This week we present to you the portrait of Virginia Woolf, the writer who represents the grey-pink color of our house wool, LA CASA .
Adeline Virginia Alexandra Stephen, born January 25, 1882 in London, daughter of the philosopher and writer Sir Leslie Stephen, would become Virginia Woolf, English woman of letters, and one of the main modernist authors of the 20th century. A genius writer, literary critic and editor, Virginia Woolf fascinated her contemporaries with her avant-garde creativity. Her intimate experience of madness, transcended by writing, made her the leader of the psychological novel, and her life as a free woman continues to inspire feminists today.
Virginia was marked by a difficult childhood. For years she had to endure sexual assault from her half-brothers, at the same time as successive bereavements. She lost her mother at 13, her half-sister at 15, her father at 22, then her brother two years later. It was when her mother died that Virginia had to face her first great depression, and it was also at this time that the young girl nourished the secret desire to become a writer. His leitmotif: Writing or death…
When her father died in 1904, she moved to the Bloomsbury district. It was at this time that she founded a circle of intellectuals known as the Bloomsbury Group. There she met Leonard Woolf, civil servant and political theorist, whom she married in 1912, and Vita Sackville-West, with whom she had an affair until the end of the 1920s.
She nicknamed her husband “the penniless Jew”. However, the couple had very strong ties, They worked together as publishers and founded the Hogarth Press which published most of Virginia's works.
Writing was for Woolf a real shield against her unhappiness, and it gave her meaning in the face of the deconstruction of her psyche and her life. Drawing on the most tragic moments of her history, she methodically transforms her psychological suffering into sublime narrative inventions, which today's writers continue to envy.
His style is made up of inner voices, poetic rhythms, lyrical flights. She will reveal herself as one of the great sensitive voices of literature with her two following novels, Mrs. Dalloway and The Lighthouse Walk, published in 1925 and 1927 respectively. His novel The Waves gave him recognition among the general public. Long revolted at not having been able to study, she participated throughout her life in the feminist cause by campaigning for women's right to vote and by writing, among other things, "A room of one's own" in 1929, a veritable pamphlet for the women's right to intellectual freedom.
Throughout her life, hallucinations and morbid ideas overwhelm her, leaving her with less and less respite, she is prey to serious depressive attacks, she feels like she is going crazy. In 1941, she could no longer fight: She posted her last manuscript “Between the acts” then left, on March 28 of that same year at the age of 59, a letter on her husband's desk in which she announced her suicide. She wrote to him: “I am certain that I am going crazy: I feel that we will not be able to endure another one of these terrible periods. I have a feeling I won't recover this time. I start hearing voices and can't concentrate. So I do what seems like the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest happiness possible... I can no longer fight, I know that I am ruining your life, that without me you could work. »
Then, with her pockets full of stones, she completes her final walk by throwing herself into the River Ouse. The study of her life and works by contemporary psychiatrists leads us to believe that she presented all the signs of what is today called "bipolar disorder", a mental illness alternating episodes of depression and excitement, often associated with great creativity but leading many people to suicide.