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BOOK õ The Hours ⚤ O Livro Vencedor Do Pulitzer N O Uma Reescrita, Um Mergulho No Abismo De Virginia Woolf, Que Traz Tona O Que Faz Dele Uma Obra O Abismo Singular Do Seu Autor, Com O Seu Pr Prio Poeta Demente Richard, Que Podemos Fazer Equivaler A Septimus, Mas Tamb M A Virginia , Os Seus Beijos Inesquec Veis O De Clarissa E Richard, Junto A Uma Lagoa, Ao Crep Sculo, E, Sobretudo, O De Laura E Kitty, Ajoelhadas No Ch O De Uma Cozinha Na Los Angeles Do P S Guerra , A Sua Cidade Da West E Da Greenwich Villages, Com Os Seus Quiosques De Flores, Os Seus Garotos De Patins, A Sua Experi Ncia Da Sida, A Sua Sexualidade Difusa, As Suas Horas Mon Tonas, O Seu Brilho Incandescente, As Suas Horas De Desistir E As Suas Horas De Ressuscitar , A Manhattan Em Que Em Vez Do Primeiro Ministro Ou Da Rainha As Estrelas Que Suscitam Burburinho Quando Saem Rua S O Meryl Streep, Vanessa Redgrave Ou Susan Sarandon, E Em Que A Filha De Clarissa J N O Passear Et Rea No Vestido Justo Mas Usar T Nis Como Tijolos, Um Piercing E Cabelo Rapado Alexandra Lucas Coelho, P Blico 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 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. 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 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 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 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 VanessaVanessa 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 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 homeShe 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 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 of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit also have a Facebook blogger page at The film has always put me off reading the book In particular Nicole Kidman s tawdry depiction of Virginia Woolf as some kind of demented bag lady Surely the most unflattering cinematic portrait of any famous writer ever So the first pleasant surprise of this novel was that, far from being some kind of overly simplistic and dismissive view of Woolf as the film veered close to at times, it s actually a glowing tribute to her work and to her as a troubled soul However, it doesn t begin on a good note To go inside Woolf s head as she kills herself came across as nothing than a literary publicity stunt of misguided hubris Not once, I m afraid, did I believe in Cunningham s vision of her final moments of life And it added nothing to the novel and could easily have been and perhaps should have been excised Especially because her suicide comes up often in the text Sometimes, despite what it says in writing manuals, telling is effective than showing But what soon began to win me over was Cunningham s fabulous prose His exciting way of putting things Of making me see the familiar in a slightly skewed and illuminating way Essentially The Hours is an inventive improvisation on the themes of Woolf s Mrs Dalloway It s perhaps a bit top heavy on same sex relationships with the largely unfounded implication that Woolf herself was that way inclined is it so hard to accept a person might perhaps simply possess no strong sexual impulse instead of always reading repression into inactivity My feeling about her is she did exactly what she needed to do to write what she did And to impose any kind of secret wish list on her is not only errant but also condescending Socially she was a flirt It was how she both dramatized and defended herself If she gave Vita the come on it was done, one feels, with a pinch of salt not from unowned depths of her being But overall surprised by how much I loved this 4.5 stars. 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 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 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.