Mrs Dalloway

“What does the brain matter compared with the heart?”

Virginia Woolf

I have a confession to make: I finished this book and then immediately forgot everything that happened in it. This was almost certainly to do with the fact that I was in a Cloud Atlas-induced daze (more on this tomorrow), as well as the fact that I just didn’t care about Clarissa or Septimus or Sally Seton or any of the unfortunate souls who inhabit Mrs Dalloway.

That’s not to say that I hated the novel: it was all right to read, the prose style was elegant and uncomplicated (a nice break from the overwrought Modernist novels I’ve been reading this term), and there were some interesting themes running through it – Time, and death, that sort of thing. The plot was a bit thin – a “day in the life” story following the socialite Mrs Dalloway and shell-shocked Septimus through a sunny June day in 1920s London. But then Mrs Dalloway is only 100 pages long.

Mrs Dalloway was – forgettable, really. Not bad, not good, just forgettable.

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