Between 1882 and 1941, the English Adeline Virginia Woolf lived a short but intense life: she became one of the most prominent writers and essayists of the twentieth century. His father, an important editor and critic in the London society, brought his daughter up in a house which was often visited by the culture and the literary fields’ household names. When her father passed away, Virginia, who suffered from bipolar disorder, moved in with her sister to Bloomsbury.
This Bloomsbury period was crucial for the development of Woolf’s work. There she met some of her brother’s college classmates, as prominent as the economist Keynes, the writer Forster and philosophers Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein. In the ‘Bloomsbury Group’ she could also share ideas with the painter Dora Carrington and many other intellectuals, like the one who would become her husband, Leonard Woolf. Along with him, she atarted off the prestigious publishing house Hogarth Press, in which they published authors such as Freud, T.S. Eliot and others, besides allowing her own work to the public eye, with books like ‘Mrs. Dalloway’, ‘To The Lighthouse’, ‘The Waves’, collections of short stories ‘Kew Gardens’ or ‘New Dress’, or the essay ‘A Room of One’s Own’. For her style and vision, Woolf is considered to be one of the most important people of literary modernism in the last century.
Virginia Woolf is also a reference of the feminist movement, that regained her work in the 1970s to demand equality of women. Indeed, in ‘A Room of One’s Own’ the author reflects on the difficulty of pursuing a literary career as a female, in a men’s world.
Weary from continuing crises and depressions, she committed suicide by jumping into the River Ouse with her pockets full of stones. A romantic end for a unique talent that left us great words:
There is no barrier, lock or bolt that you can impose on the freedom of my mind.
Life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end.
Yes to always keeping the classics on hand to prevent falls.
Life is a dream. ‘Tis the waking that kills us.
One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.
The past only comes back when the present runs so smoothly that it is like the sliding surface of a deep river. Then one sees through the surface to the depths. In those moments I find one of my greatest satisfactions… It is then that I am living most intensely.
I begin to desire to have a sparse language as used by lovers, broken words, like the rustle of footsteps on the pavement, one-syllable words such as those children use when they enter a room where his mother is sewing and catch a strand of wool from the ground, a pen, or a scrap of chintz. I need a scream, a cry.
Because it is a very enormous pity never to say what you feel…
And again and again he felt that life was bringing him back the strength to drag and make resume of his duties, in the same way that the sailor sees, not without ennui, how the wind returns to fill his sail but do not feel the desire to leave again, and thinks that if the ship sank, it would drop him around and around until he may find rest in the seabed.
Life itself, every moment of it, every drop of it, here right now in the Sun, in Regent.
I wish you all a happy week,
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