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The Mrs. Dalloway Reader

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The Mrs. Dalloway Reader PDF, ePub eBook This first volume of its kind contains the complete text of and guide to Virginia Woolf's masterpiece, plus Mrs. Dalloway's Party and numerous journal entries and letters by Virginia Woolf relating to the book's genesis and writing. The distinguished novelist Francine Prose has selected these pieces as well as essays and appreciations, critical views, and commentary by wri This first volume of its kind contains the complete text of and guide to Virginia Woolf's masterpiece, plus Mrs. Dalloway's Party and numerous journal entries and letters by Virginia Woolf relating to the book's genesis and writing. The distinguished novelist Francine Prose has selected these pieces as well as essays and appreciations, critical views, and commentary by writers famous and unknown. Now with additional scholarly commentary by Mark Hussey, professor of English at Pace University, this complete volume illuminates the creation of a celebrated story and the genius of its author. Includes essays and commentary from: Michael Cunningham E. M. Forster Margo Jefferson James Wood Mary Gordon Elaine Showalter Daniel Mendelsohn Sigrid Nunez Deborah Eisenberg Elissa Schappell

30 review for The Mrs. Dalloway Reader

  1. 4 out of 5

    Maggie

    Hands down, my favorite book in the entire universe. I have a copy at home, a copy in my apartment, and a copy at work. All are care-worn, dog-eared, highlighted, underlined, creased, and well-loved. A beloved professor once told me that I will appreciate this book at 20 and I will appreciate it for entirely different reasons at 40. Well, 2.5 years after my first reading, I already find that different elements strike me for different reasons. I like that: a book with which you can grow old. Some Hands down, my favorite book in the entire universe. I have a copy at home, a copy in my apartment, and a copy at work. All are care-worn, dog-eared, highlighted, underlined, creased, and well-loved. A beloved professor once told me that I will appreciate this book at 20 and I will appreciate it for entirely different reasons at 40. Well, 2.5 years after my first reading, I already find that different elements strike me for different reasons. I like that: a book with which you can grow old. Sometimes, reading it is like sinking into words as soft and beautiful as butter. Sometimes, it's a challenge to make my life better, more valuable, to be more aware of the life I'm living and the society in which I'm living. Other times, it's a tribute to the sadness in the world; the heartbreaking sadness. Still others times, it's a resounding song about love and the little things that make the day such a joy. A must-read for everyone in the whole world, I believe. Find what it means to you!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Grady

    A Brilliant Writer Negotiates the Works of a Brilliant Writer Francine Prose is one of our more important writers (novels 'Blue Angel', 'After', 'A Changed Man', 'Primitive People'; probing biographies 'Caravaggio: Painter of Miracles'), a writer with a profound respect of the past, for the art of writing and the art of reading. Her most recent book is titled 'Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them' should give an idea of what is in store in A Brilliant Writer Negotiates the Works of a Brilliant Writer Francine Prose is one of our more important writers (novels 'Blue Angel', 'After', 'A Changed Man', 'Primitive People'; probing biographies 'Caravaggio: Painter of Miracles'), a writer with a profound respect of the past, for the art of writing and the art of reading. Her most recent book is titled 'Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them' should give an idea of what is in store in this most enjoyable and illuminating book THE MRS. DALLOWAY READER. Prose writes an Introduction that, while brief, offers keys to unlocking the genius that was Virginia Woolf. 'She longed to fill the book [Mrs. Dalloway:] with "speed and life", to "give life & death, sanity & insanity; I want to criticize the social system & to show it at work, at its most intense.' Prose extracts quotes form Woolf's writings in an astute manner that allows us to understand the tortured genius who wrote them. As far as the book 'Mrs. Dalloway', Prose writes '...its all here: life, death, sex, love, marriage, parenthood, youth, age, the present and the past, memory, London, war, reason and unreason, loyalty, medicine, social snobbery, friendship, compassion, cruelty; the occasionally apt but more often unfounded snap judgments we make about ourselves, each other, loved ones, strangers, and the world in which chance and fortune have thrown us all together'. She touches on Woolf's insanity and conflicted sexuality that blossomed with Vita Sackville-West, and with her suicide by drowning, but she is far more interested in sharing the manner in which Woolf created her books - her fleshing out of the state of consciousness. As editor Francine Prose then gathers writings form such erudite dignitaries as Katherine Mansfield, E.M. Forster, Michael Cunningham, Daniel Mendelsohn, Sigrud Nunez et al, couples these observations with Woolf's own serialized beginnings of her famous novel, and then offers us the entire MRS DALLOWAY at the end of the book. Reading Virginia Woolf in this atmosphere serves to enlighten the reader and once again prove that this novel is one of the more important writings of the last century. This book is a treasure! Grady Harp

