Tuesday, February 12, 2008

More of the same stuff

...that rebellious argumentation was made of! From the beautiful passages of Virginia Woolf's "A room of one's own", no less. Inspiration incarnated. Excerpt slightly taken out of its context, but relevant nonetheless. It's about women writers, but I find her opinions may apply to all writers, everywhere. And that's not such a grave assertion, is it, now? Read and behold, professors! Read it and weep away your veil of ignorance! This is the story of how I became a Po(t)et writer and how I realized I needed to put my thoughts down on paper. The works of this woman behold a mentality all human beings should abide. And approve of. This is truth, this is wisdom. But, I suppose, there were critics in her days as well. And they certainly didn't like the way she let her voice be heard. In the latter years, of course, we have come to discover the correctness of all her predictions, how her theories all came true and the position of women (writers) changed accordingly. But at that time, when she made these statement public, they didn't even honour it by allowing her to walk on the University grass. Not without male company, that is. Oh, these professors; thing is, I don't really see how they've altered their attitude very much, I still regard them as very narrow-minded, very dull, very...boxed. As their thoughts become very much contrived. Room for little else than them, and especially not one of one's own. Their opinions are strict. Their opinions remain strict. And firm; fixed, irreversible, inductile. Only difference, nowadays, is that their group members come in both sexes. Their groups, nevertheless, consist of the same kind of people. People types don't tend to change. (Except for Doctors; not sure I like her take on Doctors, though. They can be really sweet, I promise.) It's our views, our voices. And some personalities, who stand out. Who dare to make another stand and sometimes fall of the stage. Honour and glory afterwards, of course, preferrably when their dead and silent and easier to deal with. May Virginia Woolf's voice resound louder than it did when she lived, and may it increase in strength forever more, may she always be heard and her views always reflected in the minds and opinions of others who share her vision, her ideal, and who'd understand her the way she actually was. May we finally listen.

"And she would begin—how unmistakable that quickening is!—beckoning and summoning, and there would rise up in memory, half forgotten, perhaps quite trivial things in other chapters dropped by the way. And she would make their presence felt while someone sewed or smoked a pipe as naturally as possible, and one would feel, as she went on writing, as if one had gone to the top of the world and seen it laid out, very majestically, beneath. At any rate, she was making the attempt. And as I watched her lengthening out for the test, I saw, but hoped that she did not see, the bishops and the deans, the doctors and the professors, the patriarchs and the pedagogues all at her shouting warning and advice. You can’t do this and you shan’t do that! [...] So they kept at her like the crowd at a fence on the racecourse, and it was her trial to take her fence without looking to right or to left. If you stop to curse you are lost, I said to her; equally, if you stop to laugh. Hesitate or fumble and you are done for. Think only of the jump, I implored her, as if I had put the whole of my money on her back; and she went over it like a bird. But there was a fence beyond that and a fence beyond that. Whether she had the staying power I was doubtful, for the clapping and the crying were fraying to the nerves. But she did her best."

All rights served, and lots of thanks. E-books are nice, by the way.

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