Любовникът от Северен Китай



10 thoughts on “Любовникът от Северен Китай

  1. Michael Michael says:

    Initially conceived of as notes toward a screenplay for The Lover, The North China Lover instead became aconventional retelling of the original novel Much of what made the original so fascinating has vanished, from the novel s fragmented structure to its astute representation of the power dynamics between the French protagonist and her Chinese lover In this recounting of her adolescence on the outskirts of Saigon, Duras strings together lush descriptions, self reflexively framed as direc Initially conceived of as notes toward a screenplay for The Lover, The North China Lover instead became aconventional retelling of the original novel Much of what made the original so fascinating has vanished, from the novel s fragmented structure to its astute representation of the power dynamics between the French protagonist and her Chinese lover In this recounting of her adolescence on the outskirts of Saigon, Duras strings together lush descriptions, self reflexively framed as directions for the film adaptation of The Lover, with stretches of suggestive dialogue The sensationalism of the novel overwhelms the meager attempts the author makes at formal experimentation and social analysis Melodrama and exoticism replace detachment and critique The book s best forgotten


  2. Emily Emily says:

    Inspired by Richard s commitment to multi lingual reading and blogging, I ve decided to try to work on my languages as well, and readnovels in the original French How many isWell, last year I read a grand total of one So, in order to top that, this year I ll need to readtwo Maybe the year after that I ll read three As you can tell, I m practically signing up for la recherche du temps perdu already Considering that last year s pick, J.M.G Le Cl zio s Ourania , was som Inspired by Richard s commitment to multi lingual reading and blogging, I ve decided to try to work on my languages as well, and readnovels in the original French How many isWell, last year I read a grand total of one So, in order to top that, this year I ll need to readtwo Maybe the year after that I ll read three As you can tell, I m practically signing up for la recherche du temps perdu already Considering that last year s pick, J.M.G Le Cl zio s Ourania , was something of a struggle for me and took several months to complete, I m startled to find that I ve already finished my first French book of 2010 Marguerite Duras s L amant de la chine du nord available in English translation as The North China Lover Duras s book is actually a re working of her earlier novel L amant it re envisions the story as a film, and retells it from acomplete, possibly mature angle Both L amant and L amant de la chine du nord are fictionalized memoirs dealing with Duras s sexual coming of age as a young very young Frenchwoman in 1920s Vietnam then French Indochina Well, let me be blunter it tells the story of her first consummated affair, with a wealthy 28 year old Chinese man, when she was fourteen.Given that plot there s obviously a lot to talk about here vis a vis sexual and gender dynamics, but let s get some formalist stuff out of the way first Duras s prose is vivid and lush, and the fact that she wrote this novel as if giving screen directions including camera pans, fade ins and fade outs, etc , makes the reading experience overwhelmingly visual This kind of narration is often a turn off for me I tend to find it choppy or overly mannered But in Duras s case I think it works perfectly for two reasons In the first place, this is one of those books in which the setting is almost as much of a character as the characters themselves The hot monsoon nights, the flooded rice fields, the night sounds of the young Vietnamese night guards singing outside the gates of the main character s colonial boarding school presenting all this to the audience front and center brings it to the foreground, and persuades the reader to concentrate on it, to see it And secondly, in a film all the viewer knows about a character s motivations is how she sees them acting she has no direct access to their interior monologue A cinematic approach, then, plays perfectly into one of Duras s main themes in this novel the ambiguity of human actions.Because L amant de la chine du nord does not leave the reader with any clear answers about why the characters act as they do, or how we ought to feel about it Compared to, say, Lolita, which argues pretty plainly for Humbert as a delusional, dirty old man and Delores Haze as his victim, Duras s moral universe is extremely murky The main character, known only as l enfant the child , comes from a desperately poor family of French settlers in Indochina we later learn that she has already had several offers of marriage concubinage from men in their thirties, which her mother has pressed her to accept in order to alleviate the family s poverty, but which she has refused In her boarding school, certain teachers and even students choose to prostitute themselves in the streets In this light, her meeting with and choice to pursue her wealthy lover known in the novel as le Chinois or The Chinaman seems a clear economic decision, the best she can do in a bad situation But things are not so simple There s no question that l enfant lusts after le Chinois that her psyche is, in fact, super saturated with lust She has incestuous thoughts about her younger brother, with whom she is extremely close She is already involved in a semi sexual relationship with one of her female school friends, and the two of them fantasize about taking the place of their prostitute teacher the idea of forbidden sex being thrilling to them From practically the moment she meets le Chinois, she is fascinated by his physicality she is the aggressor in their relationship, and it seems as though she is acting from real feeling, not just aping the actions of adults in order to produce a desired effect At the same time, it s not completely positive for her, or comfortable to read her experiences of actually having sex, especially at first, involve a lotpain and suffering than pleasure, and she seems perplexed by the strength of Le Chinois s emotions when he falls in love with her He is weeping about how his magnate father will disinherit him if he marries her, and she is teasing him and wanting him to tell herabout life in China Duras does a creepily effectual job at blending L enfant s precocious sensuality and sexuality with certain other, very kid like, qualities in her She kind of just wants to experiment and learn about the world, and also to have sex Would she want to have sex if it weren t for her family s poverty, and the possibility of getting her hands on some of Le Chinois s money Would she want to have sex if she hadn t been prematurely sexualized by the men who want to buy her from her mother, and by her feelings for her brother, and by the boarding school atmosphere One can t help asking these questions, but at the same time they re a bit pointless if those things had been different, she would have been a completely different person And here s another thing that s unusual in this type of story L enfant and Le Chinois enjoy each others company You never get the sense that Lolita and Humbert ever have fun together, but L enfant and Le Chinois go out late at night to restaurants in the Chinese section of town, tell each other stories, laugh at each others frankness To be fair, there is also a lot of crying in the book, and overall it s somewhat melancholic, but unlike Kristin Lavransdatter it also has its fair share of mutual enjoyment of the present moment And although the affair inevitably ends, and everyone feels sad about that for a while, L enfant doesn t really suffer as a punishment for having sex, in the way that Lolita, Tess Durbyfield, and other literary sexual victims do dying in childbirth, no less Talk about sexual punishment Duras s protagonist goes through a mixed emotional experience and then gets on with her life, but one never gets the sense that she is suffering, or enjoying herself, as a vehicle for the author to make a point about who is right and who is wrong Duras s book is the most non judgmental treatment in either a positive or negative way of sex between a very young person and an older person, I ve ever come across I wouldn t call it primarily a love story, but neither would I say it s primarily a tale of oppression And speaking of oppression the racial dynamics among the transplanted white French, colonized Vietnamese, and wealthy landowning Chinese are another whole fascinating subject The whole tale brings up interesting questions about the triangulation of love, lust, liking, and money If L enfant isor less engaging in sex work, does that mean she doesn t love Le Chinois Does it mean she doesn t like him If her first feeling upon seeing him is one of lust, does that invalidate the money motive To what extent are the desires for money and sex interwoven And what should we, as readers, be hoping for as we read this story Duras allows all of these elements to coexist in uneasy harmony, which in itself is an admirable feat


