Sunday, August 26, 2012
A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf
Reading this book has been on my list for a very long time. I wonder why it took so long to pick it up and read it?
Woolf's book is a compilation of speeches she gave at the women's colleges at Cambridge in 1929. Her thesis is that "a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction." Having a room of one's own doesn't necessarily mean a room with a door and a lock and key to shut out the world. More likely it refers to the space to engage in uninterrupted time to write or perhaps privacy, leisure time and financial independence. During Woolf's time women rarely had this luxury and their art suffered for it. Woolf believed that until gender inequalities are rectified, women will remain second-class citizens, lacking the time, education and support necessary to explore their creativity and any achievements they do make will be marked as second-class as well.
Some claim that this book is perhaps the single most important work of feminist literary criticism. I believe that Woolf made a solid case for gender equality which still resonates today.
Why did I wait so long to read it? Perhaps because I wasn't ready yet.