Here I go again: another one of these “is it just me, or does anybody else do this?” rants. The benefit to these is that, most of the time, somebody else will confess that they do it, too.
Whenever I read a book, for hours up to days afterwards my mind transforms itself into the narrator of my life, imploring whatever style of writing the book uses. This has been happening ever since I can remember. For example: I’ll be walking from my car to my apartment, or some other simple and/or mundane task, and I will think as if I was the protagonist in a story told in the third-person. “She locked her Subaru,” my brain will say, “watching as the interior lights dimmed into sublime darkness. She walked across the cramped parking lot and up the stairs, unlocking the door only to be greeted by more darkness, more silence, and an air conditioner that never worked.”
Needless to say, my brain had an absolute field day with Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. Almost everything that lies within is some character’s thoughts while taking a walk. But something different happened this time – I noticed it. Perhaps it is because the novel is written in stream-of-consciousness style, so I recognized myself doing the same thing Clarissa, Peter, and the others do. Maybe it’s because I’ve been doing it for so long with so many different books that one side of my brain finally caught up with the other. But I can’t help but think that maybe Woolf had some sort of mischievous, underlying purpose in her writing: to make us be more aware of our actions and thoughts than we previously were. The characters in the book seem to be going through this change. I haven’t finished reading it yet, so only time will tell if their individual journeys result in anything. I sure hope so. If they can figure out why they think the things they think and act the way the act, then maybe I can, too.
1. Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. 1925.
2. Image from ahseeit.com, https://ahseeit.com/?qa=21474/when-youre-laying-in-bed-with-nothing-but-your-thoughts-meme