Jacob's Room Quotes

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Jacob's Room Jacob's Room by Virginia Woolf
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Jacob's Room Quotes (showing 1-30 of 66)
“Melancholy were the sounds on a winter's night.”
Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room
“Blame it or praise it, there is no denying the wild horse in us.”
Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room
“It is no use trying to sum people up.”
Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room
“When the body escaped mutilation, seldom did the heart go to the grave unscarred.”
Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room
“I enjoy the spring more than the autumn now. One does, I think, as one gets older.”
Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room
“Indeed there has never been any explanation of the ebb and flow in our veins--of happiness and unhappiness.”
Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room
“It's not catastrophes, murders, deaths, diseases, that age and kill us; it's the way people look and laugh, and run up the steps of omnibuses.”
Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room
“Every face, every shop, bedroom window, public-house, and dark square is a picture feverishly turned--in search of what? It is the same with books. What do we seek through millions of pages?”
Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room
“It seems that a profound, impartial, and absolutely just opinion of our fellow-creatures is utterly unknown. Either we are men, or we are women. Either we are cold, or we are sentimental. Either we are young, or growing old. In any case life is but a procession of shadows, and God knows why it is that we embrace them so eagerly, and see them depart with such anguish, being shadows. And why, if this -- and much more than this is true -- why are we yet surprised in the window corner by a sudden vision that the young man in the chair is of all things in the world the most real, the most solid, the best known to us--why indeed? For the moment after we know nothing about him.

Such is the manner of our seeing. Such the conditions of our love.”
Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room
“anyone who’s worth anything reads just what he likes, as the mood takes him, and with extravagant enthusiasm.”
Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room
“Marvelous are the innocent. ”
Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room
“I like books whose virtue is all drawn together in a page or two. I like sentences that don't budge though armies cross them. ”
Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room
“In any case life is but a procession of shadows, and God knows why it is that we embrace them so eagerly, and see them depart with such anguish, being shadows.”
Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room
“One must love everything.”
Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room
“Fatigue is the safest sleeping draught.”
Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room
tags: sleep
“Venerable are letters, infinitely brave, forlorn, and lost.”
Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room
“It was the intimacy, a sort of spiritual suppleness, when mind prints upon mind indelibly.”
Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room
“They say the sky is the same everywhere. Travellers, the shipwrecked, exiles, and the dying draw comfort from the thought[.]”
Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room
“The strange thing about life is that though the nature of it must have been apparent to every one for hundreds of years, no one has left any adequate account of it. The streets of London have their map; but our passions are uncharted. What are you going to meet if you turn this corner?”
Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room
“Blame it or praise it, there is no denying the wild horse in us. To gallop intemperately; fall on the sand tired out; to feel the earth spin; to have - positively - a rush of friendship for stones and grasses, as if humanity were over, and as for men and women, let them go hang - there is no getting over the fact that this desire seizes up pretty often.”
Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room
“Nobody sees any one as he is, let alone an elderly lady sitting opposite a strange young man in a railway carriage. They see a whole--they see all sorts of things--they see themselves...”
Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room
“Anyhow, whether undergraduate or shop boy, man or woman, it must come as a shock about the age of twenty—the world of the elderly—thrown up in such black outline upon what we are; upon the reality; the moors and Byron; the sea and the lighthouse; the sheep’s jaw with the yellow teeth in it; upon the obstinate irrepressible conviction which makes youth so intolerably disagreeable—“I am what I am, and intend to be it,” for which there will be no form in the world unless Jacob makes one for himself. The Plumers will try to prevent him from making it. Wells and Shaw and the serious sixpenny weeklies will sit on its head.”
Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room
“The voice had an extraordinary sadness. Pure from all body, pure from all passion, going out into the world, solitary, unanswered, breaking against rocks—so it sounded.”
Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room
“Kind old ladies assure us that cats are often the best judges of character. A cat will always go to a good man, they say[.]”
Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room
“Let us consider letters - how they come at breakfast, and at night, with their yellow stamps and their green stamps, immortalized by the postmark - for to see one's own envelope on another's table is to realize how soon deeds sever and become alien. Then at last the power of the mind to quit the body is manifest, and perhaps we fear or hate or wish annihilated this phantom of ourselves, lying on the table. Still, there are letters that merely say how dinner's at seven; others ordering coal; making appointments. The hand in them is scarcely perceptible, let alone the voice or the scowl. Ah, but when the post knocks and the letter comes always the miracle seems repeated - speech attempted. Venerable are letters, infinitely brave, forlorn, and lost.”
Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room
“I am what I am, and intend to be it,' for which there will be no form in the world unless Jacob makes one for himself.”
Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room
“Venerable are letters, infinitely brave, forlorn, and lost.

Life would split asunder without them. "Come to tea, come to dinner, what's the truth of the story? have you heard the news? life in the capital is gay; the Russian dancers...." These are our stays and props. These lace our days together and make of life a perfect globe. And yet, and yet... when we go to dinner, when pressing finger-tips we hope to meet somewhere soon, a doubt insinuates itself; is this the way to spend our days? the rare, limited, so soon dealt out to us - drinking tea? dining out? And the notes accumulate. And the telephones ring. And everywhere we go wires and tubes surround us to carry the voices that try to penetrate before the last card is dealt. "Try to penetrate" for as we lift the cup, shake the hand, express the hope, something whispers, Is this all? Can I never know, share, be certain? Am I doomed all my days to write letters, send voices, which fall upon the tea-table, fade upon the passage, making appointments, while life dwindles, to come and dine? Yet letters are venerable; and the telephone valiant, for the journey is a lonely one, and if bound together by notes and telephones we went in company, perhaps- who know? - we might talk by the way.”
Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room
“For centuries the writing-desk has contained sheets fit precisely for the communication of friends. Masters of language, poets of long ages, have turned from the sheet that endures to the sheet that perishes, pushing aside the tea-tray, drawing close to the fire (for letters are written when the dark presses around a bright red cave), and addressed themselves the task of reaching, touching, penetrating the individual heart.”
Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room
“Why, from the very windows, even in the dusk, you see a swelling run through the street, an aspiration, as with arms outstretched, eyes desiring, mouths agape. And then we peaceably subside. For if the exaltation lasted we should be blown like foam into the air. The stars would shine through us. We should go down the gale in salt drops- as sometimes happens. For the impetuous spirits will have none of this cradling. Never any swaying or aimlessly lolling for them. Never any making believe, or lying cosily, or genially supposing that one is much like another, fire warm, wine pleasant, extravagance a sin.”
Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room
“The tumult of the present seems like a elegy for past youth and past summers, and there rose in her mind a curious sadness, as if time and eternity showed through skirts and waistcoats, and she saw people passing tragically to destruction.”
Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room

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