A Room of One's Own  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

"I have told you the very low opinion in which you [women] were held by Mr Oscar Browning. I have indicated what Napoleon once thought of you and what Mussolini thinks now. Then, in case any of you aspire to fiction, I have copied out for your benefit the advice of the critic about courageously acknowledging the limitations of your sex. I have referred to Professor X and given prominence to his statement that women are intellectually, morally and physically inferior to men . . . and here is a final warning . . . Mr John Langdon Davies warns women "that when children cease to be altogether desirable, women cease to be altogether necessary." I hope you will make note of it. --Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own (1929)


"... Shakespeare had a sister; but do not look for her in Sir Sidney Lee’s life of the poet. She died young —alas, she never wrote a word.... Now my belief is that this poet who never wrote a word and was buried at the crossroads still lives. She lives in you and in me, and in many other women who are not here tonight, for they are washing up the dishes and putting the children to bed. But she lives; for great poets do not die; they are continuing pres­ences; they need only the opportunity to walk among us in the flesh. This opportunity, as I think, it is now coming within your power to give her. For my belief is that if we live another century or so—I am talking of the common life which is the real life and not of the little separate lives which we live as individuals —and have five hundred a year each of us and rooms of our own; if we have the habit of free­dom and the courage to write exactly what we think; if we escape a little from the common sitting-room and see human beings not always in their relation to each other but in relation to reality... if we face the fact, for it is a fact, that there is no arm to cling to, but that we go alone and that our relation is to the world of reality . . . then the opportunity will come and the dead poet who was Shakespeare’s sister will put on the body which she has so often laid down. Drawing her life from the lives of the unknown who were her forerunners, as her brother did before her, she will be born. As for her coming without that preparation, without that effort on our part, without that determination that when she is born again she shall find it pos­sible to live and write her poetry, that we cannot expect, for that would be impos­sible. But I maintain that she would come if we worked for her, and that so to work, even in poverty and obscurity, is worth­ while." Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own (1929)

Related e

Google
Wikipedia
Wiktionary
Wiki Commons
Wikiquote
Wikisource
YouTube
Shop


Featured:
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Enlarge
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

A Room of One's Own is an extended essay by Virginia Woolf. First published on 24 October 1929, the essay was based on a series of lectures she delivered at Newnham College and Girton College, two women's colleges at Cambridge University in October 1928. While this extended essay in fact employs a fictional narrator and narrative to explore women both as writers of and characters in fiction, the manuscript for the delivery of the series of lectures, titled "Women and Fiction", and hence the essay, are considered non-fiction. The essay is generally seen as a feminist text, and is noted in its argument for both a literal and figural space for women writers within a literary tradition dominated by patriarchy.

Adaptations

It was adapted as a play by Patrick Garland who also directed Eileen Atkins in its stage performance. The television adaptation directed by Patrick Garland was broadcast on PBS Masterpiece Theatre in 1991.

Cultural references

Feminist and LGBT bookstore A Room of One's Own in Madison, Wisconsin was named after Woolf's essay. Canadian literary journal showcasing the work of women writers and visual artists, Room of One's Own, now Room, was also named for Woolf's essay.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "A Room of One's Own" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools