Room, however, and Mrs Dalloway, Mrs Woolf began to make it
clear that this tendency to sterile dexterity, though pronounced,
might not be fatal; and now, in her new novel, To the Lighthouse,
she relieves one’s doubts, on this score, almost entirely.

For, if one still feels, during the first part of this novel almost
depressingly, and intermittently thereafter, Mrs Woolf’s irritating
air of carrying an enormous technical burden: her air of saying
“See how easily I do this!” or “This is incomparably complex and
difficult, but I have the brains for it”: nevertheless, one’s irritation
is soon lost in the growing sense that Mrs Woolf has at last found
a complexity and force of theme which is commensurate with the
elaborateness and self-consciousness of her technical “pattern.”
By degrees, one forgets the manner in the matter. One resists the
manner, petulantly objects to it, in vain: the moment comes when
at last one ceases to be aware of something persistently artificial
in this highly feminine style, and finds oneself simply immersed
in the vividness and actuality of this world of Mrs Woolf’s—believing 
in it, in fact, with the utmost intensity, and feeling it with
that completeness of surrender with which one feels the most moving 
of poetry. It is not easy to say whether this abdication of
“distance” on the reader’s part indicates that Mrs Woolf has now
achieved a depth of poetic understanding, a vitality, which was
somehow just lacking in the earlier novels, or whether it merely 
indicates a final triumph of technique. Can one profitably try
to make a distinction between work that is manufactured, bitterly
and strenuously, by sheer will to imagination, and work that is
born of imagination all complete—assuming that the former is, in
the upshot, just as convincing as the latter? Certainly one feels
everywhere in Mrs Woolf’s work this will to imagine, this canvassing 
of possibilities by a restless and searching and brilliant
mind: one feels this mind at work, matching and selecting, rejecting 
this colour and accepting that, saying, “It is this that the heroine
would say, it is this that she would think”; and nevertheless Mrs
Woolf’s step is so sure, her choice is so nearly invariably right, and
her imagination, even if deliberately willed, is so imaginative, that
in the end she makes a beautiful success of it. She makes her Mrs
Ramsay—by giving us her stream of consciousness—amazingly
alive; and she supplements this just sufficiently, from outside, as it