All Time Famous Virginia Woolf Quotes

Virginia Woolf Quotes

Virginia Woolf (1882–1941), an influential English modernist writer, was born into an intellectual family and became a central figure in the Bloomsbury Group. Renowned for her innovative narrative techniques, Woolf’s works, such as “Mrs. Dalloway” and “To the Lighthouse,” delved into the inner thoughts and emotions of characters, employing stream-of-consciousness writing. Her notable essay, “A Room of One’s Own,” examined the challenges faced by women writers. Despite her literary success, Woolf battled mental health issues throughout her life and tragically took her own life in 1941. Despite her relatively short life, her contributions to literature, marked by introspective exploration and modernist style, continue to be celebrated and studied today.

Virginia Woolf Quotes

1. “I am rooted, but I flow.”
— Virginia Woolf

2. “You cannot find peace by avoiding life.”
— Virginia Woolf

3. “No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anybody but oneself.”
— Virginia Woolf

4. “Books are the mirrors of the soul.”
— Virginia Woolf

5. “For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.”
— Virginia Woolf

6. “Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.”
— Virginia Woolf

7. “Growing up is losing some illusions, to acquire others.”
— Virginia Woolf

8. “When you consider things like the stars, our affairs don’t seem to matter very much, do they?”
— Virginia Woolf

9. “Arrange whatever pieces come your way.”
— Virginia Woolf

10. “Blame it or praise it, there is no denying the wild horse in us.”
— Virginia Woolf

11. “Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.”
— Virginia Woolf

12. “I see you everywhere, in the stars, in the river, to me you’re everything that exists; the reality of everything.”
— Virginia Woolf

13. “Literature is strewn with the wreckage of those who have minded beyond reason the opinion of others.”
— Virginia Woolf

14. “Thinking is my fighting.”
— Virginia Woolf

15. “A light here required a shadow there.”
— Virginia Woolf

16. “Writing is like sex. First, you do it for love, then you do it for your friends, and then you do it for money.”
— Virginia Woolf

17. “I meant to write about death, only life came breaking in as usual.”
— Virginia Woolf

18. “It’s my choice, to choose how to live my life.”
— Virginia Woolf

19. “If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.”
— Virginia Woolf

20. “What does the brain matter compared with the heart?”
— Virginia Woolf

21. “The eyes of others our prisons; their thoughts our cages.”
— Virginia Woolf

22. “Love, the poet said, is woman’s whole existence.”
— Virginia Woolf

23. “Second-hand books are wild books, homeless books; they have come together in vast flocks of variegated feather, and have a charm which the domesticated volumes of the library lack.”
— Virginia Woolf

24. “Just in case you ever foolishly forget; I’m never not thinking of you.”
— Virginia Woolf

25. “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
— Virginia Woolf

26. “I have a deeply hidden and inarticulate desire for something beyond the daily life.”
— Virginia Woolf

27. “My brain hums with scraps of poetry and madness.”
— Virginia Woolf

28. “Distorted realities have always been my cup of tea.”
— Virginia Woolf

29. “I am in the mood to dissolve in the sky.”
— Virginia Woolf

30. “How much better is silence; the coffee cup, the table. How much better to sit by myself like the solitary sea-bird that opens its wings on the stake. Let me sit here for ever with bare things, this coffee cup, this knife, this fork, things in themselves, myself being myself.”
— Virginia Woolf

31. “I thought how unpleasant it is to be locked out; and I thought how it is worse, perhaps, to be locked in.”
— Virginia Woolf

32. “Language is wine upon the lips.”
— Virginia Woolf

33. “The way to write well is to live intensely.”
— Virginia Woolf

34. “As a woman I have no country. As a woman my country is the whole world.”
— Virginia Woolf

35. “Mrs Dalloway is always giving parties to cover the silence.”
— Virginia Woolf

36. “To be silent; to be alone. All the being and the doing, expansive, glittering, vocal, evaporated; and one shrunk, with a sense of solemnity, to being oneself, a wedge-shaped core of darkness, something invisible to others.”
— Virginia Woolf

37. “Without self-awareness we are as babies in the cradles.”
— Virginia Woolf

38. “My own brain is to me the most unaccountable of machinery – always buzzing, humming, soaring roaring diving, and then buried in mud. And why? What’s this passion for?”
— Virginia Woolf

