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The Hours (1998)

by Michael Cunningham

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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11,625207423 (3.92)535
Intertwines the stories of three women linked by their relationship to Virginia Woolf's 1925 novel Mrs. Dalloway: Woolf herself, in the throes of writing Mrs. Dalloway and contemplating suicide; Laura, a young wife and mother suffocating in the confines of her tidy life in Los Angeles in 1949; and Clarissa, who is giving a party in the present in New York City for her closest friend, Richard, a writer dying of AIDS.… (more)
Recently added bysharvani, private library, GiovanyGracia, Rennie80, wagnerkim, JK.Livingston
  1. 122
    Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (twomoredays, TammyMarshall)
    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."
  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. 00
    A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen (lucy.depalma)
  5. 00
    Ohio Angels by Harriet Scott Chessman (Miels)
  6. 11
    Five Bells by Gail Jones (fountainoverflows)
  7. 01
    Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (sturlington)
  8. 01
    John Cheever: Collected Stories and Other Writings (Library of America, No. 188) by John Cheever (Cecilturtle)
  9. 01
    The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood (sturlington)
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» See also 535 mentions

English (194)  Dutch (4)  German (3)  Swedish (1)  Italian (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  All languages (206)
Showing 1-5 of 194 (next | show all)
For such a short book it took me forever to read.
At the beginning of the book , I kept picturing the author leaning back and giggling at how clever he was. And yet I was still bored. I have never seen the movie and would be interested to see what I missed in the book, because it just didn't do it for me.
( )
  curious_squid | Apr 5, 2021 |
She will do all that’s required, and more.

So many women, doing what other people need/want them to do. There’s Virginia Woolf in 1923, obliging to her husband’s request that she recover her mental health in the suburbs, when the only place she wants to be is London. There’s Laura Brown, performing the duties of wife and mother in conformity-laden 1949 Los Angeles. And there’s Clarissa Vaughan in late-20th-century New York City, organizing a party to honor her longtime friend/former lover who’s been ravaged by AIDS. Each of them enduring the hours of a single day, and then the hours after those.

I first read this in 2014 -- a fascinating riff on [Mrs. Dalloway], where the original novel’s author (Virginia), its main character (Clarissa), and a reader (Laura) are imagined in their own storylines. I watched the film again yesterday after I’d finished my re-read. The novel is a beautiful and melancholic tragedy; the film is devastating. ( )
  DetailMuse | Feb 7, 2021 |
  InstructorFlip | Nov 10, 2020 |
The novel moves between three narrators:
• Virginia Woolf at Richmond outside London in 1923 as she writes Mrs Dalloway, helps her husband in their Hogarth Press and meets her sister, Vanessa Bell, for afternoon tea.
• Laura Brown in California in 1949 reading Mrs Dalloway and preparing for her husband’s birthday with her four year old son.
• Clarissa Vaughan in New York in 1998-ish, nicknamed Mrs Dalloway by her friend Richard, who is being awarded a prize for his poetry, but is now debilitated by AIDS.

Beautiful, elegant, elegiac and clear prose provides a glimpse into the life of these three, quite different, women. Although I was disappointed that the style for each narrator appeared undifferentiated, I really enjoyed each story and how they were brought together.

The three narrative strands reminded me of three books that I have read recently:
• A Boy at the Hogarth Press by Richard Kennedy
• Where I was from by Joan Didion
• A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara ( )
  CarltonC | Nov 4, 2020 |
I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!
  slojudy | Sep 8, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 194 (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)

Intertwines the stories of three women linked by their relationship to Virginia Woolf's 1925 novel Mrs. Dalloway: Woolf herself, in the throes of writing Mrs. Dalloway and contemplating suicide; Laura, a young wife and mother suffocating in the confines of her tidy life in Los Angeles in 1949; and Clarissa, who is giving a party in the present in New York City for her closest friend, Richard, a writer dying of AIDS.

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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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