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Quotes of the day: Virginia Woolf

Published Saturday, January 25, 2014 @ 12:07 AM EST
Jan 25 2014

Adeline Virginia Woolf (January 25, 1882 – March 28, 1941) was an English writer, and one of the foremost modernists of the twentieth century. During the interwar period, Woolf was a significant 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 (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927) and i>Orlando (1928), and the book-length essay A Room of One's Own (1929), with its famous dictum, "A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction." (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


All extremes of feeling are allied with madness.

Anything may happen when womanhood has ceased to be a protected occupation.

Arrange whatever pieces come your way.

As long as she thinks of a man, nobody objects to a woman thinking.

Better was it to go unknown and leave behind you an arch, then to burn like a meteor and leave no dust.

Blame it or praise it, there is no denying the wild horse in us.

Books are the mirrors of the soul.

By the truth we are undone. Life is a dream. 'Tis the waking that kills us. He who robs us of our dreams robs us of our life.

Friendships, even the best of them, are frail things. One drifts apart.

Great bodies of people are never responsible for what they do.

Growing up is losing some illusions, in order to acquire others.

Habits and customs are a convenience devised for the support of timid natures who dare not allow their souls free play.

How many times have people used a pen or paintbrush because they couldn’t pull the trigger?

How much better is silence; the coffee cup, the table. How much better to sit by myself like the solitary sea-bird that opens its wings on the stake. Let me sit here for ever with bare things, this coffee cup, this knife, this fork, things in themselves, myself being myself.

Human beings have neither kindness, nor faith, nor charity beyond what serves to increase the pleasure of the moment.

I am rooted, but I flow.

I don't believe in aging. I believe in forever altering one's aspect to the sun.

I have lost friends, some by death... others by sheer inability to cross the street.

I like books whose virtue is all drawn together in a page or two. I like sentences that don't budge though armies cross them.

I prefer men to cauliflowers.

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

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

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

Illusions are to the soul what atmosphere is to the earth.

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

It is far more difficult to murder a phantom than a reality.

It is no use trying to sum people up

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

Never pretend that the things you haven't got are not worth having.

No passion is stronger in the breast of a man than the desire to make others believe as he believes. Nothing so cuts at the root of his happiness and fills him with rage as the sense that another rates low what he prizes high.

Nothing thicker than a knife's blade separates happiness from melancholy.

On the outskirts of every agony sits some observant fellow who points.

Once you begin to take yourself seriously as a leader or as a follower, as a modern or as a conservative, then you become a self-conscious, biting, and scratching little animal whose work is not of the slightest value or importance to anybody.

One can only believe entirely, perhaps, in what one cannot see.

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.

Really I don't like human nature unless all candied over with art.

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.

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.

The beauty of the world... has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder.

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

The middle age of buggers is not to be contemplated without horror.

The older one grows, the more one likes indecency.

The strongest natures, when they are influenced, submit the most unreservedly: it is perhaps a sign of their strength.

Though we see the same world, we see it through different eyes.

To let oneself be carried on passively is unthinkable.

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

What does the brain matter compared with the heart?

When the body escaped mutilation, seldom did the heart go to the grave unscarred.

Writing is like sex. First you do it for love, then you do it for your friends, and then you do it for money.

You cannot find peace by avoiding life.

Categories: Quotes of the day, Virginia Woolf


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