- Paperback: 141 pages
- Publisher: DIANE Publishing Company; Reprinted edition (April 1, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0788191578
- ISBN-13: 978-0788191572
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 7.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 459 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,892,201 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Mrs. Dalloway Reprinted Edition
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This is a detailed reflection of one person's ideas whose ideals are influenced and among the upper crust society of early 20th century England. Unlike Evelyn Waugh, Woolf does not stride with succinct and pernicious dialogue (but I find similarities between Clarissa in this book to Brenda Mast in "Handful of Dust"). Unlike Max Beerbohm, Woolf does not overly state how cutely atrocious British society can behave. Unlike E.M. Forster, Woolf does not engage in panoramic writing. Each is great. Woolf is unique and magnificent.
Moving about in an undulating fashion, her ability to have the characters' thoughts zig and zag throughout each sentence of contemplation is unrivaled. She moves within their thoughts so quickly that within the confines of this less than 200-page novel, we know a tremendous amount about Clarissa and almost as much about her dumped early lover, Peter Walsh, and her old friend Sally Seton.
Dialogue exists, but it is the characters' thoughts that speak so vividly. We learn what it is or was that Clarissa did to Peter Walsh that has made him upset or even mad at her. We learn a little about the depression funk of the war-damaged Septimus Warren Smith (Interestingly, as Woolf too was a depressed person who followed Smith in suicide, I wonder why more of his angst was not described or detailed). And, we discover that even one hundred years ago, mothers and daughters (Clarissa and Elizabeth) had problems with one another, in a fashion reminiscent of the "rebellious" years of today's teens.
I have not read all of the great writers, but among those I have read, none can enter the thoughts and perceptions as well or as vividly as Woolf. This is a great skill by an unmistakenly great writer, who may have shined most with this novel or its contemporary - "To the Lighthouse."
I add that I read this AFTER I read "The Hours." I would recommend to others to do the opposite. And, I would add a recommendation to sandwich those two books with "To the Lighthouse" -- as the three would make a great trilogy of exquisite reading.
Virginia Woolf is like a bee going from flower to flower, resting on them, and describing a marvellous arabesque of one day in Westminster that ends at a party held at Mrs. Dalloway house in the evening.