Read le ore by Michael Cunningham Online

le-ore

Solo la letteratura può restituire un senso alle nostre vite confuse e sghembe. Anzi, la letteratura è il solo specchio dentro cui la vita, riflettendosi, giunge per un momento a dire se stessa. È l’idea centrale di questo romanzo misteriosamente bello. Tre donne lo abitano. La prima è una donna famosa, una scrittrice famosa: Virginia Woolf, ritratta a un passo dal suicidiSolo la letteratura può restituire un senso alle nostre vite confuse e sghembe. Anzi, la letteratura è il solo specchio dentro cui la vita, riflettendosi, giunge per un momento a dire se stessa. È l’idea centrale di questo romanzo misteriosamente bello. Tre donne lo abitano. La prima è una donna famosa, una scrittrice famosa: Virginia Woolf, ritratta a un passo dal suicidio, nel 1941, e poi, a ritroso nel tempo, mentre gioca col dèmone della sua scrittura. Le altre due sono donne che abitano luoghi e tempi diversi. Clarissa Vaughan, un editor newyorkese di oggi, colta nel giorno in cui darà una festa per Richard, l’amico amatissimo, forse l’unico vero amore, che adesso sta morendo di AIDS. E Laura Brown, una casalinga californiana dell’immediato dopoguerra, bella e inquieta, desiderosa di fuggire via per un giorno, un giorno soltanto, via dalla noia di un matrimonio ordinario, così ordinario. Che cosa lega il destino di queste tre donne? All’apparenza, poco. Virginia è alle prese con la creazione della sua “Signora Dalloway”. E signora Dalloway è il nomignolo che Richard ha inventato per Clarissa. Ed è ancora quel romanzo che Laura porta con sé nella sua fuga breve dal mondo. Ma dietro a questo tema narrativo, quasi la spia di qualcos’altro, un secondo e più nascosto motivo attraversa e annoda il destino delle tre protagoniste. Cunningham fa pensare a un ventriloquo: usa la voce di Virginia Woolf come fosse la sua. Però stranamente è lì dentro che sentiamo risuonare un’eco. È un’eco inconsueta ma pure familiare: la voce di un vero scrittore....

Title : le ore
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ISBN : 17260847
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 169 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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le ore Reviews

  • Jeffrey Keeten
    2018-12-10 05:50

    ”We throw our parties; we struggle to write books that do not change the world, despite our gifts and our unstinting efforts, our most extravagant hopes. We live our lives, do whatever we do, and then we sleep--it’s as simple and ordinary as that. A few jump out of windows or drown themselves or take pills; more die by accident; and most of us, the vast majority, are slowly devoured by some disease or, if we’ve very fortunate, by time itself.”It’s about the hours right? Those few precious hours over a lifetime when we feel we have a chance to do something special, to prove that we can do something that will forever immortalize us as someone exceptional. It was Charlotte who pressed this book upon me. We were at a party conducted by a Mrs. Clarissa Galloway. “I hear you are on a reading binge.” She’d leaned in close, as she had a tendency to do with me. Her lips mere millimeters away from my ear. It made me shiver somewhere in the core of me.When I was between assignments, which was all too frequent, I would read book after book; usually I would be in the middle of at least three at any one time. I was getting about four hours of sleep a night which right now was making me a cheap drunk. One martini was going to be more than enough. “The Hours by Michael Cunningham, didn’t they make a film out of it with Kidman?”She nodded. She leaned in close again. I often wondered if she knew what she did to me. “The book won a Pulitzer Prize. Catherine told me you just finished reading Mrs. Dalloway. This is a terrific follow-up.“ The sisters. You couldn’t really be involved with one without being involved with the other. Catherine, my girlfriend, was writing a novel. It was brilliant in fact, but now was somewhat weighed down with its own brilliance. She was happy with the beginning and the ending, but the middle was not living up to the standards of the rest. Charlotte designed book covers for publishing companies. She had a gift for it, but frequently had to endure someone further up the chain asking for modifications, her masterpieces often becoming something more commercially appealing and soulless. When I was doing research on Virginia Woolf, before reading Mrs. Dalloway, I couldn’t help thinking of Catherine as Virginia and Charlotte as Vanessa. ”Vanessa laughs. Vanessa is firm of face, her skin a brilliant, scalded pink. Although she is three years older, she looks younger than Virginia, and both of them know it. If Virginia has the austere, parched beauty of a Giotto fresco, Vanessa is more like a figure sculpted in rosy marble by a skilled but minor artist of the late Baroque. She is distinctly earthly and even decorative figure, all billows and scrolls….”As usual, I wasn’t really sure why I was at this party. I thought with remorse of the lost pages of reading the party had already cost me. I could see the books strategically scattered around the room of the flat. A book by each of my favorite reading places. This party was bad for me, and if it was not good for me, it had to be an absolute torture for Catherine. I looked past Charlotte’s large, attentive eyes and could see that Catherine was pale. Her complexion was always pale, but there were various shades of pale that would tell me exactly what was going on with her. She closed her eyes and took too long to open them. I could tell it was time to go. I leaned in and kissed Charlotte’s ear, raising the stakes, and then muttered in the sea shell of her ear that I was going to take Catherine home. Charlotte always smelled so good, but I was never able to quite identify the scent, something old, something new. Somehow it would be breaking the rules of the game to ask her. I walked over to Catherine and put my arm around her and kissed her on the side of her mouth. She looked at me with surprise. I could see the slender flutes of her nose flutter as she took me in. Could it be that she could sense her sister’s scent even among the mingling fragrances of flowers that filled Mrs. Galloway’s party? She put her slender, fluted fingers on my shoulder. “I can feel one coming on.” “I’m here to take you home.””She can feel the headache creeping up the back of her neck. She stiffens. No, it’s the memory of the headache, it’s her fear of the headache, both of them so vivid as to be at least briefly indistinguishable from the onset of the headache itself.”I went to see Robert the next day. I’d read most of The Hours last night. Charlotte had been right. It was the perfect followup to Mrs. Dalloway. Robert had been my friend almost my entire life or at least for the segment of my life that I still wished to claim. He’d had a good career on the stage, had mother issues of course, and had always been unapologetically gay. The young nurse from Hospice was taking a vial of blood from him when I arrived. There was something so intimate about blood letting. I averted my eyes as if I’d just caught her furtively giving him a hand job. “I’m so weak. This is it, my friend.” His voice, the voice that had boomed out to theaters full of people, had been reduced to a whisper. I patted his hand. He weakly grasped it. I left my fingers there surrounded by the parchment of his hand. “You’ve rallied before.” I’d meant to put exuberance into that sentence, but somehow it all went wrong. My voice cracked and tears sprang to my eyes. “Oh, come on now. Tears now? You should have wept with joy when I looked like a young Marlon Brando. Not now, not over this decrepit body. If you were a true friend, you’d pick me up and hurl me out that window.” I thought of Septimus from Mrs. Dalloway and Richard from The Hours. It was almost too much. “Don’t say that.” My voice was still shaking. I freed my hand from his grasp to wipe my eyes. When I put my hand back on the bed, his hand was gone. “Do you think six floors would be enough to kill me? God, what a tragedy if it only breaks my bones, and leaves me somehow alive with fresh sources of pain. I was thinking about it the other day. I wouldn’t want to fall on the concrete. I want to land on a car. I want to explode through the top like they show in the movies. You own a car, don’t you? Couldn’t you park it beneath my window?”“You are hurting me, Robert.”He sighed. Closing those magnificent blue eyes that had mesmerized women and men in equal numbers, “That is the last thing that I want to do to you, my friend.” When I got back to the flat, they must not have heard me. Catherine was leaning over Charlotte. ”Virginia leaned forward and kisses Vanessa on the mouth. It is an innocent kiss, innocent enough, but just now,...it feels like the most delicious and forbidden of pleasures. Vanessa returns the kiss.” I wanted to wrap my arms around both of them and nudge them across the room to the bed. I wondered if Leonard Woolf had ever had such desires? They might have willingly went, but then what? By trying to hold them closer, I’d only lose them both. I cleared my throat and hung up my jacket. When I turned around, they were both looking at me with clear, intelligent eyes. Two sisters, so different, but so much alike as to be indistinguishable when standing in the same space. It was hard not to think about the big stone. ”She selects one roughly the size and shape of a pig’s skull. The one that took her down to the depths of the river. The one that would not let her escape the embrace of the water even if her natural desire for self-preservation had kicked in. The stone was too real to be denied. Catherine had read Mrs. Dalloway and was now reading The Hours. She had needed a break from her own writing anyway. Reading sometimes gave her a fresh source of inspiration. I wasn’t sure about her reading either book, but both together could enhance her already acute suicidal tendencies. I’d seen her more than once raking a butter knife across her wrists as if testing how it would feel. I’d had the gas oven taken out and replaced it with an electric one. I read her diary. She wasn’t particularly careful with it. She left it out all the time, rarely tucking it back under the mattress on our bed. I don’t know if she trusted me not to read it or she, being a writer, always wanted an audience for her writing. ”Everything she sees feels as if it’s pinned to the day the way etherized butterflies are pinned to the board.” She was obviously feeling trapped. Like Leonard Woolf decided to do with Virginia, I arranged to take Catherine to the country for a month. She was being overstimulated in the city. Robert threw himself out the window. He asked the nurse to open the window to give him some air. The stubborn bastard crawled across the floor, pulled himself up the wall, and threw himself out the window. Though he would have preferred a Rolls Royce, he landed on a Mercedes.Six floors, as it turned out, was enough. Two days after we reached the country Catherine disappeared. As I walked the river, along with every other able body in the county, I kept thinking about a stone the size of a pig’s skull. If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.comI also have a Facebook blogger page at:https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten

  • Michael Finocchiaro
    2018-11-12 22:57

    I hesitated between 3 and 4 stars for this book. It was beautifully written and has a somewhat unexpected (and yet unsurprising) ending. The references to Virginia Woolf are omnipresent as she also comes to life under Cunningham's pen along with Mrs Brown and "Mrs Dalloway". Yes, it did relight a flame in me to read the primary Woolf works (Orlando, Mrs Dalloway, To The Lighthouse, The Waves) and reminded me of the one I did read (A Room of One's Own), but still, something about it felt a little superficial. Was it the length (just 220 pages) and the relative ease with which I read it (less than 2 hours)? Or perhaps the heavily laden sentences that perhaps dipped low towards being pretentious? No, I have never seen the movie. And, yes, perhaps I should. But as a standalone novel, I have a hard time understanding why this one was chosen for the Pulitzer in 1997. Not having read either of the runner-ups (Cloudsplitter by Russel Banks about abolitionist John Brown or The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsiolver about the Belgian colonisation of the Congo), both were far longer and of considerably more depth in terms of historical scope from what I can tell. And yet, the Pulitzer committee settled on this short novel (nearly a novella). Well, I am not sure that I would have been in agreement and perhaps need to read the other two finalists to base a more consistent opinion. Regardless, I was not blown away by The Hours, but perhaps will read Flesh and Blood by this author as suggested by another reviewer here on GR.

  • Richard Derus
    2018-12-06 21:52

    Book Circle Reads 20Rating: 4.75* of fiveThe Publisher Says: In The Hours, Michael Cunningham, who is recognized as "one of our very best writers" (Richard Eder, Los Angeles Times), draw inventively on the life and work of Virginia Woolf to tell the story of a group of contemporary characters who are struggling with the conflicting claims of love and inheritance, hope and despair.The novel opens with an evocation of Woolf's last days before her suicide in 1941, and moves to the stories of two modern American women who are trying to make rewarding lives for themselves in spite of the demands of friends, lovers, and family.Clarissa Vaughan is a book editor who lives in present-day Greenwich Village; when we meet her, she is buying flowers to display at a party for her friend Richard, and ailing poet who has just won a major literary prize. Laura Brown is a housewife in postwar California who is bringing up her only son and looking for her true life outside of her stifling marriage.With rare ease and assurance, Cunningham makes the two women's lives converge with Virginia Woolf's in an unexpected and heartbreaking way during the party for Richard. As the novel jump-cuts through the twentieth century, every line resonates with Cunningham's clear, strong, surprising lyrical contemporary voice.Passionate, profound and deeply moving, The Hours is Michael Cunningham's most remarkable achievement to date.My Review: Three women mirror the facets of the life of Clarissa Dalloway, heroine of the novel Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. One life is Mrs. Woolf herself, shown in the depths of despair as she convalesces from one of her crippling bouts with depression in the suburban aridity of Richmond while pining for life in London's Bloomsbury, writing her novel of the exquisite nature of the quotidian. Another is the life of Mrs. Laura Brown, dying a million deaths every day in suburban Los Angeles, raising a son and pregnant again by a good man she doesn't love, as she reads Mrs. Dalloway and ponders escape. Lastly the life of Clarissa Vaughn, whose long unrequited love for Richard Brown, her gay poet/novelist friend, has led her to care for him tenderly in his final years as an AIDS patient. He long ago nicknamed her “Mrs. Dalloway,” both for her first name and for her exquisitely self-abnegating strength.Over the course of one day in the life of each woman, everything she knows and feels about her life is sharply refocused; it is made clear to each that, to escape the trap she is in, she must accept change or die in the trap. The ending of the book brings all three strands to their inevitable conclusions, with surprising overlaps.I first read this when it came out in 1998. I fell in love instantly, as I had with Mrs. Dalloway at a slightly earlier date. I loved the imaginative structure of interwoven lives, commenting on each other and riffing off the events in each world, echoing some facet in every case the events in the iconic novel Mrs. Dalloway.I can't give it five stars because, in the end, I wondered a bit if the clever-clever hadn't gotten in the way of the emotional core of the book, which I saw as the gritty determination of the women to live on their own terms and in their own lives not dependent on convention. In making the book conform to this ideal, I felt that some plot strands weren't honestly dealt with but rather forced into a shape required by the author's plans.That cavil aside, the book is beautifully written and wonderfully interestingly conceived. I'd recommend it heartily, and suggest reading it in conjunction with the movie.