39. “I’m terrified of passive acquiescence. I live in intensity.”
— Virginia Woolf

40. “Romantic Love is only an Illusion. A story one makes up in One’s Mind about Another Person.”
— Virginia Woolf

41. “Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.”
— Virginia Woolf

42. “The future is dark, which is the best thing the future can be, I think.”
— Virginia Woolf

43. “A self that goes on changing is a self that goes on living.”
— Virginia Woolf

44. “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”
— Virginia Woolf

45. “Still, the sun was hot. Still, one got over things. Still, life had a way of adding day to day.”
— Virginia Woolf

46. “People ask me why I write. I write to find out what I know.”
— Virginia Woolf

47. “Be truthful, and the result is bound to be amazingly interesting.”
— Virginia Woolf

48. “I ransack public libraries, and find them full of sunk treasure.”
— Virginia Woolf

49. “The streets of London have their map, but our passions are uncharted. What are you going to meet if you turn this corner?”
— Virginia Woolf

50. “Fear no more, says the heart…”
— Virginia Woolf

51. “Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end.”
— Virginia Woolf

52. “They can because they think they can.”
— Virginia Woolf

53. “Though we see the same world, we see it through different eyes. Any help we can give you must be different from that you can give yourselves, and perhaps the value of that help may lie in the fact of that difference.”
— Virginia Woolf

54. “Consolation for those moments when you can’t tell whether you’re the divinest genius or the greatest fool in the world.”
— Virginia Woolf

55. “In solitude we give passionate attention to our lives, to our memories, to the details around us.”
— Virginia Woolf

56. “I can only note that the past is beautiful because one never realizes an emotion at the time. It expands later, and thus we don’t have complete emotions about the present, only about the past.”
— Virginia Woolf

57. “I am made and remade continually. Different people draw different words from me.”
— Virginia Woolf

58. “One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it. But to sacrifice what you are and to live without belief, that is a fate more terrible than dying.”
— Virginia Woolf

59. “I am reading six books at once, the only way of reading; since, as you will agree, one book is only a single unaccompanied note, and to get the full sound, one needs ten others at the same time.”
— Virginia Woolf

60. “A feminist is any woman who tells the truth about her life.”
— Virginia Woolf

61. “Illness is a part of every human being’s experience. It enhances our perceptions and reduces self-consciousness. It is the great confessional; things are said, truths are blurted out which health conceals.”
— Virginia Woolf

62. “The weather varies between heavy fog and pale sunshine; My thoughts follow the exact same process.”
— Virginia Woolf

63. “I will cut adrift – I will sit on pavements and drink coffee – I will dream; I will take my mind out of its iron cage and let it swim – this fine October.”
— Virginia Woolf

64. “She dares me to pour myself out like a living waterfall. She dares me to enter the soul that is more than my own; she extinguishes fear in mere seconds. She lets light come through.”
— Virginia Woolf

65. “Odd how the creative power at once brings the whole universe to order.”
— Virginia Woolf

66. “Semua orang ingin hidup bahagia. Kadang-kadang kita sendiri yang mempersulit keadaan untuk menjadi bahagia.”
— Virginia Woolf

67. “Outside the trees dragged their leaves like nets through the depths of the air; the sound of water was in the room and through the waves came the voices of birds singing.”
— Virginia Woolf

68. “Friendships, even the best of them, are frail things. One drifts apart.”
— Virginia Woolf

69. “Writing is a divine art, and the more I write and read the more I love it.”
— Virginia Woolf

70. “I will not be “famous,” or “great.” I will go on adventuring, changing, opening my mind and my eyes, refusing to be stamped and stereotyped. The thing is to free one’s self: to let it find its dimensions, not be impeded.”
— Virginia Woolf

71. “Why, if it was an illusion, not praise the catastrophe, whatever it was, that destroyed illusion and put truth in it’s place?”
— Virginia Woolf

72. “Fear no more, says the heart, committing its burden to some sea, which sighs collectively for all sorrows, and renews, begins, collects, let’s fall.”
— Virginia Woolf

73. “And all the lives we ever lived and all the lives to be are full of trees and changing leaves.”
— Virginia Woolf

74. “So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say.”
— Virginia Woolf

75. “One ought to sink to the bottom of the sea, probably, and live alone with one’s words.”
— Virginia Woolf

