#Classic Mrs. Dalloway
- Author: V. Woolf
- Title: Mrs Dalloway
- Published: 1925
- Genre: novel (224 pg)
- Themes: mental illness, feminism, bisexuality
- Writing style: free indirect discourse
- List Reading Challenges 2018
- Monthly planning
- Classic Club Master list
- Oxford World Classic is an excellent choice to read.
- ISBN 9780199536009
- There is a trove of extra information available
- …even a map of Mrs. Dalloway’s London!
- I also listened to the audio book ( 7 hours 5 minutes)
- I like to know what I’m getting myself into before I read a classic.
- This book is best read after doing some research.
Scrope Purvis is name of arms dealer who made a huge amount of money for Nobel Explosives Company that provided arms for WW I (WW I)
Lady Bexborough : is the woman Clarissa most admired Lady Bexborough refers to Kathrine Mansfield who died in 1923. (good friend of V. Woolf)
Structure: There are no chapter headings. Big Ben: The chiming of Big Ben is a structure technique. “First a warning, musical; then the hour irrevocable.” Also the storyline is an overlapping of observations. We read of moments of ‘near misses’. People whose paths cross but are never meeting. This feels like pathos that appeals to our emotions…the “what if'”-situations.
Images: Many images take you into WW I. Septimus experiences many hallucinations. He sees Evans coming out of the trees. “But the branches parted. A man in grey was actually walking towards them. It was Evans!” Shortly after WWI there was a project to plant young trees as a memorial to the war dead.
Favorite quote: description of friends Septimus and Evans
“It was a case of two dogs playing on the hearth-rug; one worrying a paper screw, snarling, snapping, giving a pinch, now and then at the old dog’s ear, the other lying somnolent, blinking at the fire, raising a paw, turning and growling good temperedly.” Amazing!
Favorite quote: description of Elizabeth (Clarissa’s daughter)
“..like a hyacinth sheathed in glossy green, with buds tinted a hyacinth which has had no sun.”
Sexuality: We think with a title like Mrs. Dalloway the book wil be all about marital bliss….but Clarissa was in love with Sally Seton “a kiss that turned the world upside down.” Sally has a radiance as she enters the party unexpectedly! We read the Clarissa’s erotic desires. Woolf also creates a critique up the social system that restrains people. Virginia Woolf creates fluid characters and a fluid sexuality is included in them.
Marriage: Clarissa and Richard…”They went in and out of each other’s lives without any effort” There is a need for space and freedom within a relationship.
- I knew one day I would read Virginia Woolf.
- It has taken me decades to get to this point.
- Mrs. Dalloway is a day in the life novel.
- Mrs.Dalloway reflects on her choices made 30 years earlier.
- …marriage proposal by Peter Walsh
- …decides to marry Richard and ends up in a ‘chilly’ relationship.
- It is centers around four intersecting lives in Edwardian England.
- Woolf shows the interaction between
- ….proper British people who speak politely to one another.
- The reader senses that there are
- …fierce and passionate undercurrents and
- ..thoughts that seems to be unspoken.
- Read: the E-book…as I listened to the audio book.
- Juliet Stevenson is an excellent narrator!
- Movie: watched Vanessa Redgrave as Mrs. Dalloway
- Movie: watched The Hours (N. Kidman, M. Streep and J. Moore)
- The book was better than any film!
Strong point: something new for the 1920’s
- It’s a novel that takes place in a single day in June.
- This was new and certainly different in 1925.
- James Joyce did it in 1922. (Ulysses )
- Mrs. Dalloway is considered Woolf’s masterpiece.
- She deals with mental illness (shell-shock WW I, Septimus).
- How the mental ill are handled and especially
- …how difficult is was
- …to care (Rezia) for a person suffering mental issues.
- Woolf also able to encode lesbian-erotic into the text (Sally Seton)
- …that passed the censors in 1925!
- #MustRead…at least once in your life!