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Mrs. Dallowayby Virginia Woolf
Synopses & Reviews
Heralded as Virginia Woolf's greatest novel, this is a vivid portrait of a single day in a woman's life. When we meet her, Mrs. Clarissa Dalloway is preoccupied with the last-minute details of party preparation while in her mind she is something much more than a perfect society hostess. As she readies her house, she is flooded with remembrances of faraway times. And, met with the realities of the present, Clarissa reexamines the choices that brought her there, hesitantly looking ahead to the unfamiliar work of growing old.
"Mrs. Dalloway was the first novel to split the atom. If the novel before Mrs. Dalloway aspired to immensities of scope and scale, to heroic journeys across vast landscapes, with Mrs. Dalloway Virginia Woolf insisted that it could also locate the enormous within the everyday; that a life of errands and party-giving was every bit as viable a subject as any life lived anywhere; and that should any human act in any novel seem unimportant, it has merely been inadequately observed. The novel as an art form has not been the same since.
"Mrs. Dalloway also contains some of the most beautiful, complex, incisive and idiosyncratic sentences ever written in English, and that alone would be reason enough to read it. It is one of the most moving, revolutionary artworks of the twentieth century."
--Michael Cunningham, author of The Hours
Direct and vivid in her account of Clarissa Dalloways preparations for a party, Virginia Woolf explores the hidden springs of thought and action in one day of a womans life.
In Mrs. Dalloway, the novel on which the movie The Hours was based, Virginia Woolf details Clarissa Dalloways preparations for a party of which she is to be hostess, exploring the hidden springs of thought and action in one day of a womans life. The novel "contains some of the most beautiful, complex, incisive and idiosyncratic sentences ever written in English, and that alone would be reason enough to read it. It is one of the most moving, revolutionary artworks of the twentieth century" (Michael Cunningham).
Heralded as Woolf's greatest work of fiction, "Mrs. Dalloway" is not only a thorough rendering of a vivid human life, it is the outline on paper of human consciousness. In this vivid portrait of a single day in a woman's life, Clarissa Dalloway readies her house for friends and neighbors as she is is flooded with remembrances of faraway times.
About the Author
Born in 1882, the daughter of Julia Jackson Duckworth and Victorian scholar Sir Leslie Stephen, Virginia Stephen settled in 46 Gordon Square, Bloomsbury, in 1904. This house would become the first meeting place of the now-famous Bloomsbury Group-writers, artists, and intellectuals such as E. M. Forster, John Maynard Keynes, and Lytton Strachey who, along with Virginia and her sister Vanessa, shared an intense belief in the importance of the arts and a skepticism regarding their society's conventions and restraints. It was after Virginia's 1912 marriage to Leonard Woolf-a remarkable and supportive twenty-nine-year-union-that she began to publish her major work. Her first novel, The Voyage Out, appeared in 1915 and was followed by Night and Day (1919), Jacob's Room (1922), Mrs. Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927), Orlando (1928), The Waves (1931), and The Years (1937). Woolf is also admired for her contributions to literary criticism in general and to feminist criticism in particular, with A Room of One's Own (1929) and Three Guineas (1937) reflecting the full range of her intellectual vigor, insight, and compassion for the role cast for female artists in the modern world. Additionally, Woolf s diary and correspondence, published posthumously, provide an invaluable window into her world offer-flung relationships and interests, imaginative depth, and creative method. The victim of a lifetime of mental illness, Woolf com-mitted suicide in 1941. She left behind her a literary legacy, including The Hogarth Press, established with Leonard in 1917, which published not only Woolf s own work but that of an increasingly influential group of innovative writers-including T. S. Eliot, James Joyce, and Katherine Mansfield.
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