“What quality is shared by all objects that provoke our aesthetic emotions? What quality is common to Sta. Sophia and the windows at Chartres, Mexican sculpture, a Persian bowl, Chinese carpets, Giotto’s fresco’s at Padua, and the masterpieces of Poussin, Piero de la Francesca, and Cézanne? Only one answer seems possible – significant form. In each, lines and colors combined in a particular way, certain forms and relations of forms, stir our aesthetic emotions. These relations and combinations of lines and colors, these aesthetically moving forms, I call Significant Form; and Significant Form is the one quality common to works of visual art.” —Clive Bell, Art, 1914.
“It must have been in 1910 I suppose that Clive one evening rushed upstairs in a state of the highest excitement. He had just had one of the most interesting conversations of his life. It was with Roger Fry. They had been discussing the theory of art for hours. He thought Roger Fry the most interesting person he had met since Cambridge days. So Roger appeared. He appeared, I seem to think, in a large ulster coat, every pocket of which was stuffed with a book, a paint box or something intriguing; special tips which he had bought from a little man in a back street; he had canvases under his arms; his hair flew; his eyes glowed.” —Virginia Woolf, on Roger Fry and Clive Bell’s first meeting.
“When I cannot see words curling like rings of smoke round me I am in darkness—I am nothing.” —Virginia Woolf (via deadwriters)
“What came to be called “Bloomsbury” by the outside world never existed in the form given to it by the outside world. For “Bloomsbury” was and is currently used as a term - usually of abuse - applied to a largely imaginary group of persons with largely imaginary objects and characteristics. I was a member of this group and I was also one of a small number of persons who did in fact eventually form a kind of group of friends living in or around that district of London legitimately called Bloomsbury. The term Bloomsbury can legitimately be applied to this group and will be so applied in these pages. Bloomsbury, in this sense, did not exist in 1911 when I returned from Ceylon; it came into existence in the three years 1912 to 1914 . We did ourselves use the term of ourselves before it was used by the outside world, for in the 1920’s and 1930’s, when our own younger generation were growing up and marrying and some of our generation were already dying, we used to talk of “Old Bloomsbury”, meaning the original members of our group of friends who between 1911 and 1914 came to live in or around Bloomsbury.” —Leonard Woolf, Beginning Again, 1964.
“… if you’ll make me up, I’ll make you.” —Virginia Woolf, in a September 1925 letter to Vita Sackville-West.
“Most of life is so dull that there is nothing to be said about it, and the books and talks that would describe it as interesting are obliged to exaggerate, in the hope of justifying their own existence. Inside its cocoon of work or social obligation, the human spirit slumbers for the most part, registering the distinction between pleasure and pain, but not nearly as alert as we pretend. There are periods in the most thrilling day during which nothing happens, and though we continue to exclaim, ‘I do enjoy myself’, or , ‘I am horrified,’ we are insincere.’” —E.M. Forster, A Passage to India.
“What was inside Vanessa did not altogether correspond with what was outside. Underneath the necklaces and the enamel butterflies was one passionate desire—for paint and turpentine, for turpentine and paint.” —Virginia Woolf, discussing her sister Vanessa Bell in Moments of Being.