Friday, July 21, 2006

Arts and Madness~Series Writers

Virginia Woolf, Writer

Born: January 25, 1882 -March 28, 1941

Born Adeline Virginia Stephen in London to Sir Leslie Stephen and Julia Princep Duckworth, she was educated by her parents in their literate and well-connected household at 22 Hyde Park Gate, Kensington. Virginia and her seven brothers and sisters all lived in the home at one time. Virginia and her closest sister Vanessa moved from the home in 1904 after her father's death.

The sudden death of her mother from influenza, and that of her half sister Stella two years later, led to the first of Virginia's several nervous breakdowns. The death of her father in 1904 provoked her most alarming collapse and she was briefly institutionalised.

Although she was married to Leonard Woolf from 1912 to her death in 1941, Virginia Woolf's strongest emotional ties had always been with women. Most members of the Bloomsbury Group were involved in extra-marital affairs; whether the member was male or female didn't matter. It was almost expected, and most of the extra-marital relationships were same-sex lesbian or homosexual affairs.

At the end of 1940 Woolf suffered another severe bout of depression, from which she felt she was unable to recover. On March 28, 1941, at the age of 59, Woolf filled her pockets with stones and drowned herself in the River Ouse, near her home in Rodmell. She left two suicide notes; one for her sister Vanessa, the other for her husband: "I feel certain that I am going mad again: I feel we can't go through another of those terrible times. And I shant [sic] recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and can't concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness... I can't fight it any longer, I know that I am spoiling your life, that without me you could work" (The Letters of Virginia Woolf, vol. VI, p. 481).

"Against you I will fling myself, unvanquished and unyielding, O Death!"~Virginia Woolf

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

"As a woman I have no country. As a woman my country is the whole world. "~ Virginia Woolf

"It is fatal to be a man or woman pure and simple: one must be a woman manly, or a man womanly. "~ Virginia Woolf

Most of a modest woman's life was spent, after all, in denying what, in one day at least of every year, was made obvious.~ 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

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

Vita Sackville-West

March 9, 1892- June 2, 1962

"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? "~ Virginia Woolf

"The truth is, I often like women. I like their unconventionality. I like their completeness. I like their anonymity."~ Virginia Woolf

"My own brain is to me the most unaccountable of machinery - always buzzing, humming, soaring roaring diving, and then buried in mud. And why? What's this passion for?"~ Virginia Woolf

"On the outskirts of every agony sits some observant fellow who points."~ Virginia Woolf

"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."~ Virginia Woolf

"The eyes of others our prisons; their thoughts our cages. "~Virginia Woolf

"Those comfortably padded lunatic asylums which are known, euphemistically, as the stately homes of England." ~Virginia Woolf

"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."~Virginia Woolf

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

It's going to be a very busy weekend and I have been warned by those who love me that I may be burning my candle at both ends. Perhaps they are right but, I plan on having lots of fun! Have a safe and hopefully cool weekend everyone!

N Posted by Rain at 7/21/2006 01:49:00 AM


  • Anonymous Abu Sahajj posted at 1:10 PM  

    I recently wrote an article called, "A Common Truth" which featured quotes from Virginia Wolfe. She was an extrordinary lady.

  • Blogger Sheila posted at 5:03 PM  
    Big cheers coming from across the ocean for this post!
  • Blogger The Fat Lady Sings posted at 11:14 PM  
    I hope your weekend has been stellar, my dear! You do seem to have set yourself some tasks to accomplish; but I wouldn’t call it candle burning - just getting a little singed around the edges. Have fun!
  • Blogger Maggs posted at 8:58 PM  
    Hi! Thanks for stopping by my blog. How'd you find me? Hope to see you stop by again soon. : )
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