Σάββατο, 2 Ιανουαρίου 2016

Virginia Woolf: Shakepseare's Sister

NEW YEAR'S DAY REFLECTIONS
 If being yourself was impossible a few hundred years ago, it is remarkable how things have started to shift in the 21st century. However, finding one own's voice and being true to oneself has always been difficult. It is not going to change, but at least in a more humane society, people should not be ashamed and tortured and driven crazy because they are different...


"Any woman born with a great gift in the sixteenth century would certainly have gone crazed, shot herself, or ended her days in some lonely cottage outside the village, half witch, half wizard, feared and mocked at. For it needs little skill in psychology to be sure that a highly gifted girl who had tried to use her gift for poetry would have been so thwarted and hindered by other people, so tortured and pulled asunder by her own contrary instincts, that she must have lost her health and sanity to a certainty. No girl could have walked to London and stood at a stage door and forced her way into the presence of actor-managers without doing herself a violence and suffering an anguish which may have been irrational — for chastity may be a fetish invented by certain societies for unknown reasons — but were none the less inevitable. Chastity had then, it has even now, a religious importance in a woman’s life, and has so wrapped itself round with nerves and instincts that to cut it free and bring it to the light of day demands courage of the rarest. To have lived a free life in London in the sixteenth century would have meant for a woman who was poet and playwright a nervous stress and dilemma which might well have killed her. Had she survived, whatever she had written would have been twisted and deformed, issuing from a strained and morbid imagination. "
Virginia Woolf, A room of one's own 

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