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A Writer's Diary: Being Extracts from the Diary of Virginia Woolf (Harvest Book) Paperback – 31 Mar 2003

4.4 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 372 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books (31 Mar. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156027917
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156027915
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 95,779 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

(Adeline) Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) was an English novelist and essayist, and regarded as one of the foremost modernist literary figures of the twentieth century. During the interwar period, Woolf was a significant figure in London literary society and a member of the Bloomsbury Group. Her most famous works include the novels Mrs. Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927) and Orlando (1928), and the booklength essay A Room of One's Own (1929), with its famous dictum, "a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction."


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By Susie B TOP 100 REVIEWER on 29 July 2012
Format: Paperback
First published in 1953 'A Writer's Diary' is a collection of extracts from Virginia Woolf's complete diaries, selected by her husband, Leonard. It seems very strange nowadays, but when 'A Writer's Diary' was first published, Virginia Woolf's reputation as a writer was at a low ebb and Leonard, with the wish to restore his wife's standing as a serious writer of some calibre, took upon himself the task of distilling the full diaries - where Virginia recorded the details of her day-to-day life and of the people around her, along with her thoughts on the books she was writing and those she intended to write - by selecting those entries which he believed would display her intellectual and literary talents to best effect. And in that, Leonard Woolf has certainly achieved his aim.

'A Writer's Diary' opens with extracts from 1918 and closes with entries made just before Woolf's death in 1941 and in these entries we read of Virginia's discussions on Christina Rossetti, Byron, Conrad, Thomas Hardy, E.M Forster, Arnold Bennett and James Joyce, to name just a few. And of course, we also meet those people who were close to her including: Virginia's sister, the painter, Vanessa Bell; Lytton Strachey; Dora Carrington; Maynard Keynes; Roger Fry; Vita Sackville West, and I could go on; in fact the whole of Bloomsbury is within the covers of this book. We read of Virginia's disappointment when she gets a bad review and of her flashes of jealousy at the amount of attention Lytton Strachey attracts with his writing; but what is most important is that this book shows the writer in the act of writing, in the act of creating her writing and also in her despair at her lack of creativity at times.
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Format: Paperback
A lovingly edited collection of diary entries which capture Wolf's emotional desire to write 'something good'. which shines 'as bright as diamonds'. The book focuses on the process of writing, it is a reminder to writers that they are not alone when they feel that their work is in vain. Some critics might state that the highs and lows of Wolf stream of conciousness is tiring to read but this is her personal account, which I feel provides an interesting insight into her life. Her entries paint such vivid pictures, I feel so sad that she did not get to see how much her work is truely valued. Frustrating, vivid but some what reassuring read.
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By Susie B TOP 100 REVIEWER on 29 July 2012
Format: Paperback
First published in 1953 'A Writer's Diary' is a collection of extracts from Virginia Woolf's complete diaries, selected by her husband, Leonard. It seems very strange nowadays, but when 'A Writer's Diary' was first published, Virginia Woolf's reputation as a writer was at a low ebb and Leonard, with the wish to restore his wife's standing as a serious writer of some calibre, took upon himself the task of distilling the full diaries - where Virginia recorded the details of her day-to-day life and of the people around her, along with her thoughts on the books she was writing and those she intended to write - by selecting those entries which he believed would display her intellectual and literary talents to best effect. And in that, Leonard Woolf has certainly achieved his aim.

'A Writer's Diary' opens with extracts from 1918 and closes with entries made just before Woolf's death in 1941 and in these entries we read of Virginia's discussions on Christina Rossetti, Byron, Conrad, Thomas Hardy, E.M Forster, Arnold Bennett and James Joyce, to name just a few. And of course, we also meet those people who were close to her including: Virginia's sister, the painter, Vanessa Bell; Lytton Strachey; Dora Carrington; Maynard Keynes; Roger Fry; Vita Sackville West, and I could go on; in fact the whole of Bloomsbury is within the covers of this book. We read of Virginia's disappointment when she gets a bad review and of her flashes of jealousy at the amount of attention Lytton Strachey attracts with his writing; but what is most important is that this book shows the writer in the act of writing, in the act of creating her writing and also in her despair at her lack of creativity at times. This is a wonderful book that I dip in and out of all the time and I have more than one copy - if it was on Kindle, I would download it onto my Kindle too. A book to keep by you, to inspire you and offer you endless interest and enjoyment. Highly recommended.

5 Stars.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Although I have the paperback copy of this I bought the kindle version because I prefer reading on an ereader, the light in my house isn't great, so a copy for my paperwhite 2 was called for, and I couldn't resist the price.

This book is for anyone who is interested in writing, V. Woolf, or journalling, or all three as it gives little insights into her books and her writing. You'll probably start keeping a journal after reading this.

If only Mr Woolf hadn't edited it so much, leaving only those parts most related to her writing and thoughts about writing. I would love to read the parts of her journal which he destroyed which cover more of her personal life. I did once get a book of her letters from the library and found those extremely revealling.

If you're interested in her writing and her methods, this is for you.
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Format: Paperback
I studied Virginia Woolf many years ago in school, and recently purchased this book. Reading the diaries makes me want to go back and reread her work. They offer a lot of insight into her books, and for writers they provide a great perspective on how to receive criticism, how to tap into the flow of a book, and some great day-to-day advice on the life of a writer.
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