Marguerite Duras wrote this short novel late in her career (it was published in 1984, when she was 70), but it describes an episode early in her life, when at age 15 she began an affair with a 27-year-old man in what was then known as French Indochina. Duras called the novel “purely autobiographical,” though later she made other statements that cast shades of doubt on some of its details. Still, the central story of the book would appear to be true, which caused a minor scandal in certain corners upon its publication.
We talk about the book’s presentation of its central relationship, and how it subverts some expectations for a relationship with that particular age difference at play. We also talk about short novels more generally, and writing in the confessional mode.
In the second half of the show, we find out whether we’re smart enough to answer some grad-school questions about the novel. Plus Tom’s got another installment of Raccoon News. As promised, here are some links, if you’d like to explore this week’s Raccoon News in greater depth:
As always, we’re happy to hear what you think about the stuff we talked about this week. You can email us directly, hit us up on Twitter, or just leave a comment here on the site. Also: we’re on Facebook, and gradually getting better about posting studio pics and links and such. So come visit us over there, like our page, etc. etc.
You can stream today’s episode by clicking on the little player thingy below, or download the mp3 file to play on your favorite device. Or visit us in the iTunes store, or wherever you normally get your podcasts, where you can download back episodes and subscribe (for free) so that you never miss another weekly installment.
Stream Ep. 92:
Download Ep. 92 (right-click, save-as)