This first volume of its kind contains the complete text of and guide to Virginia Woolf's masterpiece, plus Mrs. Dalloway's Party and numerous journal entries and letters by Virginia Woolf relating to the book's genesis and writing. The distinguished novelist Francine Prose has selected these pieces as well as essays and appreciations, critical views, and commentary by writers famous and unknown. Now with additional scholarly commentary by Mark Hussey, professor of English at Pace University, this complete volume illuminates the creation of a celebrated story and the genius of its author.
Includes essays and commentary from:
E. M. Forster
An Introduction to Mrs. Dalloway
IT IS DIFFICULT-PERHAPS IMPOSSIBLE-FOR A WRITER TO SAY anything about his own work. All he has to say has been said as fully and as well as he can in the body of the book itself. If he has failed to make his meaning clear there it is scarcely likely that he will succeed in some pages of preface or postscript. And the author's mind has another peculiarity which is also hostile to introductions. It is as inhospitable to its offspring as the hen sparrow is to hers. Once the young birds can fly, fly they must; and by the time they have fluttered out of the nest the mother bird has begun to think perhaps of another brood. In the same way once a book is printed and published it ceases to be the property of the author; he commits it to the care of other people; all his attention is claimed by some new book which not only thrusts its predecessor from the next but has a way of subtly blackening its character in comparison with its own.
It is true that the author can if he wishes tell us something about himself and his life which is not in the novel; and to this effort we should do all tlÓ"