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Virginia Woolf

  • British author
  • Born January 25, 1882
  • Died March 28, 1941

Adeline Virginia Woolf (; née Stephen; 25 January 1882 – 28 March 1941) was a British writer, considered one of the most important modernist 20th-century authors and a pioneer in the use of stream of consciousness as a narrative device. Woolf was born into an affluent household in South Kensington, London, the seventh child in a blended family of eight. Her mother, Julia Prinsep Jackson, celebrated as a Pre-Raphaelite artist's model, had three children from her first marriage; her father, Leslie Stephen, a notable man of letters, had one previous daughter; their marriage produced another four children, including the modernist painter Vanessa Bell.


It is the nature of the artist to mind excessively what is said about him. Literature is strewn with the wreckage of men who have minded beyond reason the opinions of others.




It's not catastrophes, murders, deaths, diseases, that age and kill us; it's the way people look and laugh, and run up the steps of omnibuses.




I want the concentration and the romance, and the worlds all glued together, fused, glowing: have no time to waste any more on prose.




Yet, it is true, poetry is delicious; the best prose is that which is most full of poetry.




This is not writing at all. Indeed, I could say that Shakespeare surpasses literature altogether, if I knew what I meant.




Some people go to priests; others to poetry; I to my friends.




When the shriveled skin of the ordinary is stuffed out with meaning, it satisfies the senses amazingly.




If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.




It seems as if an age of genius must be succeeded by an age of endeavour; riot and extravagance by cleanliness and hard work.




The beautiful seems right by force of beauty, and the feeble wrong because of weakness.




The telephone, which interrupts the most serious conversations and cuts short the most weighty observations, has a romance of its own.




Someone has to die in order that the rest of us should value life more.




I read the book of Job last night, I don't think God comes out well in it.




Somewhere, everywhere, now hidden, now apparent in what ever is written down, is the form of a human being. If we seek to know him, are we idly occupied?




If we help an educated man's daughter to go to Cambridge are we not forcing her to think not about education but about war? - not how she can learn, but how she can fight in order that she might win the same advantages as her brothers?




There can be no two opinions as to what a highbrow is. He is the man or woman of thoroughbred intelligence who rides his mind at a gallop across country in pursuit of an idea.




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




Language is wine upon the lips.

Language is wine upon the lips.




Arrange whatever pieces come your way.




I was in a queer mood, thinking myself very old: but now I am a woman again - as I always am when I write.




It is far harder to kill a phantom than a reality.




As a woman I have no country. As a woman my country is the whole world.




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




The eyes of others our prisons; their thoughts our cages.

The eyes of others our prisons; their thoughts our cages.




This soul, or life within us, by no means agrees with the life outside us. If one has the courage to ask her what she thinks, she is always saying the very opposite to what other people say.




Every secret of a writer's soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind is written large in his works.




I thought how unpleasant it is to be locked out; and I thought how it is worse, perhaps, to be locked in.




Who shall measure the hat and violence of the poet's heart when caught and tangled in a woman's body?




Thought and theory must precede all salutary action; yet action is nobler in itself than either thought or theory.




It is in our idleness, in our dreams, that the submerged truth sometimes comes to the top.




It is curious how instinctively one protects the image of oneself from idolatry or any other handling that could make it ridiculous, or too unlike the original to be believed any longer.




There is much to support the view that it is clothes that wear us, and not we, them; we may make them take the mould of arm or breast, but they mould our hearts, our brains, our tongues to their liking.




If one could be friendly with women, what a pleasure - the relationship so secret and private compared with relations with men. Why not write about it truthfully?




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




Once conform, once do what other people do because they do it, and a lethargy steals over all the finer nerves and faculties of the soul. She becomes all outer show and inward emptiness; dull, callous, and indifferent.




We are nauseated by the sight of trivial personalities decomposing in the eternity of print.

We are nauseated by the sight of trivial personalities decomposing in the eternity of print.



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