Friday, August 29, 2014

The Hours

Michael Cunningham. The Hours. 1999. London: Fourth Estate, 2003

There is a delicious irony of future projection, which, I am sure must have made the author very happy. The novel won the Pulitzer Prize and then made into an award-winning film, with Nicole Kidman getting an Oscar for her role as Virginia Woolf, false nose and all.

In the first Mrs Dalloway chapter, we see projections of both. In the flower shop, the shopgirl, Barbara, asks if Richard has won a Pulitzer. Later, at the same place, from the window, Clarissa gets a glimpse of a movie star shooting a scene in the New York street. She wonders if it was Maryl Streep or Vanessa Redgrave. She is almost sure it was Maryl Streep. Maryl Streep, of course, went on to play the role of Clarissa Dalloway in the ensuing movie.

We are sure the author is partial to Streep. A little while later Clarissa hears two girls talking about the said movie star. One says it was Susan Sarandon and the other says it was Streep. Clarissa supports the Streep argument.

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