Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Mrs. Dalloway summary

Links to the Mrs. Dalloway posts are below, but I thought I would spend a little space on some works that pay homage to the novel and to Woolf herself. I'm sure there are more, but I'm aware of three works that tie in directly to the Mrs. Dalloway:

The Hours was also made into the 2002 movie with Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore and Meryl Streep. While I haven't read any of the books, I have seen the movie recently and will comment on it. I won't rehash the movie (which you can find more information at IMDB), but a few points stood out for me.

The theme of an entire life played out in a day is illustrated very well, as is the tie-ins between all three stories. There is even a To the Lighthouse reference when Richard Brown (played by Ed Harris) wonders if his work will live on past his death. Also emphasized are the moments that make life worth living and which may change everything. Richard Brown's quote on trying to capture any moment in writing (hopefully this is accurate) shows the difficulty an artist faces: "No matter what you start out with, it ends up being less." Even thought the moment can not be fully captured, the moment itself is still real and intense. In the movie there were no flashbacks but several allusions or stories told about previous times. In addition, the section on Woolf flashes forward to her suicide. I wish the movie would have added flashbacks to flesh out the allusions, but I can see where that would have been confusing. As in Mrs. Dalloway, death is never far away and the question of what keeps us living is raised repeatedly. The answers are different, but communication and interaction with other people factor in all of them (even if it is their rejection). My main complaint would be that the concerns of some characters wondering 'why stay alive' variesand some feel trite compared to Mrs. Dalloway. I recommend the movie even with the reservations.

Here are my posts related to Mrs. Dalloway:

Mrs. Dalloway resources online
Mrs. Dalloway discussion: one
Mrs. Dalloway discussion: two
Mrs. Dalloway discussion: three

Mrs. Dalloway, 1997 movie

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