The lover by Maguerite Duras

Source -personnel copy .

Marguerite Duras was a french novelist ,she was born to french parents in Vietnam ,in 1914 ,she return to france after her parents death to study Law ,she worked in indo china for the french Government in the thirties ,joined the french resistance in the second world war ,her husband was captured at this time and sent to Belsen where he just survived the experience .she wrote countless books ,this work is considered her most autobiographical book ,she in later life became heavily involved in the nouveau roman movement in france .

The lover cause a storm when it was first released in 1984 ,it is set in Vietnam and is the story of a fifteen year old ,young french girl and a rich Chinese businessman son who is a great deal old than girl who have an affair ,it isn’t Hard to work out giving the setting of the book and the age of the young girl 15 ,that this was something to some extent that Duras had experienced .The affair is sparked by a chance lift offered the girl by the young man .He has deep feelings for this young women but after time and outside pressure from his disapproving father breaks the affair .

For a long time I’ve had no dress of my own ,My dress are all a sort of sack ,made out of old dresses of my mother’s which themselves are all a sort of sack .Except for those my mother made for me by do .she’s the housekeeper who’ll never leave my mother even when she goes back to france .

An idea of the poverty of the nameless girl .

This book was a beautiful read ,I can see why it won Prix Goncourt (a bit like the french booker ) .it has a simple story but tackles it subtle hand ,you always have the sense this is a story Duras wanted to tell but had to wait til the time was right for it to be told  .She never revealed who the man was but he had gone to live in America  in the late thirties .Quintessentially  french novel this type of story is what I love about french fiction simple personnel story .the Book was translated by Barbara Bray,later made into a film Jean Jacques Annand in 1992 starring Jane March and Tony Leung ,it followed the novel and gave the two main Characters no name as in the Novel .It was a bit like a romantic version of a Greene novel ,similar setting to the quiet American although thirty years earlier .This passed a few hour I must rewatch the film at some point .

15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Claire (Paperback Reader)
    Dec 29, 2010 @ 15:28:01

    I agree that it as a beautiful and subtle novella, Stu. Hiroshima Mon Amour (film by Duras) is very similar & definitely worthwhile viewing.


  2. Kelly
    Dec 29, 2010 @ 15:32:56

    Thank you so much for bringing this book to my attention 🙂 I love reading anything about the French authors I’ve studied in school, and Duras was one of my favorites.


  3. Jessica
    Dec 29, 2010 @ 16:11:03

    I have just added this one to my wish list as this plot sounds right up my street. The authors life sounds very interesting as well.


  4. Kinna
    Dec 30, 2010 @ 06:49:46

    This is a beautiful novella. One of my favorites. Thanks for reminding me of it.


  5. amymckie
    Dec 30, 2010 @ 20:22:57

    This sounds interesting Stu, and glad to see others in the comments also enjoyed it. I will have to add it to my list!


  6. JoV
    Dec 31, 2010 @ 22:22:14

    I have watched the movie many years ago. Memorable. I must read this book at some point. Novella did you say? ahh.. that would make it easier.


  7. chasing bawa
    Jan 10, 2011 @ 20:21:34

    I loved both the film and the book (although I have to admit I saw the film first). It was such a beautiful and poignant story. Your post has made me want to go back and re-read the book again (which I think is back home – so maybe I might actually get to read it soon!) I haven’t read anything else by Duras but I’m tempted now.


  8. Trackback: Conducting bodies by Claude Simon | Winstonsdad's Blog

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December 2010


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