December 8, 2023 | Rome, Italy

The Lover

By |2018-03-21T18:28:28+01:00November 3rd, 2006|Recent Reviews|

By Marguerite Duras, translated from the French by Barbara Bray

Pantheon Books, 1984 (1998). 128 pages.


uras’ erotic prose poem set in postwar Saigon sheds sparkle in translation. While the French is languorous and sticky, the English is hydraulic (e.g. “ I began to recognize the inexpressible softness of his skin, of his member, apart from himself.”) Still, this stricken love story is suffused with Latin longing: rebellious French teenager, son-of-a-millionaire Chinese lover, the Mekong of high Indochina. For Duras, adolescent love, suspended in time, is a thrilling atrocity — “How can innocence be disgraced?” — that deserves public confession. Parting is such sweet death.

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