B.O.S.S. Emphatic Expression #00000007
Gentle-men and –women of B.O.S.S.,
Why pursue? they asked. For the possibilities were few, yet potent. The space between sea and sky and moon; the unwavering effervescence of self; the rolling hills, freed from the weight of iron trees -- how promising it all seems! To compound one’s desires with fluid truth and staunch confusion, to see such swift jubilance, unhinged in something abrupt and incalculable – and yet what remains? they probed, they demanded. They found:
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
The explorations of Woolf, channeled in the depths of language and the space that lies between each and every slice of everything will aid us in this pursuit -- this pursuit of spontaneous timelessness; of far-reaching multitudes and nearby voids; of the inevitable satisfaction that will come due to the fact that reading Virginia Woolf will be cool for the following reasons:
Woolf was a major contributor to modernist writing, throwing some impressively experimental prose into the mix. Whether in fine-tuning the interior monologue via a meditation on the heavy passing of time in To the Lighthouse -- does anyone truly ever get there, wherever there may be? – or by peppering all of her works with keen observations on social norms via her subtle wit, Woolf was infinitely valuable amidst the early 20th century literary pack.
With works like A Room of One’s Own, an essay that argued in favor of the need to give women space – mental and physical – for the sake of literature on the whole and Orlando, a fantastical fictional biography of an ageless, gender-shifting noble, Woolf laid some serious feminist and LGBT groundwork. She was more or less Riot Grrrl 1.0.
Woolf’s own inexhaustible search for self and inspiration runs deep in all of her works, making much of it just as poignant as that of Mr. Hesse’s in that respect. She also struggled with depression and ultimately ended her own life by filling her pockets with rocks and walking into a river. Not to glorify suicide or treat the situation with irreverent levity, but I think we can all agree that that was old school.
Mrs. Dalloway is on the shorter side, but has some density to it. I’m proposing an early-February start with a mid-March halfway meet up and a mid-to-late-April finale.
Forever in the space between,
Nick, B.O.S.S. Gentle-man of Correspondence