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The War: A Memoir

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  1,185 ratings  ·  71 reviews
An elegant new paperback edition of one of Marguerite Duras's most important books.

Written in 1944 and first published in 1985, Duras's riveting account of life in Paris during the Nazi occupation and the first months of liberation depicts the harrowing realities of World War II-era France "with a rich conviction enhanced by [a] spare, almost arid, technique" (Julian Barne
Hardcover, 183 pages
Published March 12th 1986 by Pantheon (first published 1985)
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Since 9/11, there has been much debate about whether torture is justified. Its apologists in the Bush-Cheney administration were eloquent about why it can sometimes be necessary. We were frequently told about ticking time-bombs and the threat of a mushroom cloud over an American city. Some horrifying stories surfaced from people who had been tortured at Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib, and elsewhere. But, and it just occurs to me now to think how odd this is, I don't recall reading one straightforward ac ...more

I went to see de Santiago Amigorena's Another silence recently and it deals, as does Duras, with the issue of revenge. What a fine contrast. The heroine, whose husband and child are murdered, sets about revenge as coldly as does Duras in the story where she talks about torturing a collaborator, but in the end, faced with the perpetrator, a piece of Argentinian trash, she not only can't kill him, but she even grants him a gesture of mercy. The difference? Maybe that in Another Silence
"Not for a second do I see the need to be brave. Perhaps being brave is my form of cowardice."
I just realized that I have not reviewed this book yet.

Part of the reason for my lapse is that there is never anything to say about war. About the Holocaust. About torture. About death.

Or rather, there is too much to say that I never know where to begin.

Besides Marguerite said it all already in this book.

Which is in itself impressive. She says it all in here without falling into the typical trappings of
Elizabeth (Alaska)
I'm feeling sort of odd about this. It was my introduction to Marguerite Duras and I think it ought not to have been. On the other hand, I read it because I wanted some foreknowledge and perspective and this surely gave it to me.

The first 50 pages or so are a diary of the end of the war in Paris and her not knowing whether her husband survived. Waiting. Waiting. I tried to remind myself it was a diary, yet written so powerfully I had tears running down my cheeks in the first 10 pages.

The next ab
This is the third time I have read a book by Duras and said it is the best book I have ever read. I am astonished and destroyed. Despite the fact that the English publishers did everything in their power to make no one want to read it, by changing the title shamelessly in order to fit into the memoirs market. The real title should be translated--so I am told--Pain or Suffering. I didn't like the story from her communist period. I also had some problems with the following one, about the small Jew ...more
It was amazing, I couldn't finish the last chapter, it was too sad to take in at the moment.
روایت دوراس از رنج جانبهدربردگان ِجنگ، فلجکننده است. نمیفهمم چطور چنان حال و تجربهی توصیفناپذیری را اینطور قوی و شگفت توانسته بر کاغذ بیاورد ...more
In so many ways, this is a novel unlike anything else Duras has written-- it's far more straightforward, especially considering how it masks itself as a series of “lost diaries.” And it's skeletally spare, which I think is necessary when you're writing a book called “La Douleur” (“Pain”) (and a major fuck you to whichever American publisher decided to translate this title as “War: A Memoir”). While it doesn't reach the tropical lushness of L'Amant or the spare beauty of Moderato Cantabile, it's ...more
خانم مارگاریت عزیز؛ چند شب پیش بود که زدیم توی پر هم. بعد از آن می خواستم به دوراس خوانی فاصله ای بدهم. اما نمی دانم چه شد که کتاب درد را شروع کردم. داستان-کوتاه بلند درد و داستان کوتاه پیر رابیه تان حرف نداشت. می دانید خانم دوراس! باز همان احساس گناهی را دارم که بعد از خواندن صفحه ی آخر وداع با اسلحه داشتم. باز همان شرمندگی حاصل از حیرت صحنه ی پاره شدن دل و روده ی اسب رمان در جبهه ی غرب خبری نیست بیخ گلویمان را گرفت. احساس گناه از این که لذت می بری از خواندن داستانی که قساوت بشر را می کوبد توی ...more
Many years ago, I read Marguerite Duras's The Ravishing of Lol Stein, which, at the time, did not make much of an impression on me. Such was not the case with The War, which struck me as being more emotionally realistic than most Resistance literature. (After all, it seems that 125% of the French were actively involved in the Resistance.) I knew, when Duras used the term naphthalinés, "the mothballed ones," to refer to French army members who decamped and put their uniforms in mothballs rather t ...more
The first piece in this collection which bears the same title as the book, the war, is perhaps one of the most painful things I have ever read; Brutally personal and breathtakingly authentic. For the two days that i was reading it i could barely think of anything other than the "characters" and what they have been through. It's as hunting as a non-fictional gets. I'll certainly go back to this text later. The biggest question I'm left with is that during those days of great suffering and despair ...more
Marguerite Duras is a strong woman who lived through WWII, these short stories are autobiographical; She writes about nursing her first husband after he got back from the camps in one, her involvement in the Paris restitance, and her nazi admirer in others. She writes in a simple way that is gripping and faces her readers with the choices she had to make, the tension she lived with in these extreme situations between life and death, resistance and occupation, loved ones and enemies... Her tales ...more
Lane Pybas
6 affecting stories about Duras’ role in the French Resistance during the Nazi occupation of France. Duras casts doubt on the veracity of her autobiography by claiming she doesn’t remember writing the principle story, “La Douler,” and by admitting that the facts of another story “lie buried under 40 years.” These deliberate efforts to confuse autobiography and fiction, in conjunction with her deceptively simple prose, render some of the most disturbing tales of WW2 that I have ever read, be they ...more
A series of character sketches set during the occupation and liberation of Paris during WWII. One sketch is of Duras herself as she lengthily describes her mental instability and worry for her arrested husband. Then, in equally graphic terms, she describes her husband's recovery from near death in a concentration camp. Other sketches include that of a manipulative collaborator, a child-like pro-Nazi militia member, and a fictional account of a Jewish child left abandoned after the arrest of her ...more
La Fossoyeuse
Oct 01, 2015 La Fossoyeuse rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: students and teen of 14-18 years old (lol)
Mon premier ouvrage lu de Marguerite Duras.

