Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Virginia Woolf

I recently read a very interesting article which argued that the person you become is in fact a choice. I never thought about “myself” as a conscious “choice” and it kind of made things “click” into place for me. For so long, I’ve been trying to “find” myself but for the first time I realized, it’s not a case of finding out who you are, but rather “loving” who you are. And, even more importantly, working hard at that what you want to be.

The article really got me thinking and I ended up making a list of who I would like to be. I wrote down all the things I liked, disliked, admired and wanted to do. It was all very insightful. But the one thing I wrote down, that really caught my attention was this: “I want to be the kind of girl that reads Virginia Woolf novels”.

I’ve always had a great affinity to female writers with tragic endings. I don’t know why?! Perhaps it is the mysticism which surrounds these women? Perhaps it is because they aren’t as idealistic and doesn’t poison our female minds with unreal expectations about life, love… and all that’s in between. As far as I am concerned, these ladies are much more honest, more real in their writing and the fact that their own lives are real too (not necessarily with a Hollywood ending), make them almost heroic in my eyes. I really can’t help but admire women like Sylvia Plath, Ingrid Jonker (she is a South-African writer who also drowned herself), Jean Rhys and of course, Virginia Woolf, who despite the oppression of their times, were brave enough to speak out, write honest literature and have an have an opinion of their own. And all this when it really wasn’t socially acceptable! I have the utmost respect for the kind of strength and courage that these women displayed and in a sense, I think it reflects who I want to be – a strong, courageous woman.

So in my quest of becoming who I want to be, I set of to the library last week and got me my first Virginia Woolf novel - the very well known “Mrs. Dalloway”. I just finished it and I wasn’t disappointed at all. It was wonderful book, one that I couldn’t put down, and now I am a big fan of Mrs. Woolf’s literature. Next on my list is “A Room of One’s Own” in which Virginia Woolf argues that a women, married or not, should have room of her own in order to be creative (or so I think? I haven’t read it yet.) I completely agree with her. I think it’s vital to have enough space and time to become who you are supposed to be. Thanks to Virginia Woolf, I am in the process of becoming that person and because of her; I can tick one thing off my “who do I want to be” list.

Finally I am the kind of girl who reads Virginia Woolf novels…..and enjoy it!!!

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