Getting immersed in my first reading assignment for my Women Write Their Lives class at NYU. It’s three memoir essays by Virginia Woolf from a book called Moments of Being.
I love how she intersperses her inner process with bursts of beauty in her turn of phrase. In describing some fuzzy early childhood memories, for example:
” … lying in a grape and seeing through a film of semi-transparent yellow … “
Or the great challenge for memoir writers:
” … how to describe what I call in my private shorthand — ‘non-being.’ Every day includes much more non-being than being.”
Or the day she was walking and just “made up” her classic novel To The Lighthouse:
” … a great, apparently involuntary rush. One thing burst into another. Blowing bubbles out of a pipe gives the feeling of the rapid crowd of ideas and scenes which blew out of my mind … What blew the bubbles? Why then? I have no notion.”
Or how she ceased to be obsessed by thoughts of her mother, who had died when Virginia was 13, once she wrote To The Lighthouse in her 40s:
“I suppose I did for myself what psycho-analysts do for their patients.”
Love, love, love.
Ah, dear readers, more to come. I’ve only read a fraction of the assignment!