The Hours - Michael Cunningham

This book passed from my brother, who studied it for a seminar with Michael Cunningham at Penn, to Lisa, and maybe my mom too, and most recently to me. It's timely, on account of the movie having just come out, but any desire to see said movie has been quenched by my having just read the book. For one thing, I immediately came to resent even knowing the cast of the movie, since it took me many chapters before the characters stopped looking like Meryl Streep and Julienne Moore in my mind, and started looking like themselves according to the author and my actual imagination.

For another thing, how can one possibly make a movie out of a novel that so singularly delights in words? I don't think I want to find out just yet. I think I'd like to read the book again first, or maybe not see the movie at all, and read the book again anyway. Because it is a wondercabinet filled with the most breathtaking, wild metaphors-mammoth metaphors and jellyfish metaphors, sometimes layer atop one another parenthetically, wonderfully.

There are so many parentheticals, in fact, that at one point the author buries one inside another, necessitating the rare appearance of brackets. And these brackets may well contain the riddle wrapped inside the mystery wrapped inside the enigma:

[how did she grow so old?]

Fed to drand's brain | February 20, 2003