Orlando Quotes

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Orlando Orlando by Virginia Woolf
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Orlando Quotes (showing 1-30 of 139)
“Nothing thicker than a knife's blade separates happiness from melancholy.”
Virginia Woolf, Orlando
“Love, the poet said, is woman's whole existence.”
Virginia Woolf, Orlando
“As long as she thinks of a man, nobody objects to a woman thinking.”
Virginia Woolf, Orlando
“A woman knows very well that, though a wit sends her his poems, praises her judgment, solicits her criticism, and drinks her tea, this by no means signifies that he respects her opinions, admires her understanding, or will refuse, though the rapier is denied him, to run through the body with his pen.”
Virginia Woolf, Orlando
“All extremes of feeling are allied with madness.”
Virginia Woolf, Orlando
“For it would seem - her case proved it - that we write, not with the fingers, but with the whole person. The nerve which controls the pen winds itself about every fibre of our being, threads the heart, pierces the liver.”
Virginia Woolf, Orlando
“Was not writing poetry a secret transaction, a voice answering a voice?”
Virginia Woolf, Orlando
“The taste for books was an early one. As a child he was sometimes found at midnight by a page still reading. They took his taper away, and he bred glow-worms to serve his purpose. They took the glow-worms away and he almost burnt the house down with a tinder.”
Virginia Woolf, Orlando
“Better was it to go unknown and leave behind you an arch, then to burn like a meteor and leave no dust.”
Virginia Woolf, Orlando
“He who robs us of our dreams robs us of our life.”
Virginia Woolf, Orlando
“No passion is stronger in the breast of a man than the desire to make others believe as he believes. Nothing so cuts at the root of his happiness and fills him with rage as the sense that another rates low what he prizes high.”
Virginia Woolf, Orlando
“To put it in a nutshell, he was afflicted with a love of literature. It was the fatal nature of this disease to substitute a phantom for reality.”
Virginia Woolf, Orlando
“Illusions are to the soul what atmosphere is to the earth.”
Virginia Woolf, Orlando
“I'm sick to death of this particular self. I want another.”
Virginia Woolf, Orlando
“For once the disease of reading has laid upon the system it weakens so that it falls an easy prey to that other scourge which dwells in the ink pot and festers in the quill. The wretch takes to writing. ”
Virginia Woolf, Orlando
“By the truth we are undone. Life is a dream. 'Tis the waking that kills us. He who robs us of our dreams robs us of our life.”
Virginia Woolf, Orlando
“some we know to be dead even though they walk among us; some are not yet born though they go through all the forms of life; other are hundreds of years old though they call themselves thirty-six”
Virginia Woolf, Orlando
“Memory is the seamstress, and a capricious one at that. Memory runs her needle in and out, up and down, hither and thither. We know not what comes next, or what follows after. Thus, the most ordinary movement in the world, such as sitting down at a table and pulling the inkstand towards one, may agitate a thousand odd, disconnected fragments, now bright, now dim, hanging and bobbing and dipping and flaunting, like the underlinen of a family of fourteen on a line in a gale of wind.”
Virginia Woolf, Orlando
“Thoughts are divine.”
Virginia Woolf, Orlando
“A million candles burnt in him without his being at the trouble of lighting a single one”
Virginia Woolf, Orlando
“The flower bloomed and faded. The sun rose and sank. The lover loved and went. And what the poets said in rhyme, the young translated into practice.”
Virginia Woolf, Orlando
“But Sasha was from Russia, where the sunsets are longer, the dawns less sudden and sentences are often left unfinished from doubt as how to best end them.”
Virginia Woolf, Orlando
“For while directly we say that it [the length of human life] is ages long, we are reminded that it is briefer than the fall of a rose leaf to the ground.”
Virginia Woolf, Orlando
“Green in nature is one thing, green in literature another. Nature and letters seem to have a natural antipathy; bring them together and they tear each other to pieces.”
Virginia Woolf, Orlando
“Anyone moderately familiar with the rigours of composition will not need to be told the story in detail; how he wrote and it seemed good; read and it seemed vile; corrected and tore up; cut out; put in; was in ecstasy; in despair; had his good nights and bad mornings; snatched at ideas and lost them; saw his book plain before him and it vanished; acted people's parts as he ate; mouthed them as he walked; now cried; now laughed; vacillated between this style and that; now preferred the heroic and pompous; next the plain and simple; now the vales of Tempe; then the fields of Kent or Cornwall; and could not decide whether he was the divinest genius or the greatest fool in the world.”
Virginia Woolf, Orlando
“. . . clumsiness is often mated with a love of solitude.”
Virginia Woolf, Orlando
“madam," the man cried, leaping to the ground, "you're hurt!" "I'm dead, sir!" she replied. A few minutes later, they became engaged.”
Virginia Woolf, Orlando
“Nature, who has played so many queer tricks upon us, making us so unequally of clay and diamonds, of rainbow and granite, and stuffed them into a case, often of the most incongruous, for the poet has a butcher’s face and the butcher a poet’s; nature, who delights in muddle and mystery, so that even now (the first of November, 1927) we know not why we go upstairs, or why we come down again, our most daily movements are like the passage of a ship on an unknown sea, and the sailors at the mast-head ask, pointing their glasses to the horizon: Is there land or is there none? to which, if we are prophets, we make answer “Yes”; if we are truthful we say “No”; nature, who has so much to answer for besides the perhaps unwieldy length of this sentence, has further complicated her task and added to our confusion by providing not only a perfect ragbag of odds and ends within us—a piece of a policeman’s trousers lying cheek by jowl with Queen Alexandra’s wedding veil—but has contrived that the whole assortment shall be lightly stitched together by a single thread. Memory is the seamstress, and a capricious one at that. Memory runs her needle in and out, up and down, hither and thither. We know not what comes next, or what follows after. Thus, the most ordinary movement in the world, such as sitting down at a table and pulling the inkstand towards one, may agitate a thousand odd, disconnected fragments, now bright, now dim, hanging and bobbing and dipping and flaunting, like the underlinen of a family of fourteen on a line in a gale of wind. Instead of being a single, downright, bluff piece of work of which no man need feel ashamed, our commonest deeds are set about with a fluttering and flickering of wings, a rising and falling of lights.”
Virginia Woolf, Orlando
“But Time, unfortunately, though it makes animals and vegetables bloom and fade with amazing punctuality, has no such simple effect upon the mind of man. The mind of man, moreover, works with equal strangeness upon the body of time. An hour, once it lodges in the queer element of the human spirit, may be stretched to fifty or a hundred times its clock length; on the other hand, an hour may be accurately represented on the timepiece of the mind by one second.”
Virginia Woolf, Orlando
tags: time
“Vain trifles as they seem, clothes have, they say, more important offices than to merely keep us warm. They change our view of the world and the world's view of us.”
Virginia Woolf, Orlando

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