Duras, Marguerite

NOVELIST, PLAYWRIGHT, FILM MAKER (FRANCE)
BORN 4 Apr 1914, Gia Dinh (near Saigon) - DIED 3 Mar 1996, Paris
REAL NAME Donnadieu, Marguerite
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Montparnasse Cimetière (division 21)

Marguerite Duras grew up in the Far East, where her she was forced to work as a prostitue by her mother. She also had an incestuous relationship with her brother.

When she was seventeen she went to France, where she studied mathematics, law and political sciences. When she married the author Robert Antalme in 1939 her witness was also her lover. In 1943 she changed her name to Duras.

During World War II she presided over a commission that decided for the Germans which publishers received paper for their productions. The commission refused the work of Paul Valéry.

In 1941 she joined the resistance and she started a relationship with the french nazi Charles Duval. She claimed it was to obtain information about her arrested husband, but she was having a good time with Duval and they were seen together everywhere. After the capitulation she was present when he was tortured and executed.

She was a heavy drinker and when she by the time she was fifty she was sufffering from liver cirrhosis. She stopped drinking for ten years, but after 1975 she returned to huge amounts of wine and whiskey.

She founded the feminist paper La Fronde and wrote the script for the moie "Hiroshima, Mon Amour" (1959). In 1984 she received the Prix Concourt for her novel "L'Amant", about an affair she had with and older Chinese man when she was fifteen.

Sources
• Cullen, Catherine, Paris, The Woman's Travel Guide, Virago Press, London, 1993
Vrij Nederland, Weekbladpers Tijdschriften, Amsterdam

Images

The grave of Marguerite Duras at Montparnasse Cimetière, Paris.
Picture by Androom (22 May 1999)

 


Dürer, Albrecht

Published: 8 Feb 2009
Last update: 8 Feb 2009