Download Becoming Virginia Woolf: Her Early Diaries and the Diaries by Barbara Lounsberry PDF

By Barbara Lounsberry

“Explores the historical past of Woolf's diaries, not just to bare heretofore unremarked resources but in addition to track her evolving feel of percentages in diary-writing, percentages which assisted in shaping Woolf as a fiction author. A must-read for devotees of Virginia Woolf.”—Panthea Reid, writer of Art and Affection: a lifetime of Virginia Woolf
“This revealing booklet provides us a diarist with larger literary variety than Pepys and offers us a moment excitement: the infinitely diverse voices of the diaries Virginia learn. They fascinate us as they fascinate her: these writers who inspired, warned, comforted, and proficient a constructing genius.”—Nancy expense, writer of Sleeping with the Enemy
“Lounsberry’s deeply researched and gracefully written booklet indicates not just Woolf’s improvement right into a nice diarist but in addition her evolvement into the fiction and nonfiction author respected today.”—Gay Talese, writer of A Writer’s Life
Encompassing thirty-eight handwritten volumes, Virginia Woolf’s diary is her lengthiest and longest-sustained work—and her final to arrive the general public. within the simply full-length booklet to discover deeply this luminous and boundary-stretching masterpiece, Barbara Lounsberry strains Woolf’s improvement as a author via her first twelve diaries—a attention-grabbing experimental degree, the place the earliest tricks of Woolf’s pioneering modernist sort will be seen.

Starting with fourteen-year-old Woolf’s first palm-sized leather-based diary, Becoming Virginia Woolf illuminates how her deepest and public writing was once formed through the diaries of alternative writers together with Samuel Pepys, James Boswell, the French Goncourt brothers, Mary Coleridge, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Woolf’s “diary parents”—Sir Walter Scott and Fanny Burney. those key literary connections open a brand new and necessary window onto the tale of 1 of literature’s most famous modernists.

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Because of this, as Woolf notes in “Dr. Burney’s Evening Party,” Burney reorders her life in a manner harmful to her gifts. “I make a kind of rule, never to indulge myself in my two most favourite pursuits, reading and writing, in the morning,” Burney explains; “no, like a very good girl I give that up wholly . . to needle work, by which means my reading and writing in the afternoon is a pleasure I cannot be blamed for by my mother, as it does not take up the time I ought to spend otherwise” (Early Diary 1: 15; CR 2: 97).

Early Diary Influences 23 Burney’s diary also offers young Virginia an angle absent in Scott’s diaries. Burney attends to women and their treatment throughout her diary and thus models a way of seeing Woolf will follow throughout her life. Burney’s diary was an especially happy early find, for diary historian Blodgett notes that Burney’s diary “violate[s the] female acculturation to self-abnegation, modesty, and silence” present in most English women’s diaries (Centuries 37). Young Fanny despairs of dress and social rites quite as fully as fifteen-year-old Virginia.

Never fails to be graphic” (E 2: 234, 235). The following brief sentence shows Pepys’s swift, graphic, englobing prose: “My wife and I to church this morning, and so home to dinner to a boiled leg of mutton all alone” (Wheatley 1: 296). One thinks of Woolf ’s own famous sausage and haddock diary phrase. In 1918 she turns poetic to praise Pepys’s concrete prose. His language, she writes, “catches unfailingly the butterflies and gnats and falling petals of the moment” (E 2: 235). 25 Diaries offer hospitable space for disparate matter, for democratic mingling of the high and the low, of great events and small.

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