Marguerite Duras Drama Analysis
Marguerite Duras was fond of saying that she did not come to theater, but that theater came to her when she was asked by the actor-director Claude Martin to rewrite her novel The Square for the stage. The theater was certainly a most appropriate medium for her because she aims at communicating the intensity of the moment. Although motion pictures offer more possibilities for the evocation of atmosphere, and the novel—if penned by a magician of style of Duras’s caliber—can leave much more to the individual imagination, in theater, the audience participates in the “happening.”
Ironically, this spontaneity is partially occasioned by Duras’s elaborate stage directions, in which the audience is often mentioned as having already (or not yet) seen or heard or even smelled what the characters have already (or not yet) noticed. This creates a unique sense of immediacy for the audience. In Duras’s plays, there is always a feeling that what is happening might not happen, that something else might happen instead. Most of the time, nothing happens at all, and everyone is kept in a state of expectation with no conclusion offered.
For Duras, writing a play did not consist of placing characters in an unfolding action with a beginning, a middle, and an end. She was not interested in individual psychology or in the resolution of a plot. Rather, she was in search of the absolute as revealed in the intensity of an instant. Duras once...
(The entire section is 1987 words.)
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