Passionate diary keeper Adeline Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) was born on this day in London. The sensitive artist wrote her novels and essays in celebration of women, with the flow of life's ordinary experiences.
"Arrange whatever pieces come your way," she once said.
Instead of building on plot, her poetic style explored a character's inner consciousness, giving voice to thoughts and feelings. She was a stream-of-consciousness innovator, inspiring generations of writers.
"The history of most women is hidden either by silence, or by flourishes and ornaments that amount to silence," she explained.
The brilliant colors of Woolf's stream-of-consciousness technique shine in her two novels, Mrs Dalloway (1925) and To the Lighthouse (1927). With experimental imagery and metaphor, her new voice captured the inner life, transforming ordinary events into extraordinary insights and discovering secret passions.
"Each sentence must have, at its heart, a little spark of fire, and this, whatever the risk, the novelist must pluck with his own hands from the blaze," she wrote in Second Common Reader (1925).
Woolf's feminist essay, A Room of One's Own (1938) explored creativity and self-image with the belief that for a woman to write she "must have money and a room of her own." With this classic insight, she said that through the centuries works credited to Anon "who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman."
"Lock up your libraries if you like," she wrote, "but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind."
More Virginia WOOLF Quotations
Life illuminates with streams of consciousness.