Quotes by Famous People

Quotes by Virginia Woolf

A Collection of Quotes by Virginia Woolf

“I am rooted, but I flow.”

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”

“Really I don’t like human nature unless all candied over with art.”

“The telephone, which interrupts the most serious conversations and cuts short the most weighty observations, has a romance of its own.”

“To enjoy freedom we have to control ourselves.”

“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.”

“I really don’t advise a woman who wants to have things her own way to get married.”

“I have lost friends, some by death…others by sheer inability to cross the street.”

“The truth is, I often like women. I like their unconventionality. I like their completeness. I like their anonymity.”

“I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.”

“Fiction is like a spider’s web, attached ever so slightly perhaps, but still attached to life at all four corners. Often the attachment is scarcely perceptible.”

“Arrange whatever pieces come your way.”

“How many times have people used a pen or paintbrush because they couldn’t pull the trigger?”

“The beauty of the world…has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder.”

“As a woman I have no country. As a woman I want no country. As a woman, my country is the whole world.”

“You cannot find peace by avoiding life.”

“Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end.”

“On the outskirts of every agony sits some observant fellow who points.”

“It is in our idleness, in our dreams, that the submerged truth sometimes comes to the top.”

“Why are women… so much more interesting to men than men are to women?”

“I thought how unpleasant it is to be locked out; and I thought how it is worse, perhaps, to be locked in.”

“We can best help you to prevent war not by repeating your words and following your methods but by finding new words and creating new methods.”

“Nothing has really happened until it has been recorded.”

“Boredom is the legitimate kingdom of the philanthropic.”

“I can only note that the past is beautiful because one never realises an emotion at the time. It expands later, and thus we don’t have complete emotions about the present, only about the past.”

“One of the signs of passing youth is the birth of a sense of fellowship with other human beings as we take our place among them.”

“Nothing induces me to read a novel except when I have to make money by writing about it. I detest them.”

“The eyes of others our prisons; their thoughts our cages.”

“This soul, or life within us, by no means agrees with the life outside us. If one has the courage to ask her what she thinks, she is always saying the very opposite to what other people say.”

“I meant to write about death, only life came breaking in as usual.”

“If one could be friendly with women, what a pleasure – the relationship so secret and private compared with relations with men. Why not write about it truthfully?”

“I need not hate any man; he cannot hurt me. I need not flatter any man; he has nothing to give me.”

“Mental fight means thinking against the current, not with it. It is our business to puncture gas bags and discover the seeds of truth.”

“Language is wine upon the lips.”

“Second hand books are wild books, homeless books; they have come together in vast flocks of variegated feather, and have a charm which the domesticated volumes of the library lack.”

“The most extraordinary thing about writing is that when you’ve struck the right vein, tiredness goes. It must be an effort, thinking wrong.”

“Each has his past shut in him like the leaves of a book known to him by heart and his friends can only read the title.”

“He called her a melon, a pineapple, an olive tree, an emerald, and a fox in the snow all in the space of three seconds; he did not know whether he had heard her, tasted her, seen her, or all three together.”

“Women have served all these centuries as looking glasses possessing the power of reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural size.”

“I worship you, but I loathe marriage. I hate its smugness, its safety, its compromise and the thought of you interfering with my work, hindering me; what would you answer?”

“My own brain is to me the most unaccountable of machinery – always buzzing, humming, soaring roaring diving, and then buried in mud. And why? What’s this passion for?”

“When you consider things like the stars, our affairs don’t seem to matter very much, do they?”

“Writing is like sex. First you do it for love, then you do it for your friends, and then you do it for money.”

“And yet, the only exciting life is the imaginary one.”

“The man who is aware of himself is henceforward independent; and he is never bored, and life is only too short, and he is steeped through and through with a profound yet temperate happiness.”

“I don’t believe in aging. I believe in forever altering one’s aspect to the sun.”

“Come indoors then, and open the books on your library shelves. For you have a library and a good one. A working library, a living library; a library where nothing is chained down and nothing is locked up; a library where the songs of the singers rise naturally from the lives of the livers.”

“Someone has to die in order that the rest of us should value life more.”

“Growing up is losing some illusions, in order to acquire others.”

“If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.”

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