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Mrs. Dalloway

Woolf, Virginia

(Book - 1981)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Mrs. Dalloway
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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 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

Series that include this title

Publisher: San Diego : Harcourt, Inc., [1981]
ISBN: 9780151009985
0151009988
9780156628709
Branch Call Number: FICTION WOOLF
Characteristics: xiv, 197 p. ;,20 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

(1925)
”Virginia Woolf's perfectly constructed Mrs. Dalloway is the study of a wealthy London political hostess and her society on one particular June day in 1923. Woolf's narrative shows us the hidden mechanisms behind Clarissa Dalloway's actions as she prepares for a large party that evening, ... Read More »

Heralded as Virginia Woolf's greatest novel, this is a vivid portrait of a single day in a woman's life.


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

Jul 17, 2012
  • jdhmsw rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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.

"Virginia Woolf’s famous novel may be about the titular rich lady preparing for a party, but it’s also about Septimus Smith — a shell-shocked World War I veteran who is haunted by the battlefield death of a friend and who serves as a sort of dark mirror for Clarissa Dalloway. If Trumbo’s Johnny is beyond help physically, then Septimus is in a similar place mentally, unable to control his thoughts and reintegrate himself into life in London with his wife. What makes Woolf’s depiction of post-traumatic stress so compelling is her ability to get into the character’s head, beautifully expressing his neurotic, obsessive thoughts."
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Sep 15, 2011
  • ParkRidgeRS rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

Our book club described Virginia Woolf's novel as frantic, intense, and difficult to read. They also found the book to be sad, boring, twisted, dizzying and depressing. Participants said that it had too many semi-colons, was too overly descriptive, long-winded, and jumped around too much. The few who did enjoy it did so because it had beautiful language, was like listening to a manic depressive person and it could be summed up as Woolf may have been saying that the heart matters, not the brain.

Feb 27, 2009
  • nadian rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Using, what seems at first to be, a simple plot, Woolf created an intricate novel filled with the very essence of daily life and human nature. A masterpiece!

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