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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Modernism VI

Virginia Woolf wrote:

If a writer were a free man and not a slave, if he could write what he chose, not what he must, if he could base his work upon his own feelings and not upon convention, there would be no plot, no comedy, no tragedy, no love interest or catastrophe in the accepted style, and perhaps not a single button sewn on as the Bond Street tailors would have it. Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; but a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end. Is it not the task of the novelist to convey this varying, this unknown and uncircumscribed spirit, whatever aberration or complexity it may display, with as little mixture of the alien and external as possible?

3 Responses to “Modernism VI”

  1. Andy says:

    That’s a cracking good quote. I’ve always found Virginia Woolf a hugely interesting character as well as a novelist and essayist who truly strove for something new and bold. There is so little originality or daring, let alone honesty, in writing today – poetry and prose – and that is lamentable. x

  2. Steve Clackson says:

    Great quote!

  3. I agree with her in some points, I think the writer can be free and still doing a valuable contribution to others life, if only the writer could find his niche market for the own feelings, ideas and interests.