My difficult relationship with Mrs Dalloway

difficult relationship with Mrs Dalloway

My difficult relationship with Mrs Dalloway had few stages.

Few years ago I bought myself a copy of Mrs Dalloway (in English) and I got stuck. I honestly I couldn’t go further than dozen pages because I had to translate so many of the words. Because I somehow knew that in this book every word matters.

Unfortunately I took me few years to get myself a polish copy of the book. I wanted to read it. But I wasn’t crazy about it. I’ve seen the movies based on Woolf’s life ad Woolf’s art and to be true I wanted to read it because it seems like I should. Only that. But then, I read “Room’s of its own” and my affair with Virginia Woolf got a bit more serious. I got intrigued not only by the “fame” of the books but by the author. By what she wanted to say.

I remember doing some research and listening a podcast about her. There was this story told by her nephew. He was little boy when he knew Virginia and he was talking about how curious she was about every detail of his life. Every second. When he was coming to visit, she was asking how he spent the morning and the asking more. And more. And even more…

I don’t remember the title of the podcast, but this story told by the old voice of Virginia’s nephew made a lasting impression. Because I could see it in Mrs. Dalloway. The gracious and beautiful attention. Because every word matters. This is why I couldn’t go further than dozen words while reading the original version.

I’m really happy that I finally read Mrs Dalloway. Mostly because it has so much in it. Even though, book is limited by the number of pages, there are no limitations in discovering and rediscovering the beauty and nostalgia of it. And of this passionate need to discover life…

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something by Virginia Woolf

somethig by Virginia Woolf

I wanted to read something by Virginia Woolf for a long time but till recently I haven’t had such chance. I tried once to read Mrs. Dalloway in English (and not  in Polish) but I failed tremendously. This gave me a  valuable lesson.  So I guessl learned from my own mistakes.  I bought myself a polish copy of “A Room of One’s Own” which was next on my list.

Reading this essay was quite surprising experience. Mostely because of the way it was written. I was expecting anger and yet, it is in some moments almost serene. The injustuice is pointed out so is inequality. But yet again, everything is written without this expected anger… There is this, almost preverbial, message that money and peace is necessary for artist to make art. But for me, this essay was about something more. It almost worn us, that anger can lead to bitterness. That even women are injust to each other. And that living the world fully and truthfully is the most important thing for an artist. Because it is world around us , which teaches and shapes up. And pretending someone else is just not an option. For those who wants to have a good life. Who wants to create a good art.

My polish version had a wonderful addition. There are 5 short stories about well known women: artists, writers or reporters. I was a bit sceptic in the beginning. Mostly because half of them I haven’t known. Those who I know, I haven’t liked. Yet those short stories shown the path of these women to the place were they are right now. To the place where they are free, independent, and I think, happy. Those stories shown that some things have changed, some have not. But still, they give hope. Even if overcoming stereotypse is still dificult, there is hope for the better

                                                                                                                   **** Something by Virginia Woolf in polish:)****

Od dawna chciałam przeczytać coś Virgini Woolf. Na początku sięgnęłam po Panią Dalloway – niestety po angielsku i to był mój błąd. Poległam całkowicie! Ale dało mi to do myślenia, i następną pozycję, esej “Mój własny pokój” zakupiłam już po polsku.

Oczekiwałam złości , jednak styl Virginii jest prawie pogodny i słoneczny. Niesprawiedliwości, nierówności były wytknięte, jednak cały ton jest spokojny, stonowany, przenikliwy. Dla mnie najważniejszym przekazem eseju nie był jednak przysłowiowy pokój, i pieniądze na utrzymanie a to, że gniew może prowadzić do zgorzknienia. Że kobiety same dla siebie nie są często sprawiedliwe. A także to, że najważniejsze jest przeżyć jak najwięcej, doświadczyć świata, być uczciwym i szczerym w stosunku do siebie jak i innych. Myślę, że to rady dobre nie tylko dla artystek i feministek.

Polska edycja książki ma cudowny dodatek jakim są historię znanych i lubianych polek. Artystek, pisarek, podróżniczek… Przyznam, że na początku byłam sceptyczna. Połowę z nich nie lubiłam, a drugą połowę znałam jedynie ze słyszenia. Jednak te historie pokazały jak znane kobiety poradziły sobie z przeciwnościami i trudnościami. By dotrzeć tam gdzie są. Pokazały że pewne rzeczy się zmieniły, część kompletnie nie. Jednak wydaje mi się, że te historie pokazały, że jest nadzieja. Na lepsze. W całkiem niedalekiej przyszłości.

 
 
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