… for books have a way of influencing each other …

In “A Room of One’s Own” Virginia Woolf is saying:

Fiction will be much the better for standing cheek by jowl with poetry and philosophy  … For books have a way of influencing each other.

All of Woolf’s writing (according to Hermione Lee) goes in for this mixing and merging of genres: fiction, history, biography, essays, elegy, poetry, drama, are always criss-crossing and influencing each other in her work.

This is, as I see it, why Woolf’s texts are such magnificent models and ideals for one who wants to write. She is extremely inventive and free in her texts, she uses the world, arts and history in her own ways, creating new meanings, which is really something to strive for

Vanessa Bell: The Schoolroom (1937)

Lithograph on paper. In many ways this is both quintessential Bloomsbury and closely representative of Vanessa Bell’s work: the colours are strong, the patterns bold, the décor of a type Bell might herself have designed for the Omega Workshops.

11 Comments Add yours

  1. Caroline says:

    This speaks to me a lot. Very interesting.

  2. KM Huber says:

    Virginia Woolf of the transcendent sentence, oh yes! Enjoyed your post.

  3. Sigrun, i’ve been meaning to mention a book to you that does something interesting with Mrs. Dalloway. It’s called “The Mystery Guest” and it’s by Gregoire Bouillier. A small book and a quick read, i didn’t particularly love the beginning but then i got into it later.

    1. Sigrun says:

      Thank you, will check it out!

  4. Thank you for the fine post. That book has been so important to me. Best, Micheline

    1. Sigrun says:

      Thank you!
      I believe the world has rarely seen a work of art as important as this!

  5. Angela says:

    Sigrun,
    Love the quote and especially love the painting! The Bloomsbury artists are some of my favorites. Thank you for this post.

  6. I agree. And I wonder if her not having attended university has something to do with it. She seems to say in AROOO that she regrets not having done so, but I suspect she would not have been the writer she was if she had been more exposed to academia.

    1. Sigrun says:

      Doesn’t she say something like: its bad to be locked out – but even worse to be locked in?

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