Duras: The Lover

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Duras: The Lover

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Editado: Jul 12, 2013, 10:17 pm

I read my first book by Duras, the Lover. Here are my musings (definitely not a traditional review).

I'm not sure I really understood this book, my first attempt at a work by Duras. It's an autobiographical novel about a young white girl and her affair with an older Chinese man in Indochina. The title suggests this is the main narrative thread, but the narrator's relationship with her everchanging mother and her two brothers is also central. The problem for me was that I felt like I didn't have enough inside information to understand what was really going on. This was more like a series of musings and I didn't have the necessary background information to fill in the gaps.

I found the writing style unique and interesting. Words like misty, meandering, and dreamy come to mind. I also found my internal reading voice reading the words in monotone. Duras also shifts point of view subtly - using "I" at the beginning and "she" by the end. Not sure why.

This was an interesting reading experience, but I think I need to read more of Duras's writing to truly get it.

Ago 5, 2013, 2:22 pm

I've just finished reading this book. Years ago I read Yeux bleus cheveux noirs and had felt the story slip away from me.
This time, I felt much more attuned to the story which reminded me of a series of cinematographic snap shots. It feels as though Duras pulled from her film experience, adapted it to the video era in which she wrote this, and weaved it into her text. It's very visual - there are constant references to images, sometimes as subject, sometimes as viewer. This creates a sensation of an album: skipping through ages as one might view old family movies out of sequence, remembering the good and the awful.
I loved the aesthetics of the writing. There's a great deal of present tense which draws the reader into the immediacy of the story. Her use of landscapes and space crystallizes the feelings and emotions into beautiful colourful descriptions. I'm a slow reader but finished this book in a day, feeling the stickiness of the Vietnamese heat and the stillness of the nights.
An incredibly poetic and beautiful novel.