Mrs. DallowayPosted: 2011/08/21
Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. San Diego: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1925.
I felt like I shouldn’t have had this book on my list at all. Nancy Pearl bearly makes reference to it in More Book Lust and it certainly isn’t one of her recommendations. In fact, she only mentions it in reference to another book. After spending several hours mucking through Woolf’s prose I feel I should go back to my Lust list and weed out the “unintentional” recommendations and put them on an “If You Really Care” list.
I didn’t care for Mrs. Dalloway (character OR book). In a nutshell the plot is one day in the life of a middle-aged Londoner as she goes about planning for a party. Nothing more than that. The style of writing is tedious as it is a stream of every character’s inner monologue and one must be careful of character switches for not everything is from the rambling point of view of Mrs. Clarissa Dalloway. The chronology of the story is also a maze of creativity as it bounces back and forth in time. A Wednesday in June post World War I is present day, here and now so to speak.
One detail of Mrs. Dalloway that I found myself fixated on is Mrs. Dalloway’s relationship with a man named Peter. As she goes through her day she thinks about him with regularity. He is the man Dalloway could have married but didn’t. I found myself wondering if she had regrets. Through all the ramblings it was hard to say with certainty she did.
Book trivia: Mrs. Dalloway is the product of two short stories melded together.
Author Fact: Virginia Woolf suffered from depression and at the age of 58 committed suicide by drowning.
BookLust Twist: From More Book Lust in the chapter called “Voice” (p 230). Pearl is actually recommending Our Kind by Kate Walbert. In Our Kind a book club is reading Mrs. Dalloway.