Wednesday, October 2, 2019
Commerce, Politics and the City in A Room of Ones Own and Mrs. Dallowa
Commerce, Politics and the City in A Room of One's Own and Mrs. Dalloway Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã "...At this moment, as so often happens in London, there was a complete lull and suspension of traffic. Nothing came down the street; nobody passed. A single leaf detached itself from the plane tree at the end of the street, and in that pause and suspension fell. Somehow it was like a signal falling, a signal pointing to a force in things which one had overlooked ... Now it was bringing from one side of the street to the other diagonally a girl in patent leather boots and then a young man in a maroon overcoat; it was also bringing a taxi-cab; and it brought all three together at a point directly beneath my window; where the taxi stopped; and the girl and the young man stopped; and they got into the taxi; and the cab glided off as if it were swept on by the current elsewhere." (A Room of One's Own 100) Ã "Virginia Woolf" - the version of her that narrates the "events" of A Room of One's Own - observes the above urban scene from her window. In a pattern that she had perfected in Mrs. Dalloway four years earlier, the rhythms of urban existence are closely articulated with those of the natural world - and that rhythmic coordination in turn serves as a kind of authorization of that urban existence, a guarantee of the transcendent meaning of the evidently constructed human world. Thus the quietly definitive dropping of a leaf from its branch not only seems a sort of rhythmic blueprint for the ballet-like convergence of "girl," "man" and "taxi-cab", but also in fact the mystical cause of that convergence, a "signal" "bringing" this ... ...fied royal, the skywriting of an advertiser's airplane) are analogues of the narration's own confident focalizing sweep - now airborne, now moving down city streets, now fanning out across parks, always able to join disparate characters in a cohesive narrative line. But they are uneasy analogues, for they are patently the product not of some transcendent or natural meaning but of powerful modern interests: the nation, entertainment, commerce. Clarissa's intimations of timeless spiritual connectivity, and the narration's own performance of that connectivity, move in the grooves set down by these very modern institutions. Ã Ã Works cited: Ã Virginia Woolf. Mrs. Dalloway. London: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1925. Ã ____________. A Room of One's Own. London: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1929.