Virginia Woolf, nee Stephen, fully Adeline Virginia Woolf

Virginia
Woolf, nee Stephen, fully Adeline Virginia Woolf
1882
1941

English Writer

Author Quotes

The sigh of all the seas breaking in measure round the isles soothed them; the night wrapped them; nothing broke their sleep, until, the birds beginning and the dawn weaving their thin voices in to its whiteness

The very stone one kicks with one's boot will outlast Shakespeare.

There is much to support the view that it is clothes that wear us, and not we, them; we may make them take the mold of arm or breast, but they mold our hearts, our brains, our tongues to their liking.

There was a star riding through clouds one night, and I said to the star, 'Consume me'.

They can because they think they can.

Though we see the same world, we see it through different eyes. Any help we can give you must be different from that you can give yourselves, and perhaps the value of that help may lie in the fact of that difference.

That great Cathedral space which was childhood.

The cold stream of visual impressions failed him now as if the eye were a cup that overflowed and let the rest run down its china walls unrecorded.

The human frame being what it is, heart, body and brain all mixed together, and not contained in separate compartments as they will be no doubt in another million years, a good dinner is of great importance to good talk. One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.

The most extraordinary thing about writing is that when you've struck the right vein, tiredness goes. It must be an effort, thinking wrong.

The skeleton of habit alone upholds the human frame.

The waves broke and spread their waters swiftly over the shore. One after another they massed themselves and fell; the spray tossed itself back with the energy of their fall. The waves were steeped deep-blue save for a pattern of diamond-pointed light on their backs which rippled as the backs of great horses ripple with muscles as they move. The waves fell; withdrew and fell again, like the thud of a great beast stamping.

There is much to support the view that it is clothes that wear us and not we them; we may make them

There was all the difference in the world between this planning airily away from the canvas and actually taking her brush and making the first mark.

They know what to say if spoken to. They laugh really; they get angry really; while I have to look first and then do what other people do when they have done it.

Thought and theory must precede all salutary action; yet action is nobler in itself than either thought or theory.

That illusion of a world so shaped that it echoes every groan, of human beings so tied together by common needs and fears that a twitch at one wrist jerks another, where however strange your experience other people have had it too, where however far you travel in your own mind someone has been there before you - - is all an illusion. We do not know our own souls, let alone the souls of others. Human beings do not go hand in hand the whole stretch of the way. There is a virgin forest in each; a snowfield where even the print of birds' feet is unknown. Here we go alone, and like it better so. Always to have sympathy, always to be accompanied, always to be understood would be intolerable.

The common fund of experience is very deep.

The impetuous creature--a pirate--started forward, sprang away; she had to hold the rail to steady herself, for a pirate it was, reckless, unscrupulous, bearing down ruthlessly, circumventing dangerously, boldly snatching a passenger, or ignoring a passenger, squeezing eel-like and arrogant in between, and then rushing insolently all sails spread up Whitehall.

The most important thing is not to think very much about oneself. To investigate candidly the charge; but not fussily, not very anxiously. On no account to retaliate by going to the other extreme -- thinking too much.

The sky is blue,' he said, 'the grass is green.' Looking up, he saw that, on the contrary, the sky is like the veils which a thousand Madonnas have let fall from their hair; and the grass fleets and darkens like a flight of girls fleeing the embraces of hairy satyrs from enchanted woods. 'Upon my word,' he said [...], 'I don't see that one's more true than another. Both are utterly false.

The way to rock oneself back into writing is this. First gentle exercise in the air. Second the reading of good literature. It is a mistake to think that literature can be produced from the raw. One must get out of life... one must become externalized; very, very concentrated, all at one point, not having to draw upon the scattered parts of one's character, living in the brain.

There is no barrier, lock, no bolt that you can impose on the freedom of my mind.

There was an embrace in death.

They lack suggestive power. And when a book lacks suggestive power, however hard it hits the surface of the mind it cannot penetrate within.

Author Picture
First Name
Virginia
Last Name
Woolf, nee Stephen, fully Adeline Virginia Woolf
Birth Date
1882
Death Date
1941
Bio

English Writer