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Image provided by Megan Halford

Megan Halford

Affiliation with UVic English: Undergraduate Student, B.A. Hons fourth year

Special Book: A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf

When did you first read this book: I first read it when I was in grade eleven. It totally electrified me; I couldn’t put it down. Not only is it entertaining, but it was my first real introduction to feminism.

Which sentence from this book has special significance for you?

“Here had I come with a notebook and a pencil proposing to spend a morning reading, supposing that at the end of the morning I should have transferred the truth to my notebook. But I should need to be a herd of elephants, I thought, and a wilderness of spiders, desperately referring to the animals that are reputed longest lived and most multitudinously eyed, to cope with all this.”

What does the sentence mean to you?

For me, this passage captures the often overwhelming experience of intellectual pursuit. I think anyone who has spent any time studying literature can identify with the feeling of not having enough time to read everything that one should. There will always be more great works of literature that I haven’t read but without which my education will be incomplete! Even Woolf herself was dauntingly prolific, so I empathize with her narrator as she grapples with the books in the British Museum.