Tag Archives: virginia woolf

Woolf, on writing

 virginia-woolf
“… there is the dictionary; there at our disposal are some half-a-million words all in alphabetical order. But can we use them? No, because words do not live in dictionaries, they live in the mind. Look once more at the dictionary. There beyond a doubt lie plays more splendid than Antony and Cleopatra; poems lovelier than the Ode to a Nightingale; novels beside which Pride and Prejudice or David Copperfield are the crude bunglings of amateurs. It is only a question of finding the right words and putting them in the right order. But we cannot do it because they do not live in dictionaries; they live in the mind.”
-Virginia Woolf, taken from the only recording of her voice, a BBC radio broadcast from April 29th, 1937.
 
This reminds me of the saying of Michelangelo when he stated “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.”
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