Famous Quotes By Virginia Woolf


  1. A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.
  2. Every secret of a writer's soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind is written large in his works.
  3. For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.
  4. For what Harley Street specialist has time to understand the body, let alone the mind or both in combination, when he is a slave to thirteen thousand a year?
  5. Humor is the first of the gifts to perish in a foreign tongue.
  6. 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.
  7. I read the book of Job last night, I don't think God comes out well in it.
  8. 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?
  9. If we help an educated man's daughter to go to Cambridge are we not forcing her to think not about education but about war? - not how she can learn, but how she can fight in order that she might win the same advantages as her brothers?
  10. If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.
  11. It is in our idleness, in our dreams, that the submerged truth sometimes comes to the top.
  12. It is the nature of the artist to mind excessively what is said about him. Literature is strewn with the wreckage of men who have minded beyond reason the opinions of others.
  13. It seems as if an age of genius must be succeeded by an age of endeavour riot and extravagance by cleanliness and hard work.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Masterpieces are not single and solitary births they are the outcome of many years of thinking in common, of thinking by the body of the people, so that the experience of the mass is behind the single voice.
  17. Mental fight means thinking against the current, not with it. It is our business to puncture gas bags and discover the seeds of truth.
  18. Nothing induces me to read a novel except when I have to make money by writing about it. I detest them.
  19. Odd how the creative power at once brings the whole universe to order.
  20. One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.
  21. Really I don't like human nature unless all candied over with art.
  22. Rigid, the skeleton of habit alone upholds the human frame.
  23. Some people go to priests others to poetry I to my friends.
  24. The beautiful seems right by force of beauty, and the feeble wrong because of weakness.
  25. The beauty of the world, which is so soon to perish, has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder.
  26. The connection between dress and war is not far to seek your finest clothes are those you wear as soldiers.
  27. The history of men's opposition to women's emancipation is more interesting perhaps than the story of that emancipation itself.
  28. 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.
  29. The telephone, which interrupts the most serious conversations and cuts short the most weighty observations, has a romance of its own.
  30. The truth is, I often like women. I like their unconventionality. I like their completeness. I like their anonymity.
  31. There can be no two opinions as to what a highbrow is. He is the man or woman of thoroughbred intelligence who rides his mind at a gallop across country in pursuit of an idea.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. To enjoy freedom we have to control ourselves.
  35. 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.
  36. When the shriveled skin of the ordinary is stuffed out with meaning, it satisfies the senses amazingly.
  37. Why are women... so much more interesting to men than men are to women?
  38. Women have served all these centuries as looking glasses possessing the power of reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural size.
  39. Yet it is in our idleness, in our dreams, that the submerged truth sometimes comes to the top.
  40. Yet, it is true, poetry is delicious the best prose is that which is most full of poetry.
  41. You cannot find peace by avoiding life.

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