Posted by: Corri van de Stege | June 22, 2008

The Sunday Salon – Seachanges’ Patch: Crete


My Sunday Salon is the balcony of an apartment overlooking the sea and further away a brown and rocky island.  Nearer by rocks jut up from the sea, which today is slightly breezier than it has been.  Already the heat is gaining in strength, but for as long as this balcony does not catch the sun; it is a wonderful salon with sharp bright light and a clear blue sky.  The coast road is much quieter this morning, this is Sunday and only an odd tourist walks along the side on their way to the beach just beyond this apartment. 

This morning I started with my novel – the days have been slipping through my fingers without any serious writing, almost as if in a coma of blissful nothing.  But I’m going to do better from now on and will sit myself down every morning and at least write 500 words, more if I have the inspiration, of course!  But you have to start somewhere.

My reading is going apace however and that has been helpful in its own peculiar way because they have clarified my thinking about how to approach my story.  So what’s in the Sunday Salon?  I have nearly finished Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf and this second time round reading the book makes it even better.  I think you read it for the story, the first time round, and only then can you begin to unravel the complexity of the layered stories, that of Mrs Dalloway but also of Septimus and how the two relate, think similarly actually even though they are worlds apart.  This is a novel with very long sentences, the lists, the semicolons and the commas, the thought processes moving from one character to the other, following each other around during that one day, when Mrs Dalloway gives a party.   I am hooked on long sentences, but don’t do it well, I like writing in thought processes, but don’t do it well.  This book is a lesson in itself, in technique and in how to write well, without losing your own train of thought, or rather, the train of thought of the character.   So, I’m going to finish Mrs Dalloway today and will write a proper review some time, maybe after I’ve read The Hours as well.

Looking through my books and papers I realise that I have also got a copy of Raymond Carver’s story Cathedral which I want to read as part of the Short Story reading challenge and Kate’s blog on short stories, a Curious Singularity, for which this is the story of the month.  I should be able to take that in today and then begin to write a review.

Finally, we found the Sunday Times in the local shop, today’s, but I’m not sure whether it has the review section, probably not.

And then of course, I’ll be swimming and snoozing in the sun this afternoon, quite a busy day actually!



  1. I have yet to read Mrs. Dalloway, and it’s been on my stacks for ages. I think I might tackle it for the upcoming 24-Hour Read-a-Thon.

  2. I tried a second read of ‘Mrs Dalloway’ but was no more successful than I had been the first time. Third time lucky, perhaps? I love her non-fiction writing so much.

  3. […] The Sunday <b>Salon</b> – Seachanges Patch: Crete […]

  4. The view from the salon is lovely! Thanks for sharing the picture. It must make a perfect reading spot.

    I think Mrs. Dalloway needs a re-read as well. I have almost forgotten the multiple layers of that wonderful story. Her senetnces reminds me of Henry James.

  5. Oooooh. Long sentences not good. Short sentences better 🙂

    That view is just gorgeous. I am glad you’re enjoying your time out. Now get cracking with your novel. No excuses. I am expecting a full draft when you return 😉

  6. Well, what a beautiful and gorgeous you view you had on Sunday! So inspiring…thank you for inviting us in.

    And thanks for your impressions on Mrs. Dalloway. I’ve yet to start it, but I will keep your thoughts in mind. Long sentences…I’ve been accused of overusing those myself, at different times in my writing life. And of course, I’m no VW, so I’ll be interested to study a master at work.

    Enjoy 🙂

  7. andi: let me know what you think – reading Mrs Dalloway in 24 hours eh? Well, it’s only 24 hours, so should be possible 🙂
    Ann Darton: but I love the style of this novel, it is sooo clever and sooo difficult!
    Matt: Yes, these long sentences, and the multiple layers, hellishly difficult!
    arioborazine: but I am helplessly and hopelessly addicted too long sentences… ok , I’ll cut them out, am very busy now 🙂
    becca: so nice to meet another addict! I’m busy cutting them to size, but I love them so….

  8. When I read Mrs Dalloway, I stopped halfway and started over again. That really helped me to fully appreciate the novel.

  9. […] Netherland I reviewed here, I talked about Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway and about Michael Cunningham’s The Hours here  and here (I do think the two should be read in sequence), I’ve reviewed  Haruki Murakami’s […]

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