Michael Cunningham Quotes (38 Quotes)


    Like the morning you walked out of that old house, when you were eighteen and I was, well, I had just turned nineteen, hadn't I? I was a nineteen-year-old and I was in love with Louis and I was in love with you, and I thought I had never seen anything so beautiful as the sight of you walking out a glass door in the early morning, still sleepy, in your underwear. Isn't it strange?

    These days, Clarissa believes, you measure people first by their kindness and their capacity for devotion. You get tired, sometimes, of wit and intellect; everybody's little display of genius.

    Men may congratulate themselves for writing truly and passionately about the movements of nations; they may consider war and the search for God to be great literature's only subjects; but if men's standing in the world could be toppled by an ill-advised choice of hat, English literature would be dramatically changed.

    What a thrill, what a shock, to be alive on a morning in June, prosperous, almost scandalously privileged, with a simple errand to run.

    Outside the house is a world where the shelves are stocked, where radio waves are full of music, where young men walk the streets again, men who have deprievation and a fear worse than death, who have willingly given up their early twenties and now, thinking of thirty and beyond, haven't any time to spare.


    What does it mean to regret when you have no choice? It's what you can bear. And there it is... It was death. I chose life.


    What I wanted to do seemed simple. I wanted something alive and shocking enough that it could be a morning in somebody's life. The most ordinary morning. Imagine, trying to do that.

    She is, above all else, tired; she wants more than anything to return to her bed and her book. The world, this world, feels suddenly stunned and stunted, far from everything.

    What she wants to say has to do not only with joy but with the penetrating, constant fear that is joy's other half.

    She knew she was going to have trouble believing in herself, in the room of her house, and when she glanced over at this new book on her nightstand, stacked atop the one she finished last night, she reached for it automatically, as if reading were the singular and obvious first task of the day, the only viable way to negotiate the transit from sleep to obligation.

    You want to give him the book of his own life, the book that will locate him, parent him, arm him for the changes.


    She will remain sane and she will live as she was meant to live, richly and deeply, among others of her kind, in full possession and command of her gifts.



    Dear Leonard. To look life in the face. Always to look life in the face and to know it for what it is. At last to know it. To love it for what it is, and then, to put it away. Leonard. Always the years between us. Always the years. Always the love. Always the hours.

    The vestibule door opens onto a June morning so fine and scrubbed Classira pauses at the threshold as she would at the edge of a pool, watching the turquoise water lapping at the tiles, the liquid nets of sun wavering in the blue depths. As if standing at the edge of a pool she delays for a moment the plunge, the quick membrane of chill, the plain shock of immersion.

    He is still, at times, astonished by her. She may be the most intelligent woman in England, he thinks. Her books may be read for centuries.


    I don't have any regrets, really, except that one. I wanted to write about you, about us, really. Do you know what I mean? I wanted to write about everything, the life we're having and the lives we might have had. I wanted to write about all the ways we might have died.

    There is still that singular perfection, and it's perfect in part because it seemed, at the time, so clearly to promise more.

    I'm sure there are any number of Hollywood producers who option novels and think, 'maybe this would make a good opera,

    a whole new way of living and thinking about ourselves suddenly burst upon us. And walking through all this, there's Walt Whitman saying 'I find it all remarkable and strange and beautiful'. I was so struck by his ecstatic moving through this terrible place, and I thought he should be the spirit and soul of the book.

    I think of the people who commit these acts as children. They're in their 20s, but like certain children, they have been told only one story, over and over. Like most children, they believe in an easily identifiable good and evil, and like most children, they are capable of unthinkable cruelty.

    Yet the writer's lot has particular satisfactions. When a novel is published, however it's received, ... it is the book you wrote, and a better version is not sitting on the cutting-room floor because your distributor insisted on 17 ill-advised cuts.

    A movie star seemed simply like the nearest equivalent we've got, we who live blessedly free of a monarchy, to that sense of the human form exalted, the life made fabulous simply by who and what the person is.

    We've been here for 150 years and we intend on being here 150 more.

    If anything, I thought - and this view was shared by my publisher - that The Hours was going to be my arty little book and sell maybe a few thousand copies, and march with whatever dignity it could muster to the remainders tables.

    If you've really loved a book, or a movie for that matter, really loved it, what you want is that same book again, but as if you've never read it. And when you get something unfamiliar, you feel betrayed.


    More Michael Cunningham Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Books - Life - World - Movies - People - Death & Dying - Literature - Perfection - Night - Morning - Love - Man - Time - Happiness - Place - Beauty - Faces - Efforts - Music - View All Michael Cunningham Quotations

    More Michael Cunningham Quotations (By Book Titles)


    - The Hours

    Related Authors


    Niccolo Machiavelli - Thomas Kuhn - Karen Armstrong - Edward Fairfax - Bram Stoker - Ayn Rand - Arthur C. Clarke - Antiphanes - Anthony Hope - Anne Frank


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