Virginia Woolf Quotes

Best selected Virginia Woolf quotes for your inspiration are given below.

Those comfortably padded lunatic asylums which are known, euphemistically, as the stately homes of England. ~Virginia Woolf - Aristocracy
What is meant by ''reality''? It would seem to be something very erratic, very undependable -- now to be found in a dusty road, now in a scrap of newspaper in the street, now a daffodil in the sun. It lights up a group in a room and stamps some casual saying ~Virginia Woolf - Reality
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 health 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 - Publicity
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 - Sensitivity
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 - Pregnancy
The history of men's opposition to women's emancipation is more interesting perhaps than the story of that emancipation itself. ~Virginia Woolf - Feminism
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 - Colleges and Universities
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 - Biography
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 - Sex
What I like, or one of the things I like, about motoring is the sense it gives one of lighting accidentally, like a voyager who touches another planet with the tip of his toe, upon scenes which would have gone on, have always gone on, will go on, unrecorded, save for this chance glimpse. Then it seems to me I am allowed to see the heart of the world uncovered for a moment. ~Virginia Woolf - Automobiles
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 - Doctors
I thought how unpleasant it is to be locked out; and I thought how it is worse, perhaps, to be locked in. ~Virginia Woolf - Circumstance
That great Cathedral space which was childhood. ~Virginia Woolf - Childhood
The current flows fast and furious. It issues in a spate of words from the loudspeakers and the politicians. Every day they tell us that we are a free people fighting to defend freedom. That is the current that has whirled the young airman up into the sky and keeps him circulating there among the clouds. Down here, with a roof to cover us and a gas mask handy, it is our business to puncture gas bags and discover the seeds of truth. ~Virginia Woolf - Propaganda
To depend upon a profession is a less odious form of slavery than to depend upon a father. ~Virginia Woolf - Professions and Professionals
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 - Creativity
We are nauseated by the sight of trivial personalities decomposing in the eternity of print. ~Virginia Woolf - Writers and Writing
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 - Faces
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 - Men and Women
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 - Mind
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 - Intimacy
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 - Conformity
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 - Confidence
It is no use trying to sum people up. One must follow hints, not exactly what is said, nor yet entirely what is done. ~Virginia Woolf - Action
To enjoy freedom we have to control ourselves. ~Virginia Woolf - Self-control
The truth is, I often like women. I like their unconventionality. I like their completeness. I like their anonymity. ~Virginia Woolf - Women
Rigid, the skeleton of habit alone upholds the human frame. ~Virginia Woolf - Habit
On the outskirts of every agony sits some observant fellow who points. ~Virginia Woolf - Pain
Henry James seems most entirely in his element, doing that is to say what everything favors his doing, when it is a question of recollection. The mellow light which swims over the past, the beauty which suffuses even the commonest little figures of that ~Virginia Woolf - Literature
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 which I have not shared and probably will not share. ~Virginia Woolf - War
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 - Truth
Some people go to priests; others to poetry; I to my friends. ~Virginia Woolf - Friends and Friendship
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 - Literature
A strange thing has happened -- while all the other arts were born naked, this, the youngest, has been born fully-clothed. It can say everything before it has anything to say. It is as if the savage tribe, instead of finding two bars of iron to play with, had found scattering the seashore fiddles, flutes, saxophones, trumpets, grand pianos by Erhard and Bechstein, and had begun with incredible energy, but without knowing a note of music, to hammer and thump upon them all at the same time. ~Virginia Woolf - Cinema
One has to secrete a jelly in which to slip quotations down people's throats --and one always secretes too much jelly. ~Virginia Woolf - Quotations
If we didn't live adventurously, 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 - Adventure
Yet it is in our idleness, in our dreams, that the submerged truth sometimes comes to the top. ~Virginia Woolf - Idleness
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 - Excellence
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 - Life and Living
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 - Dress
Great bodies of people are never responsible for what they do. ~Virginia Woolf - Crowds
We all indulge in the strange, pleasant process called thinking, but when it comes to saying, even to someone opposite, what we think, then how little we are able to convey! The phantom is through the mind and out of the window before we can lay salt on ~Virginia Woolf - Thoughts and Thinking
Why are women so much more interesting to men than men are to women? ~Virginia Woolf - Men and Women
Each had his past shut in him like the leaves of a book known to him by heart; and his friends could only read the title, James Spalding, or Charles Budgeon, and the passengers going the opposite way could read nothing at all -- save ''a man with a red moustache,'' ''a young man in gray smoking a pipe.'' ~Virginia Woolf - People, Other
