Writing

( 5 )

Overview

Writing, one of Marguerite Duras’s last works, is a meditation on the process of writing and on her need for solitude in order to do it. In the five short pieces collected in this volume, she explores experiences that had an emotional impact on her and that inspired her to write. These vary from the death of a pilot in World War II, to the death of a fly, to an art exhibition. Two of the pieces were made into documentary films, and one was originally a short film. Both autobiographical and fictional, like much of...

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Writing

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Overview

Writing, one of Marguerite Duras’s last works, is a meditation on the process of writing and on her need for solitude in order to do it. In the five short pieces collected in this volume, she explores experiences that had an emotional impact on her and that inspired her to write. These vary from the death of a pilot in World War II, to the death of a fly, to an art exhibition. Two of the pieces were made into documentary films, and one was originally a short film. Both autobiographical and fictional, like much of her work, Writing displays Duras’s unique worldview and sensitive insight in her simple and poetic prose.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Writing displays Duras’s unique, detailed perception to reveal great reverence for human life and respect for memory. An enthralling book." —Library Journal
Emily-Greta Tabourin
Mark Polizotti's translation from the French captures the poetic simplicity of Duras's style -- a language delicate, yet rich in imagery. -- New York Times Book Review
Library Journal
Duras's final work, sensitively translated from the French by Polizzotti, is both a brief theory of literature and a personal memoir. Duras (1914-96), winner of the 1984 Prix Goncourt for her novel The Lover (LJ 6/1/85) and best known to Americans for her screenplay Hiroshima mon Amour, declares that solitude is essential to her process because writing means "keeping silent . . . screaming without sounds." Throughout, Duras vividly re-creates emotional experiences--including her reactions to the death of a 21-year-old English pilot, killed by the Germans in 1944--and displays her unique, detailed perception to reveal great reverence for human life and respect for memory. An enthralling book, particularly for writers and Duras's fans. Recommended for all libraries.--Robert T. Ivey, Univ. of Memphis
Kirkus Reviews
In this very slender volume, Duras shares with us the writer's preoccupations with the distance between life and writing, and the contradiction between writing and silence. Winner of the 1984 Prix Goncourt for her novel "The Lover", Duras died in 1996. She is without a doubt one of this century's great literary figures. But that haunting quality, the characteristically slow and deliberate language of her novels, translates less well when her subject is a kind of confessional of her life and work. The five short chapters that make up "Writing" circle around Duras's way into and out of the world. Her bare prose casts that same silence she considers fundamental to any writer: It is "the price one pays for having dared go out and scream." At this point, one chooses to either get lost in her fantasy or bow out, because much of Duras's prose begs the point with characteristic vagueness. Whether sitting alone considering the death of a fly, or trying to capture the entire life of a young pilot in the moment of his death, Duras is convinced that the "death of that fly has become this displacement of literature" and that writing it "renders it inaccessible." What remains is the nakedness of writing itself, and Duras hones this point into the ground. Strangely, the most poignant image of the creative act according to Duras comes in her final chapter, "The Painting Exhibition," where she describes the painter at work. "We leave him to his misfortune, to that infernal obligation that outstrips any commentary, any metaphor to his own story struggling in the continent of silence." Duras's theory of the written word would rob her life's work of the magic she has so masterfully created over alifetime. Rereading "The Lover" might be the only antidote to so much discomfort.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816677535
  • Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
  • Publication date: 9/23/2011
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 685,077
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Born in 1914 in French Indochina, Marguerite Duras is one of France’s most important literary figures. She wrote several dozen books but is best known in the United States for her novel The Lover, which won the 1984 Prix Goncourt, and for her screenplay, Hiroshima, Mon Amour. She died in 1996.

Mark Polizzotti is the author of six books and the translator of more than thirty, including works by Gustave Flaubert, Marguerite Duras, Jean Echenoz, and Maurice Roche.

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Table of Contents

Writing 1
The Death of the Young British Pilot 35
Roma 57
The Pure Number 77
The Painting Exhibition 83
About the Author 99
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 4 of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2014

    I do not agree

    I am about to publish a book and i swear i will grrrrrrr. You cannot add on to book series like this, it will ruin your imagination. Take REAL writing classes at school ish result one. If you get no results you have to track it down.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2014

    Story of Shiningheart

    Is coming soon.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2014

    When the Clans Fell

    When the Clans Fell is located at 'adg' starting at res 1. I'm not done yet, I but I will be done by the 23rd.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2014

    ℳist

    Your stories or story results will go here.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 4 of 5 Customer Reviews

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