Virginia Woolf Quotes & Wallpapers

Virginia Woolf
Total Quotes: 917


The chief glory of a woman is not to be talked of, said Pericles, himself a much-talked-of-man. Virginia Woolf
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Biography is to give a man some kind of shape after his death. Virginia Woolf
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Yes, yes, I'm coming. Right up the top of the house. One moment I'll linger. How the mud goes round in the mind-what a swirl these monsters leave, the waters rocking, the weeds waving and green here, black there, striking to the sand, till by degrees the atoms reassemble, the deposit sifts itself, and a gain through the eyes one sees clear and still, and there comes to the lips some prayer for the departed, some obsequy for the souls of those one nods to, the one never meets again. Virginia Woolf
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To make ideas effective, we must be able to fire them off. We must put them into action. Virginia Woolf
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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. Virginia Woolf
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Whatever may be their use in civilized societies, mirrors are essential to all violent and heroic action. Virginia Woolf
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Romantic Love is only an Illusion. A story one makes up in One's Mind about Another Person. Virginia Woolf
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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 externalised; very, very concentrated, all at one point, not having to draw upon the scattered parts of one's character, living in the brain. Virginia Woolf
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But why do I notice everything? She thought. Why must I think? She did not want to think. She wanted to force her mind to become a blank and lie back, and accept quietly, tolerantly, whatever came. Virginia Woolf
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I will go down with my colors flying. Virginia Woolf
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O friendship, I too will press flowers between the pages of Shakespeare's sonnets! Virginia Woolf
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While fame impedes and constricts, obscurity wraps about a man like a mist; obscurity is dark, ample, and free; obscurity lets the mind take its way unimpeded. Over the obscure man is poured the merciful suffusion of darkness. None knows where he goes or comes. He may seek the truth and speak it; he alone is free; he alone is truthful, he alone is at peace. Virginia Woolf
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It was love, she thought, love that never clutch its object; but, like the love which mathematicians bear their symbols, or poets their phrases, was meant to be spread over the world and become part of human gain. The world by all means should have shared it, could Mr Bankes have said why that woman pleased him so; why the sight of her reading a fairy tale to her boy had upon him precisely the same effect as the solution of a scientific problem. Virginia Woolf
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Communication is truth; communication is happiness. To share is our duty; to go down boldly and bring to light those hidden thoughts which are the most diseased; to conceal nothing; to pretend nothing; if we are ignorant to say so; if we love our friends to let them know it. Virginia Woolf
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A very elementary exercise in psychology, not to be dignified by the name of psycho-analysis, showed me, on looking at my notebook, that the sketch of the angry professor had been made in anger. Anger had snatched my pencil while I dreamt. But what was anger doing there? Interest, confusion, amusement, boredom-all these emotions I could trace and name as they succeeded each other throughout the morning. Had anger, the black snake, been lurking among them? Yes, said the sketch, anger had. Virginia Woolf
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Are we so made that we have to take death in small doses daily or we could not go on with the business of living? Virginia Woolf
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Some collaboration has to take place in the mind between the woman and the man before the art of creation can be accomplished. Some marriage of opposites has to be consummated. The whole of the mind must lie wide open if we are to get the sense that the Virginia Woolf
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Thoughts without words... Can that be? Virginia Woolf
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O why do I ever let anyone read what I write! Every time I have to go through a breakfast with a letter of criticism I swear I will write for my own praise or blame in future. It is a misery. Virginia Woolf
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All this pitting of sex against sex, of quality against quality; all this claiming of superiority and imputing of inferiority belong to the private-school stage of human existence where there are sides, and it is necessary for one side to beat another side. Virginia Woolf
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The mind must be allowed to settle undisturbed over the object in order to secrete the pearl. Virginia Woolf
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At last she shut the book sharply, lay back, and drew a deep breath, expressive of the wonder which always marks the transition from the imaginary world to the real world. Virginia Woolf
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Nothing, however, can be more arrogant, though nothing is commoner than to assume that of Gods there is only one, and of religions none but the speaker's. Virginia Woolf
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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. Virginia Woolf
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How far do our feelings take their colour from the dive underground? I mean, what is the reality of any feeling? Virginia Woolf
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It was a miserable machine, an inefficient machine, she thought, the human apparatus for painting or for feeling; it always broke down at the critical moment; heroically, one must force it on. Virginia Woolf
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It is in our idleness, in our dreams, that the submerged truth sometimes comes to the top. Virginia Woolf
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The man who is aware of himself is henceforward independent; and he is never bored, and life is only too short, and he is steeped through and through with a profound yet temperate happiness. Virginia Woolf
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To depend upon a profession is a less odious form of slavery than to depend upon a father. Virginia Woolf
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There can be no two opinions as to what a highbrow is. He is the man or woman of thoroughbred intelligence who rides his mind at a gallop across country in pursuit of an idea. Virginia Woolf
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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. Virginia Woolf
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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. Virginia Woolf
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There was a star riding through clouds one night, & I said to the star, 'Consume me'. Virginia Woolf
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All the time she writing the world had continued. Virginia Woolf
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Literature is no one's private ground, literature is common ground; let us trespass freely and fearlessly and find our own way for ourselves. Virginia Woolf
