This afternoon was such a terrific storm that I can hardly recover. The play was so wonderful - so bad - it triumphed - it failed - a little of everything seemed to happen and all round one there were these strange human beings - I don’t know - they seem to me, I think, too strange. They frighten me beyond words at moments. I feel the only thing to do is to run away, crossing oneself - or doing whatever one would do if one was terrified. And I feel, too, that the only person who did understand The Cherry Orchard as Tchekhov meant it to be understood was - - -
Would you come & see me one day next week: Ill keep all next week free until I hear from you. Or I could meet you in town. There’s so much to say & I am going away the first week in September.
May I have 2 copies of ‘Prelude’?
I want to send you my love & admiration dear Virginia.
I am glad you are, it means more than you could imagine! Also I must agree with you, after all it is the purpose this page should serve. To help Virginia and her words come closer to people’s minds and possibly further.
“I confess that the rough and random style of it, often so ungrammatical, and crying for a word altered, afflicted me somewhat. I am trying to tell whichever self it is that reads this hereafter that I can write very much better; and take no time over this; and forbid her to let the eye of man behold it. And now I may add my little complement to the effect that it has a slapdash and vigour and sometimes hits an unexpected bull’s-eye. But what is more to the point is my belief that the habit of writing thus for my own eye is only good practice. It loosens the ligaments. Never mind the misses and stumbles. Going at such a pace as I do I must make the most direct and instant shots at my object, and thus have to lay hands on words, choose them and shoot them with no more pause than is needed to put my pen in the ink… I believe that during the past year I can trace some increase of ease in my professional writing which I attribute to my casual half hours after tea.
What sort of diary should I like mine to be? Something looseknit and yet not slovenly, so elastic that it will embrace anything, solemn, slight or beautiful that comes into my mind. I should like it to resemble some deep old desk, or capacious hold-all, in which one flings a mass of odds and ends without looking them through.”
From the oval-shaped flower-bed there rose perhaps a hundred stalks spreading into heart-shaped or tongue-shaped leaves half way up and unfurling at the tip red or blue or yellow petals marked with spots of colour raised upon the surface; and from the red, blue or yellow gloom of the throat emerged a straight bar, rough with gold dust and slightly clubbed at the end. The petals were voluminous enough to be stirred by the summer breeze, and when they moved, the red, blue and yellow lights passed one over the other, staining an inch of the brown earth beneath with a spot of the most intricate colour. The light fell either upon the smooth, grey back of a pebble, or, the shell of a snail with its brown, circular veins, or falling into a raindrop, it expanded with such intensity of red, blue and yellow the thin walls of water that one expected them to burst and disappear. Instead, the drop was left in a second silver grey once more, and the light now settled upon the flesh of a leaf, revealing the branching thread of fibre beneath the surface, and again it moved on and spread its illumination in the vast green spaces beneath the dome of the heart-shaped and tongue-shaped leaves. Then the breeze stirred rather more briskly overhead and the colour was flashed into the air above, into the eyes of the men and women who walk in Kew Gardens in July.
The figures of these men and women straggled past the flower-bed with a curiously irregular movement not unlike that of the white and blue butterflies who crossed the turf in zig-zag flights from bed to bed. The man was about six inches in front of the woman, strolling carelessly, while she bore on with greater purpose, only turning her head now and then to see that the children were not too far behind. The man kept this distance in front of the woman purposely, though perhaps unconsciously, for he wished to go on with his thoughts.