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Becoming Virginia WoolfHer Early Diaries and the Diaries She Read$
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Barbara Lounsberry

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780813049915

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813049915.001.0001

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Professional Writer

Professional Writer

(p.75) 4 Professional Writer
Becoming Virginia Woolf

Barbara Lounsberry

University Press of Florida

Woolf’s almost-daily diary in 1905 documents, nearly to exclusion of all else, her emergence as a professional writer. Following a nervous breakdown (and suicide attempt) in May 1904, Virginia publishes her first article in The Guardian. The 1905 Diary records the young writer’s preparations for professional work and the red-letter days that herald her immediate success. By February 17 she is writing reviews and articles for five newspapers and journals. In January, she reads “a book about the relations of poetry and music.” In February she begins Aristotle’s Poetics which offers “the first and last” words on literary criticism and “will fit me for a reviewer!” Across this diary, Woolf gathers the texts and tools of her trade and registers her accumulating lessons as a professional writer.

Keywords:   Virginia Woolf, nervous breakdown, suicide attempt, Aristotle’s poetics, literary criticism, poetry and music

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