Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Guttersnipe Bookshelf: Duras, Emily L.

Marguerite Duras, Emily L. translated by Barbara Bray Random House, 1989
Emily L. is for confirmed fans of Duras. This is the advanced course, suitable only for the devoted -- among whom I am numbered. Reading Emily L., I sometimes shook my head, laughed or argued. “Over the top, Madame Duras! Random!” Yet -- I’m glad this book exists and I’m delighted (in a despairing, wine-soaked Duras sort of way) to have read it. Does it make sense to say: “It is not a great novel, but it is wonderful to read”? That is how I felt, on the lucky night I consumed it, along with a bottle of cheap red wine. (Could this book be read while entirely sober? Possible, presumably, but not ideal.) If you can, read a few pages before purchasing the book. If you’re not on the wavelength, you might find it senseless. If you are on the wavelength -- enjoy. And don’t forget to also drink plenty of water. From pg. 29: “One sensed they must have lived together through some adversity, and through it have come to know one another so well that they arrived at a common being, in good and ill, crime and innocence. Until the ultimate end in a common death, which so far they’d always avoided, for some reason that didn’t matter.”

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