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Random Quote
"Someone is putting brandy in your bonbons, Grand Marnier in your breakfast jam, Kahlua in your ice cream, Scotch in your mustard and Wild Turkey in your cake."
Marian Burros
Virginia Woolf Quotes
A good essay must have this permanent quality about it; it must draw its curtain round us, but it must be a curtain that shuts us in not out.
Virginia Woolf

A masterpiece is something said once and for all, stated, finished, so that it's there complete in the mind, if only at the back.
Virginia Woolf

A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.
Virginia Woolf

Against you I will fling myself, unvanquished and unyielding, O Death!
Virginia Woolf

Almost any biographer, if he respects facts, can give us much more than another fact to add to our collection. He can give us the creative fact; the fertile fact; the fact that suggests and engenders.
Virginia Woolf

Arrange whatever pieces come your way.
Virginia Woolf

As a woman I have no country. As a woman my country is the whole world.
Virginia Woolf

At 46 one must be a misre; only have time for essentials.
Virginia Woolf

Boredom is the legitimate kingdom of the philanthropic.
Virginia Woolf

But when the self speaks to the self, who is speaking? - the entombed soul, the spirit driven in, in, in to the central catacomb; the self that took the veil and left the world - a coward perhaps, yet somehow beautiful, as it flits with its lantern restlessly up and down the dark corridors.
Virginia Woolf

Different though the sexes are, they inter-mix. In every human being a vacillation from one sex to the other takes place, and often it is only the clothes that keep the male or female likeness, while underneath the sex is the very opposite of what it is above.
Virginia Woolf

Each has his past shut in him like the leaves of a book known to him by his heart, and his friends can only read the title.
Virginia Woolf

Every secret of a writer's soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind is written large in his works.
Virginia Woolf

Fiction is like a spider's web, attached ever so slightly perhaps, but still attached to life at all four corners. Often the attachment is scarcely perceptible.
Virginia Woolf

For love... has two faces; one white, the other black; two bodies; one smooth, the other hairy. It has two hands, two feet, two tails, two, indeed, of every member and each one is the exact opposite of the other. Yet, so strictly are they joined together that you cannot separate them.
Virginia Woolf

For what Harley Street specialist has time to understand the body, let alone the mind or both in combination, when he is a slave to thirteen thousand a year?
Virginia Woolf

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

Humor is the first of the gifts to perish in a foreign tongue.
Virginia Woolf

I read the book of Job last night, I don't think God comes out well in it.
Virginia Woolf

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

I want the concentration and the romance, and the worlds all glued together, fused, glowing: have no time to waste any more on prose.
Virginia Woolf

I was in a queer mood, thinking myself very old: but now I am a woman again - as I always am when I write.
Virginia Woolf

I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.
Virginia Woolf

If one could be friendly with women, what a pleasure - the relationship so secret and private compared with relations with men. Why not write about it truthfully?
Virginia Woolf

If we didn't live venturously, plucking the wild goat by the beard, and trembling over precipices, we should never be depressed, I've no doubt; but already should be faded, fatalistic and aged.
Virginia Woolf

If we help an educated man's daughter to go to Cambridge are we not forcing her to think not about education but about war? - not how she can learn, but how she can fight in order that she might win the same advantages as her brothers?
Virginia Woolf

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

If you insist upon fighting to protect me, or 'our' country, let it be understood soberly and rationally between us that you are fighting to gratify a sex instinct which I cannot share; to procure benefits where I have not shared and probably will not share.
Virginia Woolf

Indeed, I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.
Virginia Woolf

Inevitably we look upon society, so kind to you, so harsh to us, as an ill-fitting form that distorts the truth; deforms the mind; fetters the will.
Virginia Woolf

It is curious how instinctively one protects the image of oneself from idolatry or any other handling that could make it ridiculous, or too unlike the original to be believed any longer.
Virginia Woolf

It is fatal to be a man or woman pure and simple: one must be a woman manly, or a man womanly.
Virginia Woolf

It is the nature of the artist to mind excessively what is said about him. Literature is strewn with the wreckage of men who have minded beyond reason the opinions of others.
Virginia Woolf

It's not catastrophes, murders, deaths, diseases, that age and kill us; it's the way people look and laugh, and run up the steps of omnibuses.
Virginia Woolf

Life for both sexes is arduous, difficult, a perpetual struggle. More than anything... it calls for confidence in oneself... And how can we generate this imponderable quality most quickly? By thinking that other people are inferior to oneself.
Virginia Woolf

Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end.
Virginia Woolf

Literature is strewn with the wreckage of men who have minded beyond reason the opinions of others.
Virginia Woolf

Masterpieces are not single and solitary births; they are the outcome of many years of thinking in common, of thinking by the body of the people, so that the experience of the mass is behind the single voice.
Virginia Woolf

Mental fight means thinking against the current, not with it. It is our business to puncture gas bags and discover the seeds of truth.
Virginia Woolf

Methinks the human method of expression by sound of tongue is very elementary, and ought to be substituted for some ingenious invention which should be able to give vent to at least six coherent sentences at once.
Virginia Woolf

Middlemarch, the magnificent book which with all its imperfections is one of the few English novels for grown-up people.
Virginia Woolf

Most of a modest woman's life was spent, after all, in denying what, in one day at least of every year, was made obvious.
Virginia Woolf

My own brain is to me the most unaccountable of machinery - always buzzing, humming, soaring roaring diving, and then buried in mud. And why? What's this passion for?
Virginia Woolf

Never did I read such tosh. As for the first two chapters we will let them pass, but the 3rd 4th 5th 6th - merely the scratching of pimples on the body of the bookboy at Claridges.
Virginia Woolf

