Friday, July 09, 2004

The Man From Cholon

Just finished “The Lover” by Marguerite Duras. I got this book years ago (along with another called “Practicalities”) and realized I had never given it a proper read.

Duras writes like she was talking to a friend. It isn’t your typical straightforward narrative – other thoughts, recollections travel across and through the story of the 15-year old French girl and her older Chinese lover. Some paragraphs so brief, the writing is by turns obtuse, disturbing, devastating. “The Lover” is supposedly a work of fiction, but one tends to forget that it is, wonders if it really is, because of the vividness with which Duras writes. To me it is as much an account of sexual awakening as it is a discussion of the politics of family; dictates of nationality and country; madness (how crazy is crazy, anyway?); artistic calling; love and its many distortions; time and distance; the necessity(?) of deception. One does not love in a vacuum, after all. If only it were that simple.

The book cover is by one of my favorite designers, Louise Fili. I’m actually not too keen on her style, but admire her for her consistency and the fineness of her work. There’s something very precise about it.

I bet she arranges her pencils by height, too. :)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am now curious about the book since I've seen the movie quite a number of times. That is an artwork in itself ;)

July 13, 2004 6:32 PM  
Blogger nini said...

It isn't "hot" like the film, if you're looking for an erotic read. But yes, it was a good piece of filmmaking.

July 13, 2004 8:02 PM  
Blogger Carlo said...

Is that the one with Jane March?

July 14, 2004 9:23 PM  
Blogger nini said...

Yup, Jane March, and was it John Lone?

July 15, 2004 3:30 PM  

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