Comma, Comma, Comma!

Am I the only one who gets stuck on a simple punctuation mark when reading? I want to understand everything Virginia Woolf writes, even down to her choice of punctuation, but while reading Lighthouse today, I came across a sentence with a comma in a place I would not have chosen. (If you’re reading the book for the first time, it’s good, really good, isn’t it?)

Here:

“Simple, obvious, commonplace, as it was, Mr. Bankes was interested.”

I don’t quite understand the placement of the comma after commonplace. I would have left it out. I feel that as it was is strongly connected to commonplace. Am I missing something here? Do let me know if there’s some grammatical rule or exception I’m overlooking.

Hubby says I should consult other editions and her original manuscript, and I would, except that involves walking upstairs and having internet that works and that’s a no right now – thanks, Mediacom, for sponsoring this outage. I’ve learned when to let good enough be good enough. Besides, I kinda like pondering.

What do you think about the sentence? How do you read it?

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