  • AMEERA
    2018-12-10 21:50

    three stories complicated i feel like doesn't understand anything blow my mind but still was something beautiful about it

  • Sammy
    2018-12-13 02:10

    Okay, let's be honest, the only reason this book isn't getting a D is because the language was very beautiful... most of the time. It was beautiful when it wasn't beating me over the head with the whole, "Look how eloquently I can write and use big words and sound smart! Don't you feel smart just reading it? Oh, wait... you just feel stupid, huh?" Which, honestly, wasn't that much, but it was enough to annoy me.The problem I had with the whole story was that I could not find sympathy in any of the characters. I was not drawn to them, I felt no bond with them at all. I didn't care about them in any way, and with any book you read you should at least care about your characters a little bit, right?I remember watching the movie and not being very entertained by that either, so perhaps that clouded my judgement when I started reading this. But I don't really think so seeing as how I didn't really remember much of the movie, except the ending, which is what I will probably only remember about the novel when I look back on it.Usually I'm one of those people that desperately wants you to read the books if you're going to see the movie, you know, get more involved. But, if I remember correctly, the book and the movie are pretty much the exact same thing. So if you want to save yourself some time, go watch the movie. That is if you're really all that interested in the story at all.

  • Ana
    2018-12-06 00:57

    ~rtc

  • Diane Wallace
    2018-12-12 06:10

    Good read! very intriguing..deals with three women that are intertwine and connected by different time period through a simple book....well written...(paperback!)

  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    2018-11-24 02:55

    89. The Hours, Michael Cunninghamساعتها - مایکل کانینگهام (کاروان) برنده جایزه پولیتزر ؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه آوریل سال 2012 میلادیعنوان: ساعتها؛ نویسنده: مایکل کانینگهام ؛ مترجم: مهدی غبرایی؛ تهران، کاروان، 1382؛ در 236 ص؛ چاپ دوم و سوم 1383؛ و ...؛عنوان: ساعتها؛ نویسنده: مایکل کانینگهام ؛ مترجم: ماندانا ارفع؛ تهران، عطایی، 1382؛ در 240 ص؛ رمان با بهره گیری از دیگر زندگینامه ها، شخصیت «ویرجینیا وولف» نویسنده ی بزرگ انگلیسی را بازسازی و زنده میکند، داستان از زبان سه زن تعریف میشود، یکی از زنان همان نویسنده ی بزرگ است و دو دیگر ساختگی هستند. ا. شربیانی

  • Tea Jovanović
    2018-12-04 04:53

    Prevod je nažalost ispao najveća bruka NK, ali nisam imala uticaja na izbor prevodioca... Preporuka: čitajte je isključivo u originalu dok se ne pojavi neki nov prevod na srpski... ili čitajte hrvatski prevod

  • Lotte
    2018-11-18 01:11

    4.5/5 stars! Such a clever book.

  • Saman Kashi
    2018-11-26 02:51

    چند نفر از پنجره بیرون می‌پرند، یا خود را غرق می‌کنند، یا قرص می‌خورند؛ عده‌‌ی بیشتری بر اثر تصادف می‌میرند؛ و اکثریت ما را رفته رفته یکی از ده‌ها بیماری، یا اگر بخت یاری کند، خود زمان می‌بلعد. فقط این تسلای خاطر ناچیز هست: (ساعتی) این‌جا و آن‌جا که زندگی ما ظاهراً، به رغم همه‌ی غرابت‌ها و آرزوها، به رویمان آغوش می‌گشاید و هر آن‌چه را که تصور کرده‌ایم به ما می‌دهد، هر چند همه، جز کودکان ـ و شاید آن‌ها نیز ـ می‌دانند که به ناگزیر (ساعات) دیگری در پی این (ساعات) است، (ساعاتی) تاریک‌تر و پیچیده‌تر. با این حال شهر را و صبح را گرامی می‌داریم؛ و بیش از هر چیز به سهم بیش‌تر امیدواریم. تنها خدا می‌داند چرا این همه عاشق (ساعاتیم). صفحه‌ 236*****هر چند خوش نمی‌دارم درباره‌ی داستان کتاب‌ها بنویسم؛ اما چون دیدم از کاربران فارسی این سایت، حتی کلمه‌ای درباره‌ی این کتاب خوب ننوشته‌اند، به اجمال چند خطی در پی می‌آید: داستان کتاب (ساعت‌ها) برگرفته شده از کتاب (خانم دالوی) نوشته‌ی (ویرجینیا وولف) فقید است. داستان درباره‌ی سه زن، در سه زمان و مکان متفاوت که هر یک علیرغم این تفاوت زمان‌ها، بر هم تأثیر می‌گذارندویرجینیا وولف در ریچموند انگلستان، سال 1923لورا براون در سن فرانسیسکو، سال 1949و در پایان، کلاریسا وون در نیویورک، سال 1998رمان (ساعت‌ها) که در عنوان اصلی‌اش بهتر و عمیق‌تر نمایان‌گر جان‌مایه‌ی کتاب استThe Hoursنشان از معرفه و خاص بودن (ساعت‌ها)یی‌ست که پی در پی و پشت سر هم می‌آیند و در آخر وقتی نگاه می‌کنی می‌بینی این (ساعت‌ها) را یا بیهوده به سر برده‌ای و تمام تلاشت را در پی ویران کردن خود کرده‌ایپیش از این درباره‌ی کتاب (آینه‌های در دار) از قول (ابراهیم) نقل قول کرده بودم که وقتی به سال‌های میانی زندگی خود رسیده است و بسیار کتاب نوشته و کلی تأثیر در پیرامون خود گذاشته است، می‌گوید: وقتی بشینی و مثل بچه‌ی آدم و بدون جانبداری و تعصب به زندگیت نگاه کنی، می‌بینی کلش رو باختیو متأسفانه این جمله‌ی صحیحی است و ظاهراً انسان ساخته و آفریده شده برای این‌که ببازد. در این میان ـ تنها معدود ـ و باز هم تکرار می‌کنم ـ تنها معدود ـ انسان‌هایی هستند که می‌دانند برای هستی و دل خود چه می‌خواهند و آن‌قدر شهامتش را دارند که بهایش را نیز پرداخت کنند*****ریچارد: تو با من خوب تا کردی خانم دالوویکلاریسا: ریچاردریچارد: دوستت دارم. این حرف کلیشه‌ای است؟کلاریسا: نهریچارد لبخند می‌زند. سر تکان می‌دهد. می‌گوید: فکر نمی‌کنم هیچ زوجی پیدا شوند که به اندازه‌ی ما سعادتمند بوده باشندکمی جا به جا می‌شود و به نرمی از قاب پنجره می‌لغزد و می‌افتدصفحه‌ی 210

  • Aoibhínn
    2018-11-15 05:02

    I gave the novel one star simply because Goodreads wouldn't let me give it zero! The book is about three self-absorbed, whiny and spoiled women, all from different eras, complaining and whining about their lives, even though, they essentially have it all (wealth, love, family, friends, etc). The book is vile. The characters are repulsive and the plot is tiresome. I keep asking myself how on earth did this novel win a Pulitzer Prize? There's a huge red sticker on the front of the cover, of the novel, proudly advertising this fact -- it won the prize for fiction in 1999. Are the people that judge these things on crack?

