I should like it to resemble some deep old desk, or capacious hold-all, in which one flings a mass of odds and ends without looking them through. (Virginia Woolf) We become ourselves through others, and the self is a porous thing, not a sealed container (Siri Hustvedt) En vez de mirarme en mi espejo quiero que mi espejo se mire en mí (Alejandra Pizarnik)
Monday 1 June 1937
I should make a note of Desmond’s queer burst of intimacy the other evening. He came, was waiting, the lecture, a rather laboured but honest but perfunctory lecture: after which he & I sitting in the twilight with the door open, L. coming in & out, discussed his shyness: he says he thinks it made him uncreative. Could he have told his intimate friends his private life it would (for some reason) have freed, enriched him. But the was shy; afraid of sinking in our opinion. Not surface shy of course; but heart shy. Reference to his mistresses. He then asked if I thought he had still power to write a good book. What could he do with his wretched stump of life? I said write your private thoughts, not autobiography. And tell us your private life. He said. Oh yes, I’ll come & talk to you. And I’ll write to you. I felt something uneasy, trying to express itself; egotistical, weak I daresay. I think I see why he has been so fluent, so friendly, so embarrassingly anxious to be on some warmer footing, this last few months. Its his pressing need to write a good book somehow to assert himself before the stum of life is thrown on the fire. But how far am I sincere thinking that he can? Isnt there a fatal softness, flabbiness; now gone too far? But how can one judge? That’s my note –not altogether satisfactory, & leaving it unshaded- the picture of D. now in my mind- my affection, muy unintimate, but all the same genuine affection for him.
The Diary of Viriginia Woolf. Volume 5 (1936-1941)