NicholasK, March 20, 2015 (view all comments by NicholasK)
This classic piece of modern literature is a bit of a challenge to get into for someone who is not familiar with Woolf's writing style. Stream of Consciousness is tricky, but once one becomes familiar with the sentence structure, the depth of Woolf's characters, and their interconnectedness, can be appreciated.
hip--eponymous, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by hip--eponymous)
I read Mrs. Dalloway during an existentialism themed book binge during the Fall of 2012 and it was by far my favorite. The parallel's between Dalloway and Septimus along with the beautiful, fluid, language that Virginia Woolf is so well known for is a must read for any fan of existentialism as well as any young woman attempting to figure out what it means to be a person.
Family Trunk Project, January 2, 2010 (view all comments by Family Trunk Project)
Mrs. Dalloway is very special. I know that some people hate it, but I cannot comprehend that. To me it is the most beautiful, perfectly-realized novel in the English (or perhaps any) language, and reading it convinced me that art is worth making. The use of language; the subtle ways in which communication is difficult, effortless, impossible or transcendent for the different characters at different times; the ways that compromise is both heartbreaking and gorgeous; the anger and love; the gifts that people give one another without realizing it; the way that simple objects become fraught with real significance and everyday, domestic scenes become beautiful moments to treasure...the hat-making scene! The scene where Peter and Clarissa roam in and out of each others' thoughts! The way that everyone in London is interconnected! Elizabeth's ride on the bus! Clarissa's explanation of why she wants to give the party! Every sentence in this novel is gorgeous; the book as a whole is one of the most scathing-yet-kind, brutal-yet-beautiful true inventions I have ever come across.
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by Michael Cunningham, author of The Hours,
"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."
Direct and vivid in its telling of the details of a day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway, the novel manages ultimately to deliver much more. It is the feelings that loom behind those daily events — the social alliances, the shopkeeper's exchange, the fact of death — that give Mrs. Dalloway texture and richness.
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