Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Marguerite Duras

 [...] Before her cure, she was holed up in her château dictating one much-worked-on line a day to Andréa, who would type it up. Then they would start uncorking cheap Bordeaux and she’d drink two glasses, vomit, then continue on till she’d drunk as many as nine liters and would pass out. She could no longer walk, or scarcely. She said she drank because she knew God did not exist. Her very sympathetic doctor would visit her almost daily and offer to take her to the hospital, but only if she wanted to live. She seemed undecided for a long time but at last she opted for life since she was determined to finish a book that she’d already started and was very keen about. [...]
The passage above is from the article, "In Love with Duras," by Edmund White [link], which I read out of curiosity, provoked by a strong admiration for Duras's novel The Lover[link].



  1. I've yet to read Duras, WHH, but I've heard great things about her and hope to get around to reading her next year. By the way, I very much enjoy what I've seen of your blog (I think I discovered it from Anthony's Time's Flow Stemmed) but have been late in introducing myself. Cheers!

  2. Richard,

    Thank you for your comment.

    I didn't mention it in the original post, but, if you are interested, I would also recommend "La Douleur" by Duras, although I read her in French, so I cannot comment on the translation...

    "La Douleur" (War: A Memoir), is a work of fiction, although, as I understand it, the book is largely based on the return of Duras's husband, Robert Antelme, from Bergen-Belsen.

    In fact, Antelme himself wrote an incredible book about his experiences during WWII called "L'espèce humaine", but I suspect that the English translation has been out of print for a long time...