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MARGUERITE DURAS

(Marguerite Donnadieu)

France

Born: Giadinh, Indochina [Vietnam], 4 April 1914.
Died: 3 March 1996.


Marguerite Duras (JPG, 17 KB)

Born in Giadinh, Indochina (now Vietnam) to French parents, both teachers. She went to live in Paris at 18 and studied mathematics, law, and political science at the Sorbonne. In 1935 she became a civil servant in the Ministry for Colonial Affairs. During WWII she was active in the Resistance and in 1945 she joined the Communist Party. She published her first novel in 1943 and had her first play produced in 1955. She often issued her works in several forms successively, first as a novel, then as an adaptation into a play, a teleplay, or a screenplay, or all three. The search for the essence of time and the exploration of human relationships are at the core of her writings, which are characteristically concerned more with how characters relate to each other, especially women to men, rather than with expounding a situation or developing a plot. Romance and passion accent many of her works, which are rich in stylized, often poetic dialogue. Several of her novels have been adapted to the screen by others, including René Clément's Barrage contre le Pacifique / La Diga sul Pacifico / This Angry Age / The Sea Wall (1958) and Tony Richardson's The Sailor from Gibraltar (1967). She made her first direct contribution to films with the original screenplay for Alain Resnais' Hiroshima mon Amour (1959) and later wrote several other scripts, alone or in collaboration. She began directing films in 1966, typically emphasizing script and atmosphere over camera technique. Her novel The Lover was made into a movie in 1992.

— Ephraim Katz, The Film Encyclopedia



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