76. “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.”
— Virginia Woolf

77. “I feel a thousand capacities spring up in me. I am arch, gay, languid, melancholy by turns. I am rooted, but I flow.”
— Virginia Woolf

78. “There is a sadness at the back of life which some people do not attempt to mitigate. Entirely aware of their own standing in the shadow, and yet alive to every tremor and gleam of existence, there they endure.”
— Virginia Woolf

79. “Sometimes I think heaven must be one continuous unexhausted reading.”
— Virginia Woolf

80. “What a comfort is friendship in this world.”
— Virginia Woolf

81. “As long as she thinks of a man, nobody objects to a woman thinking.”
— Virginia Woolf

82. “All extremes of feeling are allied with madness.”
— Virginia Woolf

83. “To be nothing – is that not, after all, the most satisfactory fact in the whole world?”
— Virginia Woolf

84. “I like to have space to spread my mind out in.”
— Virginia Woolf

85. “I like people to be unhappy because I like them to have souls.”
— Virginia Woolf

86. “I like the unreality of your mind; the whole thing is very splendid and voluptuous and absurd.”
— Virginia Woolf

87. “But why do I notice everything? She thought. Why must I think? She did not want to think. She wanted to force her mind to become a blank and lie back, and accept quietly, tolerantly, whatever came.”
— Virginia Woolf

88. “These are the soul’s changes. I don’t believe in aging. I believe in forever altering one’s aspect to the sun. Hence my optimism.”
— Virginia Woolf

89. “The beauty of the world, which is so soon to perish, has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder.”
— Virginia Woolf

90. “It is far harder to kill a phantom than a reality.”
— Virginia Woolf

91. “Once you begin to take yourself seriously as a leader or as a follower, as a modern or as a conservative, then you become a self-conscious, biting, and scratching little animal whose work is not of the slightest value or importance to anybody.”
— Virginia Woolf

92. “The real novelist, the perfectly simple human being, could go on, indefinitely imaging.”
— Virginia Woolf

93. “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.”
— Virginia Woolf

94. “Art is not a copy of the real world; one of the damn things is enough.”
— Virginia Woolf

95. “We are the words; we are the music; we are the thing itself.”
— Virginia Woolf

96. “Orlando naturally loved solitary places, vast views, and to feel himself forever and ever and ever alone.”
— Virginia Woolf

97. “I will go down with my colors flying.”
— Virginia Woolf

98. “Sleep, that deplorable curtailment of the joy of life.”
— Virginia Woolf

99. “It would have been impossible, completely and entirely, for any woman to have written the plays of Shakespeare in the age of Shakespeare.”
— Virginia Woolf

100. “If you are losing your leisure, look out! – It may be you are losing your soul.”
— Virginia Woolf

101. “Literature is no one’s private ground, literature is common ground; let us trespass freely and fearlessly and find our own way for ourselves.”
— Virginia Woolf

102. “To enjoy freedom we have to control ourselves.”
— Virginia Woolf

103. “They say the sky is the same everywhere. Travelers, the shipwrecked, exiles, and the dying draw comfort from the thought.”
— Virginia Woolf

104. “All women together ought to let flowers fall upon the tomb of Aphra Behn, for it was she who earned them the right to speak their minds.”
— Virginia Woolf

105. “Some people go to priests; others to poetry; I to my friends.”
— Virginia Woolf

106. “First a warning, musical; then the hour, irrevocable. The leaden circles dissolved in the air.”
— Virginia Woolf

107. “But how entirely I live in my imagination; how completely depend upon spurts of thought, coming as I walk, as I sit; things churning up in my mind and so making a perpetual pageant, which is to be my happiness.”
— Virginia Woolf

108. “I am writing to a rhythm and not to a plot.”
— Virginia Woolf

109. “I detest the masculine point of view. I am bored by his heroism, virtue, and honour. I think the best these men can do is not talk about themselves anymore.”
— Virginia Woolf

110. “How remorseless life is!”
— Virginia Woolf

111. “In any case life is but a procession of shadows, and God knows why it is that we embrace them so eagerly, and see them depart with such anguish, being shadows.”
— Virginia Woolf

112. “Once conform, once do what other people do because they do it, and a lethargy steals over all the finer nerves and faculties of the soul. She becomes all outer show and inward emptiness; dull, callous, and indifferent.”
— Virginia Woolf

