“- as if it were the evening and girls in muslin frocks came out to pick sweet peas and roses after the superb summer’s day, with its almost blue-back sky, its delphiniums, its carnations, its arum lilies was over; and it was the moment between six and seven when every flower – roses, carnations, irises, lilac-glows; white, violet, red, deep orange; every flower seems to burn by itself, ….” Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf 1925
Was her stream of consciousness as effective as I remembered? Having just read Joyce and Faulkner, would Woolf hold up the banner? They were doing similar things at similar times – pushing literary boundaries for a new expression. Similar to the art periods of cubism before and abstract expressionism after, new languages were emerging and acceptance was slow. But Woolf does indeed deliver. Entering and exiting Clarissa’s mind as she goes about her day is a whirlwind of emotion. That’s what I was looking for with this painting of the flower shop. She enters and the flowers completely take over her thoughts and being – all her senses. It’s an overwhelming passage as is much of this book as it skirts and delves into a variety of issues including mental illness. The post traumatic stress that seems to be the modern day concern.
Woolf seems to invite visual imagery and that encourages me with this project. The sense of changing time within the characters’ thoughts makes me want to show all these books and paintings together to get a sense of different times happening simultaneously.