As if under a spell

Duras was consumed with herself, true enough, but almost as if under a spell. Certain people experience their own lives very strongly … ‘People who say they don’t like their own books, if such people exist, do so because they haven’t learned to resist the attraction to humiliation,’ she wrote in one of her journals. ‘I love my books. They interest me’ … Receiving the full impact of her work has little to do with education, erudition. You either relate to it or you don’t … The moments of truth in her work are elemental and felt, not synthetic or abstruse … She was at risk sometimes of self-caricature. But every writer aspires to have some margin of original power, a patterning and order that comes to them as a gift bestowed, and is sent to no one else.

– Lines from an article on Marguerite Duras by Rachel Kushner

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