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and what is knowledge?

And what is knowledge? What are our learned men save the descendants of witches and hermits who crouched in caves and in woods brewing herbs, interrogating shrew-mice and writing down the language of the stars? And the less we honour them as our superstitions dwindle and our respect for beauty and health of mind increases... Yes, one could imagine a very pleasant world. A quiet spacious world, with the flowers so red and blue in the open fields. A world without professors or specialists or house-keepers with the profiles of policemen, a world which one could slice with one's thought as a fish slices the water with his fin, grazing the stems of water-lilies, hanging suspended over nests of white sea eggs... How peaceful it is down here, rooted in the centre of the world and gazing up through the grey waters, with their sudden gleams of lights, and their reflections...

- Virginia Woolf, from 'The Mark on the Wall'

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Virginia Woolf 's fifth novel ' To the Lighthouse ', published in 1927, is one of her most experimentally modernist works. The book's genius is hard to summarize, except by saying that reading it is a uniquely immersive experience. To as… Read the full post »

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