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The Lover (Duras novel)

Preview this item Preview this item. Subjects Duras, Marguerite -- Dramatic works. Duras, Marguerite. Criticism and interpretation. View all subjects More like this Similar Items. Allow this favorite library to be seen by others Keep this favorite library private. Find a copy in the library Finding libraries that hold this item Reviews User-contributed reviews Add a review and share your thoughts with other readers. Be the first.

Add a review and share your thoughts with other readers. Linked Data More info about Linked Data. L'enregistrement contre la memoire? All rights reserved. Yet Duras believed her writing was different from that of these other female writers, an opinion she expressed in an interview with Alice Jardine in Shifting Scenes.

  • Un théâtre de voix / A Theatre of Voices!
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Duras explained to Jardine that her works had been singled out by French critics, but not in order to give them favorable reviews. They never attacked Sarraute," she said, "But in my case, I've been involved in men's things. First, I was involved in the Communist Party. I did things that are considered in bad taste for women. Moreover, this approach will ultimately allow a greater understanding of her work, and broaden the realm of surrealist aesthetics as well.

As Jane Winston suggests, Duras's earliest French critics knew a great deal about her personal life and political persuasions, and this in turn led to their less than favorable comments on her life and works. Her parents were both teachers; her father taught mathematics until an illness forced him to return to France where he died in Sometime after her father's death, Marie Donnadieu took her family back to the father's house in southwestern France for two years to settle his estate before returning to Cambodia in Duras chose her pseudonym after the name of the town where her father died, Duras in the Lot-et-Garonne region of France.

As a widow, her mother continued to teach in Indochina, first appointed to Phnom Penh , then Vinh-long, and finally to Sadec. Marguerite spent her childhood and adolescence in a milieu of poverty, colonial exploitation, and social injustice. The family was more closely tied to the local population than to the other French colonists, and spoke Vietnamese fluently.

In she enrolled in high school in Saigon, where she met the Chinaman who was to become her lover when she was not yet 16 years old. In , Duras left for France to finish her studies. She moved to Paris where she studied mathematics, law, and political science. In the troubled period in France before the second World War, Duras and Roques wrote propaganda to spread the message of the grandeur and strength of France.

Now, from our twenty-first century perspective, it is hard to understand why Duras collaborated in the writing of such a work that suppressed her own life experience of colonialism. In , Marguerite married Robert Antelme, a left-wing writer under whose influence she began to write. In this role, she took writer's requests for paper and determined whether or not their manuscripts were worthy of the paper to be printed on.

Thus, she was continuously surrounded by writers and their ideas. Duras, too, finally discovered her literary calling in her desire to discover herself and her place in France amidst the turmoil of the second World War. Lebelley thinks that Duras's new found compulsion to write came from her desire to "s'enraciner dans le sol de France" So, she began to write in her newly adopted country. At this time, she also met Dionys Mascolo who was working as a reader for Gallimard.

In , Duras became a member of the Mouvement national des prisonniers de guerre along with Robert Antelme and Dionys Mascolo. All three then participated in the Resistance movement during the German Occupation. In the midst of her political involvements, Duras did not give up writing.

She diligently reworked her first novel, La Famille Taneran, into Les Impudents, which was published by Plon with the encouragement of Raymond Queneau, who saw in her the promise of a great writer.

The following year, Robert Antelme was arrested and deported to Dachau, while her second novel, La Vie tranquille, was accepted by Gallimard. During this time, Duras, motivated by her own personal interest in trying to get information on her husband, created a research service that published the journal Libres. This journal listed information about those emprisoned and deported by the Germans. Apparently, this experience, and her experience of waiting for the return of her husband, led to the writing of a collection of texts entitled La Douleur. The first text in the collection, also entitled La Douleur, recounts Duras's anxious vigil awaiting the return of her husband from a German concentration camp.

Interestingly enough, Duras suppressed the publication of this text, and proclaimed to have forgotten all about it until she came across the manuscript many years later. Though the writings date from the second World War, the collection was not published until These writings, however, are far from being a coherent text with a structured plot and chronology. Instead, all the anxieties and suppressed emotions Duras felt during the absence of her husband surface in La Douleur.

