“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
Born on Jan. 25, 1882, English writer Virginia Woolf has often been credited with developing “stream of consciousness” writing genre', alongside her contemporaries James Joyce and Joseph Conrad. Both a feminist and a modernist, her novels often ignored traditional plots to follow the inner lives and musings of her characters. Her writing had (and has) many admirers and probably an equal number of haters. In her own time (she died in 1941), her writing was banned (for a wide range of reasons) by some countries, including Adolf Hitler's Germany. Her most well known works are To The Lighthouse and A Room of One’s Own.
A great essayist as well as novelist, she once noted “A good essay must have this permanent quality about it; it must draw its curtain round us, but it must be a curtain that shuts us in not out.”
But it was fiction writing where Woolf made her lasting mark and for which she is still studied today. She said she found herself intrigued by and drawn into writing fiction because of how it so keenly wove together thoughts and reality. “Fiction,” she said, “is like a spider’s web, attached ever so slightly perhaps, but still attached to life at all four corners. Often the attachment is scarcely perceptible.”
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