Virginia Woolf

THE YEARS

The Germans . . . ” said Eleanor as the door shut. [...] They heard the rush of wheels in the street. Everything seemed to be going past very quickly. There was the round of feet tapping on the pavement. Eleanor got up and drew the curtains slightly apart. The basement was sunk beneath the pavement, so that she only saw people’s legs and skirts as they went past the area railings. Two men came by walking very quickly; then an old woman, with her skirt swinging from side to side, walked past.
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Mrs. Dalloway

She frowned; she stamped her foot. She must go back again to Septimus since it was almost time for them to be going to Sir William Bradshaw. She must go back and tell him, go back to him sitting there on the green chair under the tree, talking to himself, or to that dead man Evans, whom she had only seen once for a moment in the shop. He had seemed a nice quiet man; a great friend of Septimus's, and he had been killed in the War.
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Three Guineas

So then the literature of fact and the literature of opinion, to make a crude distinction, are not pure fact, or pure opinion, but adulterated fact and adulterated opinion, that is fact and opinion “adulterated by the admixture of baser ingredients”' as the dictionary has it. In other words you have to strip each statement of its money motive, of its power motive, of its advertisement motive, of its publicity motive, of its vanity motive, let alone of all the other motives which, as an educated man's daughter, are familiar to you, before you make up your mind which fact about politics to believe, or even which opinion about art?
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RETROSPECTIVES: Back to Overview >>

Virginia Woolf

© George Charles Beresford [Public domain], 
via Wikimedia Commons

Although Virginia Woolf (b. January 25, 1882 in London, d. March 28, 1941 near Lewes, East Sussex) was able to pursue her work as a writer and publisher relatively undisturbed by WWI, many of her later novels dealt with its far-reaching and often traumatic consequences. In addition, her famous anti-war essay Three Guineas (1938) provided an incisive and gendered analysis of the politics and propaganda of war.