Two things caught my attention: firstly, the way a small, single, commonplace action, such as sitting down and preparing to write, can trigger a tumble of thoughts and impressions, and secondly, the surprising translation of those cascading ideas into the underwear of a family of fourteen flapping about on a washing line.

‘Thus, the most ordinary movement in the world, such as sitting down at a table and pulling the inkstand towards one, may agitate a thousand odd, disconnected fragments, now bright, now dim, hanging and bobbing and dipping and flaunting, like the underlinen of a family of fourteen on a line in a gale of wind.’

Source: Virginia Woolf, Orlando: A Biography, ed. with an introduction by Rachel Bowlby (Oxford: World’s Classics, 1992), p. 76

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