By Monica Latham (auth.)
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Extra resources for A Poetics of Postmodernism and Neomodernism: Rewriting Mrs Dalloway
18 Big Ben’s ‘leaden circles’ dissolving in the air becomes a refrain and a structural device in the novel, providing a regular and objective framework on which the characters’ multiple subjective times with their back and forth movements are set. The rough gems dug from previous versions are chiselled, worked on, expanded, developed, rendered more intricate and poetic to become underlying technical devices which sustain the whole novel. Big Ben shreds time, delimitates specific episodes, and is part of the world of exterior action, noises and events that interrupt the characters’ thoughts and trigger new points of view.
The parallelism between Clarissa and Septimus becomes more sustained in the published version of Mrs Dalloway in which Clarissa draws the conclusion herself: ‘She felt somehow very like him’ (Mrs Dalloway 158). They exist in their relationship to each other and their corresponding echoes give the Woolfian prose an inner twofold rhythm. The twinned resemblance and progress is efficiently established through intertextuality, too, which brings together the ‘heat o’ the sun’ and ‘the furious winter’s rages’.
This specific Dallowayism is duplicated by many contemporary authors in their urban novels, as we shall see in the following chapters of this book. 44 A Poetics of Postmodernism and Neomodernism On 19 June 1923 Woolf has increasing doubts about her writing which she feels should not just be mere poetic fabrications, but should spring from deep emotions. However, when diving too deep into emotion she fears reaching the autobiographic sphere (‘the mad part’), and has the feeling of writing essays about herself.
A Poetics of Postmodernism and Neomodernism: Rewriting Mrs Dalloway by Monica Latham (auth.)