As Leslie Hill puts it, this work, which begins as a diary, "is less a series of events than stages in the experience of fear, grief, and loss" "Marguerite Duras and the Limits of Fiction" 7. Duras was a member of the French Communist Party from until , at which time she was forced to leave the party due to ideological differences. According to Jane Winston, Duras also had earned a reputation for "amorous meanderings" by the late 's.

Winston argues that many people were upset about the unusual trio she formed with her husband Robert Antelme until their divorce in and her lover from Dionys Mascolo and the sociosexual norms that they together transgressed Thus, the early critical reception of her work was clearly influenced by her controversial personal life and political dealings. Duras herself believed that she was not awarded the Prix Goncourt for Un Barrage contre le Pacifique because "she was a woman and a dissident communist to boot, and that the Academy's ubiquitous sexism had penalized her for both of those transgressions.

By the end of the 's, when the events of May broke out, she had published 19 works of various genres—novels, plays and film scenarios.

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After , Duras's style changed and her texts became more minimalist. Several critics, noting the change in her writing style, chose to classify Duras with the writers grouped together as the school of the Nouveau Roman, although Duras denied adherence to any movement or group whatsoever. Aucune autre que la sienne" "Le Monde" 20 janvier Regardless of her involvement, Duras had always scorned being involved with any movement, literary or otherwise.

But given that various critics choose to include her in the New Novel, it is necessary to examine her "noninvolvement. Duras was invited to the meeting, but chose not to attend. Her refusal indicates an unwillingness to be associated with the "group.

Marguerite Duras : un théâtre de voix (eBook, ) [noxyzywuqy.ml]

Although Duras was not included on Ricardou's definitive honorary list of nouveaux romanciers in his work entitled Le Nouveau Roman, Robbe-Grillet nonetheless insisted on including her in the Nouveau Roman. Mais il n'en reste pas moins que c'est du Nouveau Roman. Au sens large. In , Duras again emphatically denied any and all involvement with the Nouveau Roman when she said "Non. Je ne fais pas partie de ce groupe" "The French" Review n. In a interview with Alain Veinstein for France Culture, Duras once more refused her inclusion: "Je n'en fais pas partie.

It is revealing that even in light of her refusal to be associated with the Nouveau roman , many critics have included her. For example, Raylene L. Like the nouveaux romanciers, Duras did not sit down to write with the artifice of subject or plot in mind to dictate the text. Duras's critics eventually acknowledged the intertwining of Duras's life and writing. However, it was not until after , with the publication of L'Amant and its reception of the Prix Goncourt, that critics finally heeded Duras's cry, "je suis le livre.

As Jane Winston observes from a feminist viewpoint, a contextual reading of Duras's life could offer further insight into the origins of Duras's writing and would "anchor her writings in the concrete and provide a means for moving beyond conservative images of a patriarchally feminine Marguerite Duras. Donc, je suis le livre," she echoes Breton's belief in the continuity between existence and the search for revelation through writing. Often Duras wrote about the act of writing, but she claimed to have lived the process as well, so much so, in fact, that each work she wrote drained a bit of life out of her.

For example, after the completion of her work, Emily L. Duras's companion, Yann, writes about her coma and recovery in his work entitled M. In brief, Duras's life and work are, admittedly, inexorably intertwined, and this connection allows the argument that Duras heeded Breton's cry that one should "live poetry. In accordance with Duras's involvement with men's things, Jane Winston astutely points out, along with Alain Vircondelet, that the origin of Duras's writing lies in her involvement with men, and, specifically, that her inspiration came from her ex-husband Robert Antelme.

In his Duras biographie, Alain Vircondelet claims that Antelme ultimately gives birth to Duras's writing, and that her characteristic silences, holes, and repetitions stem from his influence. If we accept Vircondelet's explanation, then we might say that the blanks and silences in Duras's work represent her fear, grief, and anguish at her husband's sufferings.

Il ne reparle plus. On ne l'entendra plus jamais prononcer ces mots. Jamais plus. According to Vircondelet's analysis, Maurice Blanchot had a hand in forming Duras's literary style as well. To the two "male" influences briefly alluded to here, I am going to add the literary practice of Surrealism. In this interview, Duras explained that she did not strive to master a certain, preconceived and desired form of writing, but that the creative impulse for her is more like an outpouring of emotion during the moment of writing.


It is not surprising, then, that in a number of articles and footnotes, other scholars have noted Duras's affiliation with Surrealism. And her interest in Duras would suggest that Gauthier, too, according to Cottenet-Hage, found Duras to be a kindred surreal spirit. Stein: Women, Madness and Narrative. Stein through the mediation of madness.

