January 25 ~  Flourishes & Ornaments The Waves

"The history of most women is hidden either by silence, or by flourishes and ornaments that amount to silence." ~ Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf Passionate diary keeper Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) was born on this day in London. The sensitive artist wrote her novels and essays in celebration of women and the flow of ordinary experience.

"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.

"Fiction is like a spider's web, attached ever so lightly perhaps, but still attached to life at all four corners," 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 insight, she believed 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

Award WinnersCelebrate who you are and where you came from.