'...fiction is like a spider's web, attached ever so lightly perhaps, but still attached to life at all four corners. Often the attachment is scarcely perceptible; Shakespeare's plays, for instance, seem to hang there complete by themselves. But when the web is pulled askew, hooked up at the edge, torn in the middle, one remembers that these webs are not spun in mid-air by incorporal creatures, but are the work of suffering human beings, and are attached to grossly material things, like health and money and the houses we live in.'
Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own
In 1928, Virginia Woolf was invited to give a lecture at Girton College, Cambridge, which eventually grew into the famous feminist work of non-fiction A Room of One’s Own. For her subject, she was asked to speak about ‘women and fiction’. Rather than skip lightly through the famous works of the female names in the literary canon up to that point, she delivers a fierce and practical polemic on why the achievements of women in literature should be so scarce. She comes to the conclusion that ‘a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction; and that, as you will see, leaves the great problem of the true nature of woman and the true nature of fiction unsolved’.
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