100 Top Quotes By Virginia Woolf, The Author Of Mrs. Dalloway
South Kensington, London, England, United Kingdom
Modernist writer of the twentieth century, Virginia Woolf was an English novelist, essayist, biographer and feminist who made significant contribution to the English literary club. She was a prolific writer whose modernist style changed with each book. She was an important figure in London literary society and a central figure in the influential Bloomsbury Group of intellectuals. Her most famous works include the novels ‘Mrs Dalloway’, ‘To the Lighthouse’ and ‘Orlando’, each of which were highly successful and established her reputation as a contemporary writer. In addition to this, she came up with pioneering feminist work including ‘A Room of One's Own’ and ‘Three Guineas’. In both the works, she examined the difficulties that female writers and intellectuals faced because men held disproportionate legal and economic power. She also discussed about the future of women in education and society. Woolf wrote extensively on the problem of women’s access to the learned professions, such as academia, church, law, and medicine which only worsened with women’s exclusion from important universities such as Oxford and Cambridge. Woolf’s feminist viewpoint and perspective can also be seen in her quotes that portray her innate idealism and thought. In simple words, she has thrown light at important facts of life and touched varied topics. Go through this section and find out quotes by Virginia Woolf.
I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman. You cannot find peace by avoiding life. 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. Books are the mirrors of the soul. Why are women... so much more interesting to men than men are to women? One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people. Writing is like sex. First you do it for love, then you do it for your friends, and then you do it for money. As a woman I have no country. As a woman I want no country. As a woman, my country is the whole world. 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. When you consider things like the stars, our affairs don't seem to matter very much, do they? The eyes of others our prisons; their thoughts our cages. Growing up is losing some illusions, in order to acquire others. As long as she thinks of a man, nobody objects to a woman thinking. No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anybody but oneself. Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman. Nothing thicker than a knife's blade separates happiness from melancholy. There was a star riding through clouds one night, & I said to the star, 'Consume me'. Love, the poet said, is woman's whole existence. Orlando naturally loved solitary places, vast views, and to feel himself for ever and ever and ever alone. Second hand books are wild books, homeless books; they have come together in vast flocks of variegated feather, and have a charm which the domesticated volumes of the library lack. 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. I thought how unpleasant it is to be locked out; and I thought how it is worse, perhaps, to be locked in. The truth is, I often like women. I like their unconventionality. I like their completeness. I like their anonymity. A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction. All extremes of feeling are allied with madness. I have lost friends, some by death...others by sheer inability to cross the street. The history of men's opposition to women's emancipation is more interesting perhaps than the story of that emancipation itself. To look life in the face, always, to look life in the face, and to know it for what it is...at last, to love it for what it is, and then, to put it away... Melancholy were the sounds on a winter's night. She had the perpetual sense, as she watched the taxi cabs, of being out, out, far out to sea and alone; she always had the feeling that it was very, very, dangerous to live even one day. I am reading six books at once, the only way of reading; since, as you will agree, one book is only a single unaccompanied note, and to get the full sound, one needs ten others at the same time. I meant to write about death, only life came breaking in as usual He thought her beautiful, believed her impeccably wise; dreamed of her, wrote poems to her, which, ignoring the subject, she corrected in red ink. Blame it or praise it, there is no denying the wild horse in us. I don't believe in aging. I believe in forever altering one's aspect to the sun. What does the brain matter compared with the heart? So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say. Each has his past shut in him like the leaves of a book known to him by heart and his friends can only read the title. I worship you, but I loathe marriage. I hate its smugness, its safety, its compromise and the thought of you interfering with my work, hindering me; what would you answer? Literature is strewn with the wreckage of those who have minded beyond reason the opinion of others. When I cannot see words curling like rings of smoke round me I am in darkness—I am nothing. I see you everywhere, in the stars, in the river, to me you're everything that exists; the reality of everything. It might be possible that the world itself is without meaning. The beauty of the world...has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder. Mrs Dalloway is always giving parties to cover the silence They went in and out of each other's minds without any effort. Really I don't like human nature unless all candied over with art I am made and remade continually. Different people draw different words from me. Anything may happen when womanhood has ceased to be a protected occupation. Arrange whatever pieces come your way. He smiled the most exquisite smile, veiled by memory, tinged by dreams. It is in our idleness, in our dreams, that the submerged truth sometimes makes its way to the surface. She thought there were no Gods; no one was to blame; and so she evolved this atheist's religion of doing good for the sake of goodness. Often on a wet day I begin counting up; what I've read and what I haven't read. To want and not to have, sent all up her body a hardness, a hollowness, a strain. And then to want and not to have- to want and want- how that wrung the heart, and wrung it again and again! Fiction is like a spider's web, attached ever so lightly perhaps, but still attached to life at all four corners. To love makes one solitary. But then anyone who's worth anything reads just what he likes, as the mood takes him, and with extravagant enthusiasm. I really don't advise a woman who wants to have things her own way to get married Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself. It is far harder to kill a phantom than a reality. I detest the masculine point of view. I am bored by his heroism, virtue, and honour. I think the best these men can do is not talk about themselves anymore. Never let anybody guess that you have a mind of your own. Above all be pure For this moment, this one moment, we are together. I press you to me. Come, pain, feed on me. Bury your fangs in my flesh. Tear me asunder. I sob, I sob. I have a deeply hidden and inarticulate desire for something beyond the daily life. I am in the mood to dissolve in the sky. I want to write a novel about Silence," he said; “the things people don’t say. I feel so intensely the delights of shutting oneself up in a little world of one’s own, with pictures and music and everything beautiful. About here, she thought, dabbling her fingers in the water, a ship had sunk, and she muttered, dreamily half asleep, how we perished, each alone. And all the lives we ever lived and all the lives to be are full of trees
and changing leaves. Was not writing poetry a secret transaction, a voice answering a voice? It is a thousand pities never to say what one feels. I'm sick to death of this particular self. I want another. For books continue each other, in spite of our habit of judging them separately. I need not hate any man; he cannot hurt me. I need not flatter any man; he has nothing to give me. Just in case you ever foolishly forget; I'm never not thinking of you. ...who shall measure the heat and violence of a poet's heart when caught and tangled in a woman's body? It is no use trying to sum people up. It was a silly, silly dream, being unhappy. Friendships, even the best of them, are frail things. One drifts apart. Beauty was not everything. Beauty had this penalty — it came too readily, came too completely. It stilled life — froze it. He who robs us of our dreams robs us of our life. I need silence, and to be alone and to go out, and to save one hour
to consider what has happened to my world, what death has done to my
world. When the body escaped mutilation, seldom did the heart go to the grave unscarred. ...she always had the feeling that it was very, very dangerous to live even one day. The most extraordinary thing about writing is that when you've struck the right vein, tiredness goes. It must be an effort, thinking wrong. And the poem, I think, is only your voice speaking. How many times have people used a pen or paintbrush because they couldn’t pull the trigger? The world wavered and quivered and threatened to burst into flames. Better was it to go unknown and leave behind you an arch, then to burn like a meteor and leave no dust.
I was always going to the bookcase for another sip of the divine specific.
I begin to long for some little language such as lovers use, broken words, inarticulate words, like the shuffling of feet on pavement.
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?
But nothing is so strange when one is in love (and what was this except being in love?) as the complete indifference of other people.
Peter would think her sentimental. So she was. For she had come to feel that it was the only thing worth saying – what one felt. Cleverness was silly. One must say simply what one felt.
Never pretend that the things you haven't got are not worth having. What is this terror? what is this ecstasy? he thought to himself. What is it that fills me with this extraordinary excitement?
It is Clarissa, he said.
For there she was.