24 March, 2018

REVIEW: MRS DALLOWAY by Virginia Woolf

Title: Mrs Dalloway
Author:  Virginia Woolf
Series: -
Genres: Modern Classics, Fiction
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release: 1923
Source: Paperback, Audiobook
Pages: 194

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Mrs. Dalloway chronicles a June day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway–a day that is taken up with running minor errands in preparation for a party and that is punctuated, toward the end, by the suicide of a young man she has never met. In giving an apparently ordinary day such immense resonance and significance–infusing it with the elemental conflict between death and life–Virginia Woolf triumphantly discovers her distinctive style as a novelist. Originally published in 1925, Mrs. Dalloway is Woolf’s first complete rendering of what she described as the “luminous envelope” of consciousness: a dazzling display of the mind’s inside as it plays over the brilliant surface and darker depths of reality.

EXPECTATIONS: This book is a classic and having a copy on my shelf that hasn't been read yet made me feel like I was really missing out on something in my life.

THE WORLD: Beginning of the 20th century I believe. The whole book is actually takes place over a period of one day so there ain't that much of world explored. Also it is very ordinary world as  we know it seen through the eyes of an ordinary woman mostly.

CHARACTERS: Clarissa Dalloway is considered the main character of this short story even tho there is a side story going on which we see through eyes of Peter who is a friend of Clarissa's. As this book tells really a story of one day, we don't really get to know any of the characters that much. Yes we do go back into their past through memories but I prefer rather active development than this type of telling. But oh well. Basically to me this whole book was really hard to follow simply because I felt like I had no connection to any of the characters. Which is of course weird as this book discussed so many things that I consider myself interested in. For example Clarissa is bisexual and we are given an impression that marrying her husband was a second choice as she was not able to be with Sally, a girl she once loved. On top of that there is an issue of Peter who once wanted to marry Clarissa too and was more wild and unstable than her husband. It really looks like Clarissa settled down for the safest and most stable choice and now she considers if she actually made a mistake. There is also mental health discussed in this book. Peter observes a couple in the part -  Septimus and his wife. Septimus is suffering from PTSD and is hallucinating his dead friend while his wife is very embarrassed by his behavior and in general state of mind and gets him committed. Now I already told you I found it really hard to connect to the characters and frankly now that I think on it none of them were also very memorable. 

ROMANCE: There is romance of the past discussed a lot but there is no active love affair going on that would be a center of this book. 

GOOD: I think for me what really stuck was mainly Virginia's writing. The story itself was alright tho I do really prefer the movie adaptation 'Hours'. 

BAD: Again, I felt very disconnected from the characters. It was like I was told the story but it didn't really mean much in the end. Also often characters felt very one dimensional for some reason. 

OVERALL: It was alright. It is indeed a great modern classic and I am happy to have it read but would I really recommend it to anybody? Hmm. I am actually not sure. I think other books of Virginia are better. 

What do you think about MRS DALLOWAY?



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