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Virginia Woolf Quotes (269 Quotes)


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  • And she came in from the little room.
    (Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway")

  • Her only gift was knowing people almost by instinct, she thought, walking on. If you put her in a room with someone, up went her back like a cat's; or she purred.
    (Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway")

  • She belonged to a different age, but being so entire, so complete, would always stand up on the horizon, stone-white, eminent, like a lighthouse marking some past stage on this adventurous, long, long voyage, this interminable --- this interminable life.
    (Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway")

  • Well, I've had my fun; I've had it, he thought, looking up at the swinging baskets of pale geraniums. And it was smashed to atoms-his fun, for it was half made up, as he knew very well; invented, this escapade with the girl; made up, as one makes up the better part of life, he thought-making onself up; making her up; creating an exquisite amusement, and something more. But odd it was, and quite true; all this one could never share-it smashed to atoms.
    (Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway")

  • 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")


  • One can only believe entirely, perhaps, in what one cannot see.
    (Virginia Woolf, "Orlando")

  • Beauty had this penalty - it came too readily, came too completely. It stilled life - froze it. One forgot the little agitations; the flush, the pallor, some queer distortion, some light or shadow, which made the face unrecognizable for a moment and yet added a quality one saw for ever after.
    (Virginia Woolf, "To the Lighthouse")

  • Never did anybody look so sad. Bitter and black, halfway down, in the darkness, in the shaft which ran from the sunlight to the depths, perhaps a tear formed; a tear fell; the waves swayed this way and that, received it, and were at rest. Never did anybody look so sad.
    (Virginia Woolf, "To the Lighthouse")

  • Was there no safety? No learning by heart of the ways of the world? No guide, no shelter, but all was miracle, and leaping from the pinnacle of a tower into the air? Could it be, even for elderly people, that this was life?--startling, unexpected, unknown?
    (Virginia Woolf, "To the Lighthouse")

  • And there is a dignity in people; a solitude; even between husband and wife a gulf; and that one must respect, thought Clarissa, watching him open the door; for one would not part with it oneself, or take it, against his will, from one's husband, without losing one's independence, one's self-respect-something, after all, priceless.
    (Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway")

  • His wife was crying, and he felt nothing; only each time she sobbed in this profound, this silent, this hopeless way, he descended another step into the pit.
    (Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway")

  • She came into a room; she stood, as he had often seen her, in a doorway with lots of people round her. But it was Clarissa one remembered. Not that she was striking; not beautiful at all; there was nothing picturesque about her; she never said anything specially clever; there she was however; there she was.
    (Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway")

  • What did it mean to her, this thing she called life? Oh, it was very queer.
    (Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway")

  • For it would seem - her case proved it - that we write, not with the fingers, but with the whole person. The nerve which controls the pen winds itself about every fibre of our being, threads the heart, pierces the liver.
    (Virginia Woolf, "Orlando")

  • Ransack the language as he might, words failed him. He wanted another landscape, and another tongue.
    (Virginia Woolf, "Orlando")


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