Marguerite Duras: Fascinating Vision and Narrative Cure

By Deborah N. Glassman | Go to book overview

3
Le Vice-consul and India Song:
Dolores Mundi

Les personnages évoqués dans cette histoire ont été délogés du
livre intitulé Le Vice-consul et projetées dans de nouvelles régions
narratives.

India Song, p. 9

Le Vice-consul reconjugates many themes as well as several formal devices dear to Duras. The anonymous narrator does not identify with any particular point of view or character. Within the cast of characters, another narrator, a male writer, is in the process of writing an imagined biography of a mad beggar-woman cast into exile by her mother. His framed narrative is set within the primary diegesis and erodes the boundaries between story and plot. Tale-telling, as is so often the case in Duras's work, grows from the desire to appropriate and domesticate experience, here, the attempt of colonial whites to participate in the suffering of India, to both know and deflect its horrors. The eponymous hero of the novel grapples with his inexplicably painful visions, is unable to give them verbal form, and is overcome by his passion for Anne-Marie Stretter in whom he sees a partner of the soul. His scream is the language closest to his desires; he never covers the distance between himself and Stretter, however. He is repugnant to the consulary world of which he is an unsettling member. A white leper, his exile and future in the administration are the main preoccupations of the French Consul.

The film, India Song, retains the diegetic universe and cast of characters of Le Vice-consul—indeed there are direct citations from the novel—with some important differences. The beggar-woman of the novel is only a voice on the sound track in the film. The voices recall Lol's story—uttering several sentences from the novel by way of

-62-

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Marguerite Duras: Fascinating Vision and Narrative Cure
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 5
  • 1 - Presenting Marguerite Duras 9
  • 2 - Fascinating Vision and Narrative Cure : the Ravishing of Lol V. Stein 34
  • 3 - Le Vice-Consul and India Song: Dolores Mundi 62
  • 4 - Autographies and Fictions 93
  • Notes 122
  • Bibliography 142
  • Index 149
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