Marguerite Duras, formally Marguerite Donnadieu

Marguerite
Duras, formally Marguerite Donnadieu
1914
1996

French Writer, Film Director, Novelist, Communist and Social Commentator

Author Quotes

I want to take H‚lŠne Lagonelle with me to where every evening, my eyes shut, I have imparted to me the pleasure that makes you cry out. I?d like to give H‚lŠne Lagonelle to the man who does that to me, so he may do it in turn to her. I want it to happen in my presence, I want her to do it as I wish, I want her to give herself where I give myself. It?s via H‚lŠne Lagonelle?s body, through it, that the ultimate pleasure would pass from him to me.

Our mothers always remain the strangest, craziest people we've ever met.

When a woman drinks it's as if an animal were drinking, or a child. Alcoholism is scandalous in a woman, and a female alcoholic is rare, a serious matter. It's a slur on the divine in our nature.

I want to write. I've already told my mother: That's what I want to do-write. No answer the first time. Then she asks, Write what? I say, Books, novels... She's against it, it's not worthy, it's not real work, it's nonsense. Later she said, A childish idea.

Paradoxically, the freedom of Paris is associated with a persistent belief that nothing ever changes. Paris, they say, is the city that changes least. After an absence of twenty or thirty years, one still recognizes it.

When it's in a book I don't think it'll hurt any more ... exist anymore. One of the things writing does is wipe things out. Replace them.

I'm still there, watching those possessed children, as far away from the mystery now as I was then. I've never written, though I thought I wrote, never loved, though I thought I loved, never done anything but wait outside the closed door.

She had lived her early years as though she were waiting for something she might, but never did, become.

When the past is recaptured by the imagination, breath is put back into life.

In a certain state of mind, all trace of feeling is banished. Whenever I remain silent in a certain way, I don't love you, have you noticed that?

She represents the un-vowed aspiration of the male human being, his potential infidelity -- and infidelity of a very special kind, which would lead him to the opposite of his wife, to the woman of wax whom he could model at will, make and unmake in any way he wished, even unto death.

Years after the war, after marriages, children, divorces, books, he came to Paris with his wife. He phoned her. It's me. She recognized him at once from the voice. He said, I just wanted to hear your voice. She said, it's me, hello. He was nervous, afraid, as before. His voice suddenly trembled. And with the trembling, suddenly, she heard again the voice of China. He knew she'd begun writing books, he'd heard about it through her mother whom he'd met again in Saigon. And about her younger brother, and he'd been grieved for her. Then he didn't know what to say. And then he told her. Told her that it was as before, that he still loved her, he could never stop loving her, that he'd love her until death.

It has been my face. It's got older still, or course, but less, comparatively, than it would otherwise have done. It's scored with deep, dry wrinkles, the skin is cracked. But my face hasn't collapsed, as some with fine feature have done. It's kept the same contours, but its substance has been laid waste. I have a face laid waste.

She says people ought to learn to live like them, with the body abandoned in a wilderness, and in the mind the memory of a single kiss, a single word, a single look to stand for a whole love.

You alone became the outer surface of my life, the side I never see, and you will be that, the unknown part of me, until I die.

It was the men I deceived the most that I loved the most.

Suddenly, all at once, she knows, knows that he doesn't understand her, that he never will, that he lacks the power to understand such perverseness. And that he can never move fast enough to catch her.

You have to be very fond of men. Very, very fond. You have to be very fond of them to love them. Otherwise they're simply unbearable.

It?s not that you have to achieve anything, it?s that you have to get away from where you are.

The best way to fill time is to waste it.

It's not that you have to achieve anything, it's that you have to get away from where you are.

The house a woman creates is a Utopia. She can't help it - can't help trying to interest her nearest and dearest not in happiness itself but in the search for it.

It's only women who are not really quite women at all, frivolous women who have no idea, who neglect repairs.

The solitude of writing is a solitude without which writing could not be produced, or would crumble, drained bloodless by the search for something else to write. When it loses its blood, its author stops recognizing it. And first and foremost it must be never be dictated to a secretary, however capable she may be, nor ever given to a publisher to read at that stage.

I've forgotten the words with which to tell you. I knew them once, but I've forgotten them, and now I'm talking to you without them.

Author Picture
First Name
Marguerite
Last Name
Duras, formally Marguerite Donnadieu
Birth Date
1914
Death Date
1996
Bio

French Writer, Film Director, Novelist, Communist and Social Commentator