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Monday, January 16, 2006

Reader's Diary #12- Virginia Woolf: Mrs. Dalloway (Up to 160)



I'm confused.
When Woolf sticks to one character at a time, I'm fine. I'm not sure I grasp everything at those moments but my attention doesn't waver off leaving me trying to figure out what the frig so-and-so is talking about. I've just finished reading about a luncheon party that Richard Dalloway (Clarissa's husband) was invited. If Woolf had let go the stream-of-consciousness thing here, or still had it contained within a single person (say Richard) perhaps I could have followed. But it jumps from one person to the next and I simply couldn't attend to anyone. I found myself thinking about a time I went to an arena full of people with my hearing impaired grandfather. His hearing aid was rendered useless and he simply had to shut it off, explaining later that it couldn't focus on or isolate one conversation and just magnified all the noise in the room. See the connection? Any ideas as to why Woolf felt the need to get inside the heads of so many characters from time to time?
Judging from the customer comments at Amazon.ca I'm not the first person to be confused by this book. Usually I wait until I finish a book before I check online customer reviews through Chapters.ca or Amazon.ca, just to see if others felt the same way as me (I've never read the customer reviews to decide whether or not to purchase). But with Mrs. Dalloway I cheated and read the reviews before finishing, to see if others had similar thoughts to my own or if I'm just a complete nimrod. Well, if I'm a nimrod, there's a lot of us out there (and I can take comfort in- or be terrified of- that). Do you read online customer reviews through Chapters or Amazon? Before, after or during reading?

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