virginia woolf on words

How can we combine the old words in new orders so that they survive, so that they create beauty, so that they tell the truth? That is the question.

It is only a question of finding the right words and putting them in the right order. But we cannot do it because they do not live in dictionaries; they live in the mind. And how do they live in the mind? Variously and strangely, much as human beings live, ranging hither and thither, falling in love, and mating together.

Regrettably the audio recording of Virginia Woolf’s discussion on ‘the mysterious demands and duplicity of words’ has been removed from the BBC archives due to copyright restrictions. I found a transcript of the recording here, though, and it is a good read. Until the copyright police yank it down, there is also this excerpt of the recording on YouTube:

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  1. What an amazing thing to hear that voice….

  1. virginia woolf on words « lifelovelanguage


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