Author bio

Marguerite Duras

Marguerite Duras - book author

Marguerite Donnadieu, better known as Marguerite Duras (pronounced [maʀgəʁit dyˈʁas] in French) (April 4, 1914 – March 3, 1996) was a French writer and film director.

She was born at Gia-Dinh, near Saigon, French Indochina (now Vietnam), after her parents responded to a campaign by the French government encouraging people to work in the colony.

Marguerite's father fell ill soon after their arrival, and returned to France, where he died. After his death, her mother, a teacher, remained in Indochina with her three children. The family lived in relative poverty after a bad investment in an isolated property and area of farmland in Cambodia(tête de pisse). The difficult life that the family experienced during this period was highly influential on Marguerite's later work.

At 17, Marguerite went to France, her parents' native country, where she began studying for a degree in mathematics. This she soon abandoned to concentrate on political sciences, and then law. After completing her studies, she became an active member of the PCF (the French Communist Party) and was engaged in the resistance.

In 1943 she changed her surname to "Duras" for Duras, the name of a village in the Lot-et-Garonne département, where her father's house was located.

She is the author of a great many novels, plays, films, interviews, and short narratives, including her best-selling, apparently autobiographical work L'Amant (1984), translated into English as The Lover. This text won the Goncourt prize in 1984. The story of her adolescence also appears in three other forms: The Sea Wall, Eden Cinema and The North China Lover. A film version of The Lover, produced by Claude Berri, was released to great success in 1992.

Other major works include Moderato Cantabile, also made into a film of the same name, Le Ravissement de Lol V. Stein, and her film India Song. She also wrote the screenplay for the 1959 French film Hiroshima mon amour, which was directed by Alain Resnais.

Duras's early novels were fairly conventional in form (their 'romanticism' was criticised by fellow writer Raymond Queneau); however, with Moderato Cantabile she became more experimental, paring down her texts to give ever-increasing importance to what was not said. She was associated with the Nouveau roman French literary movement, although did not definitively belong to any group. Her films are also experimental in form, most eschewing synch sound, using voice over to allude to, rather than tell, a story over images whose relation to what is said may be more-or-less tangential.

Marguerite's adult life was somewhat difficult, despite her success as a writer, and she was known for her periods of alcoholism. She died in Paris, aged 82 from throat cancer and is interred in the Cimetière du Montparnasse. Her tomb is marked simply 'MD'.

From wikipedia

Marguerite Duras is the author of books: The Lover, Hiroshima Mon Amour, Moderato cantabile, The Ravishing of Lol Stein, The North China Lover, The Malady of Death, Blue Eyes, Black Hair, The War, Writing, The Sea Wall


Author books

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Title
Description
01
Set against the backdrop of French colonial Vietnam, The Lover reveals the intimacies and intricacies of a clandestine romance between a pubescent girl from a financially strapped French family and an older, wealthy Chinese-Vietnamese man. (from Wikipedia)
02
El presente volumen contiene la totalidad del material literario de Marguerite Duras para la película de Alain Resnais, incluidas ciertas descripciones adicionales y fragmentos no incluidos finalmente. Una de las experiencias más singulares de la expresión artística de nuestro tiempo.
03
A distressed young man murders the woman he loves in a café, watched by a large crowd. Fascinated by the crime she has witnessed, Anne Desbaresdes returns several times to the scene, forming a relationship with a man who also saw the murder, and drinking through the afternoon with him as he patiently answers her eager questions. Slowly, they find themselves being taken over by forces which threaten their own stability.

Moderato Cantabile is a carefully woven tapestry of emotion, in which the characters' inner lives are reflected by the story's spaces and landscapes.
05
Far more daring and truthful than any of her other novels, The North China Lover is a fascinating retelling of the dramatic experiences of Duras’s adolescence that shaped her most famous work. Initially conceived as notes toward a screenplay for The Lover, this later novel, written toward the end of her life, emphasizes the tougher aspects of her youth in Indochina, and possesses the feel of an intimate documentary.

Both shocking and enthralling, the story Duras tells is “so powerfully imagined (or remembered) that it . . . lingers like a strong perfume” (Publishers Weekly). Hailed by the French critics as a return to “the Duras of the great books and the great days,” it is a mature and complex rendering of a formative period in the author’s life.


06
A man hires a woman to spend several weeks with him by the sea. The woman is no one in particular, a "she," a warm, moist body with a beating heart-the enigma of Other. Skilled in the mechanics of sex, he desires through her to penetrate a different mystery: he wants to learn love. It isn't a matter of will, she tells him. Still, he wants to learn to try . . .This beautifully wrought erotic novel is an extended haiku on the meaning of love, "perhaps a sudden lapse in the logic of the universe," and of its absence, "the malady of death." "The whole tragedy of the inability to love is in this work, thanks to Duras' unparalleled art of reinventing the most familiar words, of weighing their meaning." - Le Monde; "Deceptively simple and Racinian in its purity, condensed to the essential." - Translation Review.
07
Emotionally charged, sparsely written, and vicariously compelling, Marguerite Duras's novel centers on the desire of a young man for another man he has only glimpsed once, but with whom he falls desperately in love.
08
One of France's greatest novelists offers a remarkable diary of the Nazi occupation of Paris during World War II and of its eventual liberation by the Allies. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the liberation, this extraordinary diary by the author of The Lover is "a haunting portrait of a time and place" (New York Times).

Written in 1944, and first published in 1985, Duras's riveting account of life in Paris during the Nazi occupation and the first few months of liberation depicts the harrowing realities of World War II-era France "with a rich conviction enhanced by [a] spare, almost arid, technique" (Julian Barnes, The Washington Post Book World). Duras, by then married and part of a French resistance network headed by François Mitterand, tells of nursing her starving husband back to health after his return from Bergen-Belsen, interrogating a suspected collaborator, and playing a game of cat and mouse with a Gestapo officer who was attracted to her. The result is "more than one woman's diary...[it is] a haunting portrait of a time and a place and also a state of mind" (The New York Times).
09
Written in the splendid bareness of her late style, these pages are Marguerite Duras's theory of literature: comparing a dying fly to the work of style; remembering the trance and incurable disarray of writing; recreating the last moments of a British pilot shot during World War II and buried next to her house; or else letting out a magisterial, so what? To question six decades of storytelling, all the essays together operate as a deceitful, yet indispensable confession.
10
A mesmerising early novel by the author of the international bestseller The Lover, that explores the same terrains of Indochina and erotic obsession.