Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.

The experience of reading Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, watching Mrs. Dalloway the movie, then reading Michael Cunningham's The Hours and watching its movie adaptation is mind-blowing. I loved it. The whole amazing experience gave me several mental/intellectual orgasms. I am so grateful to be doing graduate work that I love. It's wonderful to a get master's degree for something you love. It's wonderful that my homework is to read a novel and then the novel is discussed in class.

Mrs. Dalloway is a dense and complex novel that takes a lot of time, energy, and concentration to read, understand, and appreciate. It is worth all the effort. It's a beautiful, insightful, and haunting novel. Mrs. Dalloway follows the thoughts of three charcters over the course of a single day in 1923 - and they intersect in their thoughts.

If you don't understand or appreciate Mrs. Dalloway, read The Hours next. It will help you understand and appreciate Mrs. Dalloway. The Hours is an insightful and haunting novel. (Not as beautiful as Mrs. Dalloway though because Woolf's prose is more lyrical than Cunningham's.) The Hours follows the thoughts of three characters over the course of a single day - and they intersect in their thoughts. (Sound familiar?) In the novel, Virginia Woolf is writing Mrs. Dalloway in 1923, Laura Brown is reading Mrs. Dalloway in 1949, and Clarissa Vaughan is a contemporary (end of the twentieth century) version of Mrs. Dalloway. The Hours revisits, echoes, parallels, mirrors, reimagines, reworks, and pays homage/tribute to Virginia Woolf and Mrs. Dalloway.

Now I want to read Mrs. Dalloway again.

P.S. Next up is "The Dead" by James Joyce and To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf.

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