Monday, January 28, 2013

Teaser Tuesday 160: Mrs. Dalloway

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current book or recent read.
* Share a few "teaser" sentences from somewhere in the book.
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away. You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title and author so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teaser!


I am just starting Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf for a GoodReads group read. I am looking forward to getting into it, but hope it doesn't take all week to finish. Here's a teaser from the first page:


What a lark! What a plunge! For so it had always seemed to her, when, with a little squeak of the hinges, which she could hear now, she had burst open the French windows and plunged at Bourton into the open air. How fresh, how calm, stiller than this of course, the air was in the early morning; like the flap of a wave; the kiss of a wave; chill and sharp and yet (for a girl of eighteen as she then was) solemn, feeling as she did, standing there at the open window, that something awful was about to happen; looking at the flowers, at the trees with the smoke winding off them and the rooks rising, falling . . .
 

(page one)



FROM GOODREADS:

One of Virginia Woolf's best-known novels, Mrs. Dalloway details a day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway in post-World War I England.

Created from two short stories, "Mrs. Dalloway in Bond Street" and the unfinished "The Prime Minister", the novel's story is of Clarissa's preparations for a party of which she is to be hostess. With the interior perspective of the novel, the story travels forwards and back in time and in and out of the characters' minds to construct an image of Clarissa's life and of the inter-war social structure.

Heralded as Virginia Woolf's greatest novel, this is a vivid portrait of a single day in a woman's life. When we meet her, Mrs. Clarissa Dalloway is preoccupied with the last-minute details of party preparation while in her mind she is something much more than a perfect society hostess. As she readies her house, she is flooded with remembrances of faraway times. And, met with the realities of the present, Clarissa reexamines the choices that brought her there, hesitantly looking ahead to the unfamiliar work of growing old.

"Mrs. Dalloway was the first novel to split the atom. If the novel before Mrs. Dalloway aspired to immensities of scope and scale, to heroic journeys across vast landscapes, with Mrs. Dalloway Virginia Woolf insisted that it could also locate the enormous within the everyday; that a life of errands and party-giving was every bit as viable a subject as any life lived anywhere; and that should any human act in any novel seem unimportant, it has merely been inadequately observed. The novel as an art form has not been the same since.

"Mrs. Dalloway also contains some of the most beautiful, complex, incisive and idiosyncratic sentences ever written in English, and that alone would be reason enough to read it. It is one of the most moving, revolutionary artworks of the twentieth century."
--Michael Cunningham, author of The Hours



26 comments:

Sandy Nachlinger said...

Oooh. I think I'd like this book. I love the flow of the words in your teaser.
My Teaser is from CONFESSIONS OF A PREDATORY LENDER.

Shelley Munro said...

I don't think this is my kind of book, but the writing is very lyrical.

Beth Starr said...

Very intriguing! I think I may need to add this to my TBR list.

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

I do love the teaser...and I've been curious about this book since reading The Hours....

But I tried to read another book of Woolf's...To the Lighthouse....and just couldn't get into it.

I'll be interested in your thoughts on this one.

Here's MY TUESDAY MEMES POST

Harvee@BookDilettante said...

Excellent writing, of course....
Here's mine: Dearest Rose

Tribute Books Mama said...

A captivating teaser.

http://tributebooksmama.blogspot.com/2013/01/teaser-tuesday_29.html

Heather said...

Sandy: Woolf is known for her "stream of consciousness" writing -- the way sentences run into one another as one's thoughts often do. Not too far into this one yet, but hope to make some progress today.

Heather said...

Shelley: I can't tell yet whether I'll like this one or not, but I do like Woolf's writing style.

Heather said...

Beth Starr: This one has been languishing in my TBR pile at least three years now. I figured it was high time I got to it. Having it chosen as a group read helps.

Heather said...

Laurel-Rain: I read To the Lighthouse a couple years ago, and while it was difficult to get into at first, I did like it, and finished in only a couple of days. Have not seen The Hours, though it is one I would like to see.

Heather said...

Harvee: But of course! She had a distinctive writing style, to be sure.

Heather said...

Thanks, Tribute, and thanks for visiting!

Natasha said...

I like the writing style to this book!

Here's my TT!

Heather said...

Thanks, Natasha, I do as well.

Allison said...

I remember seeing this movie in theaters, but I haven't read the book to which it was based on. Holy long sentences! LOL.

I have been meaning to pick up Mrs. Dalloway for a while now. :)

My teaser is: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

Allison
Book Reviews

DawnTreader said...

Hard to believe at first that passage was not more than two sentences! I've not read the book. Maybe some time...

Alice Audrey said...

The language seems a little over the top to me. I though maybe she'd attempted suicide with that plunging bit.

If you like Nora and crime books you will adore JD Robb.

Nash Nordin said...

Haven't heard of the book. But interesting teaser.

ai love books

Yvonne said...

Sounds like a good read!

Heather said...

Allison: I honestly did not know there was a movie, but am somehow not surprised. And yes, Woolf does tend to have long, meandering sentences, lol.

Heather said...

DawnTeador: Uh-huh -- and I even cut off the second sentence about halfway through, lol. Makes it a little hard to concentrate when you're tired. *g*

Heather said...

Alice: "The over-the-top" language is typical of Woolf, from what little I have read of hers. I may have to borrow the first JD Robb one of these days from a friend. Maybe. LOL

Heather said...

Thanks, Nash. Though considered one of Woolf's best, I don't think it makes a lot of "top" classics lists, yet for some reason I've been seeing it mentioned quite a lot lately around sites I frequent.

Heather said...

Thanks, Yvonne, I hope it is. Still haven't got too far into it.

kelley jensen said...

I couldn't get into it

Heather said...

Kelley: I take it you've tried to read it?