Virginia Woolf (Writer)

#38363 Virginia Woolf

Dearest, I want to tell you that you have given me complete happiness. No one could have done more than you have done. Please believe that. But I know that I shall never get over this: and I am wasting your life. It is this madness. Nothing anyone says can persuade me. You can work, and you will be much better without me. You see I can't write this even, which shows I am right. All I want to say is that until this disease came on we were perfectly happy. It was all due to you. No one could have been so good as you have been, from the very first day till now. Everyone knows that. V. .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about life
#38364 Virginia Woolf

At this Helen laughed outright. "Nonsense," she said. "You're not a Christian. You've never thought what you are.—And there are lots of other questions," she continued, "though perhaps we can't ask them yet." Although they hadso freely they were all uncomfortably conscious that they really knew nothing about each other. "The important questions," Hewet pondered, "the really interesting ones. I doubt that one ever does ask them." Rachel, who was slow to accept the fact that only a very few things can be said even by people who know each other well, insisted on knowing what he meant. "Whether we've ever been in love?" she enquired. "Is that the kind of question you mean?" .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about love
#38365 Virginia Woolf

Here I come to one of the memoir writer’s difficulties—one of the reasons why, though I read so many, so many are failures. They leave out the person to whom things happened. The reason is that it is so difficult to describe any human being. So they say: ‘This is what happened’; but they do not say what the person was like to whom it happened. Who was I then? Adeline Virginia Stephen, the second daughter of Leslie and Julia Prinsep Stephen, born on 25th January 1882, descended from a great many people, some famous, others obscure; born into a large connection, born not of rich parents, but of well-to-do parents, born into a very communicative, literate, letter writing, visiting, articulate, late nineteenth century world. .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about writing
#38366 Virginia Woolf

had no life. He passed through the world so lightly that he left no print. He melted so passively into Oxford that he is invisible. .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about life
#38367 Virginia Woolf

For some reason, we know not what, his childhood was sharply severed. It lodged in him whole and entire. He could not disperse it. .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about reason
#38368 Virginia Woolf

The strange thing about life is that though the nature of it must have been apparent to every one for hundreds of years, no one has left any adequate account of it. The streets of London have their map; but our passions are uncharted. What are you going to meet if you turn this corner? .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about life
#38369 Virginia Woolf

But can we go to posterity with a sheaf of loose pages, or ask the readers of those days, with the whole of literature before them, to sift our enormous rubbish heaps for our tiny pearls? Such are the questions which the critics might lawfully put to their companions at table, the novelists and poets. .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about literature
#38370 Virginia Woolf

Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end. .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about life
#38371 Virginia Woolf

Theirs, too, is the word-coining genius, as if thought plunged into a sea of words and came up dripping. .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about words
#38372 Virginia Woolf

But delightful though it is to indulge in righteous indignation, it is misplaced if we agree with the lady's-maid that high birth is a form of congenital insanity, that the sufferer merely inherits the diseases of his ancestors, and endures them, for the most part very stoically, in one of those comfortably padded lunatic asylums which are known, euphemistically, as the stately homes of England. .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about art
#38373 Virginia Woolf

We may enjoy our room in the tower, with the painted walls and the commodious bookcases, but down in the garden there is a man digging who buried his father this morning, and it is he and his like who live the real life and speak the real language. .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about life
#38374 Virginia Woolf

For ourselves, who are ordinary men and women, let us return thanks to Nature for her bounty by using every one of the senses she has given us; vary our state as much as possible; turn now this side, now that, to the warmth, and relish to the full before the sun goes down the kisses of youth and the echoes of a beautiful voice singing Catullus. Every season is likeable, and wet days and fine, red wine and white, company and solitude. Even sleep, that deplorable curtailment of the joy of life, can be full of dreams; and the most common actions—a walk, a talk, solitude in one’s own orchard—can be enhanced and lit up by the association of the mind. Beauty is everywhere, and beauty is only two finger’s-breadth from goodness. .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about life
#38375 Virginia Woolf

Humour is the first of the gifts to perish in a foreign tongue. .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about gifts
#38376 Virginia Woolf

Mrs Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself. .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about self
#38377 Virginia Woolf

It was enemies one wanted, not friends. .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about friends
#38378 Virginia Woolf

