Unfinished


From Virginia Woolf's Diary -- November 18 1940

These queer little sand castles, I was thinking; I was finishing Herbert Read's autobiography this morning at breakfast. Little boys making sand castles. This refers to H. Read; Tom Eliot; Santayana; Wells. Each is weathertight, & gives shelter to the occupant. I think I can follow Read's building; so far as one can follow what one cannot build. But I am the sea which demolishes these castles [...] What is the value of a philosophy which has no power over life?

So strange for me -- to read these journals of women who die -- journals which are written with vigor and verve and narrative and idea. But their endings are unlike the endings in the stories these women have created. There is a structure, maybe, but it's more of a retrospective structure -- one I find there which may not be there to begin with. The journals end and leave things unsaid -- things undone which were promised. It is a strange feeling to come to the end of these stories -- human stories which do not tie up nicely.