By Monica Latham (auth.)
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Extra info for A Poetics of Postmodernism and Neomodernism: Rewriting Mrs Dalloway
And the design is something like this – Mrs. D: ent comes on alone. (as in past Chapter:) We then go on to a general statement, introducing Septimus. They are linked together by the aeroplane. We then return to Mrs. D. alone in her drawing room & settle into her. (Notebook, Berg Collection, Wussow 414) Since the first two short stories were conceived as separate chapters, each with a different focus, Woolf’s growing preoccupation is to create cohesion in the new generic matrix that absorbs and develops the initial material.
Where to send him? (‘The Hours’, Notebook One, Wussow 138) ‘the gravity of the suicidal impulse must be determined’ (‘The Hours’, Notebook One, Wussow 138) The diagnostic is thus spelled out: ‘& here was a sceptical, difficult case, one of those cases that getting commoner – young men of brains; the war having accustomed them to violence’ (‘The Hours’, Notebook One, Wussow 141). In Mrs Dalloway Woolf reworks the narrative voice and tones it down: it now offers fewer explanations and logical links.
Both Clarissa and Septimus witness this event and their gazes converge towards the car. ‘She too looked’ (320); ‘for thirty seconds all heads, whether bare or bonneted, were inclined the same way – to the window – ’ (320). The Prime Minister’s car constitutes the first invisible thread created in the new novel to link Clarissa and Septimus. At the end of this episode, another connector towards which the people’s gazes converge is devised: ‘yes, everyone was looking up – was an aeroplane, writing letters in the sky.