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 :: 1882-1941, British Novelist, Essayist

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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]

 

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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]

 

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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]

 

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A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.
~ Virginia Woolf - [Writers and Writing]

 

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Against you I will fling myself, unvanquished and unyielding, O Death!
~ Virginia Woolf - [Death and Dying]

 

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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]

 

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Arrange Whatever pieces come your way.
~ Virginia Woolf - [Opportunity]

 

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As a woman I have no country. As a woman my country is the whole world.
~ Virginia Woolf - [Women]

 

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At 46 one must be a miser; only have time for essentials.
~ Virginia Woolf - [Age and Aging]

 

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Boredom is the legitimate kingdom of the philanthropic.
~ Virginia Woolf - [Philanthropists]

 

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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]

 

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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]

 

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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]

 

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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]

 

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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.
~ Virginia Woolf - [Fiction]

 

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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]

 

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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]

 

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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]

 

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Great bodies of people are never responsible for what they do.
~ Virginia Woolf - [Crowds]

 

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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]

 

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