Page 99 - PB Cat 1999-2021
P. 99

A Writer’s Diary
In March 1926 Virginia Woolf asked herself:‘But what is to become of all these diaries... If I died, what would Leo make of them? He would be disinclined to burn them; he could not publish them. Well, he should make up a book from them, I think; and then burn the body. I daresay there is a little book in them; if the scraps and scratchings were straightened out a little.’
There was a book in them and it was published in 1953, by which time
Matisse, The Reader 1925
Endpaper taken from the original jacket design for A Writer’s Diary by Vanessa Bell.
Leonard Woolf had gone through thirty manuscript volumes to create a volume in which his late wife revealed ‘more nakedly perhaps
than any other writer has done, the exquisite pleasure and pains... of artistic creation.’‘Rereading AWriter’s Diary I’m struck,’ writes Lyndall Gordon in her Persephone Preface, ‘by its concentration on acts of greatness day by day, year by year. In the full diary the creative acts are inevitably dispersed because she’s recording much else. So it is that as a distillation of the creator’s relation to her creation, as well as to her critics and public, A Writer’s Diary is a masterpiece in its own right.’
 NO 98
 392pp PERSEPHONE BOOKS ISBN 9781903155882

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