  • Delphine Lurin
    2018-11-27 06:01

    Tick, Mrs. Dalloway. Tock, Mrs. Woolf. Tick, Mrs. Brown. Tock, Mrs. Dalloway…again.Reviewing The Hours I find myself stuck somewhere in between tick and tock. Reading a novel, poem, play, screenplay, it’s often easy for me to lose touch with reality and completely absorb myself into the world of a story. I lose touch with myself. The sounds around me. The smells hovering under my nose. The world happening around me. Time elapses into nothingness.The Hours, however, made me fully aware of my position in reality, the noises of the outside world, the stuffiness of the air, and the slowness of time. In brief, The Hours leaves me feeling strangely hollow and irked.The book alternates between the stories of three women Tick: Mrs. Dalloway; Tock: Mrs. Woolf; and Tick: Mrs. Brown - all whom appear vaguely dissatisfied with their lives. It remains rather obscure and somewhat misleading, until the very end, as to how their narratives converge, apart from their longing and entertaining of the possibility of a life different and perhaps more meaningful than that which they find themselves trapped within.Tick: Mrs. Dalloway.Also known as Clarissa Vaughn, heroine of Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway. An exquisitely loyal friend, caretaker and avidly nostalgic observer of the writer and AIDS sufferer, Richard Brown.Tock: Mrs. Woolf.Despairing, yet romantically hopeful, Mrs. Woolf spends her ticks and tocks dreaming up stories and possible plot turns for the writing of her new novel. Residing in Richmond with her protective husband, Leonard, Mrs. Woolf longs for the fog, business and sweet transparency of London.Tick: Mrs. Brown.Dear Mrs. Brown. Beseeched in suburban Los Angeles with a loving husband, Dan and curiously observant son, Richie, Laura Brown hopes without knowing what she hopes for. She lives without knowing what she lives for. She escapes without knowing what she is escaping from.Tick tock, tick tock go the hours.One day; one utterly transformative and inescapable 24 hours of each of the women's lives is slowly narrated, beginning with life, and ending with the possibility of death as means of escape from a banal, yet disheartening existence. Mrs. Dalloway, Mrs. Woolf and Mrs. Brown all seem to lead banal, ordinary lives dealing with the daily hardships typical of the era in which they live, but are curiously described in a way that renders them different, yet also relatable. They have a home, health, and « happiness » yet find themselves unhappy and nostalgic for a feeling or situation that perhaps may not even exist.Time, the passing of time, the inevitability of time lies at the heart of the novel, as it is time, it’s passing, and its prevalence that causes each of the narratives to ultimately converge in the book’s final pages.Although the plots and events of the stories prove to be difficult to piece together and disallow for a completely pleasurable « readerly » experience one CANNOT deny the beauty and artistic way in which each character, event, place is illustrated. Cunningham’s language is brilliantly seductive and offers an evocative portrayal of life and how we, as readers, lovers, feelers - humans - experience time, the passing of time, and the inevitability of time.In therms of plot, I would not recommend The Hours (who cares if it won the Pulitzer Prize or that it’s Oprah’s favorite book or that Meryl Streep doesn’t shut up about it), but in terms of language, it’s impossible not to utterly fall in love with Michael Cunningham’s words:We live our lives, do whatever we do, and then we sleep - it’s as simple and ordinary as that. A few jump out of windows or drown themselves or take pills; more die by accident; and most of us, the vast majority, are slowly devoured by some disease or, if we’re very fortunate, by time itself. There’s just this for consolation: an hour here or there when our lives seem, against all odds and expectations, to burst open and give us everything we’ve ever imagined…- and I’ll leave you to ponder on that dear, dear babblers.Yours Truly,Delphine, the Babbler

  • Vitor Martins
    2018-12-10 05:52

    É engraçado porque "As Horas" é uma história que eu sempre ouvi as pessoas comentando sobre (principalmente por causa do filme) e, ainda assim, eu não tinha a MENOR IDEIA do que ia encontrar quando comecei a ler. Pra começar, eu não sabia que esse livro é GAY E SAPATÃO ALL OVER IT e quando as coisas iam acontecendo eu ficava tão envolvido que mesmo com a escrita um pouco densa e os parágrafos imensos, não dá vontade de parar de ler.A narrativa desse livro é muito mais focada no fluxo de pensamento do que em situações. Existem capítulos que acontecem inteiros dentro de uma única ação (Laura fazendo bolo, por exemplo), mas não é sobre o bolo. E sim sobre TUDO QUE SE PASSA NA CABEÇA DELA enquanto ela faz o bolo. É como se o autor jogasse a gente dentro da cabeça dessas três personagens e a gente vai acompanhando uma linha de raciocínio contínua, que apresenta um monte de reflexões sobre a vida, a morte, o amor, o casamento, filhos, passado. Cada capítulo me fazia refletir sobre alguma coisa diferente, e esse é o tipo de livro que você termina de ler muito mais rico do que quando começou. O final é maravilhoso, me encheu de emoção, me pegou de surpresa e me deixou bem feliz por ter lido antes de assistir o filme. Tudo em "As Horas" foi uma surpresa para mim e eu estou muito feliz de ter finalmente conhecido essa história. Ah, e se alguém que estiver lendo essa review estiver em dúvida sobre ler esse aqui porque ainda não leu Mrs. Dalloway, seguinte: NA MINHA EXPERIÊNCIA DE LEITURA não fez falta. Eu conheço a história de Mrs. Dalloway bem por alto apenas, mas dentro de "As Horas" esse conhecimento não é cobrado. Claro que muita coisa deve ficar mais clara se você já leu Virginia Woolf, mas precisar não precisa. É isso, bjs.

