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Is This An Erotic Novel?,
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This review is from: Harper Perennial Modern Classics - THE LOVER (Paperback)
A translation, this dark self-absorbed short novel is classic Duras. Frequently referred to as an erotic novel, The Lover falls short of that. The novel is much more than the story of a young girl in French Indochina (Vietnam), and her first lover, an older wealthy local man. Duras tells a darker tale of emerging adolescent sexual power and selfishness, a mother-daughter relationship, and the taboos inherent in colonialism and foreignness.
The Lover was awarded the French Goncourt prize in 1984. The strength of the novel is in the underlying despair of the narrator's triangulated memories. The narrative voice the reader hears is of an older woman reflecting on her past. Duras, when writing the novel, drew upon certain aspects from her childhood in Saigon. She was also an experimental writer with an alcohol problem. Her writing style is pared to the bone.
In 1992 the film version of The Lover, was very successful. The eroticism in the film appears to have become a popular misconception in relation to the book. This particular publication has a reader introduction to Duras, her writing style, her early life in French Indochina. I highly recommend the film available on DVD.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 8 Oct 2011 23:44:56 BDT
Annie M says:
Great synopsis :-)
In reply to an earlier post on 4 Sep 2012 05:30:06 BDT
Remittance Girl says:
I disagree that the book itself is not erotic. It's not explicit, and the eroticism doesn't lie in the sex, but rather her despair.
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