Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
She was becoming more and more interested in birds. It was a sign of old age, she supposed, as she went into her bedroom.
The Years, Virginia Woolf.
I found this fascinating quote today in "The Years". It just popped up without warning.
I have no idea whether she actually became a birdwatcher in latter life. Does anyone know? Just drop a comment on this post.
I'm becoming older but bird watching holds no fascination to me.
I do remember the birds in the garden when I visited Monks House in Sussex. The property had a lovely vegetable garden and the rest of the grounds and orchard are preserved as they were when Virginia and Leonard lived there.
Saturday, February 14, 2015
“Literature is strewn with the wreckage of those who have minded beyond reason the opinion of others.” ― Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own
Writing is a deeply personal occupation (or preoccupation) that represents an intense engagement with the topic being written about.
You can not write well if you are continually worrying about what others think. Although Woolf gives us this excellent quote she was known to go through periods of self doubt about what others were thinking of her works. The anxiety was most intense just after publication of a new work.
Her writing is genuine and while she worried about opinions after publication she discussed little during the actual writing process except with Leonard Woolf, her husband.
For myself I write what I want, when I want, and to hell with the consequences.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Woolf once said that her death would be the “one experience I shall never describe.”
Luckily for us she did of course describe her life. Her powers of observation were well honed and I constantly marvel at the way she crafts words in her descriptions.
In a way though she is speaking to us from beyond the grave, her words live on to inspire new generations.
Death is the last mystery and we all have to wait to see what it is all about - oblivion or a door beyond?
Sunday, February 8, 2015
“Growing up is losing some illusions, in order to acquire others.” ― Virginia Woolf
While we often think that we lose our illusions as we leave childhood, we inevitably replace them with other and often more pernicious illusions. Some physicists would argue that life itself and the reality we experience is just an illusion.
This thought is also echoed by many mystics.
Illusions however are not inherently good or bad but a staple component of human living. Woolf's ability to hold life's illusions to our gaze is valuable and I love the illusory quality of her writing.
Saturday, October 25, 2014
“I can only note that the past is beautiful because one never realises an emotion at the time. It expands later, and thus we don't have complete emotions about the present, only about the past.” ― Virginia Woolf
This is a very important thought. Retrospection adds the body to our experiences. Emotion is raw at the time we experience it so time must often pass before it is moderated and becomes a thing of beauty. Reflection is a key skill that excellent writers possess.