By Monica Latham (auth.)
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Extra info 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.
Her personality is created obliquely, through the kaleidoscopic glimpses of various observers. Characters such as Peter Walsh, Sally Seton, Doris Kilman, Scrope Purvis, and others, reflect on her while we also have access to her abundant thoughts. Clarissa’s portrayal thus follows the same pattern as Septimus’s: the reader gets to know her through a balanced combination of externality and internality, action and thought, past and present. At the same time as creating correlations between Septimus and Clarissa, the writer is considering linking their corresponding chapters by means of choruses.
This scrupulous attention given ‘The Dressing-rooms’ 33 to the fluidity and consistence of the prose as well as to the plunging into and emergence from the characters’ expanding thoughts constitutes a characteristic that many contemporary authors today adopt to fashion their own prose. The next notebook entry reveals the careful thought given to the circadian dimension of the novel and its divisions, which are strategically planned around the clock. The writer’s intention is to slice up the day into temporal blocks, each containing both external events and characters’ introspections.