Nothing induces me to read a novel except when I have to make money by writing about it. I detest them.
Virginia Woolf

Novels so often provide an anodyne and not an antidote, glide one into torpid slumbers instead of rousing one with a burning brand.
Virginia Woolf

Now, aged 50, I'm just poised to shoot forth quite free straight and undeflected my bolts whatever they are.
Virginia Woolf

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

Once conform, once do what other people do because they do it, and a lethargy steals over all the finer nerves and faculties of the soul. She becomes all outer show and inward emptiness; dull, callous, and indifferent.
Virginia Woolf

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

One has to secrete a jelly in which to slip quotations down people's throats - and one always secretes too much jelly.
Virginia Woolf

One likes people much better when they're battered down by a prodigious siege of misfortune than when they triumph.
Virginia Woolf

One of the signs of passing youth is the birth of a sense of fellowship with other human beings as we take our place among them.
Virginia Woolf

Publicity in women is detestable. Anonymity runs in their blood. The desire to be veiled still possesses them. They are not even now as concerned about the heath of their fame as men are, and speaking generally, will pass a tombstone or a signpost without feeling an irresistible desire to cut their names on it.
Virginia Woolf

[Queen Victoria] knew her own mind. But the mind radically commonplace, only its inherited force, and cumulative sense of power, making it remarkable.
Virginia Woolf

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

Remember if you marry for beauty, thou bindest thyself all thy life for that which perchance, will neither last nor please thee one year: and when thou hast it, it will be to thee of no price at all.
Virginia Woolf

Rigid, the skeleton of habit alone upholds the human frame.
Virginia Woolf

Sleep, that deplorable curtailment of the joy of life.
Virginia Woolf

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 writer is communicating his experience with perfect fullness.
Virginia Woolf

Some people go to priests; others to poetry; I to my friends.
Virginia Woolf

Somewhere, everywhere, now hidden, now apparent in what ever is written down, is the form of a human being. If we seek to know him, are we idly occupied?
Virginia Woolf

That great Cathedral space which was childhood.
Virginia Woolf

The beautiful seems right by force of beauty, and the feeble wrong because of weakness.
Virginia Woolf

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

The connection between dress and war is not far to seek; your finest clothes are those you wear as soldiers.
Virginia Woolf

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

The first duty of a lecturer - to hand you after an hour's discourse a nugget of pure truth to wrap up between the pages of your notebooks and keep on the mantlepiece forever.
Virginia Woolf

The history of men's opposition to women's emancipation is more interesting perhaps than the story of that emancipation itself.
Virginia Woolf

The interest in life does not lie in what people do, nor even in their relations to each other, but largely in the power to communicate with a third party, antagonistic, enigmatic, yet perhaps persuadable, which one may call life in general.
Virginia Woolf

The middlebrow is the man, or woman, of middlebred intelligence who ambles and saunters now on this side of the hedge, now on that, in pursuit of no single object, neither art itself nor life itself, but both mixed indistinguishably, and rather nastily, with money, fame, power, or prestige.
Virginia Woolf

The older one grows, the more one likes indecency.
Virginia Woolf

The poet gives us his essence, but prose takes the mold of the body and mind.
Virginia Woolf

The truth is, I often like women. I like their unconventionality. I like their completeness. I like their anonymity.
Virginia Woolf

The word-coining genius, as if thought plunged into a sea of words and came up dripping.
Virginia Woolf

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

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

These are the soul's changes. I don't believe in ageing. I believe in forever altering one's aspect to the sun. Hence my optimism.
Virginia Woolf

Things have dropped from me. I have outlived certain desires; I have lost friends, some by death... others through sheer inability to cross the street.
Virginia Woolf

This is an important book, the critic assumes, because it deals with war. This is an insignificant book because it deals with the feelings of women in a drawing-room.
Virginia Woolf

This soul, or life within us, by no means agrees with the life outside us. If one has the courage to ask her what she thinks, she is always saying the very opposite to what other people say.
Virginia Woolf

Those comfortably padded lunatic asylums which are known, euphemistically, as the stately homes of England.
Virginia Woolf

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

To depend upon a profession is a less odious form of slavery than to depend upon a father.
Virginia Woolf

To enjoy freedom we have to control ourselves.
Virginia Woolf

Tom's great yellow bronze mask all draped upon an iron framework. An inhibited, nerve-drawn; dropped face - as if hung on a scaffold of heavy private brooding; and thought.
Virginia Woolf

Walk on a rainbow trail; walk on a trail of song, and all about you will be beauty. There is a way out of every dark mist, over a rainbow trail.
Virginia Woolf

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

We can best help you to prevent war not by repeating your words and following your methods but by finding new words and creating new methods.
Virginia Woolf

When the shriveled skin of the ordinary is stuffed out with meaning, it satisfies the senses amazingly.
Virginia Woolf

Where the Mind is biggest, the Heart, the Senses, Magnanimity, Charity, Tolerance, Kindliness, and the rest of them scarcely have room to breathe.
Virginia Woolf

Who shall measure the hat and violence of the poet's heart when caught and tangled in a woman's body?
Virginia Woolf

Why are women... so much more interesting to men than men are to women?
Virginia Woolf

Without self-confidence we are as babes in the cradles. And how can we generate this imponderable quality, which is yet so invaluable most quickly? By thinking that other people are inferior to oneself.
Virginia Woolf

Women have served all these centuries as looking glasses possessing the power of reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural size.
Virginia Woolf

Yet it is in our idleness, in our dreams, that the submerged truth sometimes comes to the top.
Virginia Woolf

You send a boy to school in order to make friends - the right sort.
Virginia Woolf

Type:
Author
Date of Birth:
1882-01-25
Year of Death:
1941
Nationality:
 

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