Do you agree with SWB?

04 Aug

In The Well-Educated Mind Susan Wise Bauer has an annotated list of the novels.  Fearful of spoilers, I avoid this list until after I have completed a book, then I scoop up my WEM copy and devour SWB’s synopsis.  Have you read her summary of Mrs. Dalloway?  Allow me to share a little.

But the story actually takes place not in the physical world, but in a different kind of universe: a mental reality, where the laws that given time and space are different, where characters who never meet in person intersect, mysteriously, in their thoughts…

Yep.  We’re in agreement.  Definitely “a mental reality”.
The quote continues.

and where Septimus and Clarissa, unacquainted with each other, are mirror images.

Hold the phone!  Really?  Mirror images?
Party-planning lady?  Suicide-committing man?

Septimus is unable to cope with disrupted, shattered, post-World War I England; Clarissa Dalloway survives, but only because she refuses to think deeply…          (The Well-Educated Mind,  page 103)

Mirror images, huh.  This I will have to ponder.
Do you agree with SWB?


Posted by on August 4, 2013 in Mrs. Dalloway


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2 responses to “Do you agree with SWB?

  1. Ruth @ Experiment with The Well-Educated Mind

    August 4, 2013 at 11:09 am

    I never read her synopsis, but since you posted it, I think I do agree that Mrs. D is like Sept. I know people like Mrs. D. who never face reality or cannot deal w/ their reality, and they “appear like” they enjoy life the most b/c they are always in entertainment mode. Everything is great! It’s like a facade.

  2. Tonia

    August 4, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Yup, I do agree with Susan WB – while they are completely different in their “physical” world – their minds are similar but their reactions are different. Septimus can’t deal with his reality as a deep thinker while Clarissa refuses to think at all. And, in the end, she finds his decision to commit suicide a brave act.


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