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Virginia Woolf Quotes (269 Quotes)


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  • For this is the truth about our soul, he thought, who fish-like inhabits deep seas and plies among obscurities threading her way between the boles of giant weeds, over sun-flickered spaces and on and on into gloom, cold, deep, inscrutable; suddenly she shoots to the surface and sports on the wind-wrinkled waves; that is, has a positive need to brush, scrape, kindle herself, gossiping.
    (Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway")

  • Never would she come first with anyone.
    (Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway")

  • The people we are most fond of are not good for us when we are ill.
    (Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway")

  • 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")

  • How then did it work out, all this? How did one judge people, think of them? How did one add up this and that and conclude that it is liking one felt, or disliking? And to those words, what meaning attached, after all?
    (Virginia Woolf, "To the Lighthouse")

  • 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.
    (Virginia Woolf, "To the Lighthouse")

  • Half the time she did things not simply, not for themselves; but to make people think this or that; perfect idiocy she knew for no one was ever for a second taken in.
    (Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway")

  • No decent man ought to read Shakespeare's sonnets because it was like listening at keyholes.
    (Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway")

  • The world wavered and quivered and threatened to burst into flames.
    (Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway")

  • 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")

  • If Shakespeare had never existed, he asked, would the world have differed much from what it is today? Does the progress of civilization depend upon great men? Is the lot of the average human being better now that in the time of the Pharaohs?
    (Virginia Woolf, "To the Lighthouse")


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