Monday or Tuesday, Or Woolfing Along After All

Hello, Friends, by which I mean strangers I may or may not sort of know in a way through their writings on teh interwebs.   And maybe that’s a purer way of knowing people.   I wonder what Woolf would have made of it — she who writes a story in which someone invents a whole back story for a woman on a train only to have it shattered when reality proves to be other than she imagined.   I am, once more, or really for the first time, #Woolfalong-ing rather than Woolfingalongafter.   Perhaps I’ll even go back to Night and Day and take another stab at it.  For the May-June phase, we were to read a book of short stories.   I chose Monday or Tuesday because it was one she published during her lifetime with her husband on the Hogarth Press.   If you had one of those first thousand copies, you had a book not merely written by the author, but published by her as well.   As it turns out, it is very short.   I read it in two days.  Which may be how I like my experimental fiction.

monortues

Strange to think just the year before Agatha Christie published her first mystery.   Two very different writers.  Woolf is almost entirely observation in these stories.  In fact, calling them stories seems incorrect.  The aforementioned woman on the train — who is just a daydream.  A narrator wondering about a mark on the wall.  These come closest to being stories, which is not very close.  Then you have observations.  Acute ones.  Details by the hundred.  It’s like looking through a kaleidoscope or a fly’s eye and trying to make sense of it.  They say our brain filters out much unnecessary information which enables us to get on with our day.  This reads like a mind without those filters — overwhelming detail.  Detail which adds up to nothing.  With the exception of A Society which follows a group of young women as they investigate how men have run the world while they’ve been busy populating it.   They seem to conclude that no, by and large men have not done a very good job and yet the investigation has exhausted and irked them to the point of simply throwing in the towel.  Can’t say I blame them.  Trying to change the world is hard work with a deeply uncertain outcome.   The story is entertaining and frustrating simultaneously, but it’s definitely a story which makes it oddly out of place in Monday or Tuesday.

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