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Mrs Dalloway (Oxford World's Classics) by Woolf, Virginia published by Oxford University Press (2008) Paperback

3.9 out of 5 stars 191 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • ASIN: B00E32JBF6
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (191 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 531,854 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Will be dispatched from UK. Used books may not include companion materials, may have some shelf wear, may contain highlighting/notes, may not include CDs or access codes. 100% money back guarantee.


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Format: Paperback
The name Virginia Woolf likely conjures the image of an important cultural figure, a significant writer, but one with an intimidating reputation. As such, readers may either stay away from her work or approach cautiously, expecting something wilfully obscure and deliberately difficult.

The truth is that, yes, Woolf's writing can be a challenge and the reason for that is mostly because it's so unique. We're used to plot- or character-driven novels, where things happen in some semblance of order, where there's narrative resolution, and often where you can dip in and out with ease. The stream-of-consciousness style that Woolf employs in "Mrs. Dalloway" (1925) shirks conventions and as a result it can be a disorientating read.

But that doesn't mean it can't be enjoyable. The thing to remember with "Mrs. Dalloway" is that it is not a plot-driven novel. As other reviewers have accurately stated, this is not a page-turner, not something to marvel at all the ingenious plot twists and turns. So why read it? The main thing I took away from "Mrs. Dalloway" was how much about the interior it is, and consequently how personal and intimate it feels. It's not "Mrs. Dalloway went up the stairs and sat down." It's all about inner thoughts, inner feelings, and as such this stream-of-consciousness style works wonders. We don't think in ordered sentences most of the time; our thoughts flit from one thing to another and we set off trains of thought and memory and memory association. The same is true of the writing in "Mrs. Dalloway"; there will sometimes be unexpected interjections and abrupt changes of thought process, which mimics our real human thought process.
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Format: Paperback
My favourite of Woolfs novels and also, I think, the most acessable to readers new to her work. It is the least complicated example of her style and the one where her stream of conciousness achieves its best synergy with characters and plot. Two central plotlines interweave, Mrs. Dalloway fighting submerged demons below a perfect veneer, while elsewhere in London Septimus Smith is overwhelmed by his. His character as a metaphor for the struggles in her mind works very well. Woolfs prose is on wonderful form here; with a clarity and beauty rarely matched it touches the heart, while opening a Bloomsbury cavern filled with class divide and false appearance. It is a very human, humane novel with a private, fragile quality that echoes it's themes - the mind, the life and marrying the two without harm.
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Format: Paperback
A book totally without airs and graces; unusual for literature stemming from early last century. Presumptions that the book is ragingly feminist are thrown out the window as soon as you begin to read. It is, however, very much a woman's world, and the psyche of many a female charcter is delved into - though the thoughts and emotions of males are also successfully explored and expressed.
A thoroughly modernist book, superbly written. Woolf engages the reader by investigating the power of an integral modernist device: the inner voice. Also, by dint of following a day in the life of various people who are simply trying to survive in the throbbing heart of the capital, the book is fast-paced and leaves the reader with the sensation that he/she is in London too. The characters are subtly and cleverly linked to one another, and the chief protagonist is intensely likeable - despite AND because of her flaws.
This book is brief, exciting, exhilirating and leaves one's head in the clouds for days afterwards. It is excellently structured and uses modernist literary methods cleverly and quietly. Very refreshing.
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By A Customer on 25 Aug. 2001
Format: Paperback
If you are looking for a novel packed with exciting events, a story that will keep you thinking 'What'll happen next?' then this is not the book for you. "Mrs Dalloway" does not have an exhilarating plot. It is not an eventful story. Neither is it peopled with unusual characters. It is, perhaps, a medium through which you might experience a 'moment of being', the sudden revelation central to Virginia Woolf's writing at its finest.
'Examine for a moment an ordinary mind on an ordinary day', suggests Virginia Woolf in "The Common Reader", 'The mind receives a myriad impressions....is it not the task of the novelist to convey this?' In "Mrs Dalloway" the cause-and-effect narrative of the realist tradition is abandoned. The 'scaffolding' of the realist plot is taken down; there is 'scarcely a brick to be seen' in this critique of social convention. Instead, Woolf's reader follows an apparently random chain of external happening and thought-processes that comprise a single day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway.
Consider the two-page section in which Mrs Dalloway has left her long-anticipated party in search of privacy. Woolf's use of free indirect interior monologue grants the reader access to the protagonist's mind as the principal chain-of-events is halted, the narrative infused with a sort of psychoanalytical free-association, as memories of Boughton and the past merge into London and the present: 'It held...something of her own in it...this sky above Westminster'. Woolf's prose concentrates on minor events and descriptive details that are insignificant in the context of linear progression, unable to be twisted into the 'realist' tradition of a causal plot. Look at how Mrs Dalloway's thought-process is snapped by a sudden interjection ('Oh, but how surprising!
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