Women and Discourse in the Fiction of Marguerite Duras
Release Date:11 Jan 1993
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Women and Discourse in the Fiction of Marguerite Duras

Love, Legends, Language

University of Massachusetts Press
One of the most famous living French writers, Marguerite Duras is renowned for her provocative and hauntingly beautiful works of fiction, drama, and cinema. This book offers the first comprehensive study of the narrative and stylistic characteristics of Duras's fiction. Susan D. Cohen examines the entire range of Duras's works, combining close textual analyses with a more general discussion of narrativity and its connections with gender, class, and race. The focus throughout is on language, representation, and difference, which Duras explores on every structural level.
Cohen shows how Duras's writings, even the controversial "erotic" works, expose and subvert the repression of women in traditional, dominant discourse and at the same time present an alternative, nonrepressive discursive model. She formulates a concept of creative "ignorance," which she identifies as the generative principle of Duras's textual production and the approach to language it proposes. Cohen also explores the distinctive features of Duras's prose, describing how the writer achieves the ritual, legendary aura that characterizes her work.
The scholarship is superb: thorough, probing, original. . . . Cohen is a powerful, careful reader who is the first to explain in all its intricacy the famous Durasian 'atmosphere' as a function of very specific narrative strategies. Her discussions of feminine listening offer a strong feminist argument about an affirmative women's discourse.'—Leah D. Hewitt, Author of Autobiographical Tightropes: Simone de Beauvoir, Nathalie Sarraute, Margurite Duras, Monique Wittig, and Maryse Condé
Susan D. Cohen teaches French literature at New York University.
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