excerpt from 'The diary of Virginia Woolf' pp. 9-10 (361 words)

excerpt from 'The diary of Virginia Woolf' pp. 9-10 (361 words)

part of

The diary of Virginia Woolf

original language

urn:iso:std:iso:639:ed-3:eng

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9-10

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text excerpt

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Today Ethel comes.  On Monday I went to hear her rehearse at Lady Lewis's.  A vast Portland Place house with the cold wedding cake Adams' plaster: shabby red carpets; flat surfaces washed with dull greens.  The rehearsal was in a long room with a bow window looking on, in fact in, to other houses - iron staircases, chimneys, roofs - a barren brick outlook.  There was a roaring fire in the Adams grate.  Lady L. now a shapeless sausage, & Mrs Hunter, a swathed satin sausage, sat side by side on a sofa.  Ethel stood at the piano in the window, in her battered felt, in her jersey & short skirt conducting with a pencil. There was a drop at the end of her nose.  Miss Suddaby was singing the Soul, & I observed that she went through precisely the same attitudes of ecstasy and inspiration in the room, as in a hall. There were two young or youngish men.  Ethel's pince nez rode nearer & nearer the tip of her nose.  She sang now & then; & once taking the bass, made a cat squalling sound - but everything she does with such forthrightness directness that there is nothing ridiculous.  She loses self-consciousness completely.  She seems all vitalised; all energised: she knocks her fat from side to side. Strides rhythmincally down the room to signify to Elizabeth that this is the Greek melody; strides back; Now the furniture moving begins, she said, referring to some supernatural gambols connected with the prisoner's escape, or defiance or death. I suspect the music is too literary - too stressed - too didactic for my taste.  But I am always impressed by the fact that it is music - I mean that she has spun these coherent chords harmonies melodies out of her so practical vigorous, strident mind.  What if she should be a great composer? This fantastic idea is to her the merest commonplace: it is the fabric of her being.  As she conducts, she hears music like Beethoven's.  As she strides & turns & wheels about to us perched mute on chairs she thinks this is about the most important event now takign place in London. And perhaps it is.

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excerpt from 'The diary of Virginia Woolf' pp. 9-10 (361 words)

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