We’ve previously discussed the semicolon in a couple of threads:
Today, while reading A Biography of Loneliness, by Fay Bound Alberti, I found a quote from Virginia Woolf’s A Writer’s Diary which she’d used as a chapter epigraph:
“I have entered into a sanctuary; a nunnery; had a religious retreat; of great agony once; and always some terror; so afraid one is of loneliness; of seeing to the bottom of the vessel. That is one of the experiences I have had here in some Augusts; and got then to a consciousness of what I call ‘reality’: a thing I see before me: something abstract; but residing in the downs or the sky; beside which nothing matters; in which I shall rest and continue to exist.”
That’s a plethora of semicolons!
I felt bold when I once used two semicolons in a sentence.
Do you think she’d get away with it today?
Wouldn’t a 21st-century editor wield their red pen?