Friday, September 21, 2007
"She had the perpetual sense, as she watched the taxi cabs, of being out, far out to sea and alone; she always had the feeling that it was very dangerous to live even one day." Virginia Woolf... from Mrs. Dalloway
This is one of the most beautiful novels I have read. It's a classic because Mrs. Woolf is able to express in clear language the agony and the ecstasy of life from suicide and depression caused by the inhumanity of man, little annoyances, slight inconveniences and differences of temperament to the total rapture of music and sunsets and flowers. Reading this book is an experience in the polarities of life and empathy. Empathy because you are able to see into the hearts of Clarissa, Peter, Richard, Elizabeth, Septimus and others. You see the bad and the good and love them as they struggle.
There is a thread throughout woven of lilies and roses. There is a hope that beauty will bring love, healing and peace. I loved this quote from the thoughts of Septimus before his suicide, "He had only to open his eyes; but a weight was on them; a fear. He strained; he pushed; he looked; he saw Regent's Park before him. Long streamers of sunlight fawned at his feet. The trees waved, brandished. We welcome, the world seemed to say; we accept; we create. Beauty, the world seemed to say. And, as if to prove it (scientifically) wherever he looked at the houses, at the railing, at the antelopes stretching over the palings, beauty sprang instantly. To watch a leaf quivering in the rush of air was an exquisite joy. Up in the sky swallows swooping, swerving, flinging themselves in and out, round and round yet always in perfect control as if elastics held them... the sun spotting now this leaf, now that... dazzling it with soft gold in pure good temper... beauty was the truth now; beauty was everywhere."
There is so much to say about this book. It would be make a great book club discussion. I hope you have the chance to read it some time. :)