  • minervasowl
    2018-12-07 03:09

    I'm a little ashamed to admit that I read this book because Oprah told me to.Actually Oprah, Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore and Nicole Kidman told me to.It must have been a Thursday or Friday afternoon because those were the days off the last time I had a job for which I worked weekends.The episode with these three ladies was a little unconventional for Oprah. Rather than conducting an interview from her usual studio, she met them for tea in a fancy hotel. And it didn't so much seem like an interview as four women sitting down to tea and talking about their lives and careers and this movie which three of them had just done together.I'm not a big Oprah devotee, so I am quite sure that I have not seen enough episodes to warrant making such a statement, but it was one of her best episodes. These weren't huge Hollywood movie stars. Well, of course they were, but that is not how they were portrayed. They were women with families and careers and lives. There was no sensationalism. There was no gossip. there was no scandal or controversy. It was just tea.Afterwards, I got picked up my keys and immediately drove to the bookstore and purchased a copy of The Hours by Michael Cunningham. I hadn't seen the movie. I still haven't seen the movie. I have no interest in the movie. But the book is positively sublime.The way that the author braids together the threads of the lives of his three characters is subtle and deft. Maybe everyone else saw the conclusion coming, but I did not. When I reached it, however, it didn't deliver a shock or a surprise but a feeling that everything connected exactly as it should.

  • Brian
    2018-11-24 04:54

    “We want so much, don’t we?”“The Hours” is one of the best books I have read this year. It is astounding! I was drawn in from the first page; the writing is just beautiful prose.The setup of the novel is that we drop into the lives of 3 woman: Virginia Woolf while she is beginning to write her novel “Mrs. Dalloway” in 1923, Laura Brown, a housewife reading “Mrs. Dalloway” in LA in 1949, and Clarissa a woman who seems to be a real life Mrs. Dalloway in current NYC. Although this premise is intriguing it pales in comparison to what the author, Michael Cunningham, does with it. Interesting side note, the ever-shifting point of view in this text is not limited to these three characters. We get into the heads of quite a few people in this book, and Cunningham does this at times when the novel needs that shift in perspective. It is a wonderful technical achievement.In one early chapter, Cunningham writes about a mother’s resentment and uncontrollable love for her child, and it is insanely good. How does a writer capture that massive (and true) contradiction so well and in a manner that conveys to the reader the great human truth of that moment?The closing pages of this novel are stellar writing (have I mentioned how well written this text is?). The writing in “The Hours” is the kind that makes you love the fact that you are a reader and get to experience it.This quick read is worth your time. It is literary fiction of the highest order, but also a story with great depth and human beauty to it. Really, when it is all said and done this text is a celebration of life, the good and ill, which the final pages of the novel make abundantly clear.“Heaven only knows why we love it so.”

  • Vanessa
    2018-11-27 21:55

    I'm not entirely sure why I liked this novel as much as I did - plot-wise it's quite hard to sum up any more than what is already given in the blurb.Cunningham portrays a day of the live in three very different but very connected women: Clarissa Vaughan, a middle-aged woman living in New York in the 1990s; Laura Brown, a young house-wife in 1940s Los Angeles; and Virginia Woolf herself in 1920s London, or thereabouts. Virginia Woolf has just begun writing Mrs Dalloway, Laura Brown is trying to find time in between her household-duties to read Mrs Dalloway, and Clarissa is nick-named Mrs Dalloway by a close friend and ex-lover who is dying of AIDS.Cunningham manages to write from a woman's perspective incredibly well, and the fact that he managed to juggle three very different women in three very different situations as beautifully and honestly as he did is to be commended. The novel explores various themes including loneliness, the role of women in society and particularly in relation to men, and of course the ever-present thought (and sometimes lure) of the grave.I read Mrs Dalloway a couple of years ago, and although I wasn't a big fan of the stream of consciousness style of this classic, I liked how the writing was at times mirrored in this book, particularly in parts of Clarissa Vaughan's narrative. The beginning of her day very much mirrored Clarissa Dalloway's morning, and I appreciated the link between the two texts there. In terms of my favourite perspective, I have to give it to Laura Brown - I felt her frustration at her housewife-life and the role she had to play with her needy son and husband. Her thought process was suffocating at times, and I really felt for her, even if at times her thoughts could be somewhat selfish. As for Virginia Woolf, although of course her storyline was fictionalised, I still felt like I was getting in the real author's head at times, and I loved the insight into her relationship with her sister Vanessa (which was researched I believe through their letters and diaries).I'd recommend this to everyone, whether you're a fan of Mrs Dalloway or not. It's a quick easy read, but quite poignant in its own way.

  • Paria
    2018-11-13 05:06

    کتاب، داستان زندگی سه زن رو روایت می کنه. ویرجینیا وولف، زن خانه داری به نام لورا براون و زنی به نام کلاریسا وون. زن هایی که در دوره های زمانی متفاوتی زندگی می کنن ولی تمایلات و اندیشه های نسبتا مشابهی دارن. ویرجینیا وولف که نویسنده ی کتاب "خانم دالووی" هستش و دو زنی که هرکدوم به نوعی از این کتاب الهام گرفتن. و البته در پایان کتاب پرده از راز ارتباط بین این سه زن برداشته میشه.مایکل کانینگهام قسمت اول رو درمورد زندگی واقعی ویرجینیا وولف نوشته و صحنه هایی از زندگیش رو بازسازی کرده ولی داستان دو زن دیگه، صرفا الهام گرفته از رمان خانم دالووی هستن.کتاب جذاب و خوش خوانیه. بعد از اینم قصد دارم اول کتاب فیلم نامش رو بخونم و بعد هم فیلمشو ببینم. و البته به شدت راغب شدم کتاب خانم دالووی رو هم بخونم. ویرجینیا وولف از پیشگامان مکتب فمینیسم بوده و متاسفانه تا الان من چیزی ازش نخوندم.

  • Peter
    2018-12-02 01:45

    When you read a book like The Hours, you have to decide whether you want to see it as a work in its own right or as an illumination of something else. In this case, The Hours can either be seen as a standalone novel telling the parallel stories of three women in three time periods or as a complementary text to Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway. I struggled with The Hours. (Full disclosure: I struggled with it mostly because I heard Michael Cunningham speak at a screening, and he was an arrogant, pompous snob. So I didn’t want to like The Hours. Or be impressed by it.)Unfortunately, I do rather like it, and I was impressed by parts of it. But I wasn’t smitten—and I don’t think it’s completely due to a grudge. And truly, the Pulitzer committee must have had a dearth of options in 1999. (I just looked it up. By my measure, they did.)At its core, the novel plumbs the quiet desperation of three women. They struggle with finding a purpose, with their sexuality, with building a healthy home, and more—and their insecurities rise and fall as their hopes and dreams clash with the humdrum of every day successes and failures. Cunningham tells their stories with a great deal of empathy. He lets us into their minds and reveals to us the kinds of doubts and self-examination that haunt all of us, and he does so with some sensitivity.And yet, many elements of The Hours feel cliché to me: the plot turns, the characters’ desperation, the coincidental interactions. They feel calculated more than they feel human, designed for the purpose of packing an emotional punch. The characters sometimes even seem to slip—caricature-like—beyond sentimentality and into saccharine. Made into a movie (I haven’t seen it), I imagine it would fit nicely in between soaps.And yet, and yet, as I asked myself whether I would teach this, I had to acknowledge that it is ripe for discussion. What is the range of the characters’ emotions? Where do they come from? How do Cunningham’s descriptive bursts set up the characters’ self-doubt? Why tell the story of Clarissa and Lauren and not of Richard? Students can dig in, if not to the story and to the prose, then to the space opened up between or within them.Finally, the text did raise a recurring question for me: how do novels with third-person omniscient narrators resolve the issue of voice? Here, as in other similar novels, the voice changes as it narrates the lives of different characters. It slips in and out of the characters’ voices without declaring so. With one character, the prose is spangled with “almost” and “sort of,” seeming to reflect the character’s wispiness, while with another, the sentences are short and clipped. This seems wildly undisciplined, or at least inconsistent, to me. Do I recommend it? Mmk. (sigh)Would I teach it? If I were desperate. It would sustain it.Partnered texts: Mrs. Dalloway, by Virginia WoolfLasting impression: Cunningham’s stories build small buildings out of blocks on our living room floor. He labels them with the names of a few buildings we’ve seen before, and draws some nice pictures on some others. We look at the result and remark to each other about how nicely they reflect what we know and want to think. It’s pretty neat what he did.

