Monday, October 8, 2012

Annette Bening Reads Mrs. Dalloway


I just watched a clip of Annette Bening on the Ellen show. She's reading from Ellen's book (Seriously ... I'm Kidding - which has just gone paperback)&nbsp ; in a Jersey accent she learned from watching Jersey Shore and The Real Housewives of New Jersey. A fun couple of minutes but what got me jazzed was Annette talks about reading Mrs. Dalloway for Audible.com


She really enthuses about what a great time she had reading the book. I wonder how long it actually takes to read a 7 hour book? Are there a lot of tongue twisty mistakes? Is there a blooper reel? I found her voice calm and mellow with that flat, neutral American 'accent' which is really a lack of accent. But then I wondered.  Should Mrs. Dalloway even be narrated in an American accent? Certainly writer Virginia Woolf didn't hear an American voice in her head as she was writing.  I would imagine that Phyllida Law's version is more in keeping with what the acclaimed author had in mind but I have very little experience with 'listening to books'. I have to confess I wish I had a reason to take longer drives so I could do so. 
I would love to know where else you listen to audible books if you do. 
Purchase the movie here
Naturally since I am talking about it, Mrs. Dalloway it has been adapted for the screen. That was back in 1997 and stars the wonderful Ms. Vanessa Redgrave (Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Downton Abbey). It wasn't a mega success but that doesn't mean we won't like it. And yes, it's available to rent on Netflix so sometime in the future I will read/listen to the novel and then watch the movie.
Especially since the story is what inspired Michael Cunningham's novel The Hours which was also adapted for the screen.
 
Here's what B&N says about the storyline: This novel explores the hidden springs of thought and action in one day of a woman's life, a day that is also the last day of a war veteran's life. Direct and vivid in her account of the details of Clarissa Dalloway's preparations for a party she is to give that evening, Woolf ultimately manages to reveal much more; for it is the feeling behind these daily events and their juxtaposition with the journey to suicide of Septimus Smith that gives Mrs. Dalloway its texture and richness.
Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway is the inspiration for Michael Cunningham's The Hours, the award-winning novel and Oscar-nominated film.
A 1925 landmark of modernist fiction that follows an the wife of an MP around London as she prepares for her party that afternoon. Direct and vivid in its telling of details, the novel shifts from the consciousness of Clarissa Dalloway to that of others, including a shell-shocked veteran of World War I whose destiny briefly intersects with hers.
The feelings that loom behind such mundane events as buying flowers -- the social alliances, the exchanges with shopkeepers, the fact of death -- give Mrs. Dalloway its texture and richness.
 

2 comments:

  1. My bet is that it took at least seven days to read a seven-hour book. I linked to you on a blog I wrote Sunday about who I imagined playing the characters in my book.

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