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. This brilliant novel explores the hidden springs of thought and action in one day of a woman's life. Direct and vivid in her account of the details of Clarissa Dalloway's preparations for a party she is to give that evening, Woolf ultimately managed to reveal much more. For it is the feeling behind these daily events that gives Mrs. Dalloway its texture and richness and makes it so memorable. Foreword by Maureen Howard. "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
"Mrs. Dalloway" a novel by Virginia Woolf is hanging between spiritual yearnings and material desires of everyday life. The story follows Clarissa Dalloway, a 52-year-old woman living in London. Her husband Richard Dalloway is a member in parliament. The story is set in the summer in post WWI London and it revolves around a few days in the life of Mrs. Dalloway. She prepares to host a party to host a party for her wealthy and powerful friends. She meets with Peter Walsh, a man she nearly married, and who has spent the past five years in imperial India. Peter Walsh wonders about his plan to marry Daisy, the young wife of an Indian officer who already has two children with the other man. Peter has never really stopped loving Clarissa. The rest of the story involves her thoughts about that relationship and her life choices. The second element is Septimus Warren Smith cannot cope with what he has seen in the World War I. The two find themselves in similar situation. Later, Smith commits suicide. The third element is her present husband and his love for her. A very complex story of relationship that are entangled with each other but an easy read.
All of the characters have rich inner lives that Woolf brilliantly brings to life in a complex web of meandering thoughts, desires, and everyday occurrences. Truths are subjective and changeable, as the plot streams back and forth in space and time. Woolf has beautifully described the relationship between man and woman. In the end, a complex, engaging, brilliant work and worth readings.
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