I’m excited to present two wonderfully intelligent craft essays for the tenth issue of Mason’s Road. The first, “Digression and Memory in Mrs. Dalloway,” by Joseph Reynolds, provides an insight into Virginia Woolf’s ability to meld “free-flowing connections of the unfiltered psyche” in Mrs. Dalloway through Woolf’s inventive use of grammar, communal images, and the employment of interiority. The second, by Jennifer Schifano, analyzes Alice Murno’s collection, Runaway, specifically Munro’s deployment of free-indirect style, as defined by James Wood.
Grammar is mechanical, yes, but grammar is also style. Reynolds shows that when used as purposefully as Woolf, a semi-colon does much more than separate two related independent clauses; it connects Clarissa Dalloway’s vivid digressions. Schifano shows that when used as mischievously as Munro, an em-dash does more than create a strong break within a sentence; it allows Murno’s authorial voice to enter the narrative, blurring the lines between reader, character, narrator, and author.
I hope you enjoy both pieces.