One of the most famous living French writers, Marguerite Duras is renowned for her provocative and hauntingly beautiful works of fiction, drama, and cinema. This book offers the first comprehensive study of the narrative and stylistic characteristics of Duras's fiction. Susan D. Cohen examines the entire range of Duras's works, combining close textual analyses with a more general discussion of narrativity and its connections with gender, class, and race. The focus throughout is on language, representation, and difference, which Duras explores on every structural level.
Cohen shows how Duras's writings, even the controversial "erotic" works, expose and subvert the repression of women in traditional, dominant discourse and at the same time present an alternative, nonrepressive discursive model. She formulates a concept of creative "ignorance," which she identifies as the generative principle of Duras's textual production and the approach to language it proposes. Cohen also explores the distinctive features of Duras's prose, describing how the writer achieves the ritual, legendary aura that characterizes her work.