and then there was Mrs. D

18 Jun

I have read nineteen classic novels.  For more than two years I have been working on this DIY master’s degree, playing by the journaling “rules” of the program.  My classmates and I have shared how we each tackle the note-taking part of this course.  I confess there have been times when in the heat of finishing a book, the summarizing has suffered.  Carefully crafted sentences written in a notebook become a hastily scribbled fragments in the book’s margins.  I am fine with that.

I am not fine with journaling Mrs. Dalloway.

Mrs. Dalloway is a book of thoughts and memories (read that as no plot).  At first I thought I would focus on characters.  I would list the names and add quotes and descriptions, sketching out what makes Clarissa Clarissa and  Peter Peter.MRs. D notes 1

Twenty-four pages into the book there was a break.  I noted it in my journal.  But I couldn’t list the fact under any particular character, so I started a new page.  Now I’m listing descriptions of characters, and I am listing events.  But sometimes my events are things like…”Clarissa sits in a chair and reminisces about memories from the past.  Peter is in the same room doing the same thing.”Mrs. D notes 2

Tell me readers:  How are you managing notes for this novel?


Posted by on June 18, 2013 in Mrs. Dalloway


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2 responses to “and then there was Mrs. D

  1. Ruth @ Experiment with The Well-Educated Mind

    June 18, 2013 at 8:59 am

    I started taking notes on characters as well, but that did not last long at all.

    Then I took personal notes on my feelings about characters (which is after I did some research on how to survive Mrs. Dalloway.) I had no structure to my note taking.

    Now I just note what I think are important points of interest, such as the whole car incident which is quite a spectacle. I also write down essential ideas like “love makes one solitary.” I may have no idea what it means, but it sounds important and may lead to something; or that Peter is a “romantic buccaneer.” That just sounds cool. And sometimes I just write down my own questions w/ a page numbers attached. For example: Who is the solitary traveler? That means I didn’t get it and I may need to go back.

    Basically, I am all over the place, and TWEM note taking does not make provisions for this novel.

  2. Tonia

    June 18, 2013 at 9:39 am

    I’m finding this one tough to follow too! I just decided I’d start a new section whenever it switches to another character. I just write their name in the margin and underline it and just continue on. I write down whatever seems like a meaningful thought, whatever action is taking place, etc. for each character.


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