by Virginia Woolf
I’ve been a little nervous about writing something about this book since I don’t have any special insights into it, or opinions. But I have to talk about it, because I have such a deep, wonderful feeling of delight. I enjoyed this book on so many levels. The writing is incredible, and distinctively different. From the description on the back I was led to believe that the book followed the events in a day of Clarissa Dalloway’s life, which it does. However the other people she encounters, and the way the threads of the story flow from them to still other people, made the short book seem like a huge experience. I was caught up in it in a way I haven’t encountered before. I wanted to read it all in one sitting, but at the same time wanted it to last as long as possible. I thought about it frequently when I wasn’t reading it. I was intrigued by the headlong rush of the storytelling, which was at the same time a leisurely meander through a warm June day in London.
I think that is what fascinated me most about the book – the steady passing of physical time, and the internal, often hectic, passage of time as shown by the variety of characters. The book offered me a visual (oddly enough) of the incredible internal dialogue that accompanies every aspect of our lives, and is often more real than the physical world around us. The events in a day, and the internal events ought to provide a constant balance, but this book also clearly showed what can happen when one or the other starts to dominate. The book was a brilliant study of that, as well as fulfilling on an emotional and even entertaining level.
I finished it almost a week and a half ago, and I’m still thinking about it frequently. I feel an intense desire to read it again, this time with more attention to detail and with less distractions from my real life interupting me. My original feeling that the book wanted to be read in a quiet, sunny room is even stronger now, and that is definitely where I want to read it for the second time – someone please find me the room and the time! 🙂
I would love to hear anyone else’s thoughts about the book – especially your first time reading it. I just don’t want to let it go yet. 🙂