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


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  • All the time she writing the world had continued.
    (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")

  • 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")

  • And indeed, it cannot be denied that the most successful practitioners of life, often unknown people by the way, somehow contrive to synchronize the sixty or seventy different times which beat simultaneously in every normal human system, so that when eleven strikes, all the rest chime in unison, and the present is neither a violent disruption nor completely forgotten in the past.
    (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")


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

  • Are we so made that we have to take death in small doses daily or we could not go on with the business of living?
    (Virginia Woolf, "Orlando")

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

  • We must admit that he had eyes like drenched violets, so large that the water seemed to have brimmed in them and widened them; and a brow like the swelling of a marble dome pressed between the two blank medallions which were his temples.
    (Virginia Woolf, "Orlando")

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

  • What has praise and fame to do with poetry? Was not writing poetry a secret transaction, a voice answering a voice? So that all this chatter and praise, and blame and meeting people who admired one and meeting people who did not admire one was as ill suited as could be to the thing itself- a voice answering a voice.
    (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")

  • 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")

  • 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")


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