There are many who will be grateful for the view Leonard Woolf affords in opening the doors of Mrs. Woolf's room of her own, her diary of works in progress, to the public. Musing at various moments during the years from 1918 to 1941 as we come to know them here, Mrs. Woolf saw her diary as a "kindly, blankfaced old confidante", a quarry of precious memories to which she might return for sustenance, a place where she practiced writing - like doing her scales - and where she really almost wrote her books. The confidences we see are esentially literary and yet at the core of her being as she lives through the long pull of writing with its driving excitement, sinks on the peak of achievement when a book is done to worry at what L. and the others will say, worry and waive the criticism which falls from her as she loses herself in another work already projected. We witness the growth of her powers and extension of her exploration as the novels themselves rise before us, from the days of Jacob's Room through the consuming Waves to the further voyage of The Years To be a writer meant to be a sensibility, an interesting novelist, perhaps, to be driven to write for what goal - a queer individuality?- always to analyse oneself... reading and criticism formed an important part of her life: we see her steeped in Shakespeare, coming to him with "mind agape and red-hot" to feel him out-distance her, remarking on Proust's utmost sensibility and tenacity, drawing strength and separateness from the classics. And all the time her works of criticism, her contacts with the figures of the literary world - Bennett, Hardy, Elizabeth Bowen, Maynard Keynes, and the others, weave in and out of her inner life. Virginia Woolf, novelist, critic, person, comes to us with all the brilliance, perceptiveness, and restraint we could wish for her, and we are privileged to have her so. (Kirkus Reviews)
About the Author
VIRGINIA WOOLF (1882-1941) was one of the major literary figures of the twentieth century. An admired literary critic, she authored many essays, letters, journals, and short stories in addition to her groundbreaking novels.