Mrs. Dalloway (1-23-21) discussion by Mussmann
January 26th, 2021
Virginia Woolf was born 1882
and died 1941.
Nearly 5 decades have passed since my
first reading of Virginia Woolf—
then I was stuck and awed by her genius
She liberated me from so many things.
BUT As I look
so much has changed
—Now I am more aware
of the history and the place
of this great writers work.
Having been visited in the night
by many many thoughts
it has occurred to me that today
it is impossible to say all that needs
to be said about Virginia Woolf and
her importance to many of our lives.
Literature is key to living…
Now to proceed.
Mrs. Dalloway published in 1925— signaled the
birth of “stream of consciousness”—
Virginia Woolf broke the rules of the narrative with this book—
and this interior journey which takes place on a day in June
with Clarissa Dalloway has become a major literary work.
—as we near the 100 year
celebration of the publishing of MRS. DALLOWAY
—I want to place the work in time and space.
1914-1918 World War 1 a war that used — small arms, machine guns, poison gas. & trench warfare as the tools of war
—killing and wounding over a million British soldiers.
1915 GANDHI returns to India —marking the beginning of the end of British colonial rule.
1917 The Russian Revolution
1916 the birth of DADA—a movement in art that brought radical changes to music, dance, literature, theater, and art names such as Duchamp,, Schwitters, Satie, Nijinsky, Ball, Breton, Arp, Dali and more emerge—these creative people are seeing a world through another lens—often fractured—and non-narrative—music of Schoenberg developed the twelve-tone technique for example and Eric Satie’s music was the dawn of minimalism — Ballet was liberated by Nijinsky,
theater was assaulted by Alfred Jarry’s Ubu ROI,
and the visual arts looked more like the casualties of WWI— artist’s images were busted, shredded. grotesque—and abstract.
1918-1920 The Spanish Flu epidemic killed millions
Well Into the 1900s, homosexual activity remained illegal and punishable by imprisonment.
1921 Wittgenstein wrote the Tractatus Logico Philosophus
saying language is vague
and what we mean is never certain
and the essential work of words
is to assert or deny facts.
The World of Philosophy was up-ended by this work.
The early 1900’s John Maynard Keynes —Virginia’s friend and member of Bloomsbury circle brought major changes to economics—Keynes radical idea said government should spend money to mitigate recessions and depressions of post WW 1—giving birth to ides such as FDR’s New Deal here in America.
Now to begin again….
—for many Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway
by far exceeds James Joyces’ Ulysses—
Joyce takes us on a journey too—
a day in the life of Leopold Bloom.
Woolf was aware of James Joyce’s book
she wrote to T. S. ELIOT—
that she had read 200 pages and quit reading it
“never did any book so bore me”
she then returned to reading Proust’s
Remembrance of Things Past.
So much to say so little time—JUST AN ASIDE——
Virginia Woolf was key to the feminist movement
with her book called a ROOM OF ONE”S OWN
declaring that women need their own space was
the beginning of women gaining a place in a man’s world
for my generation.
FOR ME: Virginia Woolf
has been a major influence on my work as
a director and writer for the theater. I have
produced 3 events around Woolf’s writing.
in 1974 , & 1976 & 1978 using sections from
THE WAVES and THE MOMENT
Woolf’s Language is what makes her perfect
for the stage. —————
Now to begin again——
Clarissa reflects past, present and future
just like now—as we now are forced
to be in her position
to reflect on our lives—
as the pandemic of the 21st century now
visits us and pushes us into our own
—it is a perfect
time to re-consider the importance of
this book and —Virginia Woolf—
as we change so does this revisiting