Zimmer für sich allein.
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Zimmer für sich allein.

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  38,063 ratings  ·  1,462 reviews
Originally published in 1929, A Room of One's Own eloquently states Woolf's conviction that in order to create works of genius, women must be freed from financial obligations and social restrictions.
Paperback, 140 pages
Published October 1994 by Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag (first published 1929)
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Kelly
Every woman should read this. Yes, everyone who told me that, you were absolutely right. It is a little book, but it's quite likely to revitalize you. How many 113 page books and/or hour long lectures (the original format of this text) can say that?

This is Woolf's Damn The Man book. It is of course done in an overtly polite British way... until she brings up her fountain pen and stabs them right between the eyes. She manages to make this a work of Romantic sensibility, and yet modern, piercing,...more
Steve Sckenda
By a riverbank she sits, surrounded by drooping willows and the bushes of autumn, “golden and crimson, glowed with color, burnt with fire.” The narrator asks why, as of 1928, there was no woman writer as brilliant as Shakespeare. Her subject is that of women in literature, but she speaks to all of us, and for all of us, and summons us all to greater humanity.

In a gentle voice and without scolding, the narrator proposes that only those who are free in mind and spirit produce great art. Great wri...more
Trevor
There are so many books that one ‘just knows’ what they are going to be about. I have always ‘known’ about this book and ‘knew’ what it would be about. Feminist rant, right? Oh, these people do so preach to the choir, don’t they? Why do they hate men so much? In the end they are no different to the male chauvinists they are attacking. Why can’t they just be more even handed?

That none of this is the case, of course, does not matter at all, because reiterating received wisdom seems to be all that...more
Dolors
Jan 27, 2014 Dolors rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Readers and writers regardless of their gender
"A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” exposes Woolf and her multiple fictional narrators, Mary Beton, Mary Seton and Mary Carmichael, embodying the universal voices of female writers that once were and the ones that never came to be, while relentlessly beguiling the reader, sinuously spiralling him down with evocative prose, genial dexterity with words and an unapologetic tone dripping with irony, righteousness and lyricism.

Sitting on the riverside in fro...more
Samadrita
Words fail me as I seek to express what I think of Virginia Woolf. Or to sum up in a few measly paragraphs, a book that may just have shattered into a million pieces all my illusions about the art of writing and reshaped my whole perspective.

Have you ever imagined a disembodied voice whispering into your ears, the wisdom of the ages as you flipped through the pages of a book? how often have you conjured up the vision of the writer talking to you, teaching you, humoring you and coaxing you to ope...more
Rakhi Dalal
Feb 06, 2014 Rakhi Dalal rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Those aspiring to be writers
The distant orange sky seems to merge into a violet-grey as a thin isolating streak rebels against their integration. She sits by the window, her gaze fixed at the thin streak, waiting unconsciously for it to reach the ubiquitous vast blackness of the sky. On the table, in her front, the pages of the open book ruffle whenever a whiff of air passes through the window into her room. Her ears, accustomed to the soundless sound of the pages, hear a symphony of the words played upon the notes of the...more
Aubrey
4.5/5

This is a lovely, lovely introduction to feminism, full of wit and insight and the incomparable prose of the inimitable Woolf. Not perfect, and indeed there are a few bones I'd have loved to pick with her, but even with those this book is a boon to humanity.

Between bouts of beauteous imagery and fantastic meanderings of thought and form, we have many a discussion on the different subtleties by which the patriarchy in England inherited a history, controlled the present, and in Woolf's time i...more
Kim

Many, many years ago, back in the mid 1970s when I was a freshly-minted law student a few months out of high school, I went to a party. There I met a sophisticated man, probably in his forties. He was a lawyer. I started telling him about my studies. When I look back on it now, I realise that I may have been overly enthusiastic, a bore even. However, for years I was enraged by his reaction. "Why do you want to study law? You'll get married one day and you'll need to help your husband. It would b...more
Rowena
I hadn't really made up my mind about how I feel about Virginia Woolf, until now, that is. This book definitely showed her genius and I loved it. I enjoyed reading about the history of women writers including one of my favourites, George Eliot, and how they have been suppressed systematically by patriarchy. I filed this book under "feminism" but in no way does it ridicule men or say women are better than men, it simply states that women have not been given adequate chances in literature in the p...more
Paul
A standard must read text based on Woolf’s lectures to the two Cambridge colleges which admitted women in 1928. It expresses a clear truth and clear injustice in very inventive ways. She describes her trials and tribulations in writing and researching the lectures using a skilfully woven skein of history, fiction, opinion and musings on the outrageousness of the place of women. The part about Shakespeare’s sister is brilliant.
Woolf is pointing out the importance of space and opportunity that hav...more
Misha
This is only the second Virginia Woolf book I have read (shocking, right?). Like the first one (Mrs. Dalloway), I find it a bit difficult to express how I feel about this book.

