The Short Stories of Virginia Woolf
The short story is often viewed as an inferior relation to the novel. But it is an art in itself.
In this series we look at short stories from many of our most accomplished writers. Miniature masterpieces with a lot to say. In this volume we examine some of the short stories of Virginia Woolf.
Adeline Virginia Woolf was born in 1882 and was to become a founder of modernist writing.
Her background is filled with elements of tragedy that she somehow overcame to become a revered writer. Her mother died when she was 13, her half sister Stella two years later, and with that came her first of several nervous breakdowns.
She began writing professionally at age 20, but her father’s death two years later brought a complete mental collapse, and she was briefly institutionalised.
Three of her half brothers had sexually abused her, so further darkness was added to her life.
But out of this came great innovations in writing; she was a pioneer of stream of consciousness.
Whilst the dark periods continued to interrupt her emotional state, her rate of work never ceased. Until on 28 March 1941, Woolf put on her overcoat, filled its pockets with stones, and walked into the River Ouse and drowned herself, leaving behind a note which read in part, 'Dearest, I feel certain that I am going mad again. I feel we can't go through another of those terrible times. And I shan't recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and I can't concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do.'