 1941.
Lisa Dittrich, senior editor of Academic Medicine, is the editor of “Medicine and the Arts.” (Unsolicited submissions are welcome.)
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