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The Book of Famous Quotes: The Complete Collection

 :: 1882-1941, British Novelist, Essayist

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It is curious how instinctively one protects the image of oneself from idolatry or any other handling that could make it ridiculous, or too unlike the original to be believed any longer.
~ Virginia Woolf - [Self-image]

 

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It's not catastrophes, murders, deaths, diseases, that age and kill us; it's the way people look and laugh, and run up the steps of omnibuses.
~ Virginia Woolf - [Sensitivity]

 

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Inevitably we look upon society, so kind to you, so harsh to us, as an ill-fitting form that distorts the truth; deforms the mind; fetters the will.
~ Virginia Woolf - [Sex]

 

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Sleep, that deplorable curtailment of the joy of life.
~ Virginia Woolf - [Sleep]

 

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This soul, or life within us, by no means agrees with the life outside us. If one has the courage to ask her what she thinks, she is always saying the very opposite to what other people say.
~ Virginia Woolf - [Soul]

 

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The first duty of a lecturer is to hand you after an hour's discourse a nugget of pure truth to wrap up between the pages of your notebooks and keep on the mantelpiece forever.
~ Virginia Woolf - [Teachers and Teaching]

 

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We all indulge in the strange, pleasant process called thinking, but when it comes to saying, even to someone opposite, what we think, then how little we are able to convey! The phantom is through the mind and out of the window before we can lay salt on
~ Virginia Woolf - [Thoughts and Thinking]

 

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Humor is the first gift to perish in a foreign language.
~ Virginia Woolf - [Translation]

 

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Mental fight means thinking against the current, not with it. It is our business to puncture gas bags and discover the seeds of truth.
~ Virginia Woolf - [Truth]

 

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The connection between dress and war is not far to seek; your finest clothes are those you wear as soldiers.
~ Virginia Woolf - [Uniforms]

 

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If you insist upon fighting to protect me, or ''our'' country, let it be understood soberly and rationally between us that you are fighting to gratify a sex instinct which I cannot share; to procure benefits which I have not shared and probably will not share.
~ Virginia Woolf - [War]

 

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We can best help you to prevent war not by repeating your words and following your methods but by finding new words and creating new methods.
~ Virginia Woolf - [Peace]

 

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Each had his past shut in him like the leaves of a book known to him by heart; and his friends could only read the title, James Spalding, or Charles Budgeon, and the passengers going the opposite way could read nothing at all -- save ''a man with a red moustache,'' ''a young man in gray smoking a pipe.''
~ Virginia Woolf - [People, Other]

 

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The eyes of others our prisons; their thoughts our cages.
~ Virginia Woolf - [People, Other]

 

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Boredom is the legitimate kingdom of the philanthropic.
~ Virginia Woolf - [Philanthropists]

 

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The poet gives us his essence, but prose takes the mold of the body and mind.
~ Virginia Woolf - [Poetry and Poets]

 

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Most of a modest woman's life was spent, after all, in denying what, in one day at least of every year, was made obvious.
~ Virginia Woolf - [Pregnancy]

 

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To depend upon a profession is a less odious form of slavery than to depend upon a father.
~ Virginia Woolf - [Professions and Professionals]

 

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The current flows fast and furious. It issues in a spate of words from the loudspeakers and the politicians. Every day they tell us that we are a free people fighting to defend freedom. That is the current that has whirled the young airman up into the sky and keeps him circulating there among the clouds. Down here, with a roof to cover us and a gas mask handy, it is our business to puncture gas bags and discover the seeds of truth.
~ Virginia Woolf - [Propaganda]

 

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For such will be our ruin if you, in the immensity of your public abstractions, forget the private figure, or if we in the intensity of our private emotions forget the public world. Both houses will be ruined, the public and the private, the material and the spiritual, for they are inseparably connected.
~ Virginia Woolf - [Public]

 

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