Sunday, August 23, 2009

The feminist Virgina Woolf

I'm currently reading Virgina Woolf's A Writer's Diary. Like Hemingway, she is one of those figures whose genius fascinates me. I love it. Though, I think I read her works primarily because I am enthralled by her, whereas I truly enjoy Hemingway's writing. There is a point to this, I promise. Virgina writes about all sorts of things in her diary. Reflections on literature, her husband and family and a variety of things that happen to her. I have a favorite quote already. She is recalling her tea date with Katherine Mansfield, who brought along a male friend J. Middleton Murry. Virgina makes the observation that Murry sat there like a statue for most of the time and goes on to make a general comment on men.
The male atmosphere is disconcerning to me. Do they distrust one? Despise one? And if so why do they sit on the whole length of ones visit? The truth is that when Murry says the orthodox masculine thing about [T.S.] Eliot, for example, belittling my solicitude to know what he said of me, I don't knuckle under; I think what an abrupt precipice cleaves asunder the male intelligence, and how they pride themselves upon a point of view which much resembles stupidity. (22)

I feel that for all of time, there much have been the kind of know-it-all misogynist in existence. I mostly love that Virgina Woolf has taken it to task to shoot them down, even if it is only in her diary. It's clear to me that over time, very little has changed about human nature. There will always be the typical personalities that protrude the placidity of one's life. The over-bearing competitor, or perhaps the jock. It simply seems to be a fact of life - even for Virgina. But I also take a strange comfort in knowing that, despite a lot of uncertainty that I may face, on the whole not as much changes as I would like to think.

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