“I just miss you, in a quite simple desperate human way. Oh my dear, I can't be clever and stand-offish with you: I love you too much for that. Too truly.You have no idea how stand-offish I can be with people I don't love. I have brought it to a fine art. But you have broken down my defences. And I don't really resent it.”—Vita Sackville West, from a letter to Virginia Woolf dated 21 January 1926.
“I wish you could live in my brain for a week. It is washed with the most violent waves of emotion… And you think it all fixed and settled. Do we then know nobody?—only our own version of them, which, as likely as not, are emanations from ourselves.”—Letter from Virginia Woolf to Vita Sackville West, 1926.
“One's love for Virginia is a very different thing: a mental thing, a spiritual thing if you like, an intellectual thing, and she inspires a feeling of tenderness which I suppose is because of her funny mixture of hardness and softness--the hardness of her mind, and the terror of going mad again. She makes me feel protective. Also she loves me, which flatters and pleases me. Also...I am scared to death of arousing physical feelings in her, because of her being absolutely untouchable in my eyes. So all that remains is an unknown quantity. I somehow resent to leave her and each time I do, I question each bit of truthfulness towards my emotions. But darling, Virginia is not the sort of person one thinks of in that way; there is something incongruous and almost indecent in the idea...I have gone to bed with her (twice) but that's all; and I told you that before, I think. Now you know all about it; and I hope I haven't shocked you.”—Vita Sackville-West, from a letter to her husband Harold Nicholson dated 25 April 1926.
“I just miss you, in a quite simple desperate human way. Oh my dear, I can’t be clever and stand-offish with you: I love you too much for that. Too truly.You have no idea how stand-offish I can be with people I don’t love. I have brought it to a fine art. But you have broken down my defences. And I don’t really resent it.”—Vita Sackville West, from a letter to Virginia Woolf dated 21 January 1926.
“Was your telegram intended to convey a command or merely a message? I mean, should it be written "Love Virginia!" - an imperative, - or "Love. Virginia."? Whichever way you read it, it was very nice and unexpected, and if a command it has been obeyed.”—Vita Sackville-West to Virginia Woolf, January 1928
“In their letters Woolf and Sackville-West imagined each other. As they took photographs of each other — but almost never appeared in one together — so, too, did they pose and frame each other. How they imagined each other affected how they saw themselves. Sackville-West wanted Woolf to respect her as a writer. Woolf struggled to see herself as a sexual being. Both asked the impossible. Imagining their lives spilled over onto their thinking about the construction and representation of gender, sexuality, and subjectivity.”—Karyn Z. Sproles, Desiring Women: The Partnership of Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West
“It is not going too far to suggest that her very name seemed made for her: Virginia Woolf. She could not have been better called, and was fortunate both as a baby at the font and in marriage. Tenuousness and purity were in her baptismal name, and a hint of the fang in the other.”—Vita Sackville-West in a letter to a friend (1941).
Vita Sackville-West / Talk on Virginia Woolf and OrlandoThe Bloomsbury Group
Vita Sackille-West discusses the inspiration behind Virginia Woolf’s novel Orlando.
Suppose Orlando turns out to be Vita..