Three Guineas

The honorary treasurer of the Rebuilding Fund had her eyes fixed on that. ‘What is the use of thinking how a college can be different,’ she seemed to say, ‘when it must be a place where students are taught to obtain appointments?’ ‘Dream your dreams,’ she seemed to add, turning, rather wearily, to the table which she was arranging for some festival, a bazaar presumably, ‘but we have to face realities.’

That then was the ‘reality’ on which her eyes were fixed; students must be taught to earn their livings. And since that reality meant that she must rebuild her college on the same lines as the others, it followed that the college for the daughters of educated men must also make Research produce practical results which will induce bequests and donations from rich men; it must encourage competition; it must accept degrees and coloured hoods; it must accumulate great wealth; it must exclude other people from a share of its wealth; and, therefore, in 500 years or so, that college, too, must ask the same question that you, Sir, are asking now: ‘How in your opinion are we to prevent war?’

–V. Woolf



Filed under Da Whiteman, Questions, Resources, Theories, What Is A Scholar?

2 responses to “Three Guineas

  1. “it must exclude other people from a share of its wealth…”

    or, per vidal,
    “it is not enough
    that we succeed;
    others must fail.”

    as usual right in here, “reality” means
    “the truths of (my) religion”.

    they don’t call it islam
    for nothing and they don’t use
    a torture device (the scholarly crux)
    as their symbol because they
    want you to *forget* that rods
    and staffs ain’t all that comforting.

    meanwhile, right, not just
    “hey! teacher! leave them kids alone!”
    but “why don’t you go ahead
    and prepare a failproof lesson
    for our robot instructors (at risk
    of being degraded)?”
    and plenty more demands in between
    (“why not do it on your own dime?”);
    inspire ’em with your vision *and*
    come across with the high test scores.

    who will bell the cat?

    thanks for finding the quote
    (& maybe someday i’ll read
    ms. woolf…).

  2. Z

    Nice to see you hear vlorbik, and thanks for this great, poetic comment … I recently learned that that rod and staff were supposed to be guidelines … I’d like some AAUP guidelines at this point! 😉

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