Nam no nonumes volumus quaerendum, cu meis graeci audiam vis.
Marguerite Duras considered her autobiographical novel The Lover to be a “roman de gare”—a trashy airport novel with little artistic value.
Then they would start uncorking cheap Bordeaux and she’d drink two glasses, vomit, then continue on till she’d drunk as many as nine liters and would pass out. She said she drank because she knew God did not exist.
Her very sympathetic doctor would visit her almost daily and offer to take her to the hospital, but only if she wanted to live.
Almost three years after her cure she created a scandal by speculating recklessly about the most famous (and still unsolved) murder case in recent French history—the case of Little Grégory.
The Lover Duras Read Online
This child, Grégory Villemin, had been killed and trussed and dumped into a culvert. More than a hundred journalists were hovering around the site of the murder, the village of Lépanges near Épinal in the Vosges.
She was very old—in her seventies—and very alcoholic, and her disintoxication cure in late 1982 at the American Hospital was much written about (not only by journalists—she wrote about it, and her companion Yann Andréa did as well in a book called M. Just when people thought her liver or her kidneys would give out, she rose from her ashes and wrote The Lover (1984), a story drawn from her youth in Indochina that sold a million copies in forty-three languages and became the inspiration for a major commercial movie.
Before her cure, she was holed up in her château dictating one much-worked-on line a day to Andréa, who would type it up.
Marguerite Duras may well be the most important French writer of our day.
Born in Indochina, she went to Paris at the age of 17 and studied at the Sorbonne.