By Monica Latham (auth.)
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Extra resources for A Poetics of Postmodernism and Neomodernism: Rewriting Mrs Dalloway
No, it is precisely half past eleven’ [‘The Hours’, Notebook One, Wussow 12; Mrs Dalloway 42]). 30 In Mrs Dalloway, Woolf reworks the portentous scope of time and turns it into a permanent backdrop that marks the characters’ progress throughout the day. It becomes an ‘armature for the multiplicity of consciousnesses’, ‘demarcat[ing] the thought flows of the characters’ (Chatman 277). Woolf clearly operates a shift from ‘The Hours’ to Mrs Dalloway, as ‘the hours’ lose their hegemonic role to become a technical prop, the prominent part – also reflected in the final title of the novel – being naturally given to Clarissa Dalloway.
And all must converge upon the party at the end My idea is to have some very [ ] characters, like Mrs Dalloway much in relief: then to have 26 A Poetics of Postmodernism and Neomodernism interludes of thought, or reflection, or short digressions (which must be related, logically, to the rest) all compact, yet not jerked. The Chapters might be, 1. Mrs. Dalloway in Bond Street. 2. The Prime Minister. 3. Ancestors. 4. A dialogue. 5. The old ladies 6. Country house? 7. Cut flowers. 8. The Party. One, roughly, to be done in a month: but this plan is to allow of some very short pages: intervals, not whole chapters.
Mrs. D. & Septimus. And the design is something like this – Mrs. D: ent comes on alone. (as in past Chapter:) We then go on to a general statement, introducing Septimus. They are linked together by the aeroplane. We then return to Mrs. D. alone in her drawing room & settle into her. (Notebook, Berg Collection, Wussow 414) Since the first two short stories were conceived as separate chapters, each with a different focus, Woolf’s growing preoccupation is to create cohesion in the new generic matrix that absorbs and develops the initial material.