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 19 December 1938
The last dinner of the year was to Tom Eliot last night. Physically he is a little muffin faced; sallow & shadowed; but intent (as I am) on the art of writing. His play- Family Reunion?- was the staple of the very bitter cold evening. (The snow is now falling: flakes come through my skylight: I am huddled in my red rain jacket, opportunely given by L.) It has taken him off & on 2 years to write, is an advance upon Murder; in poetry; a new line, with 3 stresses, “I don’t seem popular this evening”: “What for do we talk of cancer again” (no: this is not accurate). When the crisis came, hi sonly thought was annoyance that now his play would not be acted. And he hurried up the revision (so David Cecil came to town & divided Melbourne into 2 vols: so that at least one should be printed).
Tom said the young don’t take art or politics seriously enough. Disappointed in the Auden-Isherwood. He has greandeur. He said that there are flaws int he new play that are congenital, inalterable. I suspect in the department of humour. He defined the different kinds of influence: a sublte, splitting mind: a man of simple integrity, & the artists ingenuous egotism. Dines out & goes to musical teas; reads poems at Londonderry house; has a humorous sardonic gift which mitigates his egotism; & is on the side of authority A nice old friends evening. And we did not go to Judith’s party.
The Diary of Virginia Woolf. Volume 5. (1936-1941)