  3. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    Reading Mrs. Dalloway has changed my life. Being my first Virginia Woolf novel, I was tentative with it, afraid from what I had heard that it would be dreadful and hard to read. After Mrs. Dalloway, however, I find that there is not enough Virginia Woolf in the world to satisfy my cravings! It has been difficult to transition myself back to reading anything else because Woolf is just too good at her craft. This particular edition contains textual analysis and even a series of shorts written by Wo Reading Mrs. Dalloway has changed my life. Being my first Virginia Woolf novel, I was tentative with it, afraid from what I had heard that it would be dreadful and hard to read. After Mrs. Dalloway, however, I find that there is not enough Virginia Woolf in the world to satisfy my cravings! It has been difficult to transition myself back to reading anything else because Woolf is just too good at her craft. This particular edition contains textual analysis and even a series of shorts written by Woolf entitled "Mrs. Dalloway's Party," which add a further layer of depth to the already deep novel. However, there is an even better surprise given by this edition -- and that is the 1927 preface, written by Woolf herself, and "Mrs. Dalloway in Bond Street," which is where the whole novel sprang to life. This is a must-have for any fan of Woolf's, and a must-read for any fan of literature on the whole.

  4. 4 out of 5

    heartful

    I can see how her stream of consciousness style was innovative but I didn't like the characters enough to care about what happened to them.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kellie

    Couldn't finish it. What the heck is it about? I feel awful, being an English teacher, that I couldn't read this. I mean, I'm sure I COULD, but ug. I just could NOT push on.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Julia

