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A Room of One's Own (1929)

by Virginia Woolf

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
10,694143505 (4.12)1 / 519
In A Room of One's Own, Virginia Woolf imagines that Shakespeare had a sister: a sister equal to Shakespeare in talent, equal in genius, but whose legacy is radically different.This imaginary woman never writes a word and dies by her own hand, her genius unexpressed. But if only she had found the means to create, urges Woolf, she would have reached the same heights as her immortal sibling. In this classic essay, Virginia Woolf takes on the establishment, using her gift of language to dissect the world around her and give a voice to those who have none. Her message is simple: A woman must have a fixed income and a room of her own in order to have the freedom to create. Annotated and with an introduction by Susan Gubar… (more)
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English (128)  Spanish (4)  Italian (2)  Swedish (2)  Catalan (2)  French (2)  Dutch (1)  Norwegian (1)  German (1)  All languages (143)
Showing 1-5 of 128 (next | show all)
A satisfying discussion of the ways women writes have been disadvantaged and disenfranchised through history. The major point is that women (and men) need financial means and a private space in which to write successfully. The difference being, of course, that men have much more frequently had access to this. Woolf also covers the disadvantage of women writers not having centuries of literary canon by women to build on, in addition to their shockingly recent admission to universities, to the vote and so on. She argues that male and female writers could learn something from each other, and the real weakness of writing is work that is entirely rooted in one 'sex'. Certainly worth reading, and beautifully written. Given the publication date, it is unsurprising that some of the more minor ideas struck me as a little old fashioned and conservative, but this does not take away from the power of the book. It just highlights the progress that has been made since Woolf was writing. ( )
  sadbean | Jan 14, 2022 |
Casi 5 estrellas para mi. Lo que me echa un poco atras es las multiples citas a otras autoras y su opinion sobre ellas.
Pero por lo demas un gran ensayo, supongo que es lo que pasa cuando le pides la opinion a Virginia Woolf, acabas con una genialidad en forma de libro.
Me gusta tambien como esta organizado, empezando con un caso practico en cierta forma, los problemas que ella misma ve en su propia vida y luego moviendose a como de mas dificil tuvo que ser para otras autoras. ( )
  trusmis | Jan 8, 2022 |
"Possibly when the professor insisted a little too emphatically upon the inferiority of women, he was concerned not with their inferiority, but with his own superiority."

"Women have served all these centuries as looking-glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural size."

"No force in the world can take from me my five hundred pounds. Food, house and clothing are mine for ever. Therefore not merely do effort and labour cease, but also hatred and bitterness. I need not hate any man; he cannot hurt me. I need not flatter any man; he has nothing to give me."

"Imaginatively she is of the highest importance; practically she is completely insignificant."

"Some of the most inspired words, some of the most profound thoughts in literature fall from her lips; in real life she could hardly read, could scarcely spell, and was the property of her husband."

"The history of men’s opposition to women’s emancipation is more interesting perhaps than the story of that emancipation itself."

"This is an important book, the critic assumes, because it deals with war. This is an insignificant book because it deals with the feelings of women in a drawing-room."

"Suppose, for instance, that men were only represented in literature as the lovers of women, and were never the friends of men, soldiers, thinkers, dreamers; how few parts in the plays of Shakespeare could be allotted to them; how literature would suffer!"

"Poetry ought to have a mother as well as a father."

"Some of the finest works of our greatest living writers fall upon deaf ears. Do what she will a woman cannot find in them that fountain of perpetual life which the critics assure her is there. It is not only that they celebrate male virtues, enforce male values and describe the world of men; it is that the emotion with which these books are permeated is to a woman incomprehensible."

"Truth is only to be had by laying together many varieties of error."

"Intellectual freedom depends upon material things. Poetry depends upon intellectual freedom. And women have always been poor." ( )
  noramd | Dec 17, 2021 |
Sarò una scrittrice diversa.
Da oggi in poi, sarò una scrittrice diversa.

Ecco cos’ho pensato appena voltata l’ultima pagina. Che viaggio che è stato, questo. Mi sono vista secoli e secoli di storia scorrermi davanti in un batter d’occhio; guerre, carestie, dittature e tutto quello che ha riempito la storia. Ma, soprattutto, ho assistito all’evoluzione più grande di tutte, quella della donna. Dal medioevo agli anni trenta del ventesimo secolo, Virginia Woolf mi ha fatto conoscere la Nostra storia, quella che nessuno storico scrive, quella che non si studia sui libri di storia di scuola; la Nostra storia, quella di noi donne. E la Nostra è una di quelle storie che sta sullo sfondo, una di quelle tante storie che girano intorno alla storia dell’uomo.

Virginia Woolf è Virginia e, come continuerò a ripetere, non c’è nulla da dire. Era un genio assoluto. Era in grado di scavare nell’animo umano forse più di qualunque altro scrittore, forse più di qualunque altra scrittrice, che il suo tempo - e direi anche prima, escludendo forse solo Shakespeare -, ha visto. È stata in grado, in questo suo breve saggio, di passare dal parlare di un pranzo, di cosa ha mangiato a suddetto pranzo, allo scrivere un’attenta analisi della mente umana, della sede dell’anima - che sta lì, in un punto preciso della spina dorsale. È stata capace di immaginare una sorella di Shakespeare, di raccontare la sua vita e la sua morte, di quello che questa avrebbe potuto e non avrebbe potuto fare e del perché avrebbe o non avrebbe potuto.
Mi ha incantata, come sempre. La sua scrittura poetica e scorrevole mi ha rapita, come fa ogni volta, senza portarmi via dalla realtà, ma anzi facendomici immergere ancora di più.

E da oggi, da che ho concluso questo saggio, io voglio essere una scrittrice diversa da quella che sono stata fino ad ora. E solo adesso mi rendo conto di chi io sia stata in quanto scrittrice e di chi, invece, voglio e devo essere. Perché voglio e devo far rivivere quella poetessa, sorella si Shakespeare, che non ha mai scritto nemmeno una riga, che è morta e sepolta in un luogo in cui oggi c’è una fermata degli autobus. Devo e voglio che quella poetessa possa rivivere attraverso me, scrivendo finalmente i versi che mai ha scritto, realizzando quel sogno rimasto in un cassetto.
E solo oggi mi rendo conto di quanto io sia fortunata ad essere una scrittrice e ad esserlo oggi. Perché, e non me n’ero resa mai conto per davvero, mai avevo veramente capito il senso più intimo e profondo, scrivere è la cosa migliore che mi sia mai capitata di fare, la cosa migliore che io potessi scegliere di fare. E forse è destino, forse no - e io nel destino ci credo eccome -, ma da oggi sarò una scrittrice diversa. Mi porterò appresso tutte le mie antenate, tutte quelle grandi scrittrici che, grazie alla loro scrittura, mi hanno permesso oggi di poter scrivere. Perché, se io scrivo, è grazie a tutte loro. Scriverò con riconoscenza, ringraziando quelle mie antenate che non ci sono più e che conosco solo attraverso i libri e le poesie che hanno scritto in vita, secoli e secoli fa. Scriverò con più consapevolezza di ciò che c’è stato prima di me, di quante donne non potevano avere né cinquecento sterline l’anno, né una stanza tutta per sé. E da oggi scriverò con più cura e attenzione verso chi è esistito e non ho conosciuto, quasi fosse, la mia scrittura, l’unico modo in mio possesso per ringraziarle, quelle donne, quelle grandi scrittrici che mi permettono di essere qui, oggi, a scrivere.
E la userò, la mia stanza tutta per me, quella che ho e che in parte non ho. Scriverò e amerò ciò che scriverò, sebbene a volte sia la ragione di tutti i miei tormenti e del mio malumore. Ma continuerò a scrivere, a scrivere per me stessa e di me stessa, e continuerò a scrivere amando e ad amare scrivendo. Scriverò sempre e mi nutrirò delle parole che sgorgano come flutti dalla mia penna, dalla mia mente e dal mio cuore, non saziandomene mai. ( )
  wotchergiorgia | Nov 21, 2021 |
I really tried to read it but it was kind of boring although the cover flap made it sound boring. I'm not a traitor to my gender! ( )
  RakishaBPL | Sep 24, 2021 |
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» Add other authors (66 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Woolf, Virginiaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aspesi, NataliaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beeke, AnthonCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bell, VanessaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bradshaw, DavidEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Clarke, Stuart N.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Del Serra, MauraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gordon, MaryForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gubar, SusanEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pearson, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Simonsuuri, KirstiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stadtlander, BeccaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, JulietNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Valentí, HelenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Waals-Nachenius, C.E. van derTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
This essay is based upon two papers read to the Arts Society at Newnham and the Odtaa at Girton in October 1928. The papers were too long to be read in full, and have since been altered and expanded.
Dedication
First words
But, you may say, we asked you to speak about women and fiction -- what has that got to do with a room of one's own? I will try to explain.
[Foreword (HBJ edition)] Virginia Woolf foresaw with clarity the responses to A Room of One's Own.
Quotations
A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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In A Room of One's Own, Virginia Woolf imagines that Shakespeare had a sister: a sister equal to Shakespeare in talent, equal in genius, but whose legacy is radically different.This imaginary woman never writes a word and dies by her own hand, her genius unexpressed. But if only she had found the means to create, urges Woolf, she would have reached the same heights as her immortal sibling. In this classic essay, Virginia Woolf takes on the establishment, using her gift of language to dissect the world around her and give a voice to those who have none. Her message is simple: A woman must have a fixed income and a room of her own in order to have the freedom to create. Annotated and with an introduction by Susan Gubar

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Penguin Australia

4 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141183535, 0141018984, 0141044888, 0734306555

 

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