Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (Banned Books Week)
Mrs. Clarissa Dalloway is preparing for a party. As she walks through London on a fine June morning, picking up fresh flowers, decorations, and finding just the right dress. As she prepares her home for the event, she is flooded with memories of her past -from Peter Walsh, whom she spurned years ago, to her daughter Elizabeth, the girl’s angry teacher, Doris Kilman, and war-shocked Septimus Warren Smith, who is sinking into madness.
As preparetions for the party continue, a series of events intrudes on her composure. Her husband is invited, without her, to lunch with Lady Bruton (who, Clarissa notes anxiously, gives the most amusing luncheons). Meanwhile, Peter Walsh appears, recently from India, to criticize and confide in her. His sudden arrival evokes memories of a distant past, the choices she made then, and her wistful friendship with Sally Seto…
Hmmmm…. as close the book on Mrs. Dalloway I am left with this one lingering thought…
I have never read anything by Virginia Woolf before, and with banned book week upon us I felt that this would be a great time to read this book I picked up earlier this year at a sale… this book, Mrs. Dalloway which is considered to be Virginia Woolf’s best book, as well as a banned book.
As I read through this 177 page read I found it to be rather detail oriented, flitting from one topic and one character to the next. The twenty plus characters al play a role in Clarissa’s memories but also you get a peek into their own as well. The book is to be a day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway as she deals with the present and the past. Really for a book published in 1925, the idea behind the book is brilliant.
There are strong subject matters that float through the pages…. feminism, suicide, and apparently referenced homosexuality (more on that at the bottom of this review)
I think for me, who has recently been immersed in dystopia fiction, a steampunk novel on audio, as well as a modern-day thriller…. I found Mrs. Dalloway to be a bit of a bore. I hate to say that I do…. but being honest here, the book more than likely came to me at the wrong time. It happens.
Am I glad I had an opportunity to try Virginia Woolf? Yes. But as for me and Mrs. Dalloway, I think we are going to agree to part ways as mere acquaintances.
“It’s not you Clarissa, it’s me. “
So… Mrs. Dalloway? Why are you a Banned book?
Mrs. Dalloway was banned in some communities because of the homosexual attraction of Clarissa to Sally at Bourton. Apparently there is a reference as well of Septimus being haunted by the image of his dear friend Evans. Evans, his commanding officer, is described as being “undemonstrative in the company of women”.
I purchased this book earlier this year at a library sale for my classic collection