Virginia Woolf was born on January 25, 1882 in London, United Kingdom. She is an English novelist, critic, and essayist.
Biography and Career :
Woolf grew up in an upper-middle-class, socially active, literary family in Victorian London. Being educated at home,she became a constant reader of the books in her father's library. She experienced her first bout of mental illness after her mother's death in 1895,suffering from mania and severe depression for the rest of her life.
Virginia Woolf began publishing her first essays and reviews after 1904, the year her father died and she and her siblings moved to the Bloomsbury area of London. The Bloomsbury group, as Woolf and her friends were called, disregarded the constricting taboos of the Victorian era, and such topics as rel
igion, sex, homosexuality and art were the fuel of the talk at their weekly salons. For Woolf, the group was the undergraduate education that society had denied her.
The Voyage Out, Virginia Woolf's first novel, was published in 1915, three years after her marriage to Leonard Woolf, a member of the Bloomsbury group. With Leonard, she founded Hogarth Press, which published Sigmund Freud, Katherine Mansfield, T. S. Eliot, and other notable authors. During the next few years, Woolf kept a diary and wrote several novels, a collection of short stories and numerous essays. She struggled to deal with her bouts of bipolarity and to find her true voice as a writer. Before World War I, Woolf viewed the realistic Victorian novel, with its neat and linear plots, as an inadequate form of _expression. Her opinion intensified after the war, and in the 1920s she began searching for the form that would reflect the violent contrasts and disjointed impressions of the world around her.
In Mrs. Dalloway, published in 1925, Virginia Woolf discovered a new literary form capable of expressing the new realities of postwar England as it depicts the subjective experiences and memories of its central characters over a single day in post-World War I London. Woolf develops the book's characters by chronicling their interior thoughts with little pause or explanation, a style referred to as stream of consciousness. Woolf believed that behind the "cotton wool" of life, as she terms it in her autobiographical collection of essays Moments of Being (1941, a pattern exists.
Virginia Woolf reread the Greek classics along with two new modernist writers, Marcel Proust and James Joyce with whom she shared the interest in time and psychology and she incorporated these issues into her novels. She wanted to show characters in flux, rather than static, characters who think and emote as they move through space, who react to their surroundings in ways that mirrored actual human experience. Virginia Woolf lent her support to the feminist movement in her nonfiction book A Room of One's Own (1929), as well as in numerous essays, and she was briefly involved in the women's suffrage movement. Woolf's struggles with mental illness gave her an opportunity to witness firsthand how insensitive medical professionals could be. In the early twentieth century, mental health problems were too often considered imaginary, an embarrassment, the product of moral weakness.
In 1941, as England entered a second World War and at the onset of another breakdown she feared would be permanent, Woolf drowned herself in the River Ouse.
- "Every secret of a writer's soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind is written large in his works."
Virginia Woolf Image : marquette.edu
Virginia Woolf Lists