Saturday, March 26, 2011

Virtu: Atonement (Book & Film)

virtu \ vuhr-TOO; vir- \ , noun;
1. love of or taste for fine objects of art.
2. Productions of art (especially fine antiques).
3. Artistic quality.

I want to make this a weekly feature--in which I will showcase a specific designer/artist/architect that has been influential to me in some way. I love discovering new artists, so if I can introduce just one person to something that they never knew about before, that resonates with them, that's enough for me.


Apart from the fantasy series’ I hold close to me (Lord of the Rings & Harry Potter), I can say confidently that Atonement is my favorite novel and Ian McEwan my favorite author. I picked up Atonement to use as my carry-on book for my trip, thinking I could just casually read through it, since I have read it numerous times. Yet I found myself once again, completely immersed in the world that McEwan dexterously paints—I relate to the creative controlling need of Briony Tallis and Cecilia’a realization of love for a best friend. McEwans’s writing is full of delicate imagery, his characters, scarily autonomous and self-aware.

I have spoken before of my love for simplicity. McEwan’s plot twists are fewer than in other novels, but well placed and well chosen. The writing lingers on the details and the experiential qualities of a given moment or place. The careful mix of Briony’s inner dialogue (she is a character I find myself able to fully step into) and a love story is far too much for me to resist becoming emotionally drawn to. With the novel, McEwan makes a clear statement with the story itself, but also about the art of writing and the role one plays as an author.

I have only watched the film in passing—unable to pay much attention to it, but the photography is gorgeous and the imagery both romantic and rich (it does McEwan's writing justice). I seriously recommend giving the book a read. For me at least, it was quite casual. I finished it in only 2-3 real sittings. But I will leave you today with a few screencaps that appeal to me. (All were taken from here)








  1. Beautiful screencaps. I haven't read any McEwan yet, though I was always tempted. I should look out for this book now!
    The film looks gorgeous too and Kiera Knightley is a wonderful actress. I loved her in The Edge of Love.

  2. I haven't seen this movie yet, but after reading this review I am sure I'll watch it as soon as possible. Thank's darling :)

  3. gah. keira & james are so good together in that film.

    ohhh, and how was cali? i hope you had a lot of fun with robert! wasn't it such a bummer the weather was awful? oh, well!

    thanks for the tips about the layout. i'm not really sure where i'm going next, but i'll definitely be asking you your opinion.

    thanks, girl.

  4. I have actually never heard of the book or film. It seems good though! The film looks beautiful.

    <3Chelsea Elizabeth

  5. because I saw the film first now I can't read the book:(
    I'm sure it's great!

  6. I've never read the book, it's not the kind of book that I usually gravitate towards, but I have seen the movie. And I really liked the aesthetic. (Though I am not a big Keira Knightley fan)The screencaps you've included are great-- ones that I remember from the film.

    Oh and I am a huge HK fan. I used to work at the sanrio store during my high school years! I am a big HK/comics geek so I usually have at least one piece of either in my outfits. :)

    And my background is of dancing bears. I had to have them. They are too cute not to have.

    hearts, laura ♥
    the blog of worldly delights

  7. Ah what a great book! The movie was good, but not as grand as the novel...even though I love Keira. :) What a great feature for your blog!

  8. This book is fantastic and is one of my favorite books. The movie is great too, but the book is simply wonderful. I'm a huge reader! :)

  9. Okay, I meant to comment on one of your style/outfit posts first but I could not help but comment on this first. Please excuse me because I tend to sound quite spazzy and fanatic over books and such.

    Once I saw the photo I was going to say that "Atonement" is one of the most beautiful books I have ever read aside from the various series that I love so much (Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and the Chronicles of Narnia). And then I read your comment that was pretty much EXACTLY what I was going to say. Actually, it WAS exactly what I was going to say. So that is pretty much AMAZING. :)

    I haven't had time to watch the film adaptation, but a friend bought it for me for Christmas so I really do need to sit down and watch it. :)

    Okay, actually that turned out way more articulate than I expected... which is probably for the best. :P

    Off to comment on an outfit post!

    - Caroline (


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