A whole lifetime was too short to bring out, the full flavour; to extract every ounce of pleasure, every shade of meaning. .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about life
#38379 Virginia Woolf

What she loved was this, here, now, in front of her; the fat lady in the cab. Did it matter then, she asked herself, walking towards Bond Street, did it matter that she must inevitably cease completely; all this must go on without her; did she resent it; or did it not become consoling to believe that death ended absolutely? but that somehow in the streets of London, on the ebb and flow of things, here there, she survived. Peter survived, lived in each other, she being part, she was positive, of the trees at home; of the house there, ugly, rambling all to bits and pieces as it was; part of people she had never met; being laid out like a mist between the people she knew best, who lifted her on their branches as she had seen the trees lift the mist, but it spread ever so far, her life, herself. .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about love
#38381 Virginia Woolf

Could , as people called it, make her and Mrs Ramsay one? for it was not knowledge but unity that she desired, not inscription on tablets, nothing that could be written in any language known to men, but intimacy itself, which is knowledge, she had thought, leaning her head on Mrs Ramsay's knee. .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about knowledge
#38382 Virginia Woolf

A light here required a shadow there. .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about light
#38383 Virginia Woolf

[...] she felt this thing that she called life terrible, hostile, and quick to pounce on you if you gave it a chance. There were the eternal problems: suffering; death; the poor. There was always a woman dying of cancer even here. And yet she had said to all these children, You shall go through with it. .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about life
#38384 Virginia Woolf

She had done the usual trick – been nice. She would never know him. He would never know her. Human relations were all like that, she thought, and the worst (if it had not been for Mr Bankes) were between men and women. Inevitably these were extremely insincere. .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about women
#38385 Virginia Woolf

For our penitence deserves a glimpse only; our toil respite only. .

Virginia Woolf
#38387 Virginia Woolf

Mrs Ramsay sat silent. She was glad, Lily thought, to rest in silence, uncommunicative; to rest in the extreme obscurity of human relationships. Who knows what we are, what we feel? Who knows even at the moment of intimacy, This is knowledge? Aren't things spoilt then, Mrs Ramsay may have asked (it seemed to have happened so often, this silence by her side) by saying them? .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about knowledge
#38388 Virginia Woolf

But one only woke people if one knew what one wanted to say to them. And she wanted to say not one thing, but everything. Little words that broke up the thought and dismembered it said nothing. 'About life, about death; about Mrs Ramsay' – no, she thought, one could say nothing to nobody. .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about life
#38389 Virginia Woolf

She alone spoke the truth; to her alone could he speak it. That was the source of her everlasting attraction for him, perhaps; she was a person to whom one could say what came into one's head. .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about truth
#38390 Virginia Woolf

Harcourt, Brace & World, 1957, .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about race
#38391 Virginia Woolf

A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction. .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about money
#38392 Virginia Woolf

When a subject is highly controversial — and any question about sex is that — one cannot hope to tell the truth. One can only show how one came to hold whatever opinion one does hold. One can only give one's audience the chance of drawing their own conclusions as they observe the limitations, the prejudices, the idiosyncrasies of the speaker. .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about truth
#38393 Virginia Woolf

The beauty of the world which is so soon to perish, has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder. .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about art
#38394 Virginia Woolf

The human frame being what it is, heart, body and brain all mixed together, and not contained in separate compartments as they will be no doubt in another million years, a good dinner is of great importance to good talk. One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about love
#38395 Virginia Woolf

Have you any notion how many books are written about women in the course of one year? Have you any notion how many are written by men? Are you aware that you are, perhaps, the most discussed animal in the universe? .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about books
#38396 Virginia Woolf

Life for both sexes — and I looked at them, shouldering their way along the pavement — is arduous, difficult, a perpetual struggle. It calls for gigantic courage and strength. More than anything, perhaps, creatures of illusion as we are, it calls for confidence in oneself. Without self-confidence we are as babes in the cradle. And how can we generate this imponderable quality, which is yet so invaluable, most quickly? By thinking that other people are inferior to one self. By feeling that one has some innate superiority — it may be wealth, or rank, a straight nose, or the portrait of a grandfather by— for there is no end to the pathetic devices of the human imagination — over other people. .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about people
#38397 Virginia Woolf

Women have served all these centuries as looking-glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural size. .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about power
#38398 Virginia Woolf