Though this has been described as a feminist classic, I think this can be read (in fact must be read) by anyone interested in women writers in history. The author offers some excellent insights on the role of women and the reasons they weren't active in the literary world. She never claims that one sex is better than the o...more
Cheryl
What insights and truths has Woolf confirmed in this slim text of 125 pages? Most importantly, conditions necessary for the creation of works of art are a room with a lock and the luxury of money. "By hook or by crook, I hope that you will possess yourselves of money enough to travel and to idle, to contemplate the future or the past of the world, to dream over books and loiter at street corners and let the line of thought dip deep into the stream."

Woolf encourages women not to limit themselves...more
Shruti
Only once has anyone gifted me a book. I was 13. And the book was ‘Pride and Prejudice’.
I killed that book – with Love.
Although the Love never manifested itself as anything lyrical. Just pickle covered hands and a desperate sort of manhandling. Stained pages and a fractured spine.
It was Love because until then, I had never been Spoken to. Told things, yes; but not Spoken to.

Woolf (I want to call her Virginia - VERY BADLY) talks of this here, among many other things. Austen (Jane??) Spoke to m...more
Miriam
I wouldn't have gotten much out of this book if I hadn't gone to graduate school -- not because the book is difficult or obtuse, but for the entirely personal reason that graduate school in the Midwest was my first real encounter with the persistence of the sexist views Woolf describes. Growing up in San Francisco, I had almost no experience with sexism. No one ever told me or my friends that women were not as good at anything, that we shouldn't write, have whatever jobs we wanted, be independen...more
Mala
Review of 'A Room of One's Own' by Virginia Woolf
Shelf: Essays,lit-crit,female writer,feminism.
Recommended for: Virginia Woolf fans,serious readers (Actually both are usually the same!).

This slim little book is so like its author: delicate,fragile-looking yet brimming with intellectual vigour & a whimsical feminine charm!
Jam-packed with quotable lines, it'll make anyone look intelligent & at 112 pages,it is a boon for slow readers like me,only the catch is; once you finish it,you want to...more
Tej
A seminal portrayal of the predicament of the veritably distinct entities, almost always negatively skewed, which are nevertheless offshoots of the same whole. A theoretically simple realization stilted by the darkness of the behemoths of patriarchy and eons of egotistic chauvinism. The very need for this book and the concomitant detracting chants replete with insecurity in reality directed at a challenge inflicted upon the citadels and bastions that entrenched themselves over the centuries, ref...more
Madeline
Among the many things about this book that continue to blow my mind, there's the fact that Virginia Woolf manages to fit more information and beautiful writing into 114 pages than most writers can get in 500. This is such a small book, but it's so much more substantial than it appears.

The book is a combination of papers Virgina Woolf wrote when she was asked to speak on "Women and Fiction." She starts out by telling us about this assignment and what she thinks it means. Woolf muses on the subje...more
Kimberly
I read this book one summer when I was living in an apartment, on my own, and though it didn't do much to inspire skilled writing from me, it made me appreciate that time and space that I was inhabiting, to cherish the solitude. Simultaneously, this book has had a huge impact on my personal ideas and philosophy. The whole premise is that we cannot measure the abilities of women based on their current status. It's because we were silenced for so many years, left out of histories because we were t...more
arcobaleno
Jul 09, 2013 arcobaleno rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Stela
o "Le donne e il romanzo"
In questo saggio sono riportate le osservazioni che Virginia Woolf ha presentato durante due conferenze, nell'ottobre del 1928. Il titolo “Le donne e il romanzo” poteva voler significare le donne e la loro immagine; oppure le donne e i romanzi che esse scrivono; oppure le donne e i romanzi che parlano di loro; oppure il fatto che i tre sensi sono in qualche modo inscindibili. […] Tutto quel che potevo fare era offrirvi un’opinione su una questione del tutto secondaria: u...more
Thomas
Words I've lived by long before reading this book: 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.

