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The War: A Memoir Paperback – August 1, 1994


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: New Press, The (August 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565842219
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565842212
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,086 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Marguerite Duras, one of France's most important writers, was a member of the French Resistance movement throughout the Second World War. Written in 1944 but not published until 1985, this is her compelling personal story of living in Paris during the Nazi occupation and the first months of liberation.

From Publishers Weekly

In Nazi-occupied France during WW II, Duras (The Lovers; Hiroshima, Mon Amour was a major figure in the Resistance. During the chaos attending the liberation of Paris in 1944 she wrote a diaryhitherto unpublished and long-forgotten by herwhich forms the opening and major segment of this short, memorable book. Here, unrevised, in vivid staccato prose that sears with its emotion, is an account of her agonized waiting at the Gare d'Orsay and elsewhere for the arrival of her husband, Robert L., who (she learned from Resistance contacts including "Morland," in actuality Francois Mitterrand), was among newly liberated POWs found in Belsen and other death camps. That Robert L. arrived home more dead than alive proved devastating to Duras; it will strike readers no less powerfully. This volume, which includes with the diary war recollections treated as stories and an account about a Gestapo agent in Paris, rates a special place among WW II memoirs.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Ken on May 8, 2001
Format: Paperback
"Memoirists who reveal turbulent pasts are faulted for exhibitionism," writes Greg Lichtenberg in his essay, "Life is also Here: Toward a Manifesto of Memoir," while those with superficially quiet lives are blamed for having no story." Marguerite Duras has a profound story to tell, whether it's exhibitionism or not. Her intent, which has a much larger scope than a memoir with the structure of a simple diary, seemes to be to humanize and personalize the wartime chaos and utter dehumanization of 1940s France under Nazi domination. She sets a record about the Holocaust. She makes a monument rather than writes a diary. This is why her memoir rises above those that Lichtenberg criticizes, those that "seem a pornography of emotions, offering up whatever excess of misery will provoke a fleeting response"; what he calls, "a talk-show between book covers." The War is crafted not written. You won't find mind-numbing cliches but only imaginative language. And the language will move you.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. Schmalstig on July 20, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Duras' writing can be painfully self-involved,examining emotions and intellectual reactions to emotional states until the reader feels suffocated. The War: A Memoir is no less personally intense, but the subject is the author's experiences during the Nazis occupation of Paris. Her brutal examination of her trials and the suffering of her fellow Parisians is riveting. Her painful honesty helps the reader to answer the question, "What would I have done?"
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By robbieandrose on November 28, 2006
Format: Paperback
This memoir is a very heartfelt testiment to love, longing, hunger, suspicion, pain and regret. It is always a treat when a writer of Duras' caliber is witness to extraordinary events and the reader is pulled along as she desperately tries to find out information about her imprisoned husband. The fact that the episodes are presented out of order is slightly disconcerting I felt in the sense that the book becomes a collection of several periods rather than a linear narrative.
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By Anne Stapsy on November 5, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Couldn't help but think of Gogol. Should be a have to read.
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