OF MARGUERITE DURAS
From the moment it was published, in the fall of 1984, L’Amant sold thousands of copies. Marguerite Duras’ very intimate voice found its public, and the prestigious Prix Goncourt only confirms it. L’Amant is an enchanting novel, which focuses on the experience of an entire lifetime in a simple and touching form. With Marguerite Duras, life and writing haunt one another. And both are inhabited by her Indochinese youth. In L’Amant, it is as if the writer, having reached the end of the line, went through an old photo album. One can almost hear her voice comment on the images, letting a remote landscape rise to the surface of her memory – the mighty waters of the Mekong, the maternal home. Blurry shapes come back to life, effortlessly filling up the scenery. Among them, the lover. He is never named. A maiden girl, minor, daughter of poor colonists, and the rich heir of a Chinese promoter, were as likely to meet as Titus and Berenice, Orient and Occident. They did nevertheless. Within those pages, their two worlds blend together, and the rest remains on the threshold of the lovers’ room. Lust and passion are all the more intense they are laden with impossibility. It cannot last. But what they experience before their separation endures the years like an unforgettable secret, destined to fuel the work of one of the greatest voices of the century.
A Show created in collaboration with the Teatro Stabile dell’Umbria
with the support of the Brunello e Federica Cucinelli Foundation
« When planning an evening of readings, if we give priority to a selection of short stories by the same Author, we can give access to this Author’s universe. Just like an exhibition dedicated to the same painter, where several paintings by the same artist can be seen …
Maupassant is a Master of short stories. He’s an excellent narrator, very swift. He is a Master of French prose and one of the greatest novel writers in the entire history of litterature.»
“JULIETTE ET JUSTINE, LE VICE ET LA VERTU”
Texts collected by Raphaël Enthoven
Premiere on January 27, 2013 in Palais des Beaux-Arts of Brussels (Bozar)
Sade’s work is often presented as an “anti-utopia”, a dystopia where murder, sexual violence, anthropophagia are praised as long as they allow the powerful to enjoy unimpeded.
Isabelle Huppert lends her voice to two emblematic figures of Sade’s work: Justine and
Juliette, two sisters with opposite destinies, one lost by virtue, the other triumphant by vice.
Through them, Raphaël Enthoven questions the unease that weighs on literary production and the
message from the sulphurous writer: “I cannot understand why the Marquis de Sade continues – legitimately – to shock us. (…) His praise of vice and the outrageousness of orgies that he describes are not sufficient to understand the persistence of the disgust he inspires. Evil comes from further away. Sade is the shadow of the Lights, the hidden face of the sun. His immoralism is first of all an amoralism. Under the imprecations of the disbeliever against the “deific chimera”, he must be understood the refusal to believe that the world is there to please us. It may be there that he is indigestible: in the constancy with which he constructs a philosophy – and even a ethical – on the basis of an icy and inhuman world.