In this interview, Duras's notion of ombre interne appeared for the first time. In the realm of Duras's biography, more links to Surrealism appear. Then, when de Gaulle came into power in , Mascolo founded an anti-gaulliste review entitled Le 14 juillet with surrealist Jean Schuster. Duras, Mascolo, and Antelme's involvement in May events, whose "surrealist inspiration was attested to by graffiti, mottoes, posters" Cottenet-Hage , also allows a connection to Surrealism. It may seem somewhat contradictory to draw close parallels between Duras, a woman writer, and Surrealism, given Surrealism's blatant and desired occultation of women as objects.

The surrealist's conception of women as objects seems to contrast with Duras's concern in her works with women as subjectivities, and the conditions and oppressive attitudes and conventions under which they live. Rudolf E. Kuenzli emphasizes that surrealist works are addressed to men; in their function as erotic object or muse, women serve only as a means of inspiration for surrealist art and poetry Many contemporary feminists criticize the emphasis that the male surrealists place on imagery of the female body. And, in a more damning critique, critic Gwen Raabert suggests that the marginal roles that women held in society were reproduced in the male surrealists' works.

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In her opinion, these works represent a "male subject seeking transformation through a female representational object" 8. The images of the female body offered a path to the desired realm of surreality. Duras also denounced Surrealism's position toward women in the following statement. To begin to answer this question, it is first necessary to examine, in greater detail, Surrealism. Meanwhile, the movement endured numerous defections and exclusions at the same time it constantly acquired new members.

For example, Louis Aragon , one of the founding members and most visible participants, left the group in As a genuine avant-garde movement, Surrealism died around though Breton did not share this opinion. According to Maurice Nadeau, one historian of the movement, Surrealism continued to maintain itself as a movement and organize collective exhibits in the late 's and throughout the war, when many of its members were in New York. Even today, as certain critics believe, Surrealism has become an integral part of our consciousness.

For example, as Alain Virmaux points out, "il en reste trace jusque dans le bagage linguistique moyen de l'homme aujourd'hui" 9 , since, as he says, Surrealism now refers to anything that qualifies as bizarre, unexpected or upsetting. The movement was officially dispersed in , three years after Breton's death, but, as Susan Suleiman notes, "for a long time by then, it had been no more than a surviving remnant" Historically, between and , during the most dynamic period of Surrealism, it is revealing that no women were listed as official members of the movement and that their signatures were absent from the manifestoes.

But that does not mean that there were no women present behind the scenes, or in the margins, so to speak.

Lycée Français International Marguerite Duras à Ho Chi Minh Ville, Vietnam

Though women were not active participants in Surrealism, they were obviously important as muse in their roles as wives and lovers to the male surrealists. For example, the artist Leonora Carrington was the partner of Max Ernst. Like Leonora Carrington, these women were, at the same time, artists and writers in their own right, though this was not "officially" recognized by the early surrealist movement.

In "A Double Margin: Reflections on Women Writers and the Avant-garde in France," Susan Suleiman examines the difficulties one encounters when one examines Surrealism as a "men's club" with regard to women. Though the male surrealists were somewhat supportive of several women writers and artists Breton's promotion of Joyce Mansour, for example , they generally failed to acknowledge their female counterparts.

The roles they had assigned to women in surrealist poetics, those of muse and object of desire, blocked the surrealist's ability to see women as "independent, active subjects" Raabert 2. The "women behind the scenes" of Surrealism were, as Raaberg states, on average younger than the male surrealists, and thus they "often produced their most mature work after their relationships with the male Surrealists and the movement had ended" 2. As Raaberg also acknowledges, the women associated with the movement belong more properly to a "second generation of surrealists" 2.

One might argue that the Surrealism of the works of these women was finally officially recognized in the review Obliques. This issue of Obliques represented the first catalog of "surrealist women" in alphabetical order, complete with photographs and bibliographies. However, J. Matthews did include Joyce Mansour in his collection of surrealist poets entitled Surrealist Poetry in France. There was a "hidden" association of women artists and writers behind the surrealist movement, and one can understand that Marguerite Duras, too, fell under Surrealism's spell, and that, as a result, she might, in her own writing, expand our conception of this male movement to include the feminine viewpoint.