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Friday, March 27, 2009

Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf


I finally finished one of my monthly classic reads. I believe The Jungle Book is up next, but for now, Mrs Dalloway.

I loved it. I know that a lot of people have trouble with it, and I didn't entirely understand all of it, but I loved it all the same.

There's no real plot, or story to hang the structure on, as it's stream-of-consciousness, but the structure holds up really well.

The narrative starts with Mrs Dalloway, preparing for an important party. She goes out to buy the flowers, and the narrative flits to Septimus Smith, suffering from shell-shock, after World War I _ the novel is set in about 1923.

From there it goes to Septimus' wife, to Mrs Dalloway's one-time love, back in England briefly, and to various other characters.

I'm probably not selling it very well, but Woolf seemed to have a real gift for sketching the inner workings of people's minds. You feel as though you're inside their heads with them as they go about their day.

I just _ I don't know. I just really, really enjoyed it. But I've also read Woolf's diaries, and I wonder if that helped a little, because she does talk about the process of writing Mrs Dalloway in one of them.
Actually, if you can't fathom the idea of Mrs Dalloway, then I can definitely recommend the diaries. They are fantastic reading.
Also, according to Wikipedia, March 28 is the day that she died:

4 comments:

Nymeth said...

Thank you! I needed a review that would kick my butt and make me read this book, and yours has done just that.

Maree said...

I hope you enjoy it, Nymeth. You really have to read it with an open mind, but the writing is exquisite.

Joanne said...

Great review! I've never read anything by Woolf and I really want to.

Chris said...

I definitely had to pay attention while reading this one. Here's my review

http://chris-book-a-rama.blogspot.com/2008/09/mrs-dalloway-review.html