I detest the masculine point of view. I am bored by his heroism, virtue, and honour. I think the best these men can do is not talk about themselves anymore.
How can I cure my violent moods? I wish you’d tell me. Oh such despairs, and wooden hearted long droughts when the heart of an oak in which a toad sits imprisoned has more sap and green than my heart.
‘I thought how unpleasant it is to be locked out; and I thought how it is worse, perhaps, to be locked in’ [VIRGINIA WOOLF]. Are the best writers outsiders?
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I rise from my worst disasters, I turn, I change.
I think that when people are at their most frivolous, superficial, gregarious, and chatty is often when they are most revealing about themselves. Woolf writes very brilliantly about that. We all have different parts of ourselves, and your secret self, your solitary self, your nighttime self, your gregarious, chatty, e-mailing self are all mixed up together. They overlap.
The world is entire, and I am outside of it, crying, “Oh save me, from being blown for ever outside the loop of time!”’
”I mean, life has to be sloughed: has to be faced: to be rejected; then accepted on new terms with rapture. And so on, and so on; till you are 40, when the only problem is how to grasp it tighter and tighter to you, so quick it seems to slip, and so infinitely desirable is it.
As for writing, at 30 I was still writing, reading; tearing up industriously. I had not published a word (save reviews). I despaired. Perhaps at that age one is really most a writer. Then one cannot write, not for lack of skill, but because the object is too near, too vast. I think it must recede before one can take a pen to it. At any rate, at 20, 30, 40, and I’ve no doubt 50, 60, and 70, that to me is the task; not particularly noble or heroic, as I see it in my own case, for all my inclinations are to write ”
Virginia Woolf in a letter to Gerald Brenan, dated December 1922.
But Peter is, to my mind, too entire in his judgements; founded on book learning & prettiness into the bargain. He has no ascendency of brain: he is not, & now never will be, a personage: which is the one thing needful in criticism, or writing or any sort, I think; for we’re all as wrong as wrong can be. But character is the thing.
, diary entry for Wednesday, 3 March 1926 (Diary, vol.3)
Then like a cracked bowl the fixity of my morning broke, and putting down bags of flour I thought, Life stands round me like glass round the imprisoned reed.