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Virginia Woolf’s “Orlando” Quotes (39 Quotes)


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  • As long as she thinks of a man, nobody objects to a woman thinking.
    (Virginia Woolf, "Orlando")

  • In fact, though their acquaintance had been so short, they had guessed, as always happens between lovers, everything of any importance about each other in two seconds at the utmost, and it now remained only to fill in such unimportant details as what they were called; where they lived; and whether they were beggars or people of substance.
    (Virginia Woolf, "Orlando")

  • There was a serenity about him always that had the look of innocence, when, technically, the word was no longer applicable.
    (Virginia Woolf, "Orlando")

  • At one and the same time, therefore, society is everything and society is nothing. Society is the most powerful concoction in the world and society has no existence whatsoever
    (Virginia Woolf, "Orlando")

  • In the 18th century we knew how everything was done, but here I rise through the air, I listen to voices in America, I see men flying- but how is it done? I can't even begin to wonder. So my belief in magic returns.
    (Virginia Woolf, "Orlando")


  • To evade such temptations is the first duty of the poet. For as the ear is the antechamber to the soul, poetry can adulterate and destroy more surely then lust or gunpowder. The poet's, then, is the highest office of all. His words reach where others fall short. A silly song of Shakespeare's has done more for the poor and the wicked than all the preachers and philanthropists in the world.
    (Virginia Woolf, "Orlando")

  • But Sasha was from Russia, where the sunsets are longer, the dawns less sudden and sentences are often left unfinished from doubt as how to best end them.
    (Virginia Woolf, "Orlando")

  • Love, the poet said, is woman's whole existence.
    (Virginia Woolf, "Orlando")

  • To put it in a nutshell, he was afflicted with a love of literature. It was the fatal nature of this disease to substitute a phantom for reality.
    (Virginia Woolf, "Orlando")

  • But Time, unfortunately, though it makes animals and vegetables bloom and fade with amazing punctuality, has no such simple effect upon the mind of man. The mind of man, moreover, works with equal strangeness upon the body of time. An hour, once it lodges in the queer element of the human spirit, may be stretched to fifty or a hundred times its clock length; on the other hand, an hour may be accurately represented on the timepiece of the mind by one second.
    (Virginia Woolf, "Orlando")

  • Memory is the seamstress, and a capricious one at that. Memory runs her needle in and out, up and down, hither and thither. We know not what comes next, or what follows after. Thus, the most ordinary movement in the world, such as sitting down at a table and pulling the inkstand towards one, may agitate a thousand odd, disconnected fragments, now bright, now dim, hanging and bobbing and dipping and flaunting, like the underlinen of a family of fourteen on a line in a gale of wind.
    (Virginia Woolf, "Orlando")

  • Vain trifles as they seem, clothes have, they say, more important offices than to merely keep us warm. They change our view of the world and the world's view of us.
    (Virginia Woolf, "Orlando")

  • For it has come about, by the wise economy of nature, that our modern spirit can almost dispense with language; the commonest expressions do, since no expressions do; hence the most ordinary conversation is often the most poetic, and the most poetic is precisely that which cannot be written down.
    (Virginia Woolf, "Orlando")

  • No passion is stronger in the breast of a man than the desire to make others believe as he believes. Nothing so cuts at the root of his happiness and fills him with rage as the sense that another rates low what he prizes high.
    (Virginia Woolf, "Orlando")

  • Was not writing poetry a secret transaction, a voice answering a voice?
    (Virginia Woolf, "Orlando")


    More Virginia Woolf Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Mind - Life - Woman - World - Thought & Thinking - Man - People - Time - Sense & Perception - Literature - Love - Soul - Body - Emotions - Truth - Water - Nature - Poetry - Sadness - Books - View All Virginia Woolf Quotations

    More Virginia Woolf Quotations (By Book Titles)


    - Mrs. Dalloway
    - Orlando
    - To the Lighthouse

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