Ce livre c'est un peu le journal intime de Marguerite Duras. C'est celui qui te montre la période la plus importante de sa vie, celle où elle a le plus souffert.

J'ai préféré me renseigner après l'avoir lu une première fois puis le relire plutôt que de me renseigner directement. Ça laisse place au suspens et à l'intrigue. Parce que si vous connaissez l'histoire de Marguerite Duras, vous ne ressentirez pas au maximum l'attente de cette femme.

C'est typi
Nicole Marble
Aug 25, 2007 Nicole Marble rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
This nearly unknown book is a powerfully written look at life in France during the Nazi occupation. The author was a well known French writer who kept a running account of her experiences as people try to adapt to horrible circumstances and go 'underground' to fight the enemy. Powerful and clear. A must read.
An important perspective of world war two. This memoir is modernist and investigates the problems of truth in writing a memoir. A lovely and terrifying story. I'm a better person for having read it.
The first 160 pages or so are autobiographical. The rawness and immediacy kept me reading about Duras's life as the Occupation of Paris closes down. Part of the French Resistance, Duras awaits the return of her husband from Bergen Belsen and nourishes him slowly back to health. And tells him she wants a divorce - life happens. The story of the torture of a known informer is disturbing, gut wrenching, and it conveys the multiplicity of feelings and motivations that can sweep away people who for y ...more
Julia Boechat Machado
All my reviews are currently in Library Thing. I'm no longer updating my GR since it was bought by Amazon.
Sally Boyer
Brutal truths told in beautiful poetic prose. This memoir is a must-read for anyone with any sort of an opinion on war. Duras illustrates the irremediable pain of war for those left at home, waiting:

"You don't exist any more in comparison with his waiting. More images pass through your head than there are on all the roads in Germany. Bursts of machine guns fire every minute inside your head. And yet you're still there, the bullets aren't fatal. Shot in transit. Dead with an empty stomach. His h
Angélique Moreau
Moi qui n'ai jamais été durassienne, du moins si je me base sur mes lointains souvenirs de lycée, je suis restée ébahie par ce texte. Je suis même heureuse de l'avoir lu à l'âge adulte, car je pense que si j'avais alors la sensibilité assez à fleur de peau pour en comprendre le poignant, je n'aurais jamais pu en percevoir les enjeux réels, et ce qu'il révèle sur la moralité de celui qui défend son pays en temps de guerre.
Les nouvelles formant cet ouvrage sont précédées de quelques notes de l'aut
This is an extraordinary book in which Duras expertly conveys the thoughts and feelings associated with her experience as a member of the French Resistance during WWII---thoughts and feelings that, if not for this book, I would have thought incommunicable. I've never read the extremes of human emotional experience---fright, angst, confusion, doubt, sorrow, panic, madness--- captured so accurately and compellingly.