  3. Will Will says:

    Marguerite Duras must have led an extraordinary, emotionally complex, devastating childhood if any of the scenes of this work are real Because my French is a work in progress, I read L Amant de la Chine du Nord The North China Lover in short bursts over the summer when I was in the mood, but in the last few days I decided to devote a few hours to it every day, and I don t regret it at all.Reading in other languages really is such a different experience, and that first moment when you go a who Marguerite Duras must have led an extraordinary, emotionally complex, devastating childhood if any of the scenes of this work are real Because my French is a work in progress, I read L Amant de la Chine du Nord The North China Lover in short bursts over the summer when I was in the mood, but in the last few days I decided to devote a few hours to it every day, and I don t regret it at all.Reading in other languages really is such a different experience, and that first moment when you go a whole page without looking up a single word is triumphant Before Duras work I could ramble about unemployment, politics, immigration, current events, etc., but the concept of love and loss in the language of love and loss had evaded me Duras changed that.Colonialism in South East Asia is possibly the most complicated version of Western colonialism the Dutch in Indonesia, the British in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, etc., and the French in Indochina None of it ended prettily or cleanly Even today especially today , SE Asia is a sometimes unfathomable mix of territory disputes, rebelling ethnic groups, human and drug trafficking, and shipping In Duras time of the 1930s, Vietnam was under French rule, and this novel is the story of her affair with an older, opium addicted Chinese man.Emotions break, tears flow, and anger sparks, the flow of the French creates an emotion of itself The story flows with these emotions, as does the speed of the text The atmosphere of Vietnam is so important for Duras, and the events of the novel haunt me andimportantly Duras, positively and negatively I know I ll always remember why it happened, long after I forget what happened The flow of the river, the buzz of the rice fields, and lying in a bed for hours, blankly staring, waiting for something to end


  4. Alshia Moyez Alshia Moyez says:

    You know, I don t even want to give this book 3 stars, but I m being generous and sticking to my rule even thought I had to break it with this author not too long ago of never giving below a 3 star rating, except in extreme cases.Maybe there s something wrong with me or perhaps my tastes have changed, but I used to be SUCH a hardcore fan of hers truly, a fangirl Especially of The Lover and this book even though it s just The Lover with bigger fontwhite space Today, though, it s lik You know, I don t even want to give this book 3 stars, but I m being generous and sticking to my rule even thought I had to break it with this author not too long ago of never giving below a 3 star rating, except in extreme cases.Maybe there s something wrong with me or perhaps my tastes have changed, but I used to be SUCH a hardcore fan of hers truly, a fangirl Especially of The Lover and this book even though it s just The Lover with bigger fontwhite space Today, though, it s like I m taking a cold, hard look at her work an investigation triggered by reading Blue Eyes, Black Hair one of the worst 60 pages I ve had to get through in my whole life Now, I don t want to be a hater because I had such a love affair with The Lover early on , I might give her another chance But at the same time I wonder if all her work is erotica not my choice genre to read , andimportantly, if all her work is erotica between 14 year old girls 35 year old, grown men The man she was screwing in book 1 should ve been with her mother since they were about the same age, instead of going with her little teeny bopper daughter Sickening and silly In hindsight I the reader was supposed to be so blown away by him because he was rich, had a nice car, nice clