135 years old today. Happy birthday, Virginia Woolf. She provides us with gender-bending tales like Orlando (1928) and feminist manifestos on writing like A Room of One’s Own (1929). She strengthens our resolve as female authors and writers today so that we can speak out against injustice and write the stories we desire to tell.
“Let us never cease from thinking—what is this ‘civilisation’ in which we find ourselves? What are these ceremonies and why should we take part in them? What are these professions and why should we make money out of them?”
— From her anti-war essay “Three Guineas” (1938)
Woolf’s essay, Three Guineas is available for free through Project Gutenberg.
“So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say. But to sacrifice a hair of the head of your vision, a shade of its colour, in deference to some Headmaster with a silver pot in his hand or to some professor with a measuring-rod up his sleeve, is the most abject treachery.”
—From A Room of One’s Own (1929)
Today, go forth and “write what you wish to write” regardless of who says no. Question civilization. Question gender hierarchy. Chase your vision.