Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Claire Fallon on Virginia Woolf's Guide To Grieving

"My mother's death unveiled and intensified," she wrote, "made me suddenly develop perceptions, as if a burning glass had been laid over what was shaded and dormant." How rawly one remembers those days, as if any membrane between the world and you has been ripped away, while the memories of the mother you loved begin immediately to slip through your fingers.

"There is the memory," she wrote," but there is nothing to check that memory by; nothing to bring it to ground with ... the elements of [her] character ... are formed in twilight."

She struggled to piece together her mother by tracing her biography, the men she loved, the people who loved her, the jumbled memories Woolf herself retained. When you lose your mother before you're able to see her clearly, as a person, finding out who she is becomes a treasure hunt, a research project, a detective expedition.

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Virginia Woolf's Guide To Grieving

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