As with the 1924 Club, I thought I’d see how Virginia Woolf started the year in 1938 – and, unrelated, found this beautiful 1938 painting by one of my absolute favourite artists: ‘Magnolias’ by Stanley Spencer. 1924 started well for Woolf; 1938 is a rather different matter. This is the first entry she wrote that year.
Sunday 9 January Yes, I will force myself to begin the cursed year. For one thing I have ‘finished’ the last chapter of Three Guineas, & for the first time since I don’t know when have stopped writing in the middle of the morning.
How am I to describe ‘anxiety’? I’ve battened it down under this incessant writing, thinking, about 3 Gs – as I did in the summer after Julian’s death. Rau has just been, & says there is still a trace of blood: if this continues, L. will have to go next week to a nursing home & be examined. Probably it is the prostate. This may mean an operation. We shall know nothing till Tuesday. What use is there in analysing the feelings of the past 3 weeks? He was suddenly worse at Rodmell; we came up on Wednesday: – the 28th or thereabouts; since when its been a perpetual strain of waiting for the telephone to ring. What does the analysis show &c? He went to the hospital to be X rayed; habitual, dulled; but only laid under a very thin cover. I walk; work, & so on. Nessa & Angelica & Duncan all at Cassis, which shuts off that relief, but why should she have this forced on her? Anyhow, they come back in a fortnight I suppose.
Harry Stephen, Judith, I think our only visitors. A dead season. No one rings up. Fine today. And the result of writing this page is to make me see how essential it is to steep myself in work; so back to 3 Guineas again. The the time passes. Writing this it flags.