113. “What a lark! What a plunge!”
— Virginia Woolf

114. “Did it matter then, she asked herself, walking towards Bond Street, did it matter that she must inevitably cease completely? All this must go on without her; did she resent it; or did it not become consoling to believe that death ended absolutely?”
— Virginia Woolf

115. “Lord, how tired one gets of one’s own writing.”
— Virginia Woolf

116. “How many times have people used a pen or paintbrush because they couldn’t pull the trigger?”
— Virginia Woolf

117. “The great revelation perhaps never did come. Instead, there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark.”
— Virginia Woolf

118. “Like a ghostly roll of drums remorselessly beat the measure of life.”
— Virginia Woolf

119. “Madness is terrific I can assure you, and not to be sniffed at, and in its lava, I still find most of the things I write about. It shoots out of one everything shaped, final, not in mere driblets, as sanity does.”
— Virginia Woolf

120. “Yes, she thought, laying down her brush in extreme fatigue, I have had my vision.”
— Virginia Woolf

121. “Mental fight means thinking against the current, not with it. It is our business to puncture gas bags and discover the seeds of truth.”
— Virginia Woolf

122. “But I don’t think of the future, or the past, I feast on the moment. This is the secret of happiness, but only reached now in middle age.”
— Virginia Woolf

123. “Women and fiction remain, so far as I am concerned, unsolved problems.”
— Virginia Woolf

124. “For now she need not think of anybody. She could be herself, by herself. And that was what now she often felt the need of – to think; well not even to think. To be silent; to be alone.”
— Virginia Woolf

125. “Yet, it is true, poetry is delicious; the best prose is that which is most full of poetry.”
— Virginia Woolf

126. “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.”
— Virginia Woolf

127. “For pleasure has no relish unless we share it.”
— Virginia Woolf

128. “My mind works in idleness. To do nothing is often my most profitable way.”
— Virginia Woolf

129. “There is the strange power we have of changing facts by the force of the imagination.”
— Virginia Woolf

130. “It is in our idleness, in our dreams, that the submerged truth sometimes comes to the top.”
— Virginia Woolf

131. “The artist after all is a solitary being.”
— Virginia Woolf

132. “The immense success of our life is, I think, that our treasure is hid away; or rather in such common things that nothing can touch it.”
— Virginia Woolf

133. “The very stone one kicks with one’s boot will outlast Shakespeare.”
— Virginia Woolf

134. “I feel certain that I’m going mad again, I feel we can’t go thru another of those terrible times. And I shan’t recover this time. I begin to hear voices.”
— Virginia Woolf

135. “Moments like this are buds on the tree of life. Flowers of darkness they are.”
— Virginia Woolf

136. “Melancholy were the sounds on a winter’s night.”
— Virginia Woolf

137. “The flower bloomed and faded. The sun rose and sank. The lover loved and went. And what the poets said in rhyme, the young translated into practice.”
— Virginia Woolf

138. “War is not women’s history.”
— Virginia Woolf

139. “Vain trifles as they seem, clothes have, they say, more important offices than to merely keep us warm. They change our view of the world and the world’s view of us.”
— Virginia Woolf

140. “I read the book of Job last night, I don’t think God comes out well in it.”
— Virginia Woolf

141. “The depths of the sea are only water after all.”
— Virginia Woolf

142. “My mind turned by anxiety, or other cause, from its scrutiny of blank paper, is like a lost child–wandering the house, sitting on the bottom step to cry.”
— Virginia Woolf

143. “Green in nature is one thing, green in literature another. Nature and letters seem to have a natural antipathy; bring them together and they tear each other to pieces.”
— Virginia Woolf

144. “The mind is the most capricious of insects – flitting, fluttering.”
— Virginia Woolf

145. “Cierra con llave tus bibliotecas, si quieres, pero no hay barrera, cerradura, ni cerrojo que puedas imponer a la libertad de mi mente.”
— Virginia Woolf

146. “One must learn to be silent just as one must learn to talk.”
— Virginia Woolf

147. “And now more than anything I want beautiful prose. I relish it more and more exquisitely.”
— Virginia Woolf

148. “To let oneself be carried on passively is unthinkable.”
— Virginia Woolf

149. “Am I too fast, too facile? I do not know. I do not know myself sometimes, or how to measure and name and count out the grains that make me what I am.”
— Virginia Woolf

150. “That great Cathedral space which was childhood.”
— Virginia Woolf

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