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 - Writers and Writing
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 - Apathy
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 - Writers and Writing
Arrange Whatever pieces come your way. ~Virginia Woolf - Opportunity
The first duty of a lecturer is 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 mantelpiece forever. ~Virginia Woolf - Teachers and Teaching
The connection between dress and war is not far to seek; your finest clothes are those you wear as soldiers. ~Virginia Woolf - Uniforms
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 - Self-confidence
Young women... you are, in my opinion, disgracefully ignorant. You have never made a discovery of any sort of importance. You have never shaken an empire or led an army into battle. The plays by Shakespeare are not by you, and you have never introduced a barbarous race to the blessings of civilization. What is your excuse? ~Virginia Woolf - Women
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 - Mind
Thus when I come to shape here at this table between my hands the story of my life and set it before you as a complete thing, I have to recall things gone far, gone deep, sunk into this life or that and become part of it; dreams, too, things surrounding me, and the inmates, those old half-articulate ghosts who keep up their hauntings by day and night... shadows of people one might have been; unborn selves. ~Virginia Woolf - Autobiography
The poet gives us his essence, but prose takes the mold of the body and mind. ~Virginia Woolf - Poetry and Poets
As a woman I have no country. As a woman my country is the whole world. ~Virginia Woolf - Women
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 very opposite of what it is above. ~Virginia Woolf - Gender
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 - Awareness
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 - Peace
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 - Introspection
Humor is the first gift to perish in a foreign language. ~Virginia Woolf - Translation
When a subject is highly controversial... 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. ~Virginia Woolf - Controversy
The eyes of others our prisons; their thoughts our cages. ~Virginia Woolf - People, Other
Against you I will fling myself, unvanquished and unyielding, O Death! ~Virginia Woolf - Death and Dying
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 - Soul
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 - Critics and Criticism
When the shriveled skin of the ordinary is stuffed out with meaning, it satisfies the senses amazingly. ~Virginia Woolf - Banality
Boredom is the legitimate kingdom of the philanthropic. ~Virginia Woolf - Philanthropists
I am to be broken. I am to be derided all my life. I am to be cast up and down among these men and women, with their twitching faces, with their lying tongues, like a cork on a rough sea. Like a ribbon of weed I am flung far every time the door opens. ~Virginia Woolf - Innocence
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 ~Virginia Woolf - Love
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 - Fiction
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 - Self-image
Sleep, that deplorable curtailment of the joy of life. ~Virginia Woolf - Sleep
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. ~Virginia Woolf - Fiction
One likes people much better when they're battered down by a prodigious siege of misfortune than when they triumph. ~Virginia Woolf - Adversity
One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. ~Virginia Woolf - Food and Eating
Really I don't like human nature unless all candied over with art. ~Virginia Woolf - Human Nature
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 - Language
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 - Genius
Now, aged 50, I'm just poised to shoot forth quite free straight and undeflected my bolts whatever they are. ~Virginia Woolf - Age and Aging
The older one grows, the more one likes indecency. ~Virginia Woolf - Age and Aging
For such will be our ruin if you, in the immensity of your public abstractions, forget the private figure, or if we in the intensity of our private emotions forget the public world. Both houses will be ruined, the public and the private, the material and the spiritual, for they are inseparably connected. ~Virginia Woolf - Public
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 - Adulthood
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 - Intelligence and Intellectuals
It would be a thousand pities if women wrote like men, or lived like men, or looked like men, for if two sexes are quite inadequate, considering the vastness and variety of the world, how should we manage with one only? Ought not education to bring out and fortify the differences rather than the similarities? For we have too much likeness as it is, and if an explorer should come back and bring word of other sexes looking through the branches of other trees at other skies, nothing would be of greater service to humanity; and we should have the immense pleasure into the bargain of watching Professor X rush for his measuring-rods to prove himself ''superior.'' ~Virginia Woolf - Gender
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 - Books and Reading
The word-coining genius, as if thought plunged into a sea of words and came up dripping. ~Virginia Woolf - Words
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 - Life and Living
A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction. ~Virginia Woolf - Writers and Writing
These are the soul's changes. I don't believe in aging. I believe in forever altering one's aspect to the sun. Hence my optimism. ~Virginia Woolf - Age and Aging
At 46 one must be a miser; only have time for essentials. ~Virginia Woolf - Age and Aging

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