Michael Cunningham is an American novelist and screenwriter best known for his 1998 Pulitzer prize-winning novel The Hours. The December 23, 2020 issue of The New York Times ran a wonderful essay by Cunningham, Virginia Woolf’s Literary Revolution, about Virginia Woolf’s novel Mrs. Dalloway.
Given my thirty-year fascination with, and devotion to, Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group in general, I was eager to read Cunningham’s piece. He didn’t let me down.
I could go on and on about the many reasons I love Virginia Woolf’s body of work, and I highly recommend Cunningham’s piece. However, I would like to focus here on one aspect of the novel, exemplified by the following quote from the essay:
In “Mrs. Dalloway”’s London, consciousness passes from one character to another in more or less the way a baton is passed among members of a relay race.
In the parlance of writers, this is called head-hopping, a third person omniscient shifting between or among different characters’ points of view, thoughts and feelings within a given scene. Among contemporary writers, it is generally frowned upon. If a reader is not expecting it, head-hopping can be jarring and, even worse, can instill in the reader a sense of betrayal. As a writer myself, I am particularly sensitive to shifting points of view and allow it to happen only between chapters, and with a clear indication to the reader as to whose point of view each chapter is told through.
Read more details here…https://mgcobb.com/2021/01/02/mrs-dalloway-and-head-hopping/