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The hours by Michael Cunningham
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The hours (edition 1998)

by Michael Cunningham

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9,144None325 (3.93)379
Member:joucy
Title:The hours
Authors:Michael Cunningham
Info:New York : Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1998.
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Engelstalige literatuur, Virginia Woolf

Work details

The Hours by Michael Cunningham

  1. 111
    Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (twomoredays, TammyWright)
    twomoredays: If you don't read Mrs. Dalloway before The Hours, I suspect it wouldn't be nearly as fulfilling a reading experience.
    TammyWright: It gives you a much fuller appreciation of what Cunningham accomplished with his wonderful novel, "The Hours."
  2. 00
    Ohio Angels by Harriet Scott Chessman (Miels)
  3. 11
    Five Bells by Gail Jones (fountainoverflows)
  4. 01
    John Cheever: Collected Stories and Other Writings (Library of America, No. 188) by John Cheever (Cecilturtle)
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» See also 379 mentions

English (135)  Dutch (3)  Italian (2)  Swedish (1)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (144)
Showing 1-5 of 135 (next | show all)
This book has been sitting on my shelf for a while. Here goes!

This book read so quickly, I couldn't put it down! I haven't seen the movie yet, but I'm already sure that Julian Moore is not appropriate for the character of Mrs. Brown :) ( )
  KristinaGiovanni | Apr 4, 2014 |
I liked but didn't love this Pulitzer Prize winning novel told from the perspective of 3 different women living in different time periods. There is Virginia Woolf while she's writing Mrs. Dalloway, a mother in the 1950s reading Mrs. Dalloway, and a woman in her 60s living in the present day with the nickname of Mrs. Dalloway. These women end up connected in many ways - both through actual life events and through their thoughts and musings. This book is very clever, but I wanted a little bit more from it. It may be one that I come back to in a few years. ( )
  japaul22 | Oct 14, 2013 |
I enjoyed the first chapter, and paragraphs here and there throughout the rest of the book. But most of it felt like reading a high school English class assignment: write a story in the style of _____, the blank in this case filled with "Virginia Woolf." Excessive comma use does not good writing make; in The Hours, it makes for a herky-jerky read, no stream-of-consciousness mellifluosity. ( )
  amelish | Sep 12, 2013 |
Beautifully sad, and a great complimentary book to Mrs. Dalloway, though I wondered if I had liked it, had I not read Mrs. Dalloway. ( )
  borhap | Aug 27, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 135 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (41 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Michael Cunninghamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alopaeus, MarjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goddijn, ServaasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
We'll hunt for a third tiger now, but like the others this one too will be a form of what I dream, a structure of words, and not the flesh and bone tiger that beyond all myths paces the earth. I know these things quite well, yet nonetheless some force keeps driving me in the vague, unreasonable, and ancient quest, and I go on pursuing through the hours another tiger, the beast not found in verse.
- J.L. Borges, The Other Tiger, 1960
I have no time to describe my plans. I should say a good deal about The Hours, and my discovery; how I dig out beautiful caves behind my characters; I think that gives exactly what I want; humanity, humour, depth. The idea is that the caves shall connect, and each comes to daylight at the present moment.
- Virginia Wolf, in her diary, August 30, 1923
Dedication
This book is for Ken Corbett
First words
Sie hastet aus dem Haus, wirft einen für die Witterung zu schweren Mantel über: 1941.
She hurries from the house, wearing a coat too heavy for the weather. It is 1941.
Quotations
"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, 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.
Heaven only knows why we love it so."
What a thrill, what a shock, to be alive on a morning in June, prosperous, almost scandalously privileged, with a simple errand to run.
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...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.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
The book concerns three generations of women affected by a Virginia Woolf novel. The first is Woolf herself writing Mrs. Dalloway in 1923 and struggling with her own mental illness. The second is Mrs. Brown, wife of a World War II veteran, who is reading Mrs. Dalloway in 1949 as she plans her husband's birthday party. The third is Clarissa Vaughan, a lesbian, who plans a party in 1998 to celebrate a major literary award received by her good friend and former lover, the poet Richard, who is dying of AIDS. The situations of all three characters mirror situations experienced by Woolf's Clarissa Dalloway in 'Mrs. Dalloway', with Clarissa Vaughn being a very literal modern-day version of Woolf's character.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312305060, Paperback)

The Hours is both an homage to Virginia Woolf and very much its own creature. Even as Michael Cunningham brings his literary idol back to life, he intertwines her story with those of two more contemporary women. One gray suburban London morning in 1923, Woolf awakens from a dream that will soon lead to Mrs. Dalloway. In the present, on a beautiful June day in Greenwich Village, 52-year-old Clarissa Vaughan is planning a party for her oldest love, a poet dying of AIDS. And in Los Angeles in 1949, Laura Brown, pregnant and unsettled, does her best to prepare for her husband's birthday, but can't seem to stop reading Woolf. These women's lives are linked both by the 1925 novel and by the few precious moments of possibility each keeps returning to. Clarissa is to eventually realize:
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.... Still, we cherish the city, the morning; we hope, more than anything, for more.
As Cunningham moves between the three women, his transitions are seamless. One early chapter ends with Woolf picking up her pen and composing her first sentence, "Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself." The next begins with Laura rejoicing over that line and the fictional universe she is about to enter. Clarissa's day, on the other hand, is a mirror of Mrs. Dalloway's--with, however, an appropriate degree of modern beveling as Cunningham updates and elaborates his source of inspiration. Clarissa knows that her desire to give her friend the perfect party may seem trivial to many. Yet it seems better to her than shutting down in the face of disaster and despair. Like its literary inspiration, The Hours is a hymn to consciousness and the beauties and losses it perceives. It is also a reminder that, as Cunningham again and again makes us realize, art belongs to far more than just "the world of objects." --Kerry Fried

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:05:30 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

In a novel of love, family inheritance, and desperation, the author offers a fictional account of Virginia Woolf's last days and her friendship with a poet living in his mother's shadow.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 10 descriptions

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