The Curve of Virginia Woolf


‘That would be a glorious life, to addict oneself to perfection; to follow the curve of a sentence wherever it might lead, into deserts, under drifts of sand, regardless of lures, of seductions; to be poor always and unkempt; to be ridiculous in Piccadilly’
Virginia Woolf – The Waves

That woman writes in a way that is mesmerising. It never stops to the point that one single act within a day, even something as simple as Mrs Dalloway stepping out to buy flowers, can be filled with such imagery, mixed with subconscious feelings and expressions.

Virginia Woolf seems able to curve all aspects of life, from our thoughts to our physical acts, just with the use of commas, semi-colons and beautiful language.

And perhaps her own life can be viewed with the same metaphor. Diary entries and non-fiction writings reveal the level of passion, confusion, suffering and happiness that fuelled that woman’s life. Diagnosable now with many conditions – from bipolar disorder to mild schizophrenia, her life moved in a downwards curve. At its height fuelling the masterful works for which she is now well known. Whilst at it the curve’s beginning and end, pricking her mind with these well diagnosable conditions, and sadly resulting in her suicide.

Thankfully her life was a curve, rather than a flat line.



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