Yes, I was rather depressed when you saw me--What it comes to is this: you say "I do think you lead a dull respectable absurd life--lots of money, no children, everything so settled: and conventional. Look at me now--only sixpence a year--lovers--Paris--life--love--art--excitement--God! I must be off." This leaves me in tears.In a short paragraph, Woolf transforms her distress, no less painful for knowing that it's in some sense poorly founded, into a joke on her own absurdity--yet it's a joke that manages nonetheless to convey to her sister that the pain is real.
I'm rolling along happily with the biography, interrupted only by piano practice and work. Yet as good as it is, I'm having to fight the temptation that strikes any reader of a compelling biography of a writer: to take a break and re-read that writer's own work. There's a copy of Jacob's Room on the side table, calling to me . . .