Friday, June 19, 2009

Virginia Woolf's Collected Essays

Claire Harman in the TLS:

It is a surprise to discover, from Stuart Clarke’s excellent notes, how hard Woolf worked on these seemingly effortless pieces for the New York Herald Tribune, the Yale Review or the Nation, and how the “grind & the screw & the torture” of writing criticism neither decreased with time nor put her off. The sheer number of essays in this volume bears witness to the useful balance she found between different kinds of composition: “writing articles is like tying one’s brain up in neat brown paper parcels”, she wrote to Ethel Smyth. “O to fly free in fiction once more! – and then I shall cry, O to tie parcels once more!”

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