    a friend of my sister's whose father works in the publishing industry and is continually afflicted by a heap of uncorrected proofs gave this to me back in september or so, thanks to my vwoolf-lover reputation; it sat on my desk in my dorm room for most of the year, unattended to possibly even longer than any other book that sat on my desk in my dorm room for most of the year. when i returned home of the summer it sat on my carpet. it was getting to the point that i thought i would simply never r a friend of my sister's whose father works in the publishing industry and is continually afflicted by a heap of uncorrected proofs gave this to me back in september or so, thanks to my vwoolf-lover reputation; it sat on my desk in my dorm room for most of the year, unattended to possibly even longer than any other book that sat on my desk in my dorm room for most of the year. when i returned home of the summer it sat on my carpet. it was getting to the point that i thought i would simply never read this humble uncorrected proof, beige-covered and bare and bearing only a font in common with the final cover, but for some reason yesterday i sat on the carpet of my bedroom and began reading. (considering i just read between the acts a couple weeks ago, this act was probably not as inexplicable as i'm depicting it.) then i read some more this morning before i descended to the kitchen for the sunday new york times (my sundays revolve around and are devoted to the sunday new york times, and normally the sunday review is the first clump of words i read on sunday mornings), and then i read some more this afternoon, outside, accompanied by dogs and apple slices and dried cranberries and mixed nuts. proof, again, i suppose, that there is quite often, maybe always, a Right Time to read things, and one should just be patient and wait for them. anyway the book itself i find for some reason inherently amusing, and i'm not sure why. it's a silly little thing, full of a few short tossed-off essays, some mysteriously chosen diary entries, and one especially mysteriously chosen letter, a katherine mansfield short story, plus some proto-dalloway nonstarters (seven short stories called 'mrs dalloway's party) and, of course, mrs dalloway itself. (not precisely in that order.) i admit not all the essays are 'short tossed-off'; daniel mendelsohn as usual is excellent (probably because it was first published in the new york review of books, while some of the later essays seem to have been written for this reader) and weirdly absent—in fact the essay is positioned against—the ambient misogyny that in some ways sadly emanates from his output and attitude occasionally (in any case his bigger/more consistent problem is his elitism/snobbery, and all these are more explicit in his twitter presence than his professional work, and it is likely that his snobbishness is integral to the quality of his work, so. BUT ANYWAY. james wood's little tossed-off piece for the PEN center or whatever is also excellent because, like, duh. (say what you will about his biases and personal tastes but he is always undeniably good at what he does.) michael cunningham's snippet (which at a page and a half, also tossed off for the same PEN center event i think, is too tiny to be called an essay) is important primarily because it provides this dumb perfect depiction of virginia woolf as he conceived of her at age fifteen: "I knew Virginia Woolf was very tall and insane and lived in a lighthouse and jumped in the ocean." deborah eisenberg's essay says like nothing which is sad because i expected better of her, and sigrid nunez's is irritating because you realize after all this time she is still in anxious thrall to susan sontag and that in fact this essay is an attempt to discard woolf in the manner one discards famous writers to show one's own elegant and sophisticated intelligence, because once "Susan Sontag suggested that my passion for Woolf was something I would outgrow." i mean i get it, this is an understandable response to susan sontag delivering an opinion-cum-proclamation unto you. but one can disagree with susan sontag, really. however it was around this essay that i thought, none of the essayists collected in this reader are as smart as susan sontag, which is an irrelevant thought but probably a true one (i happen to be reading sontag's against interpretation right now so it was relevant to me). i would complain more about nunez's essay, which degrades into a collection of weird snide wrong jabs at virginia woolf and a collection of further jabs by a whole bevy of writers (as if nunez needs the protection of a whole virginia-hater gang to levy her opinions, or something, it's really quite weird), but that would be petty. elissa schappell's essay is distressing, like honestly just distressing, because i still don't think she gets mrs dalloway by the end of her weird absinthe-triggered disease/disintegration. or maybe i don't get mrs dalloway, like when daniel mendelsohn said the thing the film adaptation of the hours gets wrong is that mrs dalloway's fine. she's obviously not suicidal either but i always thought the point of the book in some ways is that no one's fine, or that words like "fine" (there's a reason mendelsohn doesn't say good, content, happy, right?) are superficial words, and always imply a not-completely-corresponding inside. (good, content, happy—these are words with body.) whatever, i agree with mendelsohn versus the position of the hours film adaptation. and his essay is suitably meaty. that's the problem with the reader—on the whole it's strangely light, insubstantial. which, if you're going to have a reader for mrs dalloway that isn't very good, is probably the most appropriate type of not-very-goodness, because what always amazes me about dalloway is how light a read it is, how it floats along and you follow it hypnotized, but you never forget that what's happening is a very good trick wherein something that is very substantial that gravity should be commanding to fall is somehow, impossibly, floating.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Ediss

    I have had this book on my shelf for a while. It was finally time to crack it. To be honest, I skipped all the critical essays and reviews, which were interestingly in the front of the reader, because I wanted to get right to the novel. It is a difficult read. It's a monumental read. I skipped back to the intro in the reader at one point, and it was cool to read that Woolf wanted to achieve a specific effect in her novel, and she found herself successful in doing so. That effect is a whole novel I have had this book on my shelf for a while. It was finally time to crack it. To be honest, I skipped all the critical essays and reviews, which were interestingly in the front of the reader, because I wanted to get right to the novel. It is a difficult read. It's a monumental read. I skipped back to the intro in the reader at one point, and it was cool to read that Woolf wanted to achieve a specific effect in her novel, and she found herself successful in doing so. That effect is a whole novel told in stream of consciousness from multiple characters points of view without too much warning in the transitioning between character. There are no chapters and only a few places where there is a marked pause. But the way in which she reveals characters through their internal musings and in comparison to the things the actually say to each other, is poignant and taps into the tragedy of the modern human condition. I recommend "Mrs. Dalloway" to people who want to see the potential reaches of the genre "novel".

