Subscribe  
   
 
 

 

 

 

1

0

 

2

0

 

0

8

 

L

I

T

E

R

A

T

U

R

E

 

1

0

 

2

0

 

0

8

 

L

I

T

E

R

A

T

U

R

E

 

 

 

 

   

 

   
       
 

Rewriting 

The Lover 

   
 

It's better the second time around!

   

 

  

 

Marguerite Duras originally wrote The North China Lover as notes to the film script for her 1985 book The LoverThe North China Lover ended up being a powerful novel, and we prefer this version to the original for its cinematic qualities and haunting resonance.  Duras was fascinated by the cross-pollination of genres and in some of her more experimental scripts she explored the question of how literary a film could be.  

The novel's autobiographical story tells of Duras's adolescent affair with an older Chinese man.  The novel gives us glimpses of Duras's youth in Indochina where she grew up in abject poverty.  An atmosphere of poetic despair pervades the novel, as the young Frenchwoman or "she" as the author refers to herself in the novel, knows that her love is doomed--she is only fifteen and her lover's Chinese family will never accept her as a bride.

The writing is evocative and filmic.  Duras mixes short, declarative sentences and scene directions with impressionistic descriptions of locations: "They stop laughing.  They look away.  Outside, rice paddies as far as the eye can see.  Empty sky.  Pale heat.  Veiled sun." This experimentation follows partly on Duras' association with the Nouveau Roman, a literary movement that sought to revolutionize writing by means of stylistic experimentation with the use of repetition and ellipsis.

Duras goes one step farther in The North China Lover, creating what ended up being a work of ravishing beauty.  The film adaptation, directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud, successfully recreates the strange intensity of the novel.  As Duras said about her re-written novel: "I became a novelist all over again."  

 

Read: The North China Lover, Marguerite Duras

Read: The Lover, Marguerite Duras 

See: The Lover, the film

 

Tags:  literature  film   france

 

Share:    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       
   
       
     

Subscribe About Us Editorial Policy Privacy Policy Contact Us Unsubscribe  

Press Archives Search  

 

 

 

2008 eCognoscente