The Saving Verge: Woolf, Cézanne, and Things
And thus I always resolve now to gaze more closely, more observantly,
to stand before inconspicuous things with more patience, with more
prolonged attention, as if they were dramas or spectacles, and not pass
them by as I had so often done before. The laws move about most guile-
lessly in what is unapparent, since they believe themselves unobserved
there, sequestered in the realm of things.
Rainer Maria Rilke: Rainer Maria Rilke and Lou Andreas-Salomé:
he Correspondence (1903) (2006), 79.
For there is a spot the size of a shilling at the back of the head which one
can never see for oneself.
Virginia Woolf: A Room of One’s Own (1929), 90.
If nature is mere object and in no sense subject, if it is devoid of ‘will,’
then man remains as the sole subject and the sole will. The world, after
first having become the object of man’s knowledge, becomes the object
of his will, and his knowledge is put in the service of his will. And the will,
of course, is a will for power over things. The heavens no longer declare the
glory of God; but the materials of nature are ready for the use of man.
Hans Jonas: “Seventeenth Century and After: The Meaning of the Scientific
and Technological Revolution” (1971), 71.
All I see
Looks back at me.
Rickie Lee Jones: “A Tree on Allenford” (2003).
Her Diary for 23 November 1926 permits us to overhear Woolf experiencing the genesis of what will become The Waves (1931):
. . . I am now & then haunted by some semi mystic very profound life of a woman, which shall all be told on one occasion; & time shall be utterly obliterated; future shall somehow blossom out of the past. One incident—say the fall of a flower—might contain it. My theory being that the actual event does not exist—nor time either. But I don’t want to force this. (Diary 3, 118)