Mrs. Dalloway

Mrs. Dalloway

Book - 1925
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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 asan 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
Publisher: Harcourt, c1925, 1953.
ISBN: 9780151009985
0151009988
9780156628709
0156628708
9781853261916
1853261912
Call Number: WOOLF
Characteristics: p.

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kristenpfae
Oct 29, 2018

I didn't hate this book, I didn't love this book. I found the story to be nothing special but having studied it in class this is what Woolf was going for. I don't think I personally would read it again but I see the appeal of this modern fiction book!

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Inga57
Oct 02, 2018

Downtowner's Read It / Watch It Selection -
Published in 1925, Mrs. Dalloway was a book ahead of its time, told within one 24 hour time period.

My heart ached for Septimus whose transformation by the war was enormous and Woolf addresses the horrors inflicted upon the soldier(s) of WWI in a forward manner painting an image of a man who would rather die than having a doctor steal his soul.

Mrs. Dalloway (Clarissa) is the main protagonist and wife of a government worker who suffers from a bit of anxiety but finds respite in her urban surroundings where she can experience the exquisite moments of life, and of course, have parties.

Elizabeth is the daughter of Clarissa and Richard Dalloway who attracts both men and women but prefers a lesbian relationship with Dori Kilman, whom Clarissa cannot stand.

Suffering is a theme throughout the book as is repression, memory, and the past. All of which are universal and of course, timeless.

DBRL_ReginaF May 19, 2018

No one will ever accuse Virginia Woolf of being gripping or action packed. I can appreciate it for what it was at the time and I'm glad I read it but I won't feel the need to reread it.

a
Annaf71
Mar 15, 2018

I stopped reading about 75 pages in. Mrs. Dalloway is planning a party and there is a man who is depressed and suicidal. That's all I was able to make out. This book had no breaks. No chapters. It went on and on and on. Dull as watching paint dry.

SPPL_Betsy Mar 14, 2018

Mrs. Dalloway is a glimpse into a day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway, a woman preparing to host an evening party while at the same time, examining the past and present of her existence. She is overwhelmed with nostalgia after an encounter with a former suitor, and as a result, scrutinizes her marriage and the choices she has made throughout her life. The story flows from the perspective of multiple characters, each facing their own internal conflicts. The thoughts of Septimus Smith, a World War I veteran who appears to be suffering from PTSD, are particularly disturbing, but can be loosely compared to the thoughts of Clarissa; both characters fear their worlds are falling apart around them.

Fans of classic literature will likely appreciate the universal themes of love, life, and death present in Mrs. Dalloway. The in-depth, highly psychological study of characters may also appeal to fans of literary fiction. Woolf’s beautifully poetic, descriptive writing style will entice fans of both classic and literary fiction.

LiztheLibrarian Jan 25, 2018

I appreciate that Virginia Woolf will forever be in the pantheon of amazing, must read authors, however this book just didn't do it for me. I hated the stream of conscience format.

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freckled2much
Jan 16, 2016

This is on my list of 100 Best Books by British Authors, and though I can see that it may belong there technically, I will refrain from adding it to my personal re-read collection. This book was beautifully written, but very difficult to read due to the style of writing (there are spots where you must infer which character is being followed), but mainly because some of her characters suffer mightily, and you are in danger of being pulled down with them. She has captured bleakness and despair very well. This was written only a few years before she committed suicide, and her first hand experience of suffering certainly provides an empathetic lens into the pain and turmoil her characters experience.

j
julia_sedai
Jan 07, 2016

This is the first Virginia Woolf novel I've read so it took a little while to get used to it. I did find it difficult to read at first but about midway through I started enjoying it a lot. She is a fantastic writer. I didn't care about the plot so much as the characterization. Recommended for people who like books written in the 20s and for English lit. majors. However, if you are looking for an easy read, this is not for you.

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gravitate
Jul 10, 2014

if you don't see this movie, you are not missing a thing

j
jdhmsw
Jul 17, 2012

Rereading this almost 40 years after my first reading and I am amazed at how well it holds up. The writing continues to be wonderful and engaging. The social commentary implicit in the characters thoughts and imagination also holds up well, partly as a comment on the class differences in the era in which it was written and in some extrapolations to politcal and social context of today. I do still see the threads of feminist stance which affirmed me as a young adult and which are still relevant today.

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