Review by Choice Review
Schuster (Smith College), author of articles on women writers including Duras, surveys Duras's work to date, except her theater; nothing in English is as recent or complete. Schuster examines Duras's "creative impasse" of 1971 and her subsequent move to film. In her film analyses, Schuster demonstrates the "explicitly female subjectivity" of the separated voice and image tracks and the increasingly controlling female authorial voice. She chronicles Duras's return to the written word and reflections on the process of reading and writing. Using a broad sampling of theory, expecially North American and French feminisms, Schuster shows how Duras "mirror[s] critical debates" and sometimes precedes them. Within a positive study, Schuster incorporates postcolonial and recent gay/lesbian theory to posit Duras's complicity with the dominant ideology in her portrayal of sexuality, race, and ethnicity. The heavily theoretical introduction should not discourage; the chapters are more accessible. The annotations of the bibliography and the sensitivity to problems of translation will also aid undergraduates. Supersedes Alfred Cismaru's Marguerite Duras (CH, Apr'72), which predated most of the films and much of the fiction. A "must" for any French literature collection. Advanced undergraduate; graduate. A. M. Rea; Occidental College
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