Friday, 25 January 2013

Monday or Tuesday - Celebrating Virginia Woolf's Birthday

Today marks the birthday of Virginia Woolf.  Known for the diversity of literary works she penned, she is also considered one of the finest modernists of the 20th century.  A member of the Bloomsbury group, she would leave a legacy that includes Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, Orland and of course a Room of one's own (in which a universal truth still rings in my ears:  a woman needs money and a room of her own if she is to write...)

To mark her birthday, however, I will not read one of her more known works.  I will instead turn my attention to her short-story collection, Monday or Tuesday, which she published through The Hogarth Press, the company she established with her husband, Leonard Woolf.

Eight short stories describe what happens when the various types of impressions going through our minds, take shape and become the life of any given day, be it Monday or Tuesday.

The Haunted House (you know these noises we hear at night? what if these are the ghosts of the previous inhabitants walking around?)

A Society - my favourite story and quotation:

"while we (women) have borne the children, they (men), we supposed, have borne the books and the pictures.  We have populated the world.  They have civilized it.  But now that we can read, what prevents us from judging the results?  Before we bring another child into the world we must swear that we will find out what the world is like"

"once she (her daughter, the next generation) knows how to read there's only one thing you can teach her to believe in - and that is in herself (a little sufragette...)"

Monday or Tuesday (following the flight of a heron and see what they see...)

The Unwritten Novel (the process of fiction-making during a train voyage)

"life's what you see in people's eyes; life's what they learn, and, having learnt it, never though they seek to hide it case to be aware"

The String Quartett (how life evolves and we along with it)

Blue & Green (the green of the night  -  the blue of the water:  pure magic...)

Kew Gardens (what did the flowerbed see?)

The Mark on the Wall (what is that mark of the wall?  well, how vivid is your imagination?)

I thoroughly enjoyed Woolf's penmanship and imagination (she could start a story from a minute detail!), and I also admired her ability to convey disguised messages through harmless little stories! 


  1. Anonymous25/1/13

    When I first read the post title, I thought there was confusion on Woolf's birthday. And my first thought was, hmmm, she wasn't born that long ago and we must have records somewhere. I'm definitely glad I read the post for clarification. I'm hoping to re-read Dalloway soon and more of her others in the near future.

  2. (*blush*) oh no... I've now put the two parts in a different order, hope it clears things ;-) Glad you're joining in the celebrations!!!

  3. What a great title! From her I have only read - and loved - A room of one's own. I have yet to try her novels, but somehow I feel too intimidated.

    1. don't be - she's truly an amazing author!




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