Virginia Woolf’s Writer’s Diary (cont’d)

Fri., May 20, 1938

“I feel extremely little. And don’t want to rouse feeling. What I’m afraid of is the taunt charm and emptiness. The book I wrote with such violent feeling to relieve the immense pressure [the nonfictional Three Guineas] will not dimple the surface. That is my fear. Also I’m uneasy at taking this role in the public eye–afraid of autobiography in public. But the fears are entirely outbalanced (this is honest) by the immense relief and peace I have gained and enjoy this moment. Now I am quit of all that poison and excitement. Nor is that all. For having spat it out, my mind is made up. I need never recur or repeat. I am an outsider. I can take my way: experiment with my own imagination in my own way. The pack may howl, but it shall never catch me. And even if the pack–reviewers, friends, enemies–pays no attention or sneers, still I’m free. This is the actual result of that spiritual conversion (I can’t bother to get the right words) in the autumn of 1933 or 4–when I rushed through London buying, I remember, a great magnifying glass, from sheer ecstasy, near Blackfriars: when I gave the man who played the harp half a crown for talking to me about his life in the tube station.”

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