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Posts Tagged ‘quotes’

In August of 1923 Virginia Woolf was in the middle of writing the novel that would eventually be published in 1925 under the title Mrs. Dalloway. After writing in her diary that she was “battling for ever so long” with the novel — tentatively titled The Hours — on the following day, she spelled out the stream of consciousness technique she planned to use in her groundbreaking work.

In this oft-quoted passage written on Aug. 30, 1923, she describes the process as digging out “beautiful caves” behind her characters. This is what she wrote:

You see, I’m thinking furiously about Reading & Writing. I have no time to describe my plans. I should say a good deal about The Hours, & my discovery; how I dig out beautiful caves behind my characters; I think that gives exactly what I want; humanity, humour, depth. The idea is that the caves shall connect, & each comes to daylight at the present moment — Dinner! –Diary 2, 263.

Later in the year, on Oct. 15, she describes the process a bit differently:

It took me a year’s groping to discover what I call my tunnelling process, by which I tell the past by installments, as I have need of it. – A Writer’s Diary, 60.

 

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In my little corner of Ohio, it is unseasonably warm today. And while I haven’t walked around my garden to see what spring blossoms might be coming up early, I did peruse Virginia Woolf’s diary entry made one hundred years ago today. In it, she does something like that.

On Feb. 10, 1923, while living in Richmond, Woolf wrote a long diary entry. On that day, she included her observations of the first signs of spring and the weather as she walked to the local cemetery, along with details of her recently developed daily schedule:

The spring the spring, I sing in imitation of Wagner, & saw a gorze bush set with soft yellow buds. Then we got into the Park, where the rain drove dogs & humans home, & so back on the stroke of three. It is now our plan (a day old) to walk from 2 to 3; print from 3 to 5; delay our tea; & so make headway. – Diary: Volume 2, pg. 233.

She also relates an earlier conversation with Mary* in which she discussed her mood that winter, which she thought had been affected by the genre of writing in which she had been involved:

But I suppose I talked most, & about myself. How I’d been depressed since Jan. 3rd. We ran it to earth, I think, by discovering that I began journalism on that day. Last Thursday, I think, I returned to fiction, to the instant nourishment & well being of my entire day. – Diary: Volume 2, pg. 234.

*Mary is not identified in this entry in Volume 2 of the diary, although she is likely Mary Hutchinson, as Alice Lowe mentions in the comments below.

Early spring blooms picked and arranged by my granddaughter when she was just 10.

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An essay by Blogging Woolf contributor Alice Woolf published May 19 on (mac)ro(mic) discusses a dreaded topic — aging — and includes the views of Dorothy Parker and Virginia Woolf.

Alice Lowe

Woolf used to address her future self—old Virginia—in her diary; days before her death she reminded herself to “observe the oncome of age. — Lowe

Lowe has written about Woolf and aging before. In 2017 she connected Woolf with aging, writing, and her own decision to get a tattoo.

Besides writing for Blogging Woolf, Lowe blogs at aliceloweblogs.wordpress.com. Her flash prose has appeared this past year in Hobart, JMWW, Door Is a Jar, Sleet, Anti-Heroin Chic, and BurningWord. She’s had citations in Best American Essays and nominations for Pushcart Prizes and Best of the Net.

 

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In conjunction with #DallowayDay 2018 the Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain is asking Woolf fans for their favourite Woolf quotation.

Don’t worry about the exact words; organizers say they can probably find the one you mean.

Here’s what to do. Just click on the ‘Send Message’ button on the VWSGB Facebook page and type in your favourite Woolf quotation, where it comes from and a few words about why you like it, and the group will add it to the list.

The VWSGB needs quotes by the third Wednesday in June, which most Woolfians consider to be the day on which Clarissa Dalloway takes her walk around London and holds her party. This year, as in 1923, when the novel is set, this falls on Wednesday 20 June.

When all ideas are collected, the top five will be listed and members will be asked to vote for one of them by 30 June. Results will be announced in early July.

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Woolf in BloomVirginia Woolf scholar Elisa Kay Sparks has launched a new blog that links a daily quote from Woolf with a photographic image of flora.

She launched the blog, Woolf in Bloom: A Daily Almanac, on March 22. In a message to the VWoolf Listserv, Sparks said she has made a one-year commitment to the blog. She said the the blog is a response to the desire of Woolf scholars for a daily Woolf quote app that would provide a passage from Woolf to meditate on every day.

The photographs of flora that she posts with the quotes come from her daily walks, as well as from images she has collected from trips to visit gardens and Woolf sites in the UK.

“I’ll be commemorating important dates in Woolf’s life as well as attempting to highlight flowers according to the British blooming season and to Woolf’s mentions of them in diaries and letters,” Sparks said.

She said she would attempt to post to the blog on a daily basis and that most — but not all — posts would include a Woolf quote and a flora image.

Today’s quote, which is linked with a soft peach tulip:

They had reached the site of the old Exhibition. They looked at the tulips. Stiff and curled, the little rods of waxy smoothness rose from the earth, nourished yet contained, suffused with scarlet and coral pink. Each had its shadow; each grew trimly in the diamond-shaped wedge as the gardener had planned it.  –Jacob’s Room (176)

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