Wednesday, July 02, 2008

A Useful Life

Not sure how I feel about this diary entry from August 1920:
“I raise my head from making a patchwork quilt. This is the day of month when I dispatch darning & other needle work, & do in truth more useful work than on days of free intelligence. How shifting & vacillating one’s mind is! Yesterday broody & drowsy all day long, writing easily, & yet without strict consciousness, as though fluent under drugs: today apparently clear headed, yet unable to put one sentence after another—sat for an hour, scratching out, putting in, scratching out; & then read [Sophocles’] Trachiniae with comparative ease—always comparative—oh dear me! (D 2.59; 19 August 1920)
That Woolf sometimes felt her household chores mattered more than her writing is disorienting. It’s kind of comforting, but it’s also unnerving. Does no one ever settle in to satisfaction? Besides, I’ve never heard of Trachiniae, let alone attempted to read it in Greek—with ease or difficulty. I have trouble feeling confident of the letters on those stupid sorority sweatshirts.

1 comment:

genevieve said...

Even Virginia. That is worrying. Sometimes one just has to put more value on the free intelligence, though. Even if it does feel like being a chicken scrabbling in dust.