tENTATIVELY, cONVENIENCE's Reviews > The War: A Memoir

The War by Marguerite Duras
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Feb 12, 09

bookshelves: biography, history, literature, politics
Read in February, 2009

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 whereabouts. Later in the bk (& earlier in the story) she describes her interactions w/ the Gestapo agent who'd arrested her husband in the 1st place. Eventually, it's her job, as a Resistance member as well, to identify this man & have him executed or, as it turns out, arrested & tried. Each autobiographical tale & the sparse fiction inspired by real experiences of the Resistance to Nazi occupation of Paris in the early 1940s is stunning in its directness, in its sad educational value. Now I reckon I must read Anselme's own bk, "The Human Race" (in translation) - an outgrowth of the concentration camp experiences he barely survived.
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