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A Moment's Liberty: The Shorter Diary

4.43  ·  Rating Details ·  98 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
The Diary of Virginia Woolf has been acclaimed as a masterpiece. Anne Olivier Bell edited the five-volume original, and she has now abridged the Diary in this splendidly readable single volume edition.
Hardcover, 516 pages
Published April 17th 2002 by Tx Bookman Remainders (first published May 21st 1990)
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Ben Dutton
Feb 06, 2012 Ben Dutton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Virginia Woolf began her diary in 1915, by which time her first novel had been accepted for publication but had yet to appear. She was known as the husband of the novelist Leonard Woolf. Her diaries appeared in full to much public acclaim between 1977 and 1984, but it was only in 1990 that Anne Olivier Bell reduced them to this, The Shorter Diary. As A.S. Byatt said: “Her nephew Quentin Bell claims that the 30 volumes of Woolf’s diary are a masterpiece. Anne Olivier Bell has reduced them to a si ...more
Apr 22, 2008 Katherine rated it liked it
Recommends it for: bookish naïfs
Recommended to Katherine by: my mother
Shelves: memoirish
My mother gave me this book when I was fourteen or something. It's long; I can't claim to have read the whole thing. But I did leaf through it fairly regularly and read longish passages. I would daydream about Virginia and Leonard's existence: Bookish, independently wealthy-enough, dividing their time between city and country, running a printing press, writing, having a circle of bookish, famous and semi-famous friends. 'That is the life for me!,' I thought. In short, this book was the beginning ...more
David James
Aug 07, 2016 David James rated it really liked it
Woolf, Virginia. A Moment’s Liberty: The Shorter Diary, ed Anne Olivier Bell.

This abridged version of Virginia Woolf’s diaries is compacted from the original five volumes written in the years 1915-1941. As Clive Bell says in his Introduction, she has been deemed ‘snobbish, elitist and malicious,’ not to mention obscure as a novelist. But in these diaries she is, Bell maintains, always sharp and clear and doesn’t disdain the commonplace.
For those who enjoy her writing, The Shorter Diary makes an
Feb 11, 2012 Matt rated it it was amazing
A fantastic reading experience. This is much more than a traditional diary. It is rather the account of the growth and development of the soul and spirit of an extraordinary personality and one of the world's great writers. Mrs. Woolf's ability to record both the major events of her life and the quotidian makings of what she terms "uneventul days" with the same depth of insight and appreciation is an astonishing accomplishment. In writing about the desire to continue living life amidst the terro ...more
Paige Walker
Jul 21, 2011 Paige Walker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading Virginia's diary was a great companion while reading her novels. You are given a chance to see a little bit of the backstory and reasons behind her experimental writing while suspecting she was still keeping something hidden, even from her personal diary (which she never intended for publication). The final entry, just before her suicide, is especially haunting and the shift in mental state from her happier days to the darkest days of her depression is quite powerful.
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(Adeline) Virginia Woolf was an English novelist and essayist regarded as one of the foremost modernist literary figures of the twentieth century.

During the interwar period, Woolf was a significant figure in London literary society and a member of the Bloomsbury Group. Her most famous works include the novels Mrs Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927), and Orlando (1928), and the book-length es
More about Virginia Woolf...

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“I want the concentration and the romance, and the worlds all glued together, fused, glowing: have no time to waste any more on prose.” 8 likes
“This fiddling and drifting and not impressing oneself upon anything – this always refraining and fingering and cutting things up into little jokes and facetiousness – that's what's so annihilating. Yet given little money, little looks, no special gift – what can one do? How could one battle? How could one leap on the back of life and wring its scruff?” 2 likes
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