“For once the disease of reading has laid upon the system it weakens so that it falls an easy prey to that other scourge which dwells in the ink pot and festers in the quill. The wretch takes to writing.”-Virginia Woolf, Orlando
“Odd how the creative power at once brings the whole universe to order.”-Virginia Woolf, A Writer’s Diary
There isn’t a better book to read in October than Virginia Woolf’s A Writer’s Diary. Oh, it is extraordinary (in the full pulse of the word)!
“There’s no doubt in my mind that I have found out how to begin (at 40) to say something in my own voice; and that interests me so that I feel I can go ahead without praise.”-Virginia Woolf, A Writer’s Diary
The struggle to harness one’s creativity is universal and timeless. It’s a constant fight. Battle on, friends!
- Patti Smith Talks Fame, Youth, and Her New Memoir, M Train [VANITY FAIR]
- The Blue Highways legacy [VOX MAGAZINE]
- An Animated Introduction to Virginia Woolf [OPEN CULTURE]
I’m only sharing three links today, but they are all worthy of your time.
I love bookish goodies almost as much as I love actual books, and reading. Being a bookworm is not a hobby: it is an all-enveloping, personality-defining lifestyle. The holiday season is just getting started, which means it is time to go shopping the literary way! Over the next two weeks, I will take you on a virtual bookish shopping spree to some of my favourite lit sites!
In 2013, we visited some wonderful literary museums. This year, I am delighted to showcase several amazing book-themed Etsy shops. Let’s get started!
This shop makes two products: writer’s blocks and customizable author key chains. Sometimes, less is indeed more. They are wonderful, out-of-the-box gifts/stocking stuffers for your favourite classic book nerd.
TWO GREAT PIECES:
- LITERATURE LODGE: ETSY STORE
- LOCATION: TAUNTON, MA
- ARTIST: ROBERT SADLER
- NOTE: THEY ARE ACCEPTING HOLIDAY ORDERS THROUGH FRIDAY, 12 DECEMBER
Robert Burns was born on 25 January 1759.
“Let them cant about decorum, who have characters to lose!”-Robert Burns
W. Somerset Maugham was born 25 January 1874.
“Impropriety is the soul of wit.”-W. Somerset Maugham
Virginia Woolf was born on 25 January 1882.
“You cannot find peace by avoiding life.”-Virginia Woolf
Virginia Woolf drowned on this day in 1941, her pockets deliberately heavy with stones. Did she, I wonder, caress their smooth surfaces with the pads of her thumbs, as she waded into the water? Did she choose her death-coat because it had roomy pockets, or because it was her favourite? Was she being sentimental or practical?
The River Ouse received her whilst her books were on shelves in libraries and homes around the world. It wasn’t enough, but why should it be? Private wars are always the hardest fought, and are seldom won.
What words and ideas did she leave unwritten? Would they have changed literature, changed the world, changed me? Ah, but we’ll never know.
- Title: Virginia Woolf
- Author: Mary Ann Caws
- Year Published: 2001 (The Overlook Press)
- Year Purchased: 2002
- Source: Barnes & Noble clearance rack
- About: The beauty of this volume is not in famed academic Caws’ disappointingly standard-issue prose but in the abundance of photographs decorating the pages. It’s a wee book you can read in an hour. The eclectic images of Woolf and her circle will make you pick it up again and again; most of the photos do not suffer from being over-published. They are fresh and compelling. My favourite is the back of a stripe-shirted (Dora) Carrington.
- Motivation: Virginia Woolf! There’s nothing more to it than that.
- Times Read: 2 or 3
- Random Excerpt/Page 36: “Monk’s House was a perfect place for living and for visitors, for Leonard’s gardening and their writing. Endless discussions took place there, some of which are recounted in Virginia’s letters. Work went on constantly wherever Virginia and Leonard were, whether in Hogarth House or Monk’s House.”
- Happiness Scale: 9 (for the photographs)
The views from the graveyard go on forever; they cross steep hills, tumble into valleys, and cross a breathtaking expanse of sky, all the while skipping across centuries. A sense of peace echoes about the place, and follows you wherever you look. Close your eyes, and it is still there. Tumult is absent. It is okay to step softly across the sod, and smile.
*”He loved, beneath all this summer transiency, to feel the earth’s spine beneath him.”-Virginia Woolf, Orlando