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Duras, Marguerite

themselves love atmosphere french

(French, 1914–96)

Marguerite Duras was born in Saigon. She returned to France in 1932, studied at the Sorbonne, joined the Resistance during the war, and was deported to Germany. She joined the Communist party but was expelled in 1950. Her novels are experimental, part of the French movement of the 1950s and early 1960s. They have a certain vagueness of plot, while atmosphere is all-important. Duras writes about passion of many kinds, often illicit. Hiroshima Mon Amour (1960), which became a film, recounts the love-affair between a man and a woman who use place-names instead of personal ones to identify themselves and their histories to one another. Her lovers tend to find themselves gripped by unexpected and inappropriate passions. Blue Eyes, Black Hair (1986) concentrates on love between an older woman and a younger man. An early work, The Sailor from Gibraltar (1952), one of her best known, is more conventionally structured, though still steeped in atmosphere and intensity.

Ernest Hemingway, Simone de Beauvoir, Günter Grass  AT

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