Saturday, April 13, 2013

Hearing Woolf's Voice

This is a video that contains the audio of a 1937 Radio Broadcast in which Woolf speaks in a segment called "Craftsmanship." Her segment talks about words in the complex nature of words. I think her point at the very end of the audio is the most beautiful part, she says: "Perhaps then one reason why we have no great poet, novelist or critic writing today is that we refuse to allow words their liberty. We pin them down to one meaning, their useful meaning, the meaning which makes us catch the train, the meaning which makes us pass the examination…" Maybe this type of treatment of words is what made Virginia Woolf experiment with a different writing style in The Waves that is more poetic and less rigid, also more open to interpretation. The very last part of her statement, in my opinion, could also be a type of a critique on education in the way that we discussed on Friday. I think it implies that only learning the meanings of words to "pass the examination" you lose so much of the interpretation of multiple meanings.

I thought it would be interesting to share this with you all in connection with A Room of One's Own as well. Since that text was delivered as a lecture it's interesting to imagine what Virginia Woolf's actual voice would have sounded like.

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