Virginia Woolf: An Inner Life

Virginia Woolf: An Inner Life

Julia Briggs

Language: English

Pages: 544

ISBN: 0151011435

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Virginia Woolf is one of the most influential figures in twentieth-century literature. She was original, passionate, vivid, dedicated to her art. Yet most writing about her still revolves around her social life and the Bloomsbury set.

In this fresh, absorbing book, Julia Briggs puts the writing back at the center of Woolf's life, reads that life through her work, and mines the novels themselves to create a compelling new form of biography. Analyzing Woolf's own commentary on the creative process through her letters, diaries, and essays, Julia Briggs has produced a book that is a convincing, moving portrait of an artist, as well as a profound meditation on the nature of creativity.

Virginia Woolf: An Inner Life-a brilliant new insight into a literary genius.

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Years was rewritten at least four times, though only the first holograph draft has survived. The second revision took her a further year, and its results are recorded in a set of galley proofs. As 1935 began, the revision process was clarified when her original impulse (to write a sequel to A Room) crystallized into a scheme for a separate book, initially entitled ‘On Being Despised’, and later, Three Guineas. She had been steadily accumulating ammunition for this feminist polemic since 1931,

2, 7 Aug. 1934 (pp. 234, 236), 2, 30 Sept. (pp. 241, 245), and 5 Oct. (p. 249), all concerned with the problems of ending. 79. D4, 28 July 1934, pp. 232–3; on the ending, and the pleasures of writing, see entries for 7, 17 Aug., 2 Sept. 1934, pp. 236, 237–8, 241. 80. D4, 12 Sept, 17 Oct. 1934, pp. 242, 253, and for ‘late afternoon’, see L5, to Julian Bell, 9 Sept. 1934, p. 3 29; Woolf ended 1934 asking herself ‘am I to write about [Roger]?’, D4, 30 Dec. 1934, p. 267, and see 31 Oct., 12 Nov.

the earlier typescript, ‘The pond… hoarded silence, deep silence’ (Pointz Hall, p. 67), emphasizing its relation to the silent dining room. Woolf noted in her diary, ‘I cant unstring my mind after trying to write about a lily pool. P. H. is to be a series of contrasts’, D5, 4 Aug. 1938, p. 159. 30. BA, pp. 27, 28; in the earlier typescript, ‘a spring of feeling bubbled up in [Mrs Manresa] from mud that was millions of years old… Perhaps poetry grew from mud’ (Pointz Hall, p. 69), linking her

reached a kind of impasse. The artists have, to a very large extent, outrun their audience.’60 Murry’s previous paragraph had identified Woolf by name, along with Lawrence and Mansfield. Unknowingly, he had voiced her own anxieties about the difficulty of Mrs Dalloway, and eighteen months later she still felt threatened by his criticism.61 While her diary worries over Murry’s remark, Bennett’s review of Jacob’s Room provoked her to a public showdown in the form of a signed article for the Nation

resented her allotted gender role, and never more than when it debarred her from becoming the fourth Baron Sackville and inheriting Knole in her own right. But Orlando celebrates Knole as her rightful and permanent home, just as it celebrates – and even explains and justifies – her sexual ambivalence. Like Orlando himself, the great house, and even its servants, seem exempt from the passage of time, or perhaps some power over time has been built into it, for it is constructed upon the numbers of

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