Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Avant-Garde: War, Civilization, Modernity

By Christine Froula | Go to book overview

SEVEN
The Sexual Life of Women
Experimental Genres, Experimental Publics from
The Pargiters to The Years

I have this moment, while having my bath, conceived an entire new
book—a sequel to a Room of Ones Own—about the sexual life of
women: to be called Professions for Women perhaps—Lord how excit-
ing!

—Woolf, Diary, 20 January 1931

"You women" who are trying to earn your livings in the professions, are
making an experiment.… You call out… all those sympathies which,
in literature, are stimulated by the explorers who set out in crazy cockle
shells to discover new lands, and found new civilisations.

—Woolf, The Pargiters, "First Essay," 1932

I think this will be a terrific affair. I must be bold & adventurous. I want
to give the whole of the present society—nothing less: facts, as well as
the vision.

—Woolf, Diary, 25 April 1933, on The Pargiters

Absolutely floored.… I think, psychologically, this is the oddest of my
adventures.… Oh if only anyone knew anything about the brain.…
This will be the most exciting thing I ever wrote, I kept saying. And now
its the stumbling block.

—Woolf, Diary, 5 and 6 September 1935, on The Years

The difficulty wh"ich" now faces me is how to find a public, a way of
publishing, all the new ideas that are in me?

—Woolf, Diary, 19 February 1937

"Can I mention erection?" I asked.… "Keynes:" No you cant. I should
mind your saying it. Such revelations have to be in key with their
time.… Is he right, or only public school?

—Woolf, Diary, 6 January 1940

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