Odd how the creative power at once brings the whole universe to order.
There is much to support the view that it is clothes that wear us and not we them; we may make them take the mould of arm or breast, but they would mould our hearts, our brains, our tongues to their liking.
Topics: Fashion, Dress
Things have dropped from me. I have outlived certain desires; I have lost friends, some by death… others through sheer inability to cross the street.
As for my next book, I am going to hold myself from writing it till I have it impending in me: grown heavy in my mind like a ripe pear; pendant, gravid, asking to be cut or it will fall.
Methinks the human method of expression by sound of tongue is very elementary, and ought to be substituted for some ingenious invention which should be able to give vent to at least six coherent sentences at once.
Thus when I come to shape here at this table between my hands the story of my life and set it before you as a complete thing, I have to recall things gone far, gone deep, sunk into this life or that and become part of it; dreams, too, things surrounding me, and the inmates, those old half-articulate ghosts who keep up their hauntings by day and night… shadows of people one might have been; unborn selves.
Topics: Autobiography, Legacy
A strange thing has happened—while all the other arts were born naked, this, the youngest, has been born fully-clothed. It can say everything before it has anything to say. It is as if the savage tribe, instead of finding two bars of iron to play with, had found scattering the seashore fiddles, flutes, saxophones, trumpets, grand pianos by Erhard and Bechstein, and had begun with incredible energy, but without knowing a note of music, to hammer and thump upon them all at the same time.
The older one grows, the more one likes indecency.
We all indulge in the strange, pleasant process called thinking, but when it comes to saying, even to someone opposite, what we think, then how little we are able to convey! The phantom is through the mind and out of the window before we can lay salt on
Topics: Thought, Thoughts
Almost any biographer, if he respects facts, can give us much more than another fact to add to our collection. He can give us the creative fact; the fertile fact; the fact that suggests and engenders.
Topics: Legacy, Biography
When an arguer argues dispassionately he thinks only of the argument.
Never let anybody guess that you have a mind of your own. Above all be pure.
Second-hand 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.
What is meant by “reality”? It would seem to be something very erratic, very undependable—now to be found in a dusty road, now in a scrap of newspaper in the street, now a daffodil in the sun. It lights up a group in a room and stamps some casual saying
If we didn’t live adventurously, plucking the wild goat by the beard, and trembling over precipices, we should never be depressed, I’ve no doubt; but already should be faded, fatalistic and aged.
Every season is likeable, and wet days and fine, red wine and white, company and solitude. Even sleep, that deplorable curtailment of the joy of life, can be full of dreams; and the most common actions
If we help an educated man’s daughter to go to Cambridge are we not forcing her to think not about education but about war?—not how she can learn, but how she can fight in order that she might win the same advantages as her brothers?
Topics: Education, Colleges, Universities
When the shriveled skin of the ordinary is stuffed out with meaning, it satisfies the senses amazingly.
Now, aged 50, I’m just poised to shoot forth quite free straight and undeflected my bolts whatever they are.
This soul, or life within us, by no means agrees with the life outside us. If one has the courage to ask her what she thinks, she is always saying the very opposite to what other people say.
The mind is the most capricious of insects – flitting, fluttering.
I am to be broken. I am to be derided all my life. I am to be cast up and down among these men and women, with their twitching faces, with their lying tongues, like a cork on a rough sea. Like a ribbon of weed I am flung far every time the door opens.
It would be a thousand pities if women wrote like men, or lived like men, or looked like men, for if two sexes are quite inadequate, considering the vastness and variety of the world, how should we manage with one only? Ought not education to bring out and fortify the differences rather than the similarities? For we have too much likeness as it is, and if an explorer should come back and bring word of other sexes looking through the branches of other trees at other skies, nothing would be of greater service to humanity; and we should have the immense pleasure into the bargain of watching Professor X rush for his measuring-rods to prove himself “superior.”
Topics: Men & Women
One has to secrete a jelly in which to slip quotations down people’s throats—and one always secretes too much jelly.
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- E. M. Forster English Novelist
- Vita Sackville-West English Gardener
- D. H. Lawrence English Novelist
- Jeanette Winterson English Novelist
- Jane Austen English Novelist
- Pamela Hansford Johnson English Novelist
- Mary Elizabeth Braddon English Novelist
- Anthony Powell English Novelist
- Rebecca West English Author
- Dinah Craik English Novelist, Poet