Hilary Mantel and Virginia Woolf on the sounds in writers’ minds


Virginia Woolf

 In this article by Patricia Waugh published in the “Inner Voices”  series in UK newspaper, The Guardian on the 21st August 2014 she writes about the significance of voice hearing in amongst writers, in particular Virginia Woolf and the contemporary award winning writer Hilary Mantel. She considers how the two novelists’ books reveal different varieties of hallucination that can can inspire and threaten creative work.

Waugh states:

“Many writers, like Woolf, hear voices and see images so intensely they take on the presence of the real. Many have incorporated such intense “hearsights” (Hilary Mantel‘s term), with similarly tragic or melancholic or traumatic intensity, and used them as vehicles for addressing experiences such as shellshock, sexual abuse, slavery, torture and human violation, as well as madness and the sources of creativity in inner experience (think of the echolalic voices of Heart of Darkness, The Waste Land or Beloved).”

You can read the full article here

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