Virginia Woolf

Monday,  August 24, 2015

Learning to blog every day is like leaning how to ride a bike. I keep falling off.  One of these days I will trust the process and writing will be second nature. I can trust the writing process a lot more than my auto correct. Writing has almost become wiring instead,  and that is a totally different flavor.

I started this blog because of a passage  I read in the Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf, but as I started to write on my Samsung Tablet,  I realized how Swype has influenced my writing.  Swype is a program, an app that allows me to drag my finger across the screen.  Since I leave the trail visible  I see, the pattern of where my finger goes;  it leaves a picture on the screen.  Reminds me of the trail of a sparkler or perhaps that of a snail. I was going to say slug,  but after reading about the wild Snail and the sound it would make eating, I have an appreciation for snails. I don’t think I’ll ever feel that way about slugs.  Thank you Eugene Public Library for this on your shelf.

Back to Swype and the effect of writing.  I wonder if anyone has studied people who struggle with writing  and see what happens if they use Swype instead of keyboarding or writing letters out. Yes,  it doesn’t hurt to know the qwerty keyboard,  but with Swype you just have to know the general vicinity of the letters.  Right. Left. Up. Down.  Hunt and Pecker typists would love Swype.

As I follow the picture my finger paints of a word, it changes the way I am thinking. There is also this connection to doodling. When I am in a meeting or lecture, I doodle.  It is the only time I doodle. When I am home,  writing is my doodling,  and if I had a choice,  I would write all day long,  and I could.  I am extremely proficient on writing about nothing and making something out of nothing.
tumblr_mom9nszm5t1qdrojco1_1280I bet Virgia Woolf would have liked today’s technology. According to the woman I talked to at Monk’s House last Spring said that Virginia and Leonard loved gadgets. I think of Virginia Woolf when I write without a plan, not that Virginia always wrote in that manner, but it was She who introduced me to Stream of Consciousness Writing. I am not a true Streamer. I do pick up my pen, rest on the keys, pause between words or phrases, but in many cases I don’t know what the directions my mind will meander. I wonder if Swype would be a tool to help people be more creative.
And onto the passage that I yanked from the pages of Virginia Woolf’s first book, Voyage Out:
“She turned her back on the sea and regarded Hewet with friendly if critical eyes. He was good-looking in the sense that he had always had a sufficiency of beef to eat and fresh air to breathe. His head was big; the eyes were also large; though generally vague they could be forcible; and the lips were sensitive. One might account him a man of considerable passion and fitful energy, likely to be at the mercy of moods which had little relation to facts; at once tolerant and fastidious. The breadth of his forehead showed capacity for thought. The interest with which Rachel looked at him was heard in her voice.”
It doesn’t seem reasonable for Rachel to come to these sweeping generalizations certainly only after just meeting. Two strangers just passing by.
In a way, this reads like a horoscope. “… likely to be at the mercy of moods which had little relation to facts.”
Can some one help me out and tell me what this means?
I am getting to the point in Voyage Out that I either have to put my head down and plough through or start from close to the beginning. There are so many characters that I forget who is who and the text is so thick. Woolf’s books have the texture of pudding, perhaps tapioca putting.  I am ashamed to say that while Rachel is doing all of this analysis of Hewet, I am struggling to remember who he is and what his role in the book is. She’s met him at a hotel. She had a moment with the guy on the boat, and now at a hotel. Sensitive lips. And his eyes, “though generally vague they could be forcible.” Forcible? I am sorry, but I don’t want people in my life who can force me to do something I don’t want. Were his eyes serious? Granted that Rachel is only 24-years-old and doesn’t get out much, but still.
I get the impression with Virginia Woolf that she wants her reader to see her characters in as many dimensions as possible. I don’t recall Rachel pondering of Hewitt’s nose. You can tell a lot about somebody based on their nose. If you look closely, you may see the results of breaking my nose a few times. By the way, who is Hewet?

Oh, how everything is wrapping up so nice. I just got to the part in Voyage Out where Terence Hewet is talking about the writing he wants to do. “Things I feel come to me like lights… . I want to combine them…. Have you ever seen fireworks that make figures? … I want to make figures.”

Now, that’s what I’m talking about.

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One Comment

  1. This “swiping” to which you refer here, I don’t really get it… I need more description of what it is. I am lagging further and further behind in the technology these days. I am stuck where I am and can’t see me continuing on to the newer stuff. I may try youtube for a demonstration of this “swiping” thing.

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