By Monica Latham (auth.)
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Extra resources for A Poetics of Postmodernism and Neomodernism: Rewriting Mrs Dalloway
It was his eyes that were terrible. He wished to die. He would not burden her, he said. (‘The Hours’, Notebook One, Wussow 56) Rezia is powerlessly witnessing Septimus’s extreme emotions in which happiness and suicidal impulses alternate. Exactly as planned in Woolf’s notebook entry from 19 November 1922, Septimus’s visions are created in terms of contrasting extremes and made of sounds and images, lights and shadows, rising and falling wave-like movements of the trees. The description of his strange paranoiac visions imparts a poetic, musical and pictorial quality to his hallucinations.
The Hours’, Notebook Two, Wussow 279) Rezia’s hand, which maintains a physical contact with Septimus’s body, acts as an anchor into reality; Septimus is held still, ‘transfixed’ by her ‘The Dressing-rooms’ 39 hand, while his madness transports him up and down, with a rising and falling movement. He is on the brink of madness, aware of his condition and trying to offer resistance, but is helplessly aspired by his absorbing visions. Happily Rezia put her hand down with a tremendous weight on his knee so that he was weighted down, transfixed, or the excitement of the elm trees rising and falling, rising and falling with their leaves alight and the colour thinning and thickening from blue to the green of a hollow wave, like plumes on horses’ heads, feathers on ladies’, so proudly they rose and fell, so superbly, would have sent him mad.
D. must be seen by other people. As she sits in her drawing room. But there must be a general idea – one must not get lost in detail: her chapter must correspond with his. Question of choruses. That is to say of ‘The Dressing-rooms’ 41 links between chapters: also, could the scenes be divided like acts of a play into five, say, or six? (Notebook, Berg Collection, Wussow 420). The diptych design of the novel is carefully maintained through waves of rewriting: Clarissa and Septimus continue to evolve side by side.