Duras’s language and writing shine like crystals.–New Yorker
A man–the traveler–arrives in the seaside town of S. Thala with the intent to abandon his present, and instead finds himself abruptly reintroduced to his past. Through his subsequent interactions with her, the woman to whom he was briefly engaged as a young man over twenty years ago, and him, the man who walks and keeps watch over her, the traveler is soon drawn back in and acclimated to the strange timelessness and company that is S. Thala.
Written in a stark and cinematic narrative style, this sequel to Duras’s 1964 novel The Ravishing of Lol Stein is a curious, yet haunting representation of the human memory: what we choose to recall, what we choose to forget, and how reliable we ultimately decide ourselves to be.
Marguerite Duras wrote dozens of plays, film scripts, and novels, including The Ravishing of Lol Stein, The Sea Wall, and Hiroshima, Mon Amour. She’s most well known for The Lover which received the Goncourt prize in 1984 and was made into a film in 1992.
Kazim Ali is a poet, essayist, and novelist, and has published a translation of Water’s Footfall by Sohrab Sepehri. He teaches at Oberlin College and the University of Southern Maine.
Libby Murphy teaches at Oberlin College. She has published articles on print culture and the First World War, and on the reception of Charlie Chaplin’s films in wartime and postwar France.
Sharon Willis is a professor of French and Film & Media Studies at the University of Rochester.