maandag 10 augustus 2015

Virginia Woolf -- 8 augustus 1908

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

[August 1908]
Manorbier is as different a place from Wells as I could have chosen. It is a lean country, scarcely inhabited, & the one church which does duty for many miles, is a threadbare place, a grey barn some 5 centuries old, to which a tower has been added at one end. The little bay however, is guarded by an immense mass of ruin, the Castle; it is still foursquare, &, it is dark - you see a red glow in some of the slits & openings, which tells that some one finds it still stout enough to live in. Why anyone found it necessary to build such a fortress here, I cannot remember; & at present the character of the land seems markedly worn & poverty stricken, as though it could not support such a monster; or perhaps lay cowed beneath its feet. However this may be, I like my view of it. I have lodgings in a perfectly genuine cottage, inhabited by a stone mason & his wife. I sit in a room that corresponds to their kitchen, & observe the road. In the evening I walk down to the beach, which I have to myself, & pace a turn or two beside the sea. I like to turn back from looking out along the uneasy & melancholy gray surface, to find a beautiful reflection of it in the gray ruin, & the green & gray sand hills, sprinkled with sheep, which is just colonised by a dozen sky gray cottages. No one will ever make this a watering place, I prophesy; it wants somehow the boldness & self confidence to be a success. I have not walked far, but my investigations tend to show that there is something a little weak in the coast. It is just too low, or too sharp to be impressive. The land within swells into long breakers. I walked through a little village the other day, which seemed to me as deserted as any I had seen. There were cottages splashed with cream coloured wash, out of which came bent old women, of tremendous age; their faces were all white ridges, without any spirit left. Ah, the loneliness of these little distant places! I saw that the pillar box was all discoloured; & there was only one house that tried to be a house - to wear the distinct dress. It had some odd ornament of piled stones in the gateways.

I come down from my room in Mr Barclays house at about half past nine, blowing out my lamp, & leaving my books. Sometimes it is quite calm, & gray outside; but tonight I was fairly whirled round by the wind & the rain. The only guide I had was the crunch of gravel beneath my feet - I could neither see nor hear. Suppose a cart advanced I should embrace the horse before I saw him. However I had but 200 yards to walk, & by moving my legs automatically, I became aware of a shape like the keel of a large boat on one side of me, & the faint refulgence of window. Still other people are on the roads, leading their horses, or driven to turn in at wayside cottages - The wind is really high; it is sen-sible peace to sit as I do, behind a pane of glass, with a glaring lamp beside me; even so, gusts get at my candle. I can't read at ease, for the wind is always leaping on to its own back. I hear water too, & the flut-tering of a little bush beside my window. Think of the earth given up to this power tonight!

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