A Room Of One's Own(1929) - Virginia Woolf Literary Quotes - Quotesmin.com

All Virginia Woolf Literary Quotes


A Room Of One's Own Literary Quotes(1929) - Virginia WoolfRating Mail
A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.
[Ch. 1 (p. 4)]
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When a subject is highly controversial and any question about sex is that one cannot hope to tell the truth. One can only show how one came to hold whatever opinion one does hold. One can only give one's audience the chance of drawing their own conclusions as they observe the limitations, the prejudices, the idiosyncrasies of the speaker.
[Ch. 1 (p. 4)]
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The beauty of the world which is so soon to perish, has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder.
[Ch. 1 (p. 17)]
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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.
[Ch. 1 (p. 18)]
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Have you any notion how many books are written about women in the course of one year? Have you any notion how many are written by men? Are you aware that you are, perhaps, the most discussed animal in the universe?
[Ch. 2 (p. 26)]
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Life for both sexes and I looked at them, shouldering their way along the pavement is arduous, difficult, a perpetual struggle. It calls for gigantic courage and strength. More than anything, perhaps, creatures of illusion as we are, it calls for confidence in oneself. Without self-confidence we are as babes in the cradle. And how can we generate this imponderable quality, which is yet so invaluable, most quickly? By thinking that other people are inferior to one self. By feeling that one has some innate superiority it may be wealth, or rank, a straight nose, or the portrait of a grandfather by Romney for there is no end to the pathetic devices of the human imagination over other people.
[Ch. 2 (p. 35)]
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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.
[Ch. 2 (p. 35)]
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Fiction is like a spider's web, attached ever so lightly perhaps, but still attached to life at all four corners. Often the attachment is scarcely perceptible; Shakespeare's plays, for instance, seem to hang there complete by themselves. But when the web is pulled askew, hooked up at the edge, torn in the middle, one remembers that these webs are not spun in midair by incorporeal creatures, but are the work of suffering human beings, and are attached to the grossly material things, like health and money and the houses we live in.
[Ch. 3 (pp. 43-44)]
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I would venture to guess than Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.
[Ch. 3 (p. 51). Very often misquoted as "For most of history, Anonymous was a woman."]
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For it needs little skill in psychology to be sure that a highly gifted girl who had tried to use her gift for poetry would have been so thwarted and hindered by other people, so tortured and pulled asunder by her own contrary instincts, that she must have lost her health and sanity to a certainty.
[Ch. 3 (p. 51)]
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Literature is strewn with the wreckage of men who have minded beyond reason the opinions of others.
[Ch. 3 (p. 58)]
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The history of men's opposition to women's emancipation is more interesting perhaps than the story of that emancipation itself.
[Ch. 3 (p. 72)]
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I told you in the course of this paper that Shakespeare had a sister; but do not look for her in Sir Sidney Lee's life of the poet. She died young alas, she never wrote a word... Now my belief is that this poet who never wrote a word and was buried at the cross-roads still lives. She lives in you and in me, and in many other women who are not here to-night, for they are washing up the dishes and putting the children to bed. But she lives; for great poets do not die; they are continuing presences; they need only the opportunity to walk among us in the flesh.
[Ch. 6 (p. 117)]
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My belief is that if we live another century or so I am talking of the common life which is the real life and not of the little separate lives which we live as individuals and have five hundred a year each of us and rooms of our own; if we have the habit of freedom and the courage to write exactly what we think; if we escape a little from the common sitting-room and see human beings not always in their relation to each other but in relation to reality; and the sky, too, and the trees or whatever it may be in themselves; if we look past Milton's bogey, for no human being should shut out the view; if we face the fact, for it is a fact, that there is no arm to cling to, but that we go alone and that our relation is to the world of reality and not only to the world of men and women, then the opportunity will come and the dead poet who was Shakespeare's sister will put on the body which she has so often laid down. Drawing her life from the lives of the unknown who were her forerunners, as her brother did before her, she will be born. As for her coming without that preparation, without that effort on our part, without that determination that when she is born again she shall find it possible to live and write her poetry, that we cannot expect, for that would be impossible. But I maintain that she would come if we worked for her, and that so to work, even in poverty and obscurity, is worth while.
[Ch. 6 (pp. 117-118)]
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