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Quotes

Quote #1

Fiction here is likely to contain more truth than fact. Therefore I propose, making use of all the liberties and licenses of a novelist, to tell you the story of the two days that preceded my coming here. (1.1)

This is not the kind of answer you can give to your parents about why you're home late. But is there a way that fiction is more universal than fact? Have you ever changed up a story so you could tell the truth better?

Quote #2

What were the conditions in which women lived [during the Elizabethan era], I asked myself; for fiction [...] is like a spider's web, attached ever so lightly perhaps, but still attached to life at all four corners. (3.2)

A spider's web wouldn't work if it weren't attached to anything. This is a nice metaphor helping us see that fiction may be delicate and ethereal, but it's still connected to solid stuff.

Quote #3

For surely it is time that the effect of discouragement upon the mind of the artist should be measured, as I have seen a dairy company measure the effect of ordinary milk and Grade A milk upon the body of the rat [...] Now what food do we feed women as artists upon? (3.12)

What kind of food do we feed students upon? French fries and make-your-own waffles? (Oh, that was just us?) Woolf may be speaking metaphorically here about how discouragement affects the mind, but we need to remember that Woolf feels just as strongly about actual, literal food.

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