  • T4ncr3d1
    2018-12-14 05:51

    "Non credo che due persone avrebbero potuto essere più felici di quanto siamo stati noi"Scrivere una recensione, o anche uno straccio soltanto di commento su questo piccolo capolavoro è impresa quanto mai ardua ed impossibile. Potrei provarci e riprovarci: rimmarebbe sempre la sensazione di non aver reso per nulla la grandezza e la perfezione di questo gioiello della letteratura contemporanea. Allora potrei anche dire solo questo. Vi basti questo: qualunque recensione non può nemmeno lontanamente rappresentare la magnificenza di questo romanzo.Breve ma intensissimo, "Le ore" è un romanzo a tre voci, nelle quali si coglie tutta la genialità e l'umanità dell'autore. Tre ritratti di donne diverse e distanti nel tempo; a fare da filo conduttore la letteratura di Virgina Woolf. Da non dimenticare l'unico personaggio maschile, Richard, il poeta maledetto gay e malato di AIDS.Da leggere, rileggere, amare, imparare a memoria, fino a quando la carta diverrà trasparente e vi scorgerete uno specchio.

  • Holly
    2018-12-07 23:11

    This book made me want to weep and to sing with joy.

  • Donna
    2018-12-13 00:55

    BRILLIANT! BRILLIANT! BRILLIANT! I loved loved LOVED this book! Every word, every page…. Fantastic writing, intricate structure, amazing insights. I have LOADS of passages earmarked. This is definitely a must-read-again (and again and again and again!). I *never* cry when I read books – this time I cried.FAVOURITE QUOTE: “It had seemed like the beginning of happiness, and Clarissa is still sometimes shocked, more than thirty years later, to realize that it was happiness; that the entire experience lay in a kiss and a walk, the anticipation of dinner and a book. The dinner is by now forgotten; Lessing has been long overshadowed by other writers; and even the sex, once she and Richard reached that point, was ardent but awkward, unsatisfying, more kindly than passionate. What lives undimmed in Clarissa’s mind more than three decades later is a kiss at dusk on a patch of dead grass, and a walk around a pond as mosquitoes droned in the darkening air. There is still that singular perfection, and it’s perfect in part because it seemed, at the time, so clearly to promise more. Now she knows: That was the moment, right then. There has been no other.” [p. 98]

  • Jasmine
    2018-11-16 01:42

    "There's just this for consolation: an hour here or there when our lives seem, against all odds and expectations, to burst open and give us everything we've ever imagined, though everyone but children (and perhaps even they) knows these hours will inevitably be followed by others, far darker and more difficult." ( p. 225)

  • ZaRi
    2018-11-18 02:57

    ساعت ها با سه داستان موازی روايت مي شود.زندگی وولف،لورا،کلاریسا که دوست ریچارد(پسر لورا)است. اما در واقع همه این افراد به وسیله وولف خلق شده اند و البته او نزديك ترين شخصيت به خود را كه مردی به نام ريچارد است و قرار است جايزه ادبی مهمی به او داده شود،در داستان خود مي كشد،چرا كه"با مرگ يك نفر دیگران قدر زندگي را بهتر مي دانند" و اين جمله ای است كه وولف در جواب همسرش كه در مورد ضرورت وجود مرگ در رمان می پرسد،بیان می كند.ريچارد و وولف كمبود هويت و عقده ندارند و به همین دلیل جايزه"يك عمر فعاليت هنری" را عملی كليشه ای می دانند.در حقيقت این دو نفر آنقدر رشد كرده اند كه نياز به تقدير ندارند و آنها را ارضا نمی كند.ريچارد شريك افتخار شدن را"جهالت محض"می داند..شباهت های فراوان اين سه داستان از قصد و به دلیل يكسان و یک شدن مضمون و به تصوير كشيدن و معرفی بيشتر شخصيت ويرجينيا وولف وخودكشی اوستفضاهای طراحی شده خانه وولف بسیار سرد و تاريك است كه نشان از روح غمگین او دارد.ريچارد كلاريسا را محكوم مي كند كه مهمانی هاي او براي پنهان كردن سكوت و افسردگی او هست.همان سكوت و غم مرموزی كه سرانجام داستان را رقم مي زند.در سكانس تشييع پرنده مرده می شنويم كه"هر كس یک زمانی مي ميرد.به نظر می رسد اکنون نوبت پرنده هست" و در زمينه تصوير وولف ايستاده هست و گویی نوبت خود را انتظار مي كشد. خوابيدن وولف کنار پرنده مرده و كلوزآپ از چهره او و پرنده در فیلم میتواند مقدمه و نشانه پر كشيدن پرنده روح او در پایان داستان باشد. شاید وولف از زندگی خود خسته شده و در واقع می توان گفت که تلاش او برای خودكشی برای دفعه سوم به نوعی جست وجوی حيات و زندگی و معناست.او از زندگی توخالی بيزار است و ترجيح میدهد كه نباشد تا اينكه به روزمرگی،بی محتوایی،بی معنایی و پوچی تن دهد.وولف جايی سخن خود را از زبان ريچارد به نقل از كلاريسا مطرح می كند؛كلاريسا مي گويد كه ريچارد معتقد است او به زندگی معمولی خو گرفته و عادت کرده.وولف با وجودی كه زن ها را به تعبیر خود"كمرنگ تر" می داند،باز هم ترجيح میدهد كه قهرمان زن داستان او زنده بماند و ريچارد بميرد.در پايان میخوانیم ( می بينيم) كه با وجود رضايت همسر وولف در مورد رفتن او به لندن باز هم وولف آرام و قرار ندارد و به نظر مي رسد لندن هم ديگر او را راضی نمی كند.او می خواهد به سفر دورتری برود،شاید به همان جايي كه از آن آمده ،چنان كه در پاسخ آن كودك راجع به مفهوم مرگ نيز همين پاسخ را می دهد.وولف خواهان آزادی انتخاب و تصميم گيریست و شكل گيری ماهيت انسان را در اين مسئله می داند و مي خواهد هر طور شده پوسته دور خود را پاره كند و برود.او از آن دسته آدم هايیست كه در چارچوب ها و ساختارها نمی گنجد و مطابق ميل ديگران رفتار نمیکند و می خواهد خود را بازآفرينی كند و تولدی دوباره بيابد.خودكشي هر دو نويسنده را شايد بتوان سرانجام نبود عشق به ديگری تفسير كرد، چنان كه حس سردی،افسردگی و دل مردگی در تمام فضای فيلم حضور دارد و سنگینی می کند.مفهوم زمان در اين فيلم دگرگون می شود.هم در شیوه روايت فيلم و هم در ديالوگ های کاراکترهای داستان. پشيمانی وولف از كشتن لورای افسرده و در عوض كشتن شوهر او كه بسيار اميد به زندگی دارد و شادمان و خوشبخت هست و همچنين پسر لورا (ريچارد) همه تناقضهایی هستند كه در زندگی واقعی نیز وجود دارند. اين مسئله مي تواند اشاره به مفهوم سرنوشت و تقدير و كنترل آن توسط نيرويی برتر نیز باشد.وولف با مرگ خود زندگی هاي پوچ را نقد میکند،زیر سوال می برد و زنده ها را تشويق به زيست و زندگی آگاهانه،با معنا و به دور از روزمرگی می كند.ساعت ها در مورد عمر محدود، فرصت و زمان اندك و گذرايی است كه هر انسانی در اختيار دارد و چگونگی و كيفيت آن.ويرجينيا به عنوان يك انسان،یک نویسنده و در نهایت یک زن نگران است و دغدغه های بسیار دارد و مرگ را بر میگزیند اما مرگ ويرجينيا وولف پايان زندگی او نيست همان گونه که خود او نیز در آخرین جمله هایش در پایان فیلم نیز خطاب به لئونارد می گوید:" لئونارد عزیز،همیشه به صورت زندگی نگاه کن! همیشه! به صورت زندگی نگاه کن و زمانی که آن را خوب شناختی آن را رها کن. لئونارد! همیشه میان ما لحظهها حضور دارند…همیشه…عشق…همیشه…ساعتها!"

