“You said you were very wretched, didn’t you?....and compared this state of yours with mine, which you imagine to be secure, rooted, benevolent, industrious—you did not say dull—but somehow unattainable, and I daresay, unreal. But you must reflect that I am 40: further every 10 years, at 10, again at 30, such agony of different sorts possessed me that not content with rambling and reading I did most emphatically attempt to end it all; and should have been often thankful, if by stepping on one flagstone rather than another I could have been annihilated where I stood.” (L 2.598; 25 December 1922; to Gerald Brenan)Here, we see so much of Woolf's sympathy for the suffering veteran that we cannot help but see how Woolf drew on her own experiences to make Clarissa into more of a person, less of a satire.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Gerald Brenan & Woolf, Septimus & Clarissa
An incredibly humane letter from Woolf to Gerald Brenan, a WWI veteran: