Friday, March 30, 2007

Quote in passing

Pretty Lady finds that today is one of those Frantically Busy days, where the tasks at hand are pouring down upon her head in an ever-increasing stream of urgency, so she cannot take the time to meander contemplatively, as is her wont. However, she would like to leave you with this:

...Such material difficulties were formidable; but much worse were the immaterial. The indifference of the world which Keats and Flaubert and other men of genius have found so hard to bear were in her case not indifference but hostility. The world did not say as it said to them, Write if you choose; it makes no difference to me. The world said with a guffaw, Write? What's the good of your writing?...Moreover it is all very well for you to say that genius should disregard such opinions; that genius should be above caring what is said of it. Unfortunately, it is precisely the men or women of genius who mind most what is said of them. Remember Keats. Remember the words he had cut on his tombstone. Think of Tennyson; think--but I need hardly multiply the instances of the undeniable, if very unfortunate, fact that it is the nature of the artist to mind excessively what is said of him. Literature is strewn with the wreckage of men who have minded beyond reason the opinions of others.

--Virginia Woolf, 'A Room of One's Own'

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