Sunday, June 16, 2013

Persevering through Mrs. Dalloway

reading at The Huntington

I am almost half way through Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf; my daily quota is about fourteen pages a day - it is not broken up into chapters - in order to complete my reading in two weeks.  No matter what I do or where I go, I always bring Mrs. Dalloway and find time to read.

An interesting tidbit about this novel is that it is not like any other reading experience I have had from TWEM.  I can be in a highly distractible environment, such as sitting on my front porch while the kids ride their wiggle cars full speed down the driveway toward the street, forcing me to stop reading and look up in horror each time they need to turn toward the sidewalk away from the street, and yet I never loose my mental place in the story as I would with, say, Crime and Punishment or Anna Karenina, which required studious concentration.  That's because there really is no story in Mrs. Dalloway.  

Since Virginia Woolf spends a lot of time on the inner voice of the characters, I have been paying close attention to my own.  This is what I have discovered: The voices in Mrs. Dalloway are highly believable and demonstrate how scattered we are in our thought processes.  Our minds are full of memories of the past set off by triggers in the present.  We connect everything.  We often privately critique the actions and behaviors of others, don't we?  And I bet we do think in an over abundance of semicolons.  So I have been made more aware of my own inner voice and, as I have said before, it is loud, even while I read.  It is also always on and never shuts up, which sometimes can be extremely intrusive.

Whatever the case, I am persevering through Mrs. Dalloway, and I am grateful that I found some help to do so because it is my intent to read every book on TWEM list, even if it is difficult.

How about you?  Have you gleaned anything new from reading Mrs. Dalloway?

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