Two by Duras

Marguerite Duras, Author
Marguerite Duras, Author Coach House Press $7.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-88910-441-9
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These two short works, published here for the first time, are typical of Duras: pithy and involving. In one, the narrator tells a story out loud while a man named Yann types it, periodically shouting aloud like ``a man demanding something, who doesn't know what that something is.'' His railing both spurs on the writing and impedes it, until Duras proclaims ``It was like a goal: kill it.'' The other piece consists of instructions to an unnamed ``you'' who appears to be participating in a film and a failed love affair. These two pieces are complemented by an interview with Duras by Ana Maria Moix, but it does not delve very deep. Duras discusses the role of alcohol in her writing and opines that ``the drunks in the taverns . . . are the authentic kings of this world.'' Duras also calls the awarding of the Prix Goncourt to her book, The Lover ``something ridiculous!'' and explains why the book cannot properly be called an autobiography, ``even if that which is told in the text really happened.'' An afterword by Manguel and the interview seem like padding that has been added, with limited success, in order to extend two brief pieces into a book-length work. (Nov.)
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