A sensational international bestseller, and winner of Frances’ coveted Prix Goncourt, ‘The Lover’ is an unforgettable portrayal of the incandescent relationship between two lovers, and of the hate that slowly tears the girl’s family apart.
Saigon, 1930s: a poor young French girl meets the elegant son of a wealthy Chinese family. Soon they are lovers, locked into a private w...more
More lists with this book...
“The story of my life doesn’t exist. Does not exist. There’s never any centre to it. No path, no line. There are great spaces where you pretend there used to be someone, but it’s not true, there was no one.”
The young Marguerite Duras
She has pretty hair, copper hair that spools down her back in waves of alluring movement. People always comment on how beautiful her hair is which she interprets to mean that they don’t find her pretty.
She cuts her hair off.
We both were introduced to this world by tortured ...more
consulting the "reading group handbook" by rachel w. jacobsohn, bought for my final school assignment, i learn how to think about literature:
characters and story line: young french girl, older chinese man falling into bed ...more
The Lover is an autobiographical novel by Marguerite Duras, published in 1984.
It has been translated to 43 languages and was awarded the 1984 Prix Goncourt.
It was adapted to film in 1992 as The Lover.
Set against the backdrop of French colonial Vietnam, The Lover reveals the intimacies and intricacies of a clandestine romance between a pubescent girl from a financially strapped French family and an older, wealthy Chin ...more
And to deeply appreciate 'The Lover', it needs to be looked at from the perspective of Duras herself. Pen was put to paper when she was 70, it's predominantly all about looking back on memories past, and I say it's a painful read, painful in respects to nostalgia, as nostalgia ...more
An autobiographical story about an affair between a young French girl and a Chinese man, set near Saigon, The Lover wavers between repression and indulgence. The tone is detached, the description spare, the narrative fragmented; in spite of the the cool aloofness of Duras's prose, though, the novel is incredibly sensual. Each image glints and radiates a warmth much at odds with the narrator's emotional reticence. Th ...more
Why the Lover?
This story has barely anything to do with him.
Who it is about: the young woman, the old woman, the girl who had the lover.
This distinction is important: the unnamed protagonist's age and status are perpetually changing and not in any particular order.
The story of my life doesn't exist. Does not exist. There's never any center to it. No path, no line. There are great spaces where you pretend there used to be someon ...more
“Death came before the end of his story. When he was still alive it had already happened.”
The first, very striking quote, is on the opening page. Like the second quote, it teases about horrors not yet explained - that may never be.
Marguerite Duras wrote this autobiographical novella over a few months around her 70th birthday. The narrative is dreamy and disjointed. Her family is damaged and disjointed. She slips between first and third persons, tenses, ...more
The first time ever I saw your face was on the ferry.
I had my head buried in a copy of the South China Morning Post. My father had said, if I read it every day, I would learn about the world around us, and his boy would become a man. Only then would I be ready to take over the family business after him.
He was right, in his way. I was thin and soft and naïve, even though I had just returned from two years in Paris. I was still a boy, at 28. I’m sure I would have continued as a boy, unless I ...more
I know it is awfully late now, to write to you. I could not resist though. I thought about you the other day; as her eyes scanned the Chinese gentleman for the first time, on the ferry to Mekong. The demure young features veiled under a mannish hat, gave away precocious impression of a 15 year old girl as he offered her a cigarette. The statuesque Chinaman who exuded charm and eloquence was besotted by her as she was by him. He was to be her lover; an escape from the abhorrent ...more
'The Lover' is a brutally honest attempt at reconciliation with the past, irrespective of how much hurt and damage it may have caused. It is a tale of Marguerite ...more
The book is an experiential wonder, slipping between past and present, the concrete observ ...more
I don’t know what I was expecting when I picked this up. Sepia tinted nostalgia. Eroticism. Regrets. Sadness. I knew that it was a vaguely fictionized version of an episode of Duras’ adolescence, when she fell in love and began a sexual relation with an older Chinese businessman when she lived in French Indochina. I knew that it explored her fractured relationship with her mother and her nameless lover’s tensions with his own father. I had heard that it captured t ...more
The light fell from the sky in cataracts of pure transparency, in torrents of silence and immobility. The air was blue, you could hold it in your hand. Blue. The sky was the continual throbbing of the brilliance of the light. The night lit up everything, all the country on either bank of the river as far as the eye could reach. Every night was different, each one had a name as long as it lasted. Their sound was that of the dogs, the country dogs baying at mystery. They answered one another fr...more
It was as if he loved the pain, loved it as he'd loved me, intensely, unto death perhaps, and as if he preferred it now to me.
Gorgeously disturbed and disturbing, fragrant with melancholy and a kind of sepia-tinted nostalgia for lost innocence, youth, love. But while the ostensible eponymous lover is the wealthy Chinese man with whom the barely adult (she's fifteen) narrator has a subversive affair, I can't help feeling that this is more widely concerned with love of a place, a time, a famil ...more
rereading... it's like craving a certain great dish and you know just who has it on the menu.
Such assurance. I like the way Duras handles the point of view. It begins with an older voice, a woman looking back at her life, a particular moment of her life, and she uses the past tense, whereas when she is in the past ...more
The young French girl faces disgrace on many levels. She is no longer respected because of the illicit affair; the fact that ...more
Early in the book Duras writes about her mother in a way that did something to me. I found myself tearing up, my hear ...more
Yes, the novel (as well as the movie where the scene ...more
The Lover strikes me as little more than an exercise in literary masturbation. This novella is overwrought, self-indulgent, and ultimately insubstantial.
Fooled by the promise of its first pages, I soon found myself irked by the narrator's linguistic burps. With the exception of two or three characters, everyone else is nameless. Alienation is de rigueur.
The narrator revisits her past, engaging herself in a sort of mental seesaw, where she jumps from thought to tho ...more
Duras's father fell ill and h ...more