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Virginia Woolf's Modernist PathHer Middle Diaries and the Diaries She Read$
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Barbara Lounsberry

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813062952

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813062952.001.0001

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Renewed Diary Experiment

Renewed Diary Experiment

The Reach for Literature and Beyond

Chapter:
(p.137) 7 Renewed Diary Experiment
Source:
Virginia Woolf's Modernist Path
Author(s):

Barbara Lounsberry

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813062952.003.0008

Woolf expands her 1926 diary. In February, she begins “a new convention”: starting each entry on a new page, her “habit in writing serious literature.” In May, she reaches outward toward public history with a diary of the General Strike. She then turns inward for eleven titled “State of Mind” probes: probes of the boundaries between sense, thought, and art. In October, she imagines “an endeavour at something mystic, spiritual; the thing that exists when we aren’t there.” The diaries she reads propel her toward this place. Across the year Woolf returns often to Beatrice Webb’s memoir My Apprenticeship, woven around diary extracts. These extracts supply notions for To the Lighthouse, The Waves, Flush, and Three Guineas—and especially for A Room of One’s Own and “Professions for Women.” In September, Woolf reviews the Journals of Thomas Cobden-Sanderson. His questing journals encourage Woolf’s search for “the mystical side of this solitude,” she writes, or what Webb calls the great Unknown. Soon after, Woolf reviews the Life of Benjamin Robert Haydon, Historical Painter, from his Autobiography and Journals. Haydon’s Journals offer her a memorable moment for To the Lighthouse and matter for A Room of One’s Own—and more.

Keywords:   1926 diary, General Strike, mysticism, Beatrice Webb, My Apprenticeship, Thomas Cobden-Sanderson, Benjamin Robert Haydon, Haydon's journals, Flush, “Professions for Women”

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