NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)

Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!

Lezlie



Sunday, February 3, 2008

MRS. DALLOWAY by Virginia Woolf




Mrs. Dalloway is one of those books that make me wish I had gone to college, studied literature, and had the intellectual tools to truly analyze what I’m reading. Peter said that my realization that I was missing something was a good start to my personal independent studies. (That’s what I get for being married to a college professor.)

I discovered quite quickly that I had to slow down and read very carefully, that this was not your average story. My understanding is that Mrs. Dalloway is, in a manner of speaking, Virginia Woolf’s response to James Joyce’s Ulysses, which I have not yet read and she apparently hated. (If anyone knows this to be true or not, please set me straight. I’m just repeating what I read somewhere.) Upon reflection, I liked the “stream-of-consciousness” writing style. I was thoroughly confused at first, but once I began taking my time and just let the words flow in their own time and manner, I found myself caught up in the moments of the lives and private, scattered thoughts of the characters. The whole story takes place over the course of a single day and moves seamlessly from character to character as their paths cross during their daily activities. Pasts are revealed during snippets of conversations and meandering personal musings that occasionally became hard for me to follow. However, I was deeply intrigued by the book as a whole. I can’t say I loved it, but as my understanding of literature matures (assuming that it does), Mrs. Dalloway is a book I will come back to.

Lezlie

8 comments:

joanna said...

Hmmm... Mrs. Dalloway is on my list too and I always found it daunting... Now I'm even more scared of it! ;-) I bet I end up with the more "serious" books unread at the end of the year!

writer2b said...

Hi there,

I just finished this, and read the same thing about it being a response to 'Ulysses.' I haven't really investigated what that means, though! All I remember about reading 'Ulysses' for English class years ago is being massively confused...

I have a border collie too. My whole life, my family has had them. Wonderful creatures. It's hard to imagine any other kind of dog as a pet.

Lezlie said...

Joanna ~ Don't let it scare you! It is fascinating to read. I just had to take it slower than the speed at which I normally read. Now that I've had a few days away from it, I find I keep thinking about bits and pieces of the story. That's why I don't rate books. My opinion sometimes changes once I've had time to think about it.


Writer2B ~ Aren't BC's just the best!?!? Now that we've had them, I can't imagine life without one. They're like having little, fuzzy people in the house! Check back next week and I'll post how their agility competition goes on Sunday. We've been away for about 5 months, so it will be really exciting to get back into the ring. I know Max and Skye will be thrilled!!

Chain Reader said...

I remember reading Mrs. Dalloway while camping! It seems to me that it didn't flow like I would think stream-of-consciousness would--it had points where it was jagged, if that makes any sense. I still liked it, but didn't love it.

Lezlie said...

Chain Reader ~ I would have thought the same thing. But then I realized that the thoughts roaming in my own head rarely travel a linear path. They're all over the place! I'm with you, though. Liked it, didn't love it. All rights reserved to change my roaming mind at any time. :-)

Lezlie

alisonwonderland said...

i started Mrs. Dalloway in December - and i'm still working at it. i want to love it, but it's not happening. after a day or two at it, i read The Hours by Michael Cunningham (which was inspired by Mrs. Dalloway) and found it more readable. i'm committed to finishing Mrs. Dalloway but i'm not sure when ...

Ramya said...

i just started reading mrs.dalloway and it didnt seem as easy a read as i expected it to be.. it seems different and i want to read it fully.. but i am not sure i will! but reading your blog has made me put in a little more effort and try to finish it.. maybe i'll change my opinion of it in a while...

Lezlie said...

Ramya ~ I also was expecting something else when I read it, though I'm not certain what that was. I'll be curious to see your thoughts if you do finish it up. The fact that it's not very long makes it a little easier. :-)

Lezlie