Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf

Mrs. Dalloway

“Mrs Dalloway is always giving parties to cover the silence”

Sorry!  I have fallen a bit behind on my reviews — took what I would like to call a four day turkey break, and now I’m back in it!  Mrs. Dalloway seems to be starting a more British flavour to my binge reading.

Finally I have now read some Virginia Woolf!  And I was not disappointed.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with the story, Mrs. Dalloway follows Clarissa Dalloway, an upper-class British woman, over the course of a single day while she prepares to host a dinner party.  At the same time we catch glimpses into Septimus Warren Smith’s life – a soldier from the Great War suffering PTSD and shell-shock.   His spiral into madness juxtaposed with Mrs. Dalloway’s perseverance to throw a fabulous party for ex-lovers and people of “good” society spoke well to the post-war realities of Britain in that era, one might say at the beginning of the end of Britain’s reign as an Empire.

The back cover of my copy declares: “The book’s celebrated stream of consciousness is one of the few genuine innovations in the history of the novel.”  After some careful thought I realized this might be the first stream-of-consciousness novel I have ever read.  I truly appreciated the chaos of it, the rambling busy-body-ness of it, and the short looks into what may seem like the most ordinary of days for the characters.

I don’t have a lot else to say about this book, but now I look forward to reading more of Woolf’s novels and her memoirs.

Books Read: 16


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