Wartime Notebooks: and Other Texts by Marguerite Duras, Edited by Sophie Bogaert and Olivier Corpet, (Translated by Linda Coverdale) - review by Belinda Jack

Belinda Jack

No Romance

Wartime Notebooks: and Other Texts


MacLehose Press 336pp £19.99

Bled dry of sentimentality and brutal, Marguerite Duras’s language affronts the reader in these Notebooks as it does in all her writing. This is often down to bald statements made vivid by reference to body fluids: ‘Catholics cannot bear blood. De Gaulle is a Catholic general, meaning that his role is to spill blood but under orders. Popular uprisings make him puke.’

Duras kept material in a brown envelope, marked ‘Wartime Notebooks’, in one of her mythical ‘blue closets’, at Neauphle-le-Château. They ended up in the French national archives in 1995, the year after her death, and were published in France in 2006. Although written between 1943 and 1949, they are much

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