Evening Over Sussex: Reflections In A Motor Car By Virginia Woolf: Reading and Meditation

July 28, 2020  • Todd Breyfogle

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Evening Over Sussex: Reflections In A Motor Car, Virginia Woolf


We analyze in order to dissect. How often do we become self-conscious in the enjoyment of something, striving to put it in its place, re-arranging it in our minds to make it tame? A moment of beauty envelopes us. A pin pricks; it collapses. Am I enjoying it enough? How can I fill my cup further? Is it really real? The self splits up in argument, says Virginia Woolf. Beauty, rather than making us whole, becomes the occasion of division. We reach for our tools of analysis, we fumble for words to communicate what we feel, and the magic disappears. Eager, we are dissatisfied; philosophical, we adopt a stern air. The moment is lost. How often do we, like Virginia Woolf, motor through Sussex at dusk feeling as though we have wasted our chance at beauty? Analyze we must, but not always. There are times to lay down our tools, to allow our selves to be united, to be content, to sit and soak.

Todd Breyfogle, Denver, Colorado

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