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The Hours (1998)

by Michael Cunningham

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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12,460224475 (3.93)566
A trio of stories around the writer, Virginia Woolf. In the first, set in 1923, Woolf is writing her novel, Mrs. Dalloway. The second story is on a woman reading the novel in 1949 Los Angeles, while the third is on a woman in present-day New York who has been nicknamed Mrs. Dalloway by her boyfriend.… (more)
  1. 131
    Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (twomoredays, TammyMarshall, kjuliff)
    twomoredays: If you don't read Mrs. Dalloway before The Hours, I suspect it wouldn't be nearly as fulfilling a reading experience.
    TammyMarshall: It gives you a much fuller appreciation of what Cunningham accomplished with his wonderful novel, "The Hours."
    kjuliff: Mrs Dalloway over several hours
  2. 20
    The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and other poems by T. S. Eliot (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: Cunningham is constantly referencing Prufrock. If you haven't read it, you should
  3. 10
    The Hours [2002 film] by Stephen Daldry (TheLittlePhrase)
  4. 10
    A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen (lucy.depalma)
  5. 11
    Five Bells by Gail Jones (fountainoverflows)
  6. 00
    Ohio Angels by Harriet Scott Chessman (Miels)
  7. 11
    The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood (sturlington)
  8. 01
    John Cheever: Collected Stories and Other Writings by John Cheever (Cecilturtle)
1990s (37)
My TBR (13)

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» See also 566 mentions

English (206)  Dutch (4)  Spanish (3)  German (3)  Catalan (2)  Italian (2)  French (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (223)
Showing 1-5 of 206 (next | show all)
About Virginia Woolf, so I was all ears, and was rewarded with a great novel. ( )
  mykl-s | Aug 12, 2023 |
I think this is faultless.
The highlighting of the depth of meaning in everyday things is so important.
Beautiful, sad and powerful ( )
  Alin.Llewellyn | Jul 30, 2023 |
It took my son's invitation to the Met Opera debut of a new work based on this book to get me to read it. In short order my wife and I read the book aloud, watched the acclaimed film, and went back to the source to read Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, before attending a broadcast of the opera. Now all of those variants are rolling around in my head in a delicious brew.

Two decades after it won the Pulitzer, Michael Cunningham's outstanding work needs neither introduction nor summary. Suffice it to say that it is both simpler and more complex than Woolf's original. His prose is simpler, his sentences often shorter and clearer than Woolf's, his narrative helpfully divided into short chapters with the speakers clearly indicated. Woolf's century-old masterwork scrolls out as one long inner narrative, with no chapter breaks and sometimes barely marked switches from one character's consciousness to another's. Cunningham's complexity comes from beautifully overlaying and intertwining three separate stories from three periods and three locations, each focused on the inner life of a woman struggling against the strictures of her existence. Each heroine reflects, dreams, yearns, and tries to cope and carry on in her own way; each considers the possibility of relief and release brought by death.

Cunningham daisy-chains the three stories and the lives of the three protagonists, planting enough Easter eggs to delight any post-modern Taylor Swifty. But it is more than tour de force or homage to Woolf. Meditative and profoundly moving, the work can be read as proto-feminist musing, post-AIDS fable, and disheartening commentary on how little has changed in the last century. Cunningham shows through these three lives how we are all both known and unknown, utterly alone and surrounded by family and friends, free to act and totally constrained, experiencing moments of exquisite joy and paralyzing fear, and finding ways to face "the hours . . . one and then another . . . and then, my god, there's another" (197-8).
  gwalton | Mar 31, 2023 |
First edition as new
  dgmathis | Mar 16, 2023 |
Well written. Read it after seeing the opera. Opera follows the book to a T. Wish i didn’t know the ending. Still shed a tear though. ( )
  kakadoo202 | Feb 26, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 206 (next | show all)
Cunningham gives you every chance to hear his echoes of Woolf's style: the whimsical similes, the rueful parentheses, the luminous circumstantial detail. And the narrative method is a homage to Woolf's novel. Each section imitates Mrs Dalloway by being restricted to the events of a single day, and follows the stream of one consciousness, only to leave it, for a sentence or a paragraph, for another....Imitation is fitting because Woolf's original novel was trying to do justice to the sharpness of new experience, even as it detonates old memories, and this endeavour is always worth trying afresh.
added by KayCliff | editThe Guardian, John Mullan (Jun 24, 2011)
We don't have to read ''Mrs. Dalloway'' before we can read ''The Hours,'' and no amount of pedantic comparison-hunting will help us understand it if we don't understand it already. But the connections between the two books, after the initial, perhaps overelaborate laying out of repetitions and divergences, are so rich and subtle and offbeat that not to read ''Mrs. Dalloway'' after we've read ''The Hours'' seems like a horrible denial of a readily available pleasure -- as if we were to leave a concert just when the variations were getting interesting.

» Add other authors (29 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Cunningham, Michaelprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alopaeus, MarjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cotroneo, IvanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goddijn, ServaasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hodge, PatriciaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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
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.
"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.
Clarissa dislikes arrangements. She prefers flowers to look as if they've just arrived, in armloads, from the fields.
Virginia thinks of Leonard frowning over the proofs, intent on scouring away not only the setting errors but whatever taint of mediocrity errors imply.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

A trio of stories around the writer, Virginia Woolf. In the first, set in 1923, Woolf is writing her novel, Mrs. Dalloway. The second story is on a woman reading the novel in 1949 Los Angeles, while the third is on a woman in present-day New York who has been nicknamed Mrs. Dalloway by her boyfriend.

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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.
Cunningham, Michael, 1952-.
Οι ώρες / Μάικλ Κάνιγχαμ · μετάφραση Λύο Καλοβυρνάς. - Αθήνα : Εκδόσεις Πεδίο, 2020. - 263σ. · 21x14εκ.
Ειδική έκδοση για την εφημερίδα ΤΟ ΕΘΝΟΣ, κυκλοφόρησε 2.8.2020.
Επανέκδοση της έκδοσης του ΛΙΒΑΝΗ 2000.
Γλώσσα πρωτοτύπου: αγγλικά
Τίτλος πρωτοτύπου: The Hours
ISBN-13 978-960-635-276-8 (Μαλακό εξώφυλλο), [Εκτός Εμπορίου]
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