Friday, January 25, 2013

happy birthday virginia woolf


you loved butterflies, letterpress printing and friendship.  to state the obvious, you would have been 132 years old today.  you would have been a chrysalis.  you are a chrysalis.  today i went to the bookstore and there on the dollar table was "v.w" -- your biography.  i bought it and sat down with my tea to analyze the experimental prose class.  the relationship between vibration, contraction and a new form.  i know it so fundamentally that it is, as bergson says, an "inverted physics" to describe to other people what that is.  you were very loyal as a friend and when i was a child i stood outside the spot where your house used to stand with my father who loved your books and used them as a way to learn english which explains a lot.  anyway, reading your biography, abandoning my notebook, eating a square of chocolate, i saw that you were born on january 25, 1886.  you loved pamphlets and letters and writing in your diary because you felt that things were not real "until they were described."  


"In her childhood Virginia Woolf was a keen hunter of butterflies and moths. With her brothers and sister she would smear tree trunks with treacle to attract and capture the insects, and then pin their lifelike corpses to cork boards, their wings outspread. It was an interest that persisted into her adult life, and when she discovered that I too was a bug hunter, she insisted that we go hunting together in the fields around Long Barn, our house in Kent, two miles from Knole, my mother's birthplace. I was nine years old." -- Nigel Nicholson, your biographer.