mrs. dalloway, poor little alex

Here be a couple of books that I should have read years and years ago.


Mrs. Dalloway


Must I add to the noise? What else can be said when so many papers have been written about this Woolf masterpiece, the novel dissected, turned inside-out like a corpse. But a corpse this is not; it is a living, throbbing wound, it is a commentary on an age summed up in an incredible account of a day, it is London filled with imagery and memories. Clarissa decides to choose the flowers herself and steps out, and we follow.

(The version I read had an introduction, and according to this, Virginia Woolf thought James Joyce was “flashy” and a “show-off”. See that? That made me love her more! Gurl tells it like it is!)

(You want to see a map of the walks of the Mrs. Dalloway characters? Check this out.)


A Clockwork Orange


Finally! The final chapter that Stanley Kubrick did not film, the portion removed from the US version of this novel (thank goodness I was able to borrow the English version), Alex’s “moral growth”, the picture of the baby in his pocket. I am cured all right, says our bezoomny narrator, and Kubrick’s film ends there, the US version ends there. But Alex turns eighteen, becomes restless, feels an emptiness. He enters a coffee shop and meets his old droog, Peter, and something hits home. Not every young man with Alex’s criminal history lives long enough to have this realization. He is very lucky. He walks away from the shop and does not invite us to come with him, but he promises a new life. I wish him all the best.

(In the film version, he is Alexander DeLarge, but in the book Alex’s family name is never given. However the introduction offers an interesting reading into his first name: A-lex, “without law, outside of the law”.)

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