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Quotations From VIRGINIA WOOLF

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  • 1.
    One has to secrete a jelly in which to slip quotations down people's throats—and one always secretes too much jelly.
    Virginia Woolf (1882-1941), British novelist. Letter, July 4, 1938. Leave the Letters Till We're Dead: Letters, vol. 6, ed. Nigel Nicolson (1980).

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  • 2.
    It's not catastrophes, murders, deaths, diseases, that age and kill us; it's the way people look and laugh, and run up the steps of omnibuses.
    Virginia Woolf (1882-1941), British novelist. Jacob's Room, ch. 9 (1922).

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  • 3.
    On the outskirts of every agony sits some observant fellow who points.
    Virginia Woolf (1882-1941), British novelist. Bernard, in The Waves, p. 205 (1931, repr. 1943).
  • 4.
    Let a man get up and say, "Behold, this is the truth," and instantly I perceive a sandy cat filching a piece of fish in the background. Look, you have forgotten the cat, I say.
    Virginia Woolf (1882-1941), British novelist. Ed. Anscombe (1961). Bernard, in The Waves, entry for Oct. 15, 1914 (1931).

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  • 5.
    Some people go to priests; others to poetry; I to my friends.
    Virginia Woolf (1882-1941), British novelist. (repr. 1943). Bernard, in The Waves, p. 189 (1931).

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  • 6.
    If we didn't live venturously, plucking the wild goat by the beard, and trembling over precipices, we should never be depressed, I've no doubt; but already should be faded, fatalistic and aged.
    Virginia Woolf (1882-1941), British novelist. A Writer's Diary, entry for May 26, 1924, ed. Leonard Woolf (1954).
  • 7.
    Yet it is in our idleness, in our dreams, that the submerged truth sometimes comes to the top.
    Virginia Woolf (1882-1941), British novelist. A Room of One's Own, ch. 2 (1929).

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  • 8.
    The history of men's opposition to women's emancipation is more interesting perhaps than the story of that emancipation itself.
    Virginia Woolf (1882-1941), British novelist. A Room of One's Own, ch. 3 (1929).

    Read more quotations about / on: history, women
  • 9.
    Novels so often provide an anodyne and not an antidote, glide one into torpid slumbers instead of rousing one with a burning brand.
    Virginia Woolf (1882-1941), British novelist. A Room of One's Own, ch. 5 (1929).
  • 10.
    Never did I read such tosh. As for the first two chapters we will let them pass, but the 3rd 4th 5th 6th—merely the scratching of pimples on the body of the bootboy at Claridges.
    Virginia Woolf (1882-1941), British novelist. Letter, April 24, 1922, to Lytton Strachey. Letters, vol. 2, "The Question of Things Happening," ed. Nigel Nicolson (1976). Referring to Joyce's Ulysses.
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