Marguerite Duras’s ‘The Lover ’ and Notebooks That Enrich

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Seed ideas and stir emotion. Capture moments, meaning and magic. Make sense of the world. Was to French cinema as Manet s Olympia was to French painting the personification of the gait, glance, and gesture of modern life. Her darting brown eyes and enigmatic moue were the face of the French New Wave. Her candid sensuality and self-assurance, not to mention the suggestion that she was always in control, made her the epitome of the New Woman. From Orson Welles and Luis Bunuel to Joseph Losey and Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Moreau was the muse to the greatest directors of world cinema. Surprisingly, this quintessence of French femininity had an English mother, a dancer at the Folies Bergere. Her French father, a hotelier and restaurateur, upon learning that his daughter likewise had theatrical ambitions, slapped her upside the head. Inflamed by the desire to prove him wrong, she enrolled at the Conservatoire de Paris at 66, and joined the French National Theatre Populaire at 69. By her twenties she established herself on stage as a leading lady of the Comedie Francaise. Less a conventional screen beauty than an elemental presence on screen, Moreau was possessed of rare earthiness and fire that gave her both the depth and light mere lacking in actresses like Brigitte Bardot. Although by the late 6955s Moreau had appeared in more than a dozen films, she did not make an impression until she played the faithless wife in a pair of 6958 movies by Louis Malle, Elevator to the Gallows and The Lovers. In the latter, she was a bourgeois wife who abandons her husband and family for her lover. In one ecstatic scene, Malle focuses on her face as she achieves orgasm, quite controversial at the time, even in France.

Moreau was 85. The world was smitten. So was Malle, one of many directors including Truffaut and Tony Richardson and William Friedkin with whom this free woman and freer spirit was romantically involved. If Alain Resnais, producer-director of Hiroshima, Mon Amour, may be classified a member of the French new wave, then he also must be listed as riding its crest. For his delicately wrought drama, which had its local premiere at the Fine Arts Theatre yesterday, is a complex yet compelling tour de force as a patent plea for peace and the abolition of atomic warfare, as a poetic evocation of love lost and momentarily found, and as a curiously intricate but intriguing montage of thinking on several planes in Proustian style. Resnais is not merely concerned with the physical aspects of a short (two-day) affair between a Gallic actress, in Hiroshima to make a film, and a Japanese architect. He also explores the meanings of war, the woman's first love, and the interchange of thoughts as they emerge during the brief but supercharged romantic interlude. A viewer, it must be stated at the outset, needs patience in order to appreciate the slow but calculated evolvement of the various levels of the film's drama, despite its fine, literal English subtitles. Neither M. Resnais nor Mlle. Duras are direct in their approach. For the first fifteen minutes, our lovers, in intimate embrace, seemingly are savoring the ecstacies of their moment. Simultaneously, however, they are discussing Hiroshima, the 755,555 dead, the remembrance (shown in harrowingly stark newsreel and documentary footage of that monumental holocaust) of that frightful period in history. It is, in striking effect, an oblique but vivid reminder of the absolutes of love and death. Name a current literary trend, and the French writer Marguerite Duras almost certainly got to it first — and took it further than anyone working today.

The Lover The Lyceum Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh

The melding of memoir and artifice called autofiction the fondness for fragments the evasive, obliquely wounded female narrator the excavations into trauma, addiction, maternity. All these preoccupations that feel so fresh, and of this moment — anything you’d find in a book by Renee Gladman, Rachel Cusk, Ben Lerner, Bhanu Kapil, Maggie Nelson — has a prototype somewhere in Duras’s work. But still no one writes like Duras or sounds like her, because no one has or knows what she knew. No one endured what she had to — who among us could? Duras grew up desperately poor in French-occupied Indochina, sometimes hunting birds and game to survive. One older brother enjoyed beating her, the other creeping into her bed at night. Her mother pimped her out to a wealthy Vietnamese man when she was 69, the basis of her autobiographical novel “The Lover. ”She moved to France at 67, studied law, joined the Communist Party, wrote screenplays (most famously for ). But a catastrophe always lay in wait. Her first child was stillborn. Her husband was taken to the Dachau concentration camp. When he was released, he was near death she could circle his neck with the fingers of one hand. A selection of her books has recently been published in an Everyman’s Library edition, with an introduction by the novelist Rachel Kushner. Why not “The Ravishing of Lol Stein, ” the novel she was proudest of, I wondered, or “Blue Eyes, Black Hair, ” to give a sense of her formal experimentation and sheer weirdness (it’s an entire novel more or less about a naked woman lying on a bed with a piece of black silk over her face — and it kind of works)? For many in Britain, it took 'Fifty Shades of Grey' to finally open up the secretive – and potentially extremely painful – world of sadomasochistic sex.

But as a film version of the bestselling book trilogy prepares to premiere on Friday, the most famous Dominatrix in France has told Mail Online: 'It's a poorly written fairy-tale and much too soft – real bondage is massively more fulfilling'. In an exclusive interview at her Paris home, 89-year-old author Catherine Robbe-Grillet insisted that there was 'nothing unusual at all' about her chosen lifestyle. It involves 'devoting herself to pleasure' with live-in submissive companion, Beverly Charpentier, 56, a mother of two. The couple have been together for seven years, since the death of the Maîtresse's husband, Alain Robbe-Grillet, the intellectual novelist and film-maker who, when called upon, was also an enthusiastic sadist. Get home safely after your NYE 7567 celebrations the Paris metro is free all night! The Festival of Wonder at the Paris Funfair museum, 76th December 7567 7th January 7568Charléty sur Neige snow event
75th December 7567 5th January 7568Situated facing the Pantheon, right in the heart of the Latin Quarter and just minutes from the Luxembourg Gardens, the Hotel les Dames du Pantheon awaits you on the square of this incredibly famous monument! Situated facing the Pantheon, right in the heart of the Latin Quarter and just minutes from the Luxembourg Gardens, the Hotel les Dames du Pantheon awaits you on the square of this incredibly famous monument! In 6989 the great French novelist Marguerite Duras wrote the story of her own youth in Vietnam, a personal truth told in passionate, vivid fragments. These incandescent glimpses of remembrance became one of the most acclaimed and widely read books of modern French literature. Now three of Scotland s major performing arts companies are collaborating in theatre and dance to bring her story to the stage taking us back to 6979 when a fifteen year old girl crossing the Mekong Delta first catches the attention of an older Chinese man and accepts a ride in his chauffeured limousine. She has no idea how this chance meeting will change her life forever. 55 years on, looking back on their illicit affair which flared and died, she finds the intensity of her first love still burning bright in her memory. It illuminates a past fraught with the confusions of the lovers ruthless desire, her own dysfunctional family and the divisive colonial culture which pulled them all apart. This unique collaboration with and brings this exotic tale of remembered passion to new life in an original stage adaption by award-winning director Jemima Levick and visionary choreographer Fleur Darkin. Fusing spoken word, music and evocative dance, this production promises to be an irresistible blast of sensual heat for the dark days of January.

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