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Moderato cantabile

3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  1,895 ratings  ·  121 reviews
A distressed young man murders the woman he loves in a café, watched by a large crowd. Fascinated by the crime she has witnessed, Anne Desbaresdes returns several times to the scene, forming a relationship with a man who also saw the murder, and drinking through the afternoon with him as he patiently answers her eager questions. Slowly, they find themselves being taken ove ...more
Paperback, 122 pages
Published January 1st 1985 by Suhrkamp (first published 1958)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,825)
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Stela

Jamais les paroles de Roland Barthes, qui affirmait que la différence entre l’écriture traditionnelle et celle moderne reste notamment dans la vitesse de la lecture, n’ont sonné plus vrai. Moderato cantabile, un mini-roman d’à peu près cent pages, doit être lu lentement, un mot à la fois, et même comme ça on n’est pas sûr d’avoir tout saisi. Et cela n’a aucun rapport avec la construction de la phrase ou avec autres issues linguistiques. Au contraire, la phrase a la même belle cadence et son sens
...more
Nate D
Apr 28, 2014 Nate D rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Behind closed doors, after the guests have gone
Recommended to Nate D by: A scream on the street, a gathering crowd
There's s kind of simple, fine-honed perfection to Duras' constructions. Nothing on the surface of her stories ever really breaks through the calm shell, they're almost soothing in cadence and repetition of details. Perfect calm is deceptive, however -- they're seething underneath. And so: a careful progression that begins with a death and a piano lesson, a series of meetings, a dinner party flailing inside and out, a fading into eternal unresolution.
Lada
The novel Of PERFECTION OF LIFE'S Soul and its POETENTIAL to ITS Way to ACHIEVeMENT through COMPREHENSION . C'est un recit de narration moderne, genre de Nouveau Roman, ecrit en 1958 ou tout se passe et rien de special. Tout est dans l'interieur des personnages des personnes de passage. L'ecriture comme objet d'elle-meme, plongee dans sa propre creation.
A parftir d-un titre et d'un sonate, d'un enfant trop jeune, bute et obstine devant son piano et ui bute devant ces mots inconnus, MODERATO CANT
...more
Inderjit Sanghera
‘Moderto Cantabile’ is the somewhat innocuous story of two strangers, Anne Desbaresdes and Chauvin, who meet at a seedy café every day for a week, following the murder of a young woman by her love outside that café. The sparseness of the language coalesces with the repetition of various symbols (the sunset, a magnolia flower and tugboats) which only serve to add to the ambiguity which underlines the characters motivations and actions. Take for example the description of the various sky-scapes an ...more
Reid
The discovery of Marguerite Duras was a revelation for me. When I first read the screenplay for Hiroshima, Mon Amour (literally, Hiroshima, My Beloved), I was unprepared for the author's narrative approach, which is a complete departure from the degree of narrative authority we expect from English novelists. Gone were the usual tropes used for introducing characters, making sure we knew who they were, and giving us the hook for the next scene. Instead, we were treated to a story that gradually r ...more
MJ Nicholls
A slim, seductive novel, sort of a nouveau roman version of Brief Encounter. Anne Desbaresdes meets Chauvin after a shooting heard at her son’s piano lesson, where she sits in with the haughty Mademoiselle Giraud, urging her stubborn son to play a Diabelli sontana moderato cantabile (moderately and singingly). We later learn Anne is a drunk and is desperately in love with Chauvin, but nothing is ever said—only the poetic, slippery prose helps make the subtext clear, and the ending quietly heartb ...more
Pascal Laprade
Modéré et chantant. Le titre sied parfaitement au livre. Modéré dans son discours (on ne sait pas tout, on ne sait pas rien, on ne sait que ce qu'il faut), modéré dans ses ardeurs (ni passion, ni fadeur, mais une justesse absolue), chantant, chantant (par sa forme cyclique, du retour et de l'habitude, et de la répétition, encore). Le livre est absolument magnifique, tremblant de justesse, stylistiquement jouissif, poétiquement autonome. Au fil des pages, le lecteur averti se rend compte que l'im ...more
Alejandro Jiménez
La poética del humano existencialista.

De muchos puntos que conviven en 'Moderato Cantabile', el más vehemente es el que se asoma en la conjunción de circunstancias y tiempos que tienen como tópico central la existencia (tomaré los postulados del existencialismo, principalmente los postulados del existencialismo humanista manifestados por Sartre: la nada, la libertad, la soledad, la duda y la resignación).
Novela, pequeña a la primera hojeada pero enorme en su encaramado, increíble no sólo por s
...more
James Hulbert
By the time I finished my first reading of this novel in 1979, I had fallen completely in love with Duras. At the time, it was, for me, experimental fiction that *worked*. For those who are discovering it today, it's one of the first 'classics' by an equally classic novelist, best remembered for her 'autofictional' book 'The Lover'. To me, it remains the 'Madame Bovary' of its day - and the perfect point of entry into Duras' world.
Elham
Impressive. The strong style of Marguerite Duras can be seen in this little novel.
Gia
In this novel by Marguerite Duras, we get to know a woman named Anne Desbaresdes who, every Friday, brings her child to have piano lessons with a very strict woman, called Madame Giraud. When there's a murder right under Madame Giraud's apartment, Anne starts frequenting a local bar, situated at the place of the murder to inquire a bit about what happened. That's when she meets Giraud, a man who over the course of a few weeks, shares drinks with Anne Desbaresdes.

This is a strange little novel.
...more
علی
Margareth Duras is a long poem, in different books with different verses.
با نام دوراس "سوزان سونتاگ"، و با نام سونتاگ، "مارگریت دوراس" تداعی می شود. تصور می کنم دوراس را هر زنی باید بخواند، و البته هر مردی هم. دوراس "سیمون دو بوار"ی دیگر است، با همان بی پروایی، جسارت و صلابت، اما زنانه و ظریف. برای خواندن و فهمیدن دوراس، باید حوصله و دقت داشت، همان اندازه که برای خواندن ویرجینیا وولف. بسیاری از آثار مارگریت دوراس به همت قاسم رویین به فارسی برگردانده شده. "تابستان 80"، "بحر مکتوب"، "درد"، "نایب
...more
Maryam
زن براي گريز از ملال زيستن به دامان عشق پناه مي برد
تا مگر عشق مرد نقابي شود بر ملال واقعيت
اما
هميشه هميشه هميشه.......كشف ملالي تازه
و چه خواهد شد ان گاه كه عشق اماج هجوم ملال قرار مي گيرد؟؟؟
از عشق چه بر جاي خواهد ماند؟؟؟؟
......عشق در مصاف ملال
و چنين است شايد كه حتي در عشق نيز ديگري، هميشه ديگري باقي خواهد ماند
چنين است كه انسان حتي در عشق نيز تنهاست
هر كه باشد تنهايي ديواري به دور او خواهد كشيد
David
Maybe reading it in 21st Century America robs it of something. I principally understood it as about a bored housewife grown jaded to her boring life. The other reading I had was less mundane but more problematic, about a self-destructive woman who fetishizes her own subservience. Not that there's anything wrong with such a story, but it's ugly and not suitably developed to be much more.

What I liked most was the relationship between mother and child, how they cling to each other in their lonelin
...more
Nuno Chaves
Começamos por encontrar uma criança teimosa e que não quer aprender a tocar piano, tão teimosa como a sua mãe Anne Desbardes, que insiste que a criança tem de aprender, mesmo a contra-gosto.

Anne Desbardes, parece ser uma mulher conformada com a vida e com a rotina da mesma, até ao dia em que num bar, sucede uma estranha morte que vira a sua vida de pernas para o ar. Este estranho incidente atrai Anne como um íman para o trágico local onde foi cometido o crime. Aquilo que parece ser uma forma de
...more
M.
[Picked this up both in French & English]

English version read, of course; if I still have the French copy it's sitting in a box in my parents basement to one day be rediscovered, perhaps by me in a state where I can read French (we all have goals).

I read in an interview with Duras that she felt her career as a novelist really began with this book; that what came before was not important, that this was a changing point. I haven't read anything that came before, at this point, so I cannot com
...more
Xabier Cid
Written by hipsters avant-la-lettre, it seems very difficult to me get any pleasure of these French existentialist novels. Time has passed violently through them, and now they stand before us as the old veteran from a war that we can't remember the name or what it was fought for. From a historic point of view, the stream of rumbling feminism flooding the novel is very moving, and transmits to me that happiness of liberation and freedom that we all can be proud of.
Yet silences, blanks stares, cir
...more
Filipa
Apesar da escrita ser diferente e por isso me ter cativado, faltou algo mais a este livro para me prender. . .

É pequenino e. . . custa a ler. Achei a história sem. . . história.
Não chego a dizer que não tem conteúdo mas. . .

Não é uma história com um final apoteótico, é desenvolvida ao longo das suas pouquinhas páginas.

Acontece um assassinato num café em que estão mais pessoas e ao longo de vários dias, uma senhora que acompanha o filho nas suas aulas de música (que não quer) vai encontrar-se com
...more
ablomof
به نظرم بسیار گرفتار جرح و تعدیل شده بود به صورتی که داستان حالت یکپارچه خود را از دست داده بود.
Nuno Miguel
If there's a word that can describe the overall impression that "Moderato Cantabile" leaves on the reader is this: ambiguity. One is never really sure about what is going on (sometimes it is not even clear who is talking). There's a piano lesson that gets interrupted by screams; a murder scene; a mysterious male character (Chauvin) that appears at a local bar, knowing intimate details about the main character's (Anne Desbaresdes) life; a strange dialog between her and the mysterious Chauvin, try ...more
James
'Moderato Cantabile' is a deceptively simple novella, seemingly both philosophical but equally elusive. At its heart lies the ennui which seems reminiscent of Madame Bovary, the class and gender difference emphasised by Anne, a bored housewife, and her mysterious, non-sexual - but linguistically violent - relationship with the working class man she meets in a café. Space and time are negated in the novella - the whole of the novella plays out in under a week, with each day repeating as like one ...more
Mazel
Aug 12, 2009 Mazel rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: roman
la narration, qui repose essentiellement sur des dialogues brefs, secs et bruts, cultive le vide événementiel et les faits relatés paraissent lourds d'insignifiance.

Aucun élément ne trouve d'aboutissement, ni l'intrigue autour du crime passionnel, ni la relation naissante entre les deux personnages. Une culture de l'échec.

Que de frustrations devant cette totale absence d'explications et c'est au lecteur de s'approprier l'histoire sans réelles indications.
Tina
People often refer to Marguerite Duras’ writings as experimental, surreal, unusual, or strange, but seldom have I found someone who could read her without worrying about whether or not is everything going to make sense until the end, which is an incredible shame, since her books are marvelous when you just let go of the prejudice and of the attempts to find her place in literature.

Moderato Cantabile creates, much as all of her writings, a wonderful world for the reader. If you manage to not let
...more
Eman

ملال است که باقی می ماند. دیگر هیچ چیز نمی تواند انسان را غافلگیر کند مگر ملال. انسان هر بار گمان می کند که به عمق آن رسیده است. اما حقیقت ندارد. در اعماق ملال سرچشمه ملال دیگری وجود دارد که همیشه تازه است. می توان با ملال زیست. و همین ملال زیستن یکی از مضامین عمیق داستان دوراس می شود و راه فرار از این ملال تنها یکی راه است : عشق!
Sebastian
"Madame Bovary reescrita por Béla Bartók" la describió un crítico de Libération en una reseña de 1958. Quizás una exageración, pero es una descripción interesante. Duras escribe una novela que ahora la leemos como una de las primeras versiones de un experimento que fue abandonado una o dos décadas después, un viaje que llevaba por un camino que hacía cada vez más árido y vacío. A pesar de ser antecesora de mucha literatura ya olvidada y estigmatizada (la nouveau roman, esa idea ahogada por los e ...more
Metta
"Elle fit un effort, parla presque haut dans le café encore désert.
- Ce qu'il faudrait c'est habiter une ville sans arbres les arbres crient lorsqu'il y a du vent ici il y en a toujours toujours à l'exception de deux jours par an à votre place voyez-vous je m'en irais d'ici je ne resterais pas tous les oiseaux ou presque sont des oiseaux de mer qu'on trouve crevés après les orages et quand l'orage cesse que les arbres ne crient plus on les entend crier eux sur la plage comme des égorgés ça empêc
...more
Bradd Saunders
Duras' work is oblique and deceptively simple. There is a great deal of sadness in it and economy. It's the sign of a very good writer that she can make it all look so easy.
Roozbeh Estifaee
ظاهرا کل اهمیت این رمان کوتاه و اوج کار نویسندهاش در زبان آن و ظرافتهایش بوده، که به لطف ترجمه افتضاح مرحوم سید حسینی همه از دست رفته. ...more
Katie
As I was beginning to re-read this book, I suddenly remembered that it was written in the passé simple. Boo.
Mick
Could not get what this entire novel was about.
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  • Polikuchka
  • Los conjurados
  • Aurélia
  • O Mandarim
  • Enfance
  • Hôtel Splendid (European Women Writers)
  • On ne badine pas avec l'amour
  • Les choses
  • Thomas the Obscure
  • El contrabajo
  • La place
  • The Voyeur
  • Tous les matins du monde
  • Carmen
  • زندگی در پیش‌رو
  • The Infernal Machine and Other Plays
  • Qumran
  • Elle et lui
163
Marguerite Donnadieu, better known as Marguerite Duras (pronounced [maʀgəʁit dyˈʁas] in French) (April 4, 1914 – March 3, 1996) was a French writer and film director.

She was born at Gia-Dinh, near Saigon, French Indochina (now Vietnam), after her parents responded to a campaign by the French government encouraging people to work in the colony.

Marguerite's father fell ill soon after their arrival,
...more
More about Marguerite Duras...
The Lover (The Lover, #1) Hiroshima Mon Amour The Ravishing of Lol Stein The North China Lover (The Lover, #2) The Malady of Death

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“Sometimes,’ she said, ‘I think I must have invented him.’
I know all I want to about your child,’ Chauvin said harshly.
Anne Desbaresdes moaned again, louder than before. Again she put her hand on the table. His eyes followed her movement and finally, painfully, he understood and lifted his own leaden hand and placed it on hers. Their hands were so cold they were touching only in intention, an illusion, in order for this to be fulfilled, for the sole reason that it should be fulfilled, none other, it was no longer possible. And yet, with their hands frozen in this funereal pose, Anne Desbaresdes stopped moaning.
One last time,’ she begged, ‘tell me about it one last time.’
Chauvin hesitated, his eyes somewhere else, still fixed on the back wall. Then he decided to tell her about it as if it were a memory.
He had never dreamed, before meeting her, that he would one day want anything so badly.’
And she acquiesced completely?’
Wonderfully.’
Anne Desbaresdes looked at Chauvin absently. Her voice became thin, almost childlike.
I'd like to understand why his desire to have it happen one day was so wonderful?’
Chauvin still avoided looking at her. Her voice was steady, wooden, the voice of a deaf person.
There's no use trying to understand. It's beyond understanding.’
You mean there are some things like that that can't be gone into?’
I think so.’
Anne Desbaresdes' expression became dull, almost stupid. Her lips had turned pale, they were gray and trembled as though she were on the verge of tears.
She does nothing t try and stop him?’ she whispered.
No. Have a little more wine.’
She sipped her wine. He also drank, and his lips on the glass were also trembling.
Time,’ he said
Does it take a long time, a very long time?’
Yes, a very long time. But I don't know anything.’ He lowered his voice. ‘Like you, I don't know anything. Nothing at all.’
Anne Desbaresdes forced back her tears. Her voice was normal, momentarily awake.
She will never speak again,’ she said.”
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