  • K.D. Absolutely
    2018-12-04 00:52

    I saw the movie. I read Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway (2 stars) and finally read this book.This is an easier read than Mrs. Dalloway because this uses contemporary English. Well, that thin book by Woolf was one of the first few classics that I had read upon joining Goodreads and I knew I must have missed somethings that was why I just found it okay (2 stars). I should read it again someday.The movie stayed true to this book so it was not hard to imagine the scenes described in here even if I saw it more than a decade ago. I still remember Nicole Kidman's false nose, Julianne Moore checking in in the hotel only to lie down and read the book, Mrs. Dalloway and Meryl Streep shocked upon finding that Ed Harris committed suicide. I mean the movie left those images in me in 2002 and so it was definitely a good movie.What this book only did was to make me understand the whole movie by letting me go through the dialogues that I missed as English is not my first language the there was no subtitle when I saw the movie during its theater run. I also understood that nuances of the middle-aged characters from Virginia Woolf in 1920's London, to Mrs. Brown in the 1950's San Francisco and Clarissa "Mrs. Dalloway" Vaughman in the 1990's New York. The story is about these three women whose lives intertwined in the end via the works and life of Woolf. It is not about some kind of reincarnation (this book is not fantasy or supernatural) but about the other women sharing the same traits, probably because of reading too much Woolf, as the great English writer.There are many nice quotes that you would encounter reading this book but this one explains the title:"There is just this for consolation we've ever imagined, though everyone but children (and perhaps even they) knows these hours will inevitably be followed by others, far darker and more difficult. Still we cherish the city, the morning; we hope, more than anything, for more."Despite all the latent realization of these women's sexuality, suicide and checking in in the hotel just to read a book, I liked this book and I thought Cunningham did a good job and deserved his Pen/Faulkner Award for Fiction.

  • Helene Jeppesen
    2018-11-26 05:09

    There is no doubt that with this book, Michael Cunningham has done a beautiful job at interweaving the lives of Virginia Wolff, the author, and Clarissa Dalloway, one of his most famous fictional characters. I was constantly surprised when reading through the 180 pages because I kept finding relations and connections that I hadn't seen before. Even though I have watched the movie starring three of my favourite actresses, I think that the books gives you SO much more of an insight into these hidden gems and connections, and because of that I wasn't bored at any point despite already knowing the overall story. I think that you have to have read "Mrs Dalloway" in order to fully understand and appreciate this story. However, I also think it's possible to read it without having read "Mrs Dalloway", but to me personally, it was such a joy to be able to see the heavy intertextuality. I found it beautiful the way that Michael Cunningham not only interweaves the lives of fictional characters, but also the lives of real characters, and somehow it all made sense after all. I had some minor problems with the writing style. I didn't like that most of the dialogue was written à la "he said", "she said", because I felt like it ruined the beautiful flow of the overall story. But when it comes down to it, I'm very pleased with this impeccable piece of work, and I highly recommend it.

  • Dorotea
    2018-11-26 05:48

    I'll write a better review later, I want to collect all my thoughts (and all my feelings), but I have been out all day and I just want to go to sleep right now BUT I do want to write about this marvellous book. Undecided whether to see the movie before or after, I opted for watching parts of it (I divided it into thirds) and after reading the related parts. I think it was the right choice, because it helped me dilute the book and therefore savour it, and compare the two of them. The book is so much better thought. I could say that the movie is quite shitty, but that is not true it's a nicely done movie, but it's a shitty transposition of the book. Early feelings? I loved loved loved it.

