maandag 1 juni 2015

Virginia Woolf -- 31 mei 1929

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) was een Engelse schrijfster. Ze hield vrijwel haar hele leven een dagboek bij.

Tuesday 28 May
It is an odd summer, this one, unexampled in our history. We are going off to Cassis on Tuesday for a week. This is a revolution. We have never been abroad so late in the year I think. The Election will be over. We shall be governed by a Tory or a Labour party - Tory I suppose. And I feel, rather oddly, that this is an important election. Walking down the King's Road with Sydney Waterlow the other night - having been to dine at his club - talking about the election, Sydney said that human nature has improved. We are all becoming gentier and wiser. Even the dogs are.

Friday 31 May
The oculist said to me this afternoon "Perhaps you're not as young as you were". This is the first time that has been said to me; and it seemed to me an astonishing statement. It means that one now seems to a stranger not a woman, but an elderly woman. Yet, although I feit wrinkled and aged for an hour, and put on a manner of great wisdom and toleration, buying a coat, even so, I forget it soon; and become 'a woman' again.
"We are winning" Nelly said at tea. I was shocked to think that we both desire the Labour Party to win — why? Partly that I don't want to be ruled by Nelly. I think that to be ruled by Nelly and Lottie wou ld be a disaster. Last night at Charleston we heard election results spoken very distinctly in the drawing room. Driving home through Lewes there was not a single light downstairs. No one was even listening in. The streets were perfectly empty. One man was pump shipping against the station wall. I had imagined a crowd, flares, shouts, white sheets - only three black cats, out on business with the mice. So we shall be ruled by Labour.
We went down to Worthing to see Lèonard's mother, laid like an old rose - rather lovely this time - in a narrow room; with the sea opposite. And she cried; and was very dismal. Nothing of life, as we see it, remains to her - [she] can't read or sleep, yet anxiously demands, does Leonard think she will get well? We had been saying driving down that one should take poison. She has every reason; and yet demands more life, more life, at seventy-eight. She quarrels; she can't walk; she is alone; she is looked after by nurses; lives in an hotel, but demands more life, more life. I was moved by her; could hardly speak. I suppose human nature, so emotional, so irrational, so instinctive, as it is in her, but not in me, has this beauty; this what they call 'elemental' quality. One may get it too, when one is seventy-eight. One may lie sobbing, and yet cry does doctor think I shall recover? One will not perhaps go to the writing table and write that simple and profound paper upon suicide which I see myself leaving for my friends.
We voted at Rodmell. I saw a white gloved lady helping an old farm couple out of her Daimler.

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