Virginia Woolf Love Quotes and Sayings
#1 A Room of One’s Own
1. One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.
#2-4 Mrs Dalloway [S]
2. But nothing is so strange when one is in love (and what was this except being in love?) as the complete indifference of other people.
3. What does the brain matter,’ said Lady Rosseter, getting up, ‘compared with the heart?’
4. He held her hand. Happiness is this, he thought.
#5 Night and Day
5. I see you everywhere, in the stars, in the river; to me you’re everything that exists; the reality of everything.
6. Love, the poet has said, is woman’s whole existence.
Excerpt from Wikipedia: Adeline Virginia Woolf (25 January 1882 – 28 March 1941) was an English writer, and one of the foremost modernists of the twentieth century.
During the interwar period, Woolf was a significant figure in London literary society and a member of the Bloomsbury Group. Her most famous works include the novels Mrs Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927) and Orlando (1928), and the book-length essay A Room of One’s Own (1929), with its famous dictum, “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”
Sayings by Virginia Woolf
#1 The Leaning Tower, The Moment and Other Essays [S]
1. If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.
#2 Modern Fiction
2. Let us not take it for granted that life exists more fully in what is commonly thought big than in what is commonly thought small.
#3 Night and Day
3. When you consider things like the stars, our affairs don’t seem to matter very much, do they?
#4 The Diary of Virginia Woolf: 1925-1930, Hogarth Press, 1977
4. At the moment (I have 7½ before dinner) I can only note that the past is beautiful because one never realises an emotion at the time. It expands later, & thus we don’t have complete emotions about the present, only about the past.
#5 Mrs Dalloway [S]
5. Because it is a thousand pities never to say what one feels…
#6 The String Quartet, Monday or Tuesday [S]
6. The melancholy river bears us on. When the moon comes through the trailing willow boughs, I see your face, I hear your voice and the bird, singing as we pass the osier bed. What are you whispering? Sorrow, sorrow. Joy, joy. Woven I together like reeds in moonlight.
#7 The String Quartet, Monday or Tuesday [S]
7. How lovely goodness is in those who, stepping lightly, go smiling through the world!
#8 A Society, Monday or Tuesday [S]
8. Once she knows how to read there’s only one thing you can teach her to believe in—and that is herself.
#9-16 A Room of One’s Own [S]
9. I need not hate any man; he cannot hurt me. I need not flatter any man; he has nothing to give me.
10. All I could do was to offer you an opinion upon one minor point—a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction; and that, as you will see, leaves the great problem of the true nature of woman and the true nature of fiction unsolved.
11. No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anybody but oneself.
12. …as a woman, I have no country. As a woman I want no country. As a woman my country is the whole world.
13. Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.
14. I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.
15. So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say.
16. Be truthful, one would say, and the result is bound to be amazingly interesting. Comedy is bound to be enriched. New facts are bound to be discovered.
17. Thus, 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.
18. I am growing up. I am losing my illusions, perhaps to acquire new ones.
#19 The Waves
19. The moment was all; the moment was enough.
#20 The Humane Art, April 1940
20. For a self that goes on changing is a self that goes on living.
21. Movement and change are the essence of our being; rigidity is death; conformity is death: let us say what comes into our heads, repeat ourselves, contradict ourselves, fling out the wildest nonsense, and follow the most fantastic fancies without caring what the world does or thinks or says. For nothing matters except life; and, of course, order.
#22 How Should One Read a Book?, 1925 [S]
22. The only advice, indeed, that one person can give another about reading is to take no advice, to follow your own instincts, to use your own reason, to come to your own conclusions.
#23 A Writer’s Diary [S]
23. I don’t believe in ageing. I believe in forever altering one’s aspect to the sun. Hence my optimism.
#24 Thoughts on Peace in an Air Raid
24. But to make ideas effective, we must be able to fire them off. We must put them into action.
#25 The Lighthouse, To the Lighthouse
25. But nevertheless, the fact remained, it was almost impossible to dislike anyone if one looked at them.
#26 The Diary of Virginia Woolf, Volume 3, 1925-1930
26. I will cut adrift—I will go to Roger in France—I will sit on pavements & drink coffee—I will see the Southern hills; I will dream; I will take my mind out of its iron cage & let it swim—this fine October.
#27 Jacob’s Room, Virginia Woolf, Harcourt, Brace, 1960
27. The strange thing about life is that though the nature of it must have been apparent to every one for hundreds of years, no one has left any adequate account of it. The streets of London have their map; but our passions are uncharted. What are you going to meet if you turn this corner?
Quotes Misattributed to Virginia Woolf
#1 Playwright Ferenc Molnár, recorded in The Intimate Notebooks of George Jean Nathan [S]
1. Writing is like sex. First you do it for love, then you do it for your friends, and then you do it for money.
We were sitting one morning two Summers ago, Ferenc Molnár, Dr. Rudolf Kommer and I, in the little garden of a coffee-house in the Austrian Tyrol. “Your writing?” we asked him. “How do you regard it?” Languidly he readjusted the inevitable monocle to his eye. “Like a whore,” he blandly ventured. “First, I did it for my own pleasure. Then I did it for the pleasure of my friends. And now—I do it for money.”