  • Jonathan Terrington
    2018-12-12 01:03

    The Hours curiously begins with an ending. Yet, before that ending, one the first leaflet one can note a quote from Jorge Luis Borges poem 'The Other Tiger.' It is fascinating that Michael Cunningham chose to use such a quote, considering Borges' fascination with labyrinths and metalanguage. For Cunningham has, in essence, created a convoluted labyrinth purely out of metalanguage. A labyrinth that ends precisely where it begins as it weaves a path through history. Yet this labyrinth is also in some degrees a maze in how it darts back and forth across time.In many regards all authors, or at least all great authors, write as a response to one or more issues in particular. For some this may be a conscious issue, for others an aspect of their subconsciousness. For instance, the horror work of EA Poe or HP Lovecraft could be seen as a subconscious response to the dark desires of the human psyche. Whereas, Jean Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea is a more conscious response regarding Jane Eyre. So to, is The Hours a response to the famed novel of Virginia Woolf: Mrs. Dalloway. 'The Hours' was, in fact, the original suggested title of Woolf's work, addressing the manner in which her novel was to be set across the course of one day. Cunningham's use of the title reflects upon this and changes it. His work is a novel chiefly concerned with time and human perception, as is Mrs Dalloway, yet his novel spreads itself across several chronological points, connecting three female lives across time, each life connected by the strand of literature and socially oppressive claustrophobia. And yet, like Mrs Dalloway the novel essentially revolves around the premise of an important party, shifting the tone and ideologies slightly to adjust for modern settings.As a reader, one can generalise as an honest assessment that most male authors fail to fully grasp that any character is constricted by varying levels of social expectations and imposed norms of culture or language and so on. And as such, female characters tend to be written rather poorly, as males with different bodies (men who can undergo childbirth) or follow the old sensitive, damsel in distress archetype. Yet, interestingly, Michael Cunningham seems to succeed at creating organic female characters, purely because across the entire novel there is a strong recollection that all characters suffer in varying degrees. And to this purpose it is the common threads, not the differences, which are his uniting factor in creating human interfaces for his novel's themes. (view spoiler)[Interestingly, one could note how he reflects and twists the suicide of Virginia Woolf for his later characters. Clarissa becomes the partner who must care for a spouse who no longer wishes to live, thus giving her a greater sense of agency as a character. (hide spoiler)]The Hours is a book of great subtlety, handled deftly. There is almost a touch of Atonement about the entire work in its tone and handling of shifting perspectives across time. One of the key issues brought up by such modern and post-modern works as this is the idea of the extent to which human lives are narratives with differing faces. The public narrative of Jonathan Terrington is not necessarily the narrative which I truly believe exists as my narrative (an idea echoed in Borges' parable Borges and I). What The Hours serves to do on this front, as a pastiche of the modern and postmodern, is to reflect upon the idea of the legacy of narratives, and the ways in which such narratives can be taken up and adopted by others in future eras.Addition:While some might like to analyse the gender roles (non of which are traditional) or find them offensive I overlooked such ideas in favour of the more metafictional ones. Such ideas were discussed in our university tutorial on this novel, connected to the ideas we had been discussing around the idea of how texts define identity and whether perceived identity is separate to the self. A concept observed nicely by Borges in his essay Borges and I.

  • Chrissie
    2018-12-14 04:44

    What has happened to me? I started this book extremely annoyed and ended up liking it. Why? Why? Why? I don't quite know. I have to think........By the book's end I know the central characters. Who are they? Let me start here. The book follows three women. First there is Virginia Woolf. She is recovering from headaches, terrible headaches. She is and was manic-depressive. The date of this thread is 1923 and Virginia is cared for, watched over or you might say even repressively ordered around by her dear husband who is doing all he can to help her recover. They live outside London, in the suburb Richmond. She is planning / contemplating her next novel: Mrs. Dalloway. Then there is Clarissa in modern day NYC. She is lesbian, living with Sally, but at the same time she always loved Richard, coupled with Louis, dying of AIDS. The third thread follows Laura Brown, living in Los Angeles after the Second World War, 1949. She is happily married with a considerate husband and a devoted child of three. But IS everything so hunky-dory? You flip between these three threads, which is confusing until you begin to know the different characters and places and so can immediately place where you are. There are other confusing elements. Clarissa is in fact called Mrs. Dalloway by Richard. As you proceed you recognize that different sections are entitled with one of the women's names. This is probably harder on the audiobook than in the written book. All three threads are interconnected. All three threads depict a woman trying to escape. All three threads are about women trying to figure out how exactly they want to live their lives. All three threads are about feminism and homosexuality and suicide and death. They are all the events of just one single day, and that is also how Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf's book, is written. So you start thinking... You start comparing. Do you know Mrs. Dalloway was originally written with the ending that she committed suicide, but not in the published book!I am sometimes uncomfortable reading lgtb literature. Is that so strange? I am heterosexual. I am glad I read this book. I just want to be upfront about this. Others may worry about this aspect too. Here is why my view on the book changed. By the book's end I KNEW all of the central characters. I could relate to them. They felt real. I could understand what they did and why. Virginia Woolf was portrayed in such a manner that I felt Cunningham stuck to her real character and made her emotions and feelings and thoughts and ambivalences more clear. She felt genuine, not fictive. I learned more about her through reading this book. Laura, she was consistent. Different, but just as genuine. I even warmed to Clarissa who for me, by the book's end wonderfully exhibited the inner strength of women. Men and women have different strengths.I liked this book. It kept me thinking.It wasn’t until the end that I realized my view had changed, from negative to positive. I am terribly impressed by the author’s ability to tie together the different threads. At the same time I am not quite sure if that is a plus or a minus; should a book be so neatly constructed? Life isn’t so neat. I still prefer Virginia Woolf’s writing to Michael Cunningham’s. …and I kind of think he stole her book! In a way. Sort of. Or you can reason he created something new from her original idea. Even my view of the author's own narration of the audiobook changed. His tone in Clarissa's thread wonderfully captures the gay world of NYC. The language used in the different threads is modified. That is good; people do not express themselves today as one did in 1949 or 1923. You don't hear a difference in the narrative tone though, and this could be considered a weakness. Who would have known that a book that started so badly for me would turn out so good?!**************************************After two and 1/2 hours of a 6 hour and 15 minute long audiobook: Does it have to be so hard to understand the story? I want a story, not a puzzle. I don't like being confused. I have even given up taking notes. I will continue but boy, I certainly hope this improves. AND authors are not often capable of narrating their own books. Get someone trained for the task.This book has put me in a horrible mood. What? Am I nuts? It won a Pulitzer.

  • Madalena
    2018-12-06 22:52

    I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed that it was beautifully written, even if sometimes 'too' beautiful - the kind of writing that makes you stop reading and think about it. Anyway, I'm always pleased at words that sound good togther, that look nice together, and I think the author's consistently good at it.Plot wise, I had seen the film before I read it, and although I didnt really remember much details, I think that helped me not getting confused about the characters, names, relationships, etc. It's not a hard plot to follow - it all happens during the same day and between and handful of characters - but because I knew roughly what happened I was able to pay attention to other stuff.I was gonna say this book is about women, because its narrated from the perspective of three different women, one of them being Virgina Woolf, who we know was pretty interested in women issues in general. However, it really isn't. Or it isnt just about that.The way I read it, this book is about finding meaning. In the practicalities of life, in relationships, in becoming or being yourself. The three main characters waver from moments they feel they've grasped it, to moments they think no one is ever able to grasp it - and what is there to grasp anyway? There is this powerful tension between full commitment and complete abandonment, between wanting to end life and being continuously marvelled at life. Desperately wanting not to matter but also wanting to live intensely, meaningfully.Yeah, that's what I felt.'How, Laura wonders, could someone who was able to write a sentence like that - who was able to feel everything contained in a sentence like that - come to kill herself? What is wrong with people?'(How do you like that, Sofi?)