| Quote #7
'I have sought happiness through many ages and not found it; fame and missed it; love and not known it; life--and behold, death is better.’ (5.33)
Orlando admits she has never known love, throwing into question her whole relationship with Sasha.
| Quote #8
But Orlando was a woman--Lord Palmerston had just proved it. And when we are writing the life of a woman, we may, it is agreed, waive our demand for action, and substitute love instead. Love, the poet has said, is woman's whole existence. […] Must it then be admitted that Orlando was one of those monsters of iniquity who do not love? She was kind to dogs, faithful to friends, generosity itself to a dozen starving poets, had a passion for poetry. But love--as the male novelists define it--and who, after all, speak with greater authority?--has nothing whatever to do with kindness, fidelity, generosity, or poetry. Love is slipping off one's petticoat and--But we all know what love is. Did Orlando do that? Truth compels us to say no, she did not. If then, the subject of one's biography will neither love nor kill, but will only think and imagine, we may conclude that he or she is no better than a corpse and so leave her. (6.14)
Here the biographer skillfully deconstructs traditional notions of how women occupy themselves.