[Msa-discuss] Mapping Mrs Dalloway

Melba Cuddy-Keane m.cuddy.keane at utoronto.ca
Mon Dec 16 12:37:37 EST 2019


(apologies for cross-posting if you are also on the ISSN list!)

Dear friends and colleagues,
Below you’ll find a link to a short on-line image essay I’ve just “published” on mapping London in Mrs. Dalloway.  Some of you expressed interest in this work when I first presented it in a panel on Complexity Aesthetics at MSA 2014 and since you commented on its potential usefulness in teaching, I wanted you to see how it’s turned out (available in Powerpoint for projection, pdf for quick scanning).  Also, the publishing background might be interesting to you as well. I intended these layered maps as illustration for an essay coming out soon in Modernism and Close Reading (ed. David James) but when it became clear that print publication could only be black and white, in which the images were illegible, I decided to do an on-line essay in colour, with the two "publications” mutually linked.
Melba Cuddy-Keane, ‘Mapping Mrs. Dalloway: London as a Networked City’, On-line Essay, Powerpoint and PDF, University of Toronto, 2019: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/97406, Tspace Research Repository.
The tech here is relatively simple, but I can’t begin to add up the hours of work it took to decide on the paths, making them as accurate as possible for 1923 and solving the “puzzles” in the text; how can Clarissa see Hugh Whitbread with his back against government buildings?  (by his entering St. James’s Park from a small east entrance at King Charles St, most probably taking a short cut through the park on his way west to Buckingham Palace). And how can Clarissa see buses on Piccadilly from the Park gates?  (because she is now in Green Park and has walked up to look at the newly relocated (in 1921) Devonshire Gates). The Devonshire Gates were ornamental to the park, not used as an entrance, but I have been imagining Clarissa looking through them to the buses and through the buses to the site across Piccadilly, where Devonshire House was in the process of demolition. That seems to me a wonderfully filmic shot, encapsulating so much about modernity and change.  No wonder she pauses. (I am thinking now of doing a second essay, on what C sees, drawing on photos, paintings, even a 33 sec film of the demolition of Devonshire House - which seems to have been slated for demolition in 1920 but not finally demolished until the beginning of 1925. - Clarissa would be seeing demolition in progress.).
Of course, the exact routes, as I say in the accompanying print essay, are a matter of connecting the dots, so not everyone will decide in the same way.  It’s the larger patterns that matter here.

all best to all, for now and the new year,
Melba

Melba Cuddy-Keane
Emerita Professor
Department of English
Jackman Humanities Bldg.
University of Toronto
170 St. George St., 6th floor
Toronto, ON M5R 2M8

m.cuddy.keane at utoronto.ca<mailto:m.cuddy.keane at utoronto.ca>


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