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2018 Virginia Woolf quote winner

The Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain has released its shortlist of favorite quotes, as submitted by readers as part of #DallowayDay celebrations in June.

Visit the VWSGB Facebook page to vote for your top choice or email your vote to smhall123@yahoo.co.uk.

Last year’s winner was the quote at right from A Room of One’s Own.

  1. As a woman, I have no country. As a woman I want no country. As a woman my country is the whole world. – Three Guineas
  2. If life has a base that it stands upon, if it is a bowl that one fills and fills and fills – then my bowl without a doubt stands upon this memory … It is of lying half asleep, half awake, in bed in the nursery at St Ives. It is of hearing the waves breaking, one, two, one, two, and sending a splash of water over the beach; and then breaking, one two, one two, behind a yellow blind. It is of hearing the blind draw its little acorn across the floor as the wind blew the blind out. It is of lying and hearing this splash and seeing this light, and feeling, it is almost impossible that I should be here, of feeling the purest ecstasy I can conceive. – “A Sketch of the Past”
  3. What is the meaning of life? That was all – a simple question; one that tended to close in on one with years. The great revelation had never come. The great revelation perhaps never did come. Instead there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark … – To the Lighthouse
  4. It is fatal for anyone who writes to think of their sex … one must be woman–manly or man-womanly. – A Room of One’s Own
  5. Against you I will fling myself, unvanquished and unyielding, O Death! – The Waves

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The Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain is asking you to share your favorite Woolf quote by posting it on their Facebook page or submitting it via email. Here is the scoop:

“Send in a Woolf quotation, from any of her books. We’ll compile a shortlist and ask you to vote for one of them, and the winning quotation will be posted on this page. It will be interesting to see whether it’s the same as last year, or a different one.

If you can’t quite remember the exact words, we’ll probably be able to help you out – don’t worry if you get them slightly wrong.

So get out your Woolf books and hunt down your favourite quotation (or one of them). You can put it in a public post or email your quote to smhall123@yahoo.co.uk”

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The writing resource Every Writer has posted a list of Virginia Woolf quotes to inspire writers. The list unfortunately fails to list sources of the quotes, which means ringers can sneak in, like the debatable and doubtful one that begins: “Writing is like sex.”

These, of course, are just a drop in the bucket, but it’s a good start and well intended. They plan to add more over time, maybe my favorite:

“The way to rock oneself back into writing is this. First gentle exercise in the air. Second the reading of good literature. It is a mistake to think that literature can be produced from the raw.” (Diary 8/22/22)

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The results are in. The winning quote in the Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain’s query posted on its Facebook page is:

“Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.” – A Room of One’s Own

You can read all four of the quotes short-listed for the competition, which was held in celebration of #DallowayDay. The VWSGB says it will hold a similar vote to celebrate #DallowayDay next year.

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As we reported earlier, the Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain is asking Woolf readers to vote for their favorite quote via their Facebook page.

Here’s the VWSGB’s Facebook query:

Thanks to all those who emailed or Facebooked their favourite Virginia Woolf quotations. We received a great variety, but have shortlisted the following five. Just vote for your favourite using the number next to it. If you voted earlier, you can choose the same one or another, and you can make your message public or reply privately. But please vote! #vwquotevote

1) Mrs Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself. (Mrs Dalloway)

2) In the bellow and the uproar; the carriages, motor cars, omnibuses, vans, sandwich men shuffling and swinging; brass bands; barrel organs; in the triumph and the jingle and the strange high singing of some aeroplane overhead was what she loved; life; London; this moment of June.
(Mrs Dalloway)

3) Why, if one wants to compare life to anything, one must liken it to being blown through the Tube at fifty miles an hour – landing at the other end without a single hairpin in one’s hair! Shot out at the feet of God entirely naked! Tumbling head over heels in the asphodel meadows like brown paper parcels pitched down a shoot in the post office! With one’s hair flying back like the tail of a race-horse. Yes, that seems to express the rapidity of life, the perpetual waste and repair; all so casual, all so haphazard …
(‘The Mark on the Wall’)

4) Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind. (A Room of One’s Own)

5) Nothing is simply one thing. (To the Lighthouse)

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Virginia Woolf scholar Maggie Humm brought Woolf into the mix at the June 21 celebration of #WoolwichWomenRise!

Humm carried a placard paying homage to Kathleen Rance, Mayoress of Woolwich in 1937 ‘who would not as much as darn a sock to help a war,’ according to Woolf in Three Guineas (1938). It was the first time Woolf has been paraded through Woolwich as part of the Greenwich Festival’ Rise.

Maggie Humm (right) carrying a placard honoring Rance. It includes Woolf’s quote on the rear. With her is the current Mayor of Greenwich, which now incorporates Woolwich, holding a placard to the first woman Mayor of Woolwich (1930-1931).

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In conjunction with #DallowayDay 2018 the Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain is asking Woolf fans for their favourite Woolf quotation.

Don’t worry about the exact words; organizers say they can probably find the one you mean.

Here’s what to do. Just click on the ‘Send Message’ button on the VWSGB Facebook page and type in your favourite Woolf quotation, where it comes from and a few words about why you like it, and the group will add it to the list.

The VWSGB needs quotes by the third Wednesday in June, which most Woolfians consider to be the day on which Clarissa Dalloway takes her walk around London and holds her party. This year, as in 1923, when the novel is set, this falls on Wednesday 20 June.

When all ideas are collected, the top five will be listed and members will be asked to vote for one of them by 30 June. Results will be announced in early July.

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