O chorowaniu. Ze wstępem Hermione Lee
I was reading these wonderful pieces by Virginia Woolf and her mother, Julia Stephen, last Saturday morning, in bed, sipping coffee and nibbling a piece of toast when I came across this sentence: The origin of most things has been decided on, but the origin of crumbs in bed has never excited sufficient attention among the scientific world, though it is a problem which has tormented many a weary sufferer. I will forbear to give my own explanation, which may be neither scie ...more
This is a book for all seasons. A brilliant piece of writing by one of my favorite female writers. I wrote a review of the essay here:
"The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours." (Alan Bennett) This certainly was one of those moments for me.
This was a lovely, meandering little essay on illness, its place in literature, the states of mind that it engenders, and how the acts of writing and reading are influenced by it. In spite of the subject matter, the tone of the piece is frequently very playful, and outright funny in parts. There are also, of course, treatments of isolation, melancholy, and death that one would rightly expect from an essay on being ill. The occasionally long, convoluted, dreamy sentences do a good job of evoking...more
In this poignant and humorous essay, Virginia Woolf observes that though illness is a part of every human being’s experience, it has rarely been the focus of literature — unlike the traditionally acceptable subjects of war, love, and betrayal. We cannot quote Shakespeare to describe a headache. We must, Woolf says, invent language to describe pain. Illness enhances our perceptions and, she observes, it reduces self-consciousness; it is "the great confessio ...more
“Consider how common illness is, how tremendous the spiritual change that it brings, how astonishing, when the lights of health go down, the undiscovered countries that are then disclosed, what wastes and deserts of the soul a slight attack of influenza brings to view, what precipices and lawns sprinkled with bright flowers a little rise of temperature reveals, what ancient and obdurate ...more
The essay was delightful and elegant but I was a bit underwhelmed by the ending.
It took me back to my childhood when every year I was sure to fall ill due to ...more
There is, let us confess it ((and illness is the great confessional), a ch ...more
'In illne ...more
But as someone whose life has been defined ...more
Acompañando estas páginas se encuentra el ensayo que la propia Julia Stephen, madre de Virginia, escribió sobre el cuidado de los enfermos: Notes from Sick Rooms. S ...more
Like with any introduction to the Communist Manifesto, Hermione Lee's introduction may actually be longer than Woolf's interesting, cursory essay on illness, an ill person's 'deserting' from the upstanding healthy human crowd, illness's ability to speak truths, and how there is no literature in English that truly captures illness as it does love. Illness shows us the world in new eyes, allows us to take time to look ...more
It was partially written while she was under the influence of all sorts of mind-numbing stuff, as well hallucinating, and trying to show how her headaches and challenges were so devastating to what she lived to do: write.
It was incomplete before she died. Her husband published it with apology, ...more
Woolf has me thinking about the aims of writing in new ways. The essay wanders in many different and seemingly unrelated directions, but it's more of a think-piece than a traditional essay. She draws connections between disparate ideas (cloud formations, influenza, madness, Shakespeare) ...more
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