Fiction is like a spider's web, attached ever so lightly perhaps, but still attached to life at all four corners. Often the attachment is scarcely perceptible; 's plays, for instance, seem to hang there complete by themselves. But when the web is pulled askew, hooked up at the edge, torn in the middle, one remembers that these webs are not spun in midair by incorporeal creatures, but are the work of suffering human beings, and are attached to the grossly material things, like health and money and the houses we live in. .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about life
#38399 Virginia Woolf

I would venture to guess than Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman. .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about poem
#38400 Virginia Woolf

For it needs little skill in psychology to be sure that a highly gifted girl who had tried to use her gift for poetry would have been so thwarted and hindered by other people, so tortured and pulled asunder by her own contrary instincts, that she must have lost her health and sanity to a certainty. .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about poetry
#38401 Virginia Woolf

Literature is strewn with the wreckage of men who have minded beyond reason the opinions of others. .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about mind
#38402 Virginia Woolf

The history of men's opposition to women's emancipation is more interesting perhaps than the story of that emancipation itself. .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about women
#38403 Virginia Woolf

Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind. .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about freedom
#38404 Virginia Woolf

I told you in the course of this paper thathad a sister; but do not look for her in Sir 's life of the poet. She died young — alas, she never wrote a word... Now my belief is that this poet who never wrote a word and was buried at the cross-roads still lives. She lives in you and in me, and in many other women who are not here to-night, for they are washing up the dishes and putting the children to bed. But she lives; for great poets do not die; they are continuing presences; they need only the opportunity to walk among us in the flesh. .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about life
#38406 Virginia Woolf

Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978, .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about race
#38407 Virginia Woolf

But look - he flicks his hand to the back of his neck. For such gesture one falls hopelessly in love for a lifetime. .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about love
#38408 Virginia Woolf

You are not listening to me. You are making phrases about Byron. And while you gesticulate, with your cloak, your cane, I am trying to expose a secret told to nobody yet; I am asking you (as I stand with my back to you) to take my life in your hands and tell me whether I am doomed always to cause repulsion in those I love? .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about love
#38409 Virginia Woolf

For I am more selves than Neville thinks. We are not simple as our friends would have us to meet their needs. Yet love is simple. .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about love
#38410 Virginia Woolf

Among the tortures and devastations of life is this then - our friends are not able to finish their stories. .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about life
#38411 Virginia Woolf

‘Now,’ said Neville, ‘my tree flowers. My heart rises. All oppression is relieved. All impediment is removed. The reign of chaos is over. He has imposed order. Knives cut again.’ [...] ‘Here is Percival,’ said Bernard, ‘[...] We [...] now come nearer; and shuffling closer on our perch in this restaurant where everybody’s interests are at variance, and the incessant passage of traffic chafes us with distractions, and the door opening perpetually its glass cage solicits us with myriad temptations and offers insults and wounds to our confidence — sitting together here we love each other and believe in our own endurance.’ .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about love
#38413 Virginia Woolf

Things have dropped from me. I have outlived certain desires; I have lost friends, some by death... others through sheer inability to cross the street. .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about death
#38414 Virginia Woolf

Yet there are moments when the walls of the mind grow thin; when nothing is unabsorbed, and I could fancy that we might blow so vast a bubble that the sun might set and rise in it and we might take the blue of midday and the black of midnight and be cast off and escape from here and now. .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about mind
#38415 Virginia Woolf

I like the copious, shapeless, warm, not so very clever, but extremely easy and rather coarse aspect of things; the talk of men in clubs and public-houses; of miners half naked in drawers — the forthright, perfectly unassuming, and without end in view except dinner, love, money and getting along tolerably; that which is without great hopes, ideals, or anything of that kind; what is unassuming except to make a tolerably, good job of it. I like all that. .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about love
#38416 Virginia Woolf

We have dined well. The fish, the veal cutlets, the wine have blunted the sharp tooth of egotism. Anxiety is at rest. The vainest of us, Louis perhaps, does not care what people think. Neville’s tortures are at rest. Let others prosper — that is what he thinks. Susan hears the breathing of all her children safe asleep. Sleep, sleep, she murmurs. Rhoda has rocked her ships to shore. Whether they have foundered, whether they have anchored, she cares no longer. .

Virginia Woolf Quotes about people

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