The War

The War

A Memoir

Book - 1986 --
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One of France's greatest novelists offers a remarkable diary of the Nazi occupation of Paris during World War II and of its eventual liberation by the Allies. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the liberation, this extraordinary diary by the author of The Lover is "a haunting portrait of a time and place" (New York Times).
Publisher: New York : Pantheon Books, 1986. --
ISBN: 9780394552361
Characteristics: 183 pages


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May 01, 2019

In 1944 Marguerite Duras wrote what was to become the absolutely gripping memoir, La Douleur (1985) / The War: A Memoir, in Barbara Bray’s 1985 translation. She had kept notes as she was going through the events described, notes which were then lost to memory until, going through old papers in a seldom visited country house she discovered them.

“I found myself confronted with a tremendous chaos of thought and feeling that I couldn’t bring myself to tamper with, and beside which literature was something of which I felt ashamed.”

In its slender 182 pages are two memoir accounts, two stories from the same memory and material and two “fables.” Among them are the most gripping war stories one might ever read. None is of war at the front. They take place in Paris, from just before the Normandy Landings, June 6, 1944 to the return of French POWs from Germany in August, 1945. In short, jabbing sentences, absolutely pared of sentimentality, she reclaims the memory of her anguish.

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