Woolf Virginia 1882 - 1941 (59)

When you consider things like the stars, our affairs don't seem to matter very much, do they?


Mrs Dalloway

All the same, that one day should follow another; Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday; that one should wake up in the morning; see the sky; walk in the park; meet Hugh Whitbread; then suddenly in came Peter; then these roses; it was enough. After that, how unbelievable death was!-that it must end; and no one in the whole world would know how she had loved it all; how, every instant . . .

Virginia Woolf was an English writer who is considered a major innovator in the English language. She was one of the first women with great success in a male-dominated field. Born on January 25, 1882 in London, her father was a Lord and a writer, her mother was a beauty of her era, with artistic connections. Both her parents had done earlier marriages and children with other spouses, Virginia grew up with 3 siblings and 4 half siblings. She was taught by a tutor at home, where there was a huge library at her disposal and very often they had gatherings of intellectuals and artists. His happy rich childhood was marked by her and her sister’s Vanessa sexual abuse from their half brothers. She didn’t speak to anyone about this, only many years later, wrote about it in an autobiographical essay. For many biographers the fact haunted her throughout her life causing her an aversion to sexual relations with the opposite sex. At 13 her mother died of flu and two years later her sister Stella as well. She began to have breakdowns and struck of depression and in 1904, after her father’s death, she completely collapsed and had to be hospitalized at a clinic.

In 1905 she moved with two of his brothers in the Bloomsbury area and joined a group of intellectuals and artists who became known as Bloomsbury Group. She met there Leonard Woolf whom she married in 1912. A year after her marriage she tried to commit suicide, depression was returning periodically to her life. Her husband tried to help her and for escaping the hectic life of London, they moved to Richmond. She was happy with him, although their marriage was white. Virginia preferred erotic relationship with women. She had a relationship with Sackville-West, throughout the 1920s. Her book “Orlando” which has been described as a large and charming love letter was inspired by her. Another novel, "Mrs Dalloway" was the inspiration of her relationship with another woman. Especially after this novel which won rave reviews, she became known in literary circles and she was invited as a speaker at universities across the country. Despite the success and reputation as it had become an important figure of her era, the manic depression outbursts did not abandon her. Especially whenever she had finished a book, she were lost in deep depression. In 1941 she finished "Between the Acts" in a very bleak time for the whole society with the war and the bombings in London. She got up on the morning of March 28, 1941, she wore her coat and headed like hypnotized to the nearby river. She filled her pockets with stones and plunged into the icy eternity. Her body was found twenty days later, miles away. The note she had been left to her husband was read:

I feel certain that I am going mad again. I feel we can't go through another of those terrible times. And I shan't recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and I can't concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I don't think two people could have been happier till this terrible disease came. I can't fight any longer. I know that I am spoiling your life, that without me you could work. And you will I know. You see I can't even write this properly. I can't read. What I want to say is I owe all the happiness of my life to you. You have been entirely patient with me and incredibly good. I want to say that—everybody knows it. If anybody could have saved me it would have been you. Everything has gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can't go on spoiling your life any longer. I don't think two people could have been happier than we have been. V.