Anakana Schofield – Author of Martin John and Malarky

Mrs Dalloway Loves Dick

Be not alarmed at the title of this post I do not infer smutty tones o’er Mrs D rather I have been on something of a reading adventure during these past 48 hours in tandem with a suspected kidney stone adventure.

I commenced yesterday morning with Mrs Dalloway and paired her with I Love Dick by Chris Kraus and have been fluttering between the two since. On my way back from loving Dick, which is very funny indeed, I began to note some parallels strangely in Mrs Dalloway namely: (This may only make sense if you’ve read I Love Dick if not you can listen to Ira Glass interview Chris & Sylvere here and gather the gist)

“… But with Peter everything had to be shared; everything gone into. And it was intolerable, and when it came to that scene in the little garden by the fountain, she had to break with him or they would have been destroyed..” (Mrs Dalloway, Woolf)

And

“She felt very young; at the same time unspeakably aged. She sliced like a knife through everything; at the same time was outside, looking on.” (Mrs Dalloway, Woolf)

Both of the above I cite relate to the autopsy that Kraus performs on her and Sylvere’s imagination or imaginings in relation to Dick. An autopsy of the possible perhaps? An autopsy of the exhaustible and inexhaustible? And a disciplined deconstruction on the dust passing the pair of them in the air in between. Whatever it is, the point of view in I Love Dick is fascinating, even if the tone of it reminds me occasionally of a BBC Wildlife program on penguin migration. It’s a microscopic interrogation of a moment that could have been fleeting but becomes its own landscape. And remarkably I am beginning to conclude it’s not about Dick at all.

And now a speculative riposte to Dick from Woolf in the form of this line from Mrs Dalloway.

“His letters were awfully dull; it was his sayings one remembered…” or to remix it a tad belatedly for Ms Woolf “His letters were non-existant, it was his sofa bed they remembered”

And Dick’s riposte to Chris Kraus and Sylvere Loringer via the words Mrs Dalloway (ok this one will require some Tardis time travel)

“..cared not a straw for either of them.”

Now I interrupt this post and return to Mrs Dalloway.

Leave a Reply