One of the controversial questions facing any writer is that of whether or not the author's life and work are inseparable. I think that with the majority of authors this is often a possibility, but when it comes to the distinguished English novelist, Virginia Woolf, there remains some secret to her work that perhaps her life and history hold the key to. There is no doubt that she was a talented writer, but the life circumstances influencing her brilliance and style are a question I think is worth investigating. Virginia Woolf was a woman of cheer, wit, and talent, but unbeknownst to many, she also suffered from manic-depression and slight cases of schizophrenia. Throughout her life she would not only become an accomplished writer, novelist, and critic, but she would also suffer from many headaches and minor illnesses as well as those that would place her face to face with death. After her suicide many questioned the relationship between her creativity and her "madness" but the answers still remain unknown today. To try and grasp for an idea about her in relation to her illness one must start at the beginning.
[...] On March 28th at the age of 59, Virginia Woolf drowned herself in the river Ouse near her home, with fears that she was about to have another and that this time it would finally take her sanity, and doubts about her latest book (while writing it she said she believed it to be her best work yet, but after finishing, was disgusted with herself, believing that it was not fit to be published, despite the assurances of friends and family). [...]
[...] He also mentioned that worries, the delusions, the arguments about food, the necessity for sleeping draughts, increased.”(Malcomi, Attacks1) Virginia was no better and returned to London six days later. On the train she thought people were laughing at her, she was the cause of everyone's troubles, and felt she should be punished. Leonard was afraid she would leap from the moving train. In London they sought the opinion of two more doctors who both said the first thing that needed to be done was for Virginia to accept the fact she was ill. [...]
[...] Friends delighted in her conversation, and many thought her the wittiest conversationalist of a highly articulate circle. The Virginia Woolf her friends knew was a cheerful witty and talkative woman, the kind of personality often associated with manic-depressive psychosis. Like Virginia these patients are the last people who would be believed liable to depression. Throughout her life and death this is the personality by which she will be remembered, accompanying her great writing. While the debate whether it was her “madness” that fed her creative [...]
[...] The Hyde Park Gate News (given it's name for that of their home) started in 1891 and according to Virginia Woolf: A Biography by her nephew Quentin Bell, can assumedly have appeared weekly until April 1895. He states that “Like other children she enjoyed playing at being grown up, but whereas they usually do so with the aid of hats she played the game with words and phrases; half giggling at her own audacity, half seriously, she apses the grandest journalistic style.” An example of this is when an older brother returns home, nine-year-old Virginia wrote: sweet it was to see him bend down with eyes expressing worlds of joy! [...]
[...] In addition, almost two years after the death of her mother, Virginia's oldest sister Stella, who had replaced her mother in comforting Leonard and also taken her place raising the children, took ill and passed on July (Bell, 97) After Stella's death Virginia had 'the fidgets', a Stephen family term that covered most nervous disorders. This would be known in the future as the beginning of her illness (although she had similar symptoms following the loss of her mother). After Stella's death she seemed to cope well until a few years later when her father too died. [...]
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