Marguerite Duras was born near Saigon in Indochina in 1914. Her parents went to the French colony as teachers. She left Indonesia in 1932 to study political science and law in Paris. His childhood in Indonesia had a great impact on Duras and brought unity to her work. As she was living in Paris when the Second World War broke out, she faced up the occupation of France by the German army. She became a Resistant in 1943 after she met Francois Mitterrand. Her husband, who was also a Resistant, was sent to a concentration camp. The story of her book, The War, takes place at the end of the war and the beginning of the liberation. Actually, it is a journal she wrote during the wait of her husband's return. Marguerite Duras told us that she could not remember when she wrote it. She pretended to have lost it and to have found it again in her secondary house. We do not know if it is true, if she really lost her journal of if she wrote it later. But the story in the book is true and that is the main interest. It was published in 1985. The war is very interesting mainly because it is a testimony. It is also very well written. In reading this book we can feel a great emotion.
[...] Noises from weapons extended in the whole city. Duras explains it was a feeling of liberty. They could do what they wanted. In this way they replaced the ones who used to fright them before. There was no police to stop them, they were the police. It was a kind of anarchy. Resistants were excited by this new context. The brothers-in-arms of Duras liked to tell about their fight. It was their turn to find people, arrest them and do what they wanted of their life (cf p.142: “Certains partaient le matin en voiture de plus en plus loin pour chercher la bagarre encore possible, ils rentraient la nuit). [...]
[...] The main cities in Germany were bombed by allies. Many of these workers died. The return of the ones who survived caused a huge problem. In the novel Duras suffers from waiting. But in the novel she also says that she did not really know why she was waiting. She had the feeling she did not really love her husband any more. But she was waiting. It was a kind of way to pay her debt towards him. When he finally came back she was afraid to see him again because she had not seen him for a so long time. [...]
[...] The war was over and their only wish was to enjoy life, to be with the people they loved. It led after the war to a lack of testimony. It was especially true for the one who were in the death camps. Only few of them immediately described what happened. It is only after few decades they could speak and tell their story. Marguerite Duras was a resistant. She entered it in 1943 and worked as a link agent. But her behaviour was uncertain. [...]
[...] The most serious problem of this civil war in France occurred during the Liberation. Indeed after more than four years of occupation and ruling of the Vichy state things changed radically. According to the Resistants time had come to pay. There was not official authority yet. With the fall of the Vichy state the power was divided among many different groups. Even in Paris the new established power hardly tried to rule. The local chiefs of the Resistance often refused at the beginning to obey the commissars sent by De Gaulle in order to restore authority. [...]
[...] The novel of Marguerite Duras explores one of the most painful pages of the French history. The civil war in France had different aspects: the deportation, the struggle between Resistants and collaborators, and the spurge. The French society had to rebuild itself after the war. De Gaulle, when he came back to France tried to consider Vichy as an accident of the French history in order to make France a winning nation. He considered himself as the real legitimacy even if Vichy had the real legitimacy. As a result the work of memory was not [...]
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