First let’s talk readability, because this pretty much entailed my initial reaction to this book. Gah! This book has no chapters! Such a small thing to throw me off, but I have to be honest with you this no chapter thing is exhausting. I need my chapter breaks so I know when to stop reading and take a break. In addition to the lack of chapters the style of writing that focuses on inner narration is bit like following the Rabbit down into Wonderland. Holy hell I found it so confusing at first. I had to keep going back and re-reading paragraphs over because what I read was not sitting with me. The story feels like it is pure ambient noise and literally about nothing. I’m still wondering what the hell it is about and what the author is trying to say. Hopefully it will become clearer the farther into the book I go.
So I touched on the things I am not really enjoying so far in my initial reaction to the beginning of this book. I’d like to say that I’m not totally hating it, it just hasn’t clicked with me yet. I am enjoying all the movement going on around Clarissa Dalloway as she goes through her day. Woolf keeps marking the time as the day progresses as well along with all the movement so I’m guessing that is going to play a part in this story. I’m not sure but that’s just the impression I’m getting at this half-way point. I can’t say there is any one character that I like or dislike at this point. I need to read a bit more before I can determine that because they are all just a blur right now. They come and go so fast.
I am annotating as I read and here are some lines that I like so far.
“She would not say of any one in the world that they were this or were that. She felt very young; at the same time unspeakably aged. She sliced like a knife through everything; at the same time was outside, looking on. She had a perpetual sense, as she watched the taxi cabs, of being out, far out to the sea and alone; she always had the feeling that it was very, very dangerous to live even one day. Not that she thought herself clever, or much out of the ordinary. How she had got through life on the few twigs of knowledge Fraulein Daniels gave them she could not think. She knew nothing; no language, no history; she scarcely read a book now, except memoirs in bed; and yet to her it was absolutely absorbing; all this; the cabs passing; and she would not say of Peter, she would not say of herself, I am this, I am that.”
“One feels even in the midst of the traffic, or waking at night, Clarissa was positive, a particular hush, or solemnity; an indescribable pause; a suspense before Big Ben strikes. There! Out it boomed. First a warning, musical; then the hour, irrevocable.”
Let’s chat! Are you reading along? If so, what are some of your favorite lines that you have read so far?