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Book Reviews223 represented the feminine libidinal economy which was so threatening to phallic order (and Beauvoir?) that she had to be eliminated. Ophir offers a reading of mythical discourse, the feminine gaze, and writing as talisman inLaFemme rompue couched in a purposefully non-academic prose. The volume closes with an essay by Fallaize herselfexploring narrative voice and authority across Beauvoir's fiction, culminating of course with La Femme rompue. Tracing a gradual diminution ofnarrative authority and multiplicity of speakers as Beauvoir gives voice to women, Fallaize suggests that this breakdown might be symptomatic ofBeauvoir's anxiety about her status as a woman writer. Through this volume's conversations, Fallaize demonstrates that Beauvoir's fears, though understandable in her time, are no longerjustified. As Beauvoir's works are recognized as classics, this strong collection ofessays—some ofwhich have achieved classic status in their own right—will doubtless fill a special place on the scholar's bookshelfand in the university library. Elizabeth LoceyEmporia State University Janine Ricouart, ed. Marguerite Duras Lives On. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1998. The volume of essays published under the title Marguerite Duras Lives On is, as the title suggests, a testament to Duras' lifetime achievement and to the ongoing legacy ofher work. As Janine Ricouart explains in her introduction, the collection is designed not only to bring together critical perspectives on Duras' work, but it is dedicated to her memory; indeed, an opening poem by Anne-Marie Alonzo sets an emotional tone for the volume. Alonzo writes, "Écrire sur Duras c'est écrire Duras," and "Entendre Duras c'est aussi la lire. Entendre Duras c'est (l')écrire." The poem speaks to an important dimension ofDuras criticism in its recognition ofthe powerful personal responses Duras' work often draws from her readers, and the sense of closeness that many feel to her texts. The essays, all of which first appeared in The Journal ofDurassian Studies between the fall of 1 989 and spring of 1 993, bear out the volume's stated sentiment to varying degrees, but together they do attest to the tremendous artistic, philosophical, and genericallycomplex scope ofDuras' accomplishment. Because the collection is intended as a tribute to Duras, it is important that the essays cover as broad a range ofanalytical approaches and close readings as they do. The authors explore Duras' novels, theater, and non-fiction; her cinema is the subject of several particularly insightful pieces. From Deborah Lesko Baker's reading ofthe mythic proportions ofmourning and desire in Hiroshima mon amour to Sarah E. Barbour's carefully-wrought feminist analysis ofthe prose text, play, film short, and full-length film of Le Navire Night, the essays concerned with Duras' film consider her revolutionary approach to images in her work generally. Ruth Perlmutter's analysis ofPeter Handke's film adaptation ofLa Maladie de la mort, for example, shows how Durassian images are constructed in such a way 224Women in French Studies that they refer the reader/viewer to blank spaces, paradox, and "an enunciation of the ongoing aesthetic process" (95), a point that other authors take up in analyses ofDuras' prose. Silences, absences, or contradictions between what is spoken and what is seen are integral to the thematic as well as structural dimensions ofDuras' texts, and these characteristics inspire readings of everything from trauma to écriture feminine among her critics. Carol J. Murphy's essay, which takes as its point of departure La Vie matérielle and weaves together over a dozen of Duras' texts, addresses a concern common to several of the essays in her analysis of the "absence ofrepresentation" in even those works by Duras which are rife with images or concerned with material objects and specific events. Murphy's observation that material places and "real" events underlie yet are displaced by Duras' writing supports as well Laurie Vickroy's analysis ofL'Amant, in which she shows how Duras' writing is mediatory rather than revelatory. Vickroy argues that Duras enacts memory, creating elliptical structures ofidentity, rather than concretizing a series ofevents or essentializing subjectivity in her autobiographical novel. Thus, while the quality of all ofthe essays included in the volume is somewhat uneven overall, the stronger contributions work together to touch...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2166-5486
Print ISSN
1077-825x
Pages
pp. 223-224
Launched on MUSE
2016-04-06
Open Access
No
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