  8. 4 out of 5

    Saettare

    Not overly scholarly, “The Mrs. Dalloway Reader” is a very stimulating resource. Not least of all because it includes selections from the story cycle that preceded the development of her masterpiece. As Francine Prose puts it in her introduction, "The dissimilarities are so striking and so instructive that the [novel and these earlier stories], studied together, should be required reading for every beginning writer or serious lover of literature." Woolf's process of singling out surfaces in whic Not overly scholarly, “The Mrs. Dalloway Reader” is a very stimulating resource. Not least of all because it includes selections from the story cycle that preceded the development of her masterpiece. As Francine Prose puts it in her introduction, "The dissimilarities are so striking and so instructive that the [novel and these earlier stories], studied together, should be required reading for every beginning writer or serious lover of literature." Woolf's process of singling out surfaces in which she proceeds to excavate begins to emerge; how she "digs out beautiful caves behind [her] characters" (p. 95). Which is what she calls her "tunneling process": "I tell the past by installments, as I have need of it." The selection of personal essays and appreciations by other writers and critics that are also included give an even handed assessment of the work and its oftentimes over valued importance, at least according contributions like that of Sigrid Nunez. And so it is refreshing to get a critique or two mixed in with the fawning admiration of Woolf's staggeringly rich novel.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Roberto Cantos

    Mrs. Dalloway is a masterpiece. The essays that come along with the novel, however, appear to mostly be introductions to work related to Virginia Woolf. I would've appreciated more in-depth analysis of the work. More theory supported by well-reasoned arguments, rather than personal narrative. Still it was a good introduction to Virginia Woolf and her work, and some of the essays were very useful.

  10. 4 out of 5

    T.J.

    The majority of this book is the novel itself. (And a Katharine Mansfield story and Woolf's original short story series, "Mrs. Dalloway's Party.) I was hoping for more criticism and commentary. It is a hodge-podge. Michael Cunningham gives a nice two-page peaen to the book; Daniel Mendelsohn then gives a long tribute to Cunningham's The Hours (and the movie). Sigrid Nunez gives perhaps the most honest take--there's a lot she doesn't like about it! Skip it. Just read the novel.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Gary Lee

    Time again for my annual Mrs Dalloway reading -- but this was the first time reading the Reader, which is as close to a Norton Critical Edition of this novel that we'll ever get. As usual, a 5-star rating for Mrs Dalloway, but I'm docking some points for the unevenness of the overall content of the Reader.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    Loved it. I particularly liked how the essays and journal entries really showed the context of when and how Mrs Dalloway was written. I also discovered I really like the stream of consciousness style of writing.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    This is sort of a lie, as I only read the intro, one of the stories from MRS DALLOWAY'S PARTY, and MRS. DALLOWAY itself.

  14. 4 out of 5

    David

    Great articles about Mrs. Dalloway. I especially liked the article comparing the movie The Hours to the book by Michael Cunningham. Can't wait to read Cunningham's book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Katharine_Ann

