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Preview — Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
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This brilliant novel explores the hidden springs of thought and action in one day of a woman’s life. Direct and vivid in her account of the details of Clarissa Dalloway’s preparations for a party she is to give that evening, Woolf ultimately managed to reveal much more. For it is the feeling behind these daily events that gives Mrs. Dalloway its texture and richness and ma...more
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It's a pioneering modernist work, which means (among other things) that it's relatively difficult reading. It has zero dirty parts. It's…moreSure, yes.
It's a pioneering modernist work, which means (among other things) that it's relatively difficult reading. It has zero dirty parts. It's brilliant.(less)
Our lives are an elaborate and exquisite collage of moments. Each moment beautiful and powerful on their own when reflected upon, turned about and examined to breath in the full nostalgia for each glorious moment gone by, yet it is the compendium of moments that truly form our history of individuality. Yet, what is an expression of individuality if it is not taken in relation to all the lives around us, as a moment in history, a drop in a multitud ...more
I love travelling by train, and this is one of the best environments for reading. Luckily I got a seat for myself and the coach is pleasant. There is so much light. How enjoyable!
What a funny way to start the book. Someone says that Clarissa Dalloway is setting off to buy the flowers. But here is the famous quote What a lark!, what a plunge!, but it is not quite at the beginning of the book and cannot quite join other iconic beginnings like Call me Ishmael.. or Longtemps je me suis couché de bon ...more
On the surface, this appears to be a boring little account of a boring woman getting ready for throwing a boring snobbish party at the end of the depicted day, with various interludes and people wandering around London during the course of the day, thinking all sorts of freeflowing thoughts and having flashbacks to their pasts. ...but every time you examine this novel to try and critique it, something new about the nove ...more
I expected this novel to be difficult. However, it wasn't difficult at all. It was an enormous pleasure.
I was struck by the preponderance of verbs .
The novel might happen in the head of Clarissa Dalloway or the other characters, but they are observing activity and their thoughts reflect it.
It is more dynamic than passive or self-conscious or self-reflective.
It was less a stream of consciousness, than a consciousness of life as a stream or a number of streams, ...more
THE TERMINATOR 2 OF DOILEYS
I can see why people hate Mrs-Dalloway-the-book (there are a fair few this-is-so-boring-I-lit-myself-on-fire kind of one/two star reviews) because Mrs Dalloway-the-book is the Terminator 2 of doileys, ribbons, and fetching hats, the Die Hard 4 of a sunny day in London, 1923, the Apocalypto of curtains and place mats and memories of moonlight boating parties; and the Transformers of wondering if you married the right person.
You have to get into Mrs Woolf’s style, which ...more
This is the third time I've started it. Not because I 'couldn't get into it' or anything like that, more because I can't bear to have to put it down at all...
I'm just spellbound.
Woolf has been a dangling presence for me in the past however many years...I went through about a hundred pages apiece of this and lighthouse and saw something profound...I think I lost the copies of them or something else interrupted. I put it on the shelf and left it for another time...
Well, the time is now.
I've a ...more
This woman...sorry, this person was brilliant, particularly in the realm of intuition expressed through microcosm-like paragraphs. Worlds ...more
Virginia Woolf takes us through a single day in 1923 in post-World War I London. She does so with gorgeous prose ...more
What a lark! What a plunge! For so it had always seemed to her, when, with a little squeak of the hinges, which she could hear now, she had burst open the French windows and plunged at Bourton into th...more
3 1/2 stars
I am so glad there isn’t someone writing down every thought that comes to my head Stranger Than Fiction style, otherwise I’d probably come across as emotionally labile as the majority of characters we meet over the course of a day on the streets of London. One moment Clarissa Dalloway seems perfectly content with her life, yet one only needs to turn the page and suddenly darkness comes over her like a wave and emptiness pervades her soul (what? you think I'm be ...more
Update from 8/25/2014
I really enjoy Virginia Woolf's writing and a ...more
Mrs D is just so eloquent that I've decided to let her do the talking - via Virginia, of course: She was not old yet. She had just broken into her fifty-second year. Months and months of it were still untouched. June, July, August! Each still remained almost whole, and, as if to catch the falling drop, Clarissa (crossing to the dressing-table) plunged into the very heart of the moment, transfixed it, there - the moment of this June morning on which the pressure of all th ...more
Some may praise the stream of consciousness as brilliant and innovative but it really just makes the text as undesirable of a read as possible. All of the characters are hypocritical and bland, and develop absolutely no sympathy. There is absolutely no plot, for a book that follows a ...more
"Every time she gave a party she had this feeling of being so ...more
Perhaps being a visual learner/thinker is just shorthand for being an aural idiot, but Ansel Adams' photograph captures how I see Mrs. Dalloway:
When I was reading the book, I kept thinking of splintered glass. What Virginia Woolf does so deftly here is move you from the mind of one character into the thoughts of another. There’s no discernible transition, and yet, as she focuses on another character it’s as though the light shifts slightly and a different shard is illuminated; the edges are shar ...more
Mrs. Dalloway is a work like Ulysses. Perhaps it may seem like prestigious name dropping to mention the two together, yet the comparison is the only one I can make. I should add, however that it is more like the child of Ulysses and Jane Eyre. It possesses the social sensibilities of Jane Eyre while adopting the difficulties and intellectual stimulation of Ulysses.
The story of Mrs. Dalloway is far less interesting than the plot itself and the linguistic deliberations of the work. The story, told ...more
This raw food diet still had everything inside churning like the clothes as they spun around the driers. The clinks as buttons slid along the metallic sides, the rasp of the air conditioner that was never turned off because it didn't work at all anyway, the light coming through the pain of the laundry room's one small window, as Michael looked out upon the shimmering light that hit the water of the swimming pool, always clean, always ready ...more
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During the interwar period, Woolf was a significant figure in London literary society and a member of the Bloomsbury Group. Her most famous works include the novels Mrs Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927), and Orlando (1928), and the book-length es ...more