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Oh, is this your buried treasure? The light in the heart. Virginia Woolf
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Why, if it was an illusion, not praise the catastrophe, whatever it was, that destroyed illusion and put truth in it's place? Virginia Woolf
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I need not hate any man; he cannot hurt me. I need not flatter any man; he has nothing to give me. Virginia Woolf
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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. Virginia Woolf
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The truth is, I often like women. I like their unconventionality. I like their completeness. I like their anonymity. Virginia Woolf
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When you consider things like the stars, our affairs don't seem to matter very much, do they? Virginia Woolf
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The thing about Proust is his combination of the utmost sensibility with the utmost tenacity. He searches out these butterfly shades to the last grain. He is as tough as catgut and as evanescent as a butterfly's bloom. Virginia Woolf
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The depths of the sea are only water after all. Virginia Woolf
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As a creator of character his peculiarity is that he creates wherever his eyes rest ... With such a power at his command Dickens made his books blaze up, not by tightening the plot or sharpening the wit, but by throwing another handful of people upon the fire. Virginia Woolf
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jealousy ... survives every other passion of mankind ... Virginia Woolf
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scarcely a human being in the course of history has fallen to a woman's rifle; the vast majority of birds and beasts have been killed by you, not by us. Obviously there is for you some glory, some necessity, some satisfaction in fighting which we have never felt or enjoyed. Virginia Woolf
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I think writing, my writing, is a species of mediumship. I become the person. Virginia Woolf
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How lovely goodness is in those who, stepping lightly, go smiling through the world. Virginia Woolf
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But words have been used too often; touched and turned, and left exposed to the dust of the street. The words we seek hang close to the tree. We come at dawn and find them sweet beneath the leaf. Virginia Woolf
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But Time, unfortunately, though it makes animals and vegetables bloom and fade with amazing punctuality has no such simple effect upon the mind of man. Virginia Woolf
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After all, what is a lovely phrase? One that has mopped up as much Truth as it can hold. Virginia Woolf
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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. Virginia Woolf
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I would venture to guess than Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman. Virginia Woolf
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But look - he flicks his hand to the back of his neck. For such gesture one falls hopelessly in love for a lifetime. Virginia Woolf
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Directly the mulberry tree begins to make you circle, break off. Pelt the tree with laughter. Virginia Woolf
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The extraordinary woman depends on the ordinary woman. Virginia Woolf
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Anecdote: A house that is rooted to one spot but can travel as quickly as you change your mind and is complete in itself is surely the most desirable of houses. Our modern house with its cumbersome walls and its foundations planted deep in the ground is nothing better than a prison and more and more prison like does it become the longer we live there, and wear fetters of a association and sentiment. Virginia Woolf
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Love ought to stop on both sides, do' you think, simultaneously?" He spoke without any stress on the words, so as not to wake the sleepers. "But it wo' - that's the devil," he added in the same undertone. Virginia Woolf
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For while directly we say that it [the length of human life] is ages long, we are reminded that it is briefer than the fall of a rose leaf to the ground. Virginia Woolf
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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. Virginia Woolf
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All extremes of feeling are allied with madness. Virginia Woolf
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Oh and I thought, as i was dressing, how interesting it would be to describe the approach of age, and the gradual coming of death. As people describe love. To note every symptom of failure: but why failure? To treat age as an experience that is different from the others; and to detect every one of the gradual stages towards death which is a tremendous experience, an not as unconscious, at least in its approaches, as death is. Virginia Woolf
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She tapped on the window with her embossed hairbrush. They were too far off to hear. The drone of the trees was in their ears; the chirp of birds; other incidents of garden life, inaudible, invisible to her in the bedroom, absorbed them. Isolated on a green island, hedged about with snowdrops, laid with a counterpane of puckered silk, the innocent island floated under her window. Only George lagged behind. Virginia Woolf
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Against you I will fling myself, unvanquished and unyielding, O Death! Virginia Woolf
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If woman had no existence save in the fiction written by men, one would imagine her a person of utmost importance; very various; heroic and mean; splendid and sordid; infinitely beautiful and hideous in the extreme; as great as a man; some think even greater. Virginia Woolf
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. . . clumsiness is often mated with a love of solitude. Virginia Woolf
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But when we sit together, close,' said Bernard, 'we melt into each other with phrases. We are edged with mist. We make an unsubstantial territory. Virginia Woolf
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Women have sat indoors all these millions of years, so that by this time the very walls are permeated by their creative force, which has, indeed, so overcharged the capacity of bricks and mortar that it must needs harness itself to pens and brushes and business and politics. Virginia Woolf
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A thing there was that mattered; a thing, wreathed about with chatter, defaced, obscured in her own life, let drop every day in corruption, lies, chatter. This he had preserved. Death was defiance. Death was an attempt to communicate; people feeling the impossibility of reaching the centre which, mystically, evaded them; closeness drew apart; rapture faded, one was alone. There was an embrace in death. Virginia Woolf
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But he could not taste, he could not feel. In the teashop among the tables and the chattering waiters the appalling fear came over him- he could not feel. He could reason; he could read, Dante for example, quite easily...he could add up his bill; his brain was perfect; it must be the fault of the world then- that he could not feel. Virginia Woolf
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