Tag Archives: questions

is ignorance bliss?

“It is the sense that there is no answer, that if honestly examined life presents question after question which must be left to sound on and on after the story is over in hopeless interrogation that fills us with a deep, and finally it may with a resentful, despair. They are right perhaps; unquestionably they see further than we do and without our gross impediments of vision. But perhaps we see something that escapes them…” (Woolf).


Virginia Woolf, “Modern Fiction,” in The Common Reader: First Series (San Diego: Harcourt, Inc., 1925), 153. Web.

Notes: uncertainty of life itself, the sadness that comes with awareness and deeper observation, ‘seeing’ beyond what is in front of us- is this why ‘ignorance is bliss’, because when we look further, we are prone to this ‘despair’? Who is ‘they’ and what are they right about?



It’s not awkward until someone says it’s awkward (The Beast in the Jungle)

It was in the way the autumn day looked into the high windows as it wanted; in the way the red light, breaking at the close from under a low, sombre, sky, reached out in a long shaft and played over old wainscots, old tapestry, old gold, old colour (447).

The thing to be, with the one person who knew, was easy and natural -to make the reference rather than be seeming to avoid it, to avoid it rather than be seeming to make it, and to keep it, in any case, familiar, facetious even, rather than pedantic and portentous (458).

Notes: What is it that he told her? I’m really intrigued. A lot of poetic devices have been used.

Henry James, “The Beast in the Jungle”, in Major Stories and Essays (First Library of America College Edition, Fall 1999), 447-458