For the next few days, I am going to be posting about some of my favorite books. To get things rolling, I decided to begin with a few passages from my very favorite, Mrs. Dalloway. Ive decided not to wax on about its brilliance, as I've done so before, but I also couldn't imagine compiling favorites and not letting Clarissa have her moment. The doodle above is one of my most prized editions (I have too many to count). Sticking out from the side are two bits of paper, one a copy of a poem from the Antioch Review, and the other a copy of Wilfred Owen's "Dulce Et Decorum Est." I stuck them in the pages the very first time I read this copy, which was actually the very first time I read the novel, and they feel as much a part of the book as Woolf's own writing.
For now, here are a few of my favorite bits from this lovely novel:
"She would not say of anyone in the world now 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, out, far out to sea and alone; she always had the feeling it was very, very dangerous to live even one day."
"For he would say it in so many words when he came into the room. Because it is a thousand pities never to say what one feels."
"It was to explain the feeling they had of dissatisfaction; not knowing people; not being known. For how could they know each other? You met every day; then not for six months, or years. It was unsatisfactory, they agreed, how little one knew people. But she said, sitting on the bus going up Shaftesbury Avenue, she felt herself everywhere; not "here, here, and here"; and she tapped the edge of the seat; but everywhere. She waved her hand, going up Shaftesbury Avenue. She was all that. So that to know her, or any one, one must seek out the people that completed them; even the places. Odd affinities with people she had never spoken to, some woman in the street, some man behind the counter - even trees or barns. It ended in a transcendental theory which, with her horror of death, allowed her to believe, or say that she believed (for all her skepticism), that since our apparitions, the part of us which appears, are so momentary when compared with the other, the unseen part of us, which spreads wide, the unseen might survive, be recovered somehow attached to this person or that, or even haunting certain places after death...perhaps - perhaps."