    What I really like about this collection is that there are essays and commentary about not only "Mrs. Dalloway," but also other works by Woolf. The short stories and essays were really wonderful to read, as I was able to learn about the evolutionary process that "Mrs. Dalloway" went through during writing. The Reader really digs into what makes Woolf’s works so interesting and different, and I really enjoyed seeing a greater depth to the story. I love Woolf’s transitions between the characters; a What I really like about this collection is that there are essays and commentary about not only "Mrs. Dalloway," but also other works by Woolf. The short stories and essays were really wonderful to read, as I was able to learn about the evolutionary process that "Mrs. Dalloway" went through during writing. The Reader really digs into what makes Woolf’s works so interesting and different, and I really enjoyed seeing a greater depth to the story. I love Woolf’s transitions between the characters; a character observes an event, followed by a different character observing the same event. This provides the reader with multiple viewpoints, but also allows the comparison between two characters thoughts and reactions to external forces. I find the transitions smooth and effortless, and incredibly interesting when examining how people react differently when faced with the same situation. One aspect I really enjoyed about this book was reading characters’ concerns when with other people. For example, Mrs. Dalloway is incredibly worried that her party will be a failure, and that others would judge her by her failure. While on the surface it may appear vain, it really represents those self-conscious moments that we have all had at social events. The novel really gets into the heart of human emotion and the fluctuating bonds that exist between people. Finally, there is a very charming aspect about this book that I love, and it’s to do with memories. Several moments in the story show how one small smell or sight can allow a large memory to drift up and take over a person’s thoughts, taking them to a different time and place if only for a moment. It really shows how thoughts can link together and take over the mind, before something calls attention back to the present. It is one of the aspects that really makes this book worthwhile to read, and all the more enjoyable.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Annette

    "...Clarissa had a theory in those days--they had heaps of theories, always theories, as young people have. It was to explain the feeling they had of dissatisfaction; not knowing people; not being known. For how could they know each other? You met every day; then not for six months, or years. It was unsatisfactory, they agreed, how little one knew people. But she said, sitting on the bus going up Shaftesbury Avenue, she felt herself everywhere; not 'here, here, here'; and she tapped the back of "...Clarissa had a theory in those days--they had heaps of theories, always theories, as young people have. It was to explain the feeling they had of dissatisfaction; not knowing people; not being known. For how could they know each other? You met every day; then not for six months, or years. It was unsatisfactory, they agreed, how little one knew people. But she said, sitting on the bus going up Shaftesbury Avenue, she felt herself everywhere; not 'here, here, here'; and she tapped the back of the seat; but everywhere. She waved her hand, going up Shaftesbury Avenue. She was all that. So that to know her, or any one, one must seek out the people who completed them; even the places. Odd affinites she had with people she had never spoken to, some woman in the street, some man behind a counter--even trees, or barns. It ended in a transcendental theory which, with her horror of death, allowed her to believe, or say that she believed (for all her scepticism), that since our apparitions, the part of us which appears, are so momentary compared with the other, the unseen part of us, which spreads wide, the unseen might survive, be recovered somehow attached to this person or that, or even haunting certain places after death...perhaps--perhaps."

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sophia

    It would have been a different story had the inner monologues not been present. The soldiers marching by, the passing car holding someone of high or noble status, the prime minister at Clarissa's party--all like figureheads. We never get inside their thoughts. They're present the way the chiming clock is present. As a disruption. All the real action of the novel takes place in the space of one day, culminating in a party: the climax. But the real expression of lives and moments and thoughts and It would have been a different story had the inner monologues not been present. The soldiers marching by, the passing car holding someone of high or noble status, the prime minister at Clarissa's party--all like figureheads. We never get inside their thoughts. They're present the way the chiming clock is present. As a disruption. All the real action of the novel takes place in the space of one day, culminating in a party: the climax. But the real expression of lives and moments and thoughts and reflections occupy that parallel space where the past haunts, where moods and passions overwhelm, where thoughts and dreams and question marks simmer, surface, repress, challenge, elate, depress, and seem to occupy eternities in minutes. Not much happens, but a wealth of passion, regret, memory, judgment, and reflection boast of raw life amid ordered, quiet existence. The dynamic of the lived experience, the noise and commotion, the solitude, the proprieties, the ordered surface and the disordered chaotic spirit makes for an interesting glance into Mrs. Dallaway and company.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jo`` Khalaf

    I watched "The Hours" again the other day and forgot what a great film it was. One of the film's character's is Virginia Woolf who is played by Nicole Kidman. Woolf's "Mrs. Dalloway" is referenced throughtout the film and so I decided to read the book as well. This is the first book I have read by Virginia Woolf and I don't think I like her style of writing. I'm sure some people out there will gasp at hearing me say that about such a "classic" writer, but this book tried my patience and tested m I watched "The Hours" again the other day and forgot what a great film it was. One of the film's character's is Virginia Woolf who is played by Nicole Kidman. Woolf's "Mrs. Dalloway" is referenced throughtout the film and so I decided to read the book as well. This is the first book I have read by Virginia Woolf and I don't think I like her style of writing. I'm sure some people out there will gasp at hearing me say that about such a "classic" writer, but this book tried my patience and tested my attention span. You have to really concentrate while reading this book otherwise it's so easy for your thoughts to wonder elsewhere. Reading this book becomes easier once you get used to her writing style and the format she's chosen for it. I'd only recommend this book to fans of Woolf and those of you who insist on reading the works of "classic" writers. Otherwise, don't bother.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kristin Maillard

    I really enjoyed this book BUT! But, but, but... It's all my problem, yet, I struggled a bit with the same little voice inside that made me put the book down when I tried it in my early twenties. "How nauseatingly self absorbed these people are! Blech!" But, decades hence, and somewhat (ONLY somewhat) more mature, I appreciate that a story about individuals is often told by sharing their thoughts and that these internal monologues don't necessarily represent self-absorption. Since the characters I really enjoyed this book BUT! But, but, but... It's all my problem, yet, I struggled a bit with the same little voice inside that made me put the book down when I tried it in my early twenties. "How nauseatingly self absorbed these people are! Blech!" But, decades hence, and somewhat (ONLY somewhat) more mature, I appreciate that a story about individuals is often told by sharing their thoughts and that these internal monologues don't necessarily represent self-absorption. Since the characters in this story spend so much of their internal monologue criticizing the others and sometimes, worse yet, mentally castigating themselves for it, it can feel a bit trying - but it's certainly not unrealistic in that regard. Still, a very enjoyable read. Beautiful prose. Beautiful realism. I enjoyed it.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Courtney Stoker

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Woolf is a literary genius, and this book is phenomenal. A beautifully written exploration of consciousness, I think that Woolf accomplished, in the dual characters of Septimus and Clarissa, what Fyodor Dostoyevsky attempted to do in the two parts of his Notes from Underground . Septimus is a clear illustration of what happens to human beings when we lose the capability of telling the meaningless stories that we tell ourselves, of creating the narratives of the people around us and ourselves. L Woolf is a literary genius, and this book is phenomenal. A beautifully written exploration of consciousness, I think that Woolf accomplished, in the dual characters of Septimus and Clarissa, what Fyodor Dostoyevsky attempted to do in the two parts of his Notes from Underground . Septimus is a clear illustration of what happens to human beings when we lose the capability of telling the meaningless stories that we tell ourselves, of creating the narratives of the people around us and ourselves. Like the Underground Man, Septimus is incapable of living in a world where connection is impossible, but he continues to try to connect anyway, whispering through the cracks. The only freedom is suicide or obliviousness. Yummy.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea

    Honestly, this may in fact be the best book I have ever read in my entire life. The best written, the most intriguing, the most thought-provoking, the most initially confusing novel I know. Reading it has changed my life, which may sound extreme but as a writer I don't exaggerate. Woolf's beautiful language deftly captures the facets of several people's everyday lives, so brilliantly that sometimes it's a bit much for one to comprehend. The language is different and never repeats itself, and the Honestly, this may in fact be the best book I have ever read in my entire life. The best written, the most intriguing, the most thought-provoking, the most initially confusing novel I know. Reading it has changed my life, which may sound extreme but as a writer I don't exaggerate. Woolf's beautiful language deftly captures the facets of several people's everyday lives, so brilliantly that sometimes it's a bit much for one to comprehend. The language is different and never repeats itself, and the way all the characters' stories are woven together before meeting in a complex finale IS the definition of genius. If you're up for a challenging but ultimately rewarding read, check this one out. (And then "The Hours.")

  22. 4 out of 5

    Haley

    I have mixed feelings about this book. I loved Septimus's story. I found it interesting that Virginia Woolf showed us her disease through Septimus, gave us an idea of how ridiculous the treatments were in those days. For example, Dr. Holmes prescribing him to eat more porridge, and that if Rezina didn't know how to make it, that she should learn. I don't know that I would have gotten the point of that, if I had not read The Hours by Michael Cunningham first. However, the role of Peter Walsh bothe I have mixed feelings about this book. I loved Septimus's story. I found it interesting that Virginia Woolf showed us her disease through Septimus, gave us an idea of how ridiculous the treatments were in those days. For example, Dr. Holmes prescribing him to eat more porridge, and that if Rezina didn't know how to make it, that she should learn. I don't know that I would have gotten the point of that, if I had not read The Hours by Michael Cunningham first. However, the role of Peter Walsh bothered me. I felt that the party was silly and pointless. Ok, so you didn't marry Clarissa. That was years ago, you are fifty-two and supposedly in love with a girl from India who is already married. I didn't get it.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Juliet

    I know it's blasphemy for a woman to not like Mrs. Dalloway, but for crying out loud, nothing happens for freakin' ever. I now understand why I secretly wasn't all that into it when I read it the first time in college. I see the insights into character, and Woolf's ability to capture people's shifts in mood and desire from moment to moment is impressive. It's also rather symphonic, how she moves from one point of view to the next, using the tolling of the bells as connective link. But all this d I know it's blasphemy for a woman to not like Mrs. Dalloway, but for crying out loud, nothing happens for freakin' ever. I now understand why I secretly wasn't all that into it when I read it the first time in college. I see the insights into character, and Woolf's ability to capture people's shifts in mood and desire from moment to moment is impressive. It's also rather symphonic, how she moves from one point of view to the next, using the tolling of the bells as connective link. But all this does not change the fact that very little happens. It took me weeks to finish the thing, and it's short! P.S. It did remind me of Ulysses, and I liked that better. I've read that book I don't know how many times (6? 8?) and I like it better and learn more from it each time I read it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nick Black

    First off, I would like to say that I am a lover of pretty much all kinds of books. What I mainly loved about this book is how Virginia Woolf was able to take the concept of a basic day getting ready for a party and make it be an extraordinary journey about aging, living your life, the memories of the past, and why people make decisions and why they react to the decisions. While we mainly follow Mrs. Dalloway, we also follow her husband, a doctor, one of the doctor's patients and his wife, and a First off, I would like to say that I am a lover of pretty much all kinds of books. What I mainly loved about this book is how Virginia Woolf was able to take the concept of a basic day getting ready for a party and make it be an extraordinary journey about aging, living your life, the memories of the past, and why people make decisions and why they react to the decisions. While we mainly follow Mrs. Dalloway, we also follow her husband, a doctor, one of the doctor's patients and his wife, and an old friend and lover of Mrs. Dalloway's. This is definitely a good read! Virginia is officially one of my favorite authors!

  25. 4 out of 5

    April

    I realize why people gave this book more stars, there are some beautiful passages, and the writing style is excellent ... however it took me way longer than it should to get through. The reason is simply the storyline which flows ingeniously between different characters and point of view, conflicted with my mental attention span. Reading this book was like the same way I think, and being so I ended up having to reread paragraphs several times. I suppose reading this on a crowded subway didn't he I realize why people gave this book more stars, there are some beautiful passages, and the writing style is excellent ... however it took me way longer than it should to get through. The reason is simply the storyline which flows ingeniously between different characters and point of view, conflicted with my mental attention span. Reading this book was like the same way I think, and being so I ended up having to reread paragraphs several times. I suppose reading this on a crowded subway didn't help but the choppiness of which I read the book did not lend itself to being a book I wanted to pick up and continue during my free time at home. Perhaps I'll try reading it again in a few years.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kristin Boldon

    This contains Woolf's early stories she based Mrs. Dalloway on, essays by famous authors on Mrs. Dalloway and Woolf, then the text of the novel. I'm glad I had the Oxford World's Classic edition of the novel, as it had notes and the one in this reader is unannotated, though that would be helpful when I re-read it. Like any book, though, if you haven't read it before recently, I say read the novel first, then the introduction stuff. I read Mrs. Dalloway, then the introduction to that edition, the This contains Woolf's early stories she based Mrs. Dalloway on, essays by famous authors on Mrs. Dalloway and Woolf, then the text of the novel. I'm glad I had the Oxford World's Classic edition of the novel, as it had notes and the one in this reader is unannotated, though that would be helpful when I re-read it. Like any book, though, if you haven't read it before recently, I say read the novel first, then the introduction stuff. I read Mrs. Dalloway, then the introduction to that edition, then read The Hours, then read this, then watched The Hours and am very happy with that order of operations.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alissa Hattman

    An interesting collection of work surrounding Mrs. Dalloway, this book contains selections of Woolf's diaries, the original “Mrs. Dalloway's Party” short story, Woolf's notes, essays and stories by other writers who were inspired by Mrs. Dalloway, along with the final novel. Mrs. Dalloway is a superbly crafted novel, with dual narratives, intense back stories, and a profound reach of content . . . reading this coupled with her diary entries, her first short story, her notes on writing Mrs. Dallw An interesting collection of work surrounding Mrs. Dalloway, this book contains selections of Woolf's diaries, the original “Mrs. Dalloway's Party” short story, Woolf's notes, essays and stories by other writers who were inspired by Mrs. Dalloway, along with the final novel. Mrs. Dalloway is a superbly crafted novel, with dual narratives, intense back stories, and a profound reach of content . . . reading this coupled with her diary entries, her first short story, her notes on writing Mrs. Dallway and finally, how others have been influence by the book, made the reading of the novel all the more powerful.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Hilary

    Amazing book, can't believe I haven't read it before, nearly 100 years old and still original in thought and style. It's not just the story of Mrs Dalloway but a series of insights into a variety of people's minds who are all in some way linked to her and each other. The insights come from the varying characters internal dialogue and so range in ideas from women's rights to marriage to insanity to love to India to lesbianism (though not outrightly stated). A little dense but a breeze compared to Amazing book, can't believe I haven't read it before, nearly 100 years old and still original in thought and style. It's not just the story of Mrs Dalloway but a series of insights into a variety of people's minds who are all in some way linked to her and each other. The insights come from the varying characters internal dialogue and so range in ideas from women's rights to marriage to insanity to love to India to lesbianism (though not outrightly stated). A little dense but a breeze compared to James Joyce...

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    The disjointed writing, flowing from one character to the next without warning or even the start of a new paragraph was highly disconcerting for me. I found it nearly impossible to keep track of what character I was reading about at that moment, and trying to sort through the far too “poetic” and descriptive text was frustrating. I found the ending to be anti-climatic after such a tedious build up, and the thoughts of the crazy man especially annoying to muddle through. Not my favorite book ever The disjointed writing, flowing from one character to the next without warning or even the start of a new paragraph was highly disconcerting for me. I found it nearly impossible to keep track of what character I was reading about at that moment, and trying to sort through the far too “poetic” and descriptive text was frustrating. I found the ending to be anti-climatic after such a tedious build up, and the thoughts of the crazy man especially annoying to muddle through. Not my favorite book ever.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Elise Jensen

    So excited to be reading this and discussing it in a class with a professor for whom I have a very profound respect. When I read Mrs. Dalloway before, I felt like I was in a boat looking into a murky lake, but would then suddenly hit patches where I could see clear to the bottom. I remember feeling like if I could read this book and really understand it, I would understand the entire world better than I do now(other than this book, only certain poetry has ever made me feel that way).

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