The book is comprised of 6 stories, 4 non-fiction, 2 fiction. The non-fiction stor
Almost immediately, I started to imagine one aspect of my review of this bk: "Anything I write about this will trivialize it. Giving this a rating will trivialize it." It begins w/ a diary of her anguish as she awaits the return of her husband, "Robert L." (Robert Anselme) from the concentration camp(s) that he's been put into after being caught as a Resistance member. The uncertainty, Has he been shot?, Has he been left in a ditch?, is maddening. The struggle for resolution, to learn about his ...more
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
Okay. This is a difficult book to review, because it's divided into distinct sections and each one is different in style and in quality.

The first section centers on her waiting for the return of her husband from Germany, not knowing if he would return or if he'd been killed. Then he does return and she describes what it was like as he recovered from illness. I found the waiting part a bit redundant, like she could have chopped off a few pages and still conveyed what was important. But she did a
Certainly not what I expected, although I am not sure what my expectations were. Anyway, La Douleur is a compendium of half a dozen short stories about the months before and after the end of World War II. From what I know, it is part autobiography and part fiction, but that's not the point of the novel. It is very interesting to see how Paris was at that time, how war and the aftermath transformed people, how the pain of what they had been through transformed them. Duras has a very... let's say ...more
Pardis Parto
دوراس با جملات کوتاه، با فریادهای هول و عصیان، خشم خالصش را به صورت خواننده پرتاب میکند؛ با آن خردهریزهای شادی و نیز آرزوی مرگ که در دلش خانه کرده است، داستان این انتظار بازگشت را در لحظاتی تعریف میکند که هزاران اسیر از بازداشتگاهها برمیگردند و مردم، غرق در وحشت و حیرت، شرح قتل عام مردم را از دهان این اشباح انسانی میشنوند. دوراس در کمتر اثری توانسته بود به این نیروی متقاعدکننده، هیجانانگیز و بدون استفاده از نماها، اما به شیوهای پالائیده و صریح دست یابد که سبب میشود از دخالت در این دردی که با چنی ...more
Me gustó sobre todo la primera parte de el libro "El dolor" cuando narra la espera por Robert. Las otras partes del libro las disfrute pero eran más descriptivas y lo que más me gustó, que eran las notas sobre pensamientos y sentimientos, eran muchas menos y distintas que en la primera parte.
Kenneth Iltz
In this memoir of World War II, Duras shares episodes from her life in occupied Paris, where she belonged to the French Resistance under the leadership of the country's future president, Francois Mitterrand. She describes her efforts to find her husband, also a resistance member, who has been captured by the Nazis and sent to a series of concentration camps. He is found at the end of the war in a concentration camp and returned to Paris as a virtual corpse. Duras also writes of her complicated a ...more
Melika Khoshnezhad
" ... مردن از مرگی عجیب، بدون اثری از حادثه ای یا اتفاقی، مردن بدون ظاهری از مرگ. "

کتابی درباره ی وانهادگی زنی که در انتظار همسرش است تااز جنگ برگردد. منتظر نیست که او را در آغوش بکشد بلکه منتظر است تا روبل برگردد و به محض بازگشتش بمیرد. باید این طور باشد. او خسته تر از آن است که خودخواه نباشد. روبل بیاید تا او بتواند بمیرد.
درباره ی زنی که شکنجه می کند و در درون خودش شکنجه می شود.
درباره ی سربازان دشمنی که از فرط پوچی در زندگی شان رو به جمع کردن آثار هنری آورده اند و در نهایت به هیچ یک از خواسته
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Goodreads Librari...: Possible merge of double entry 3 12 May 03, 2014 06:32AM  
  • Outwitting the Gestapo
  • The Life of Irene Nemirovsky: 1903-1942
  • The Flanders Road
  • A Balcony in the Forest
  • The Journal of Hélène Berr
  • Resistance: A French Woman's Journal of the War
  • Enfance
  • Nella Last's War: The Second World War Diaries of Housewife, 49
  • The Human Race
  • The Love-charm of Bombs: Restless Lives in the Second World War
  • Berlin Diaries, 1940-1945
  • France the Dark Years 1940-1944
  • Prime of Life
  • They Dared Return: An Epic Story of Jewish Refugees Who Escaped Nazi Germany, But Returned for Vengeance
  • Last Waltz in Vienna
  • And the Show Went On: Cultural Life in Nazi-Occupied Paris
  • Pages from the Goncourt Journals
  • Few Eggs and No Oranges: The Diaries of Vere Hodgson 1940-45
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 about Marguerite Duras...

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