Monday, January 25

Wine upon the lips ...

On January 25th 1882, one hundred twenty-eight years ago today, Adeline Virginia Stephen, known to all as Virginia Woolf, was born. Here she is pictured with her mother Julia.

Some quotes:
So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say. But to sacrifice a hair of the head of your vision, a shade of its colour, in deference to some Headmaster with a silver pot in his hand or to some professor with a measuring-rod up his sleeve, is the most abject treachery.

The eyes of others our prisons; their thoughts our cages.
Language is wine upon the lips.

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

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?
That great Cathedral space which was childhood.
This is an important book, the critic assumes, because it deals with war. This is an insignificant book because it deals with the feelings of women in a drawing-room.
I could go on but will instead heed her warning:
One has to secrete a jelly in which to slip quotations down people's throats - and one always secretes too much jelly.
The top portrait is by Roger Fry, the other two are by her sister Vanessa Bell, pictured below with Virginia:

Stephen sisters Virginia, left, and Vanessa


  1. Happy Birthday Virginia!
    She did talk alot of sense

  2. I'm a huge Virginia Woolf fan, and this is wonderful. I've seen all of the photos before but never that first: beautiful. Happy Birthday, Dear Virginia...

  3. Lovely tribute to Ms. Woolf. Language is wine upon the lips! (beautiful) I especially like the Fry painting.

  4. I second Willow on both the quote and the painting. Great. And what a fascinating person as well as a great writer she was.

  5. One simply can't go wrong with Virginia Woolf.

    It is with a warm sense of satisfaction that I note that all of the comments are by women with rooms ¡and blogs! (all amongst my favorites) of your own. I think it is important to occasionally take stock of the great progress this represents and which sometimes seems so easy to take for granted.

  6. Lorenzo,

    This speaks to me in so many ways ~

    ~ merci ~

    ~MCJ ~

    PS: I feel honored to appear here ~ as one of your friends ~
    PPS: I love Lapis Lazuli!

  7. I was in my early teens when I read the bio of her by her nephew Quentin Bell. It stuck with me and is a book I return to many times through the years. A lovely tribute.

  8. Hi, MCJart, ~ de rien ~ ...

    And nice to see the alchemist's pillow visited by the thieving junkmeister himself(I mean that affectionately, Ladrón de Basura). I just saw your blog for the first time a couple of days ago and liked it a lot. I recommend it to all. I just subscribed to the blog myself.

  9. What's this passion for?

    same here!



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