Oh, Virginia Woolf. A Room of One's Own is a masterpiece of argument and persuasion and feminism. Her ideas about women serving as the looking glass, her solid support of women having a fixed income and a room of their own, her refusal to care about anyone's perception of her, her references to Charlotte Bronte and Jane Austen,...more
Vickie Wang
May 09, 2007 Vickie Wang rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Blossoming feminists
Woolf’s fictional tale of Judith Shakespeare’s tragic life brings to mind the choices women today face as working mothers. My mother grew up earning straight A’s while taking care of her family, writes beautifully in both English and Chinese, was named Best Actress for her college play performance and was overall a renaissance woman. She then went on to work as a teacher’s assistant at the university, got married, and had me. After juggling work and home for 12 years, she decided that my rebelli...more
Cathy Day
May 22, 2008 Cathy Day rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Tia Smith
I'm not sure how I got to be this old without reading A Room of One's Own. But in a way, I have read it before, because the arguments Woolf made in 1928 form the foundation of most feminist intellectual thought. But I think if I'd read this book in my twenties or early thirties, it wouldn't have made the impact it made this time. I think this quotation from Woolf is very interesting: "Where books are concerned, it is notoriously difficult to fix labels of merit in such a way that they do not com...more
C.
I swear upon all that is good and real and true that ere I die I will place a wreath upon the grave of Virginia Woolf.
Kristen
What is meant by “reality”? It would seem to be something very erratic, very undependable—now to be found in a dusty road, now in a scrap of newspaper in the street, now a daffodil in the sun. It lights up a group in a room and stamps some casual saying. It overwhelms one walking home beneath the stars and makes the silent world more real than the world of speech—and then there it is again in an omnibus in the uproar of Piccadilly. Sometimes, too, it seems to dwell in shapes too far away for us...more
Kevin
This book is part of Penguins 'Great Ideas' box set (which is worth reading through..quite a neat collection of essays and excerpts of some famous writers). Its is a written talk she made regarding Women authors throughout history in 1928, and what it meant to create literary works of fiction for Women during a period where Women were not supposed to study and write books and poetry - that was a male exclusive thing. However, Women did start to become bored by just being housemaids and appendage...more
Angela
"A Room of One's Own" veers from insightful and delightfully lyrical to infuriating and back again. Woolf offers some tremendous commentary about the educational environment facing English women and the state of English poetry and novels in general, wrapped in compelling, wonderful descriptions (her scathing indictment of the prune is unmatched).

However, the essay is bogged down by her classism, most of which is as blissfully unaware as Austen's characters' lamentations of poverty. (She defends...more
Clif Hostetler
This book is based on lectures given in 1928 by the author on the subject of women and literature. The author was already recognized at the time as a gifted and successful writer, and she was invited to speak to two women's colleges at Cambridge and share her experience and wisdom to the next generation of educated women. Today this book is widely regarded as a foundational text of feminist literary criticism.

The lecture origins of the book ironically causes it to be Woolf's most readable book....more
Sheila
I have a room of my own.

And a slim desk on which sits my computer where I sometimes write. I have a steady income, but every day I have to work for it. An inheritance is nice to have, but I'm not certain, I doubt very much, that I'll come into it someday.

But that is alright, I imagine Ms.Woolf telling me while we sit idly in a cafe.

These days, Shakespeare's sister only needs to get an agent or an internet, especially if she likes to experiment. The challenges of women writing fiction that Ms....more
Alex
So, I made it to nearly my mid-thirties without ever reading this cornerstone of feminist writing and I'm not sure whether to simply hang my head in shame or to be eternally grateful that this came along when I was feeling in need of a little inspiration.

Virginia Woolf is a writer of such great stature that she can write an essay on the topic of WOMEN in LITERATURE and make it flow as seamlessly as a novel. She can make it read like a novel. Wait, some people are confusing this with a novel! Not...more
notgettingenough
A mess of one’s one. That’s it. The sum total of my ambition. No wild pipe dream like a whole room, just a little bit of a room that is mine and I’ll know it is mine because it will have MY mess on it. I lived for a long time with a person who was a compulsive cleaner and tidier. He would occasionally tell me that I should tidy my desk but never would he touch it. He might have hated it, but it was my mess and he had no rights over it whatsoever. This never had to be discussed, it was simply obv...more
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6765
(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
More about Virginia Woolf...
Mrs. Dalloway To the Lighthouse Orlando The Waves The Voyage Out

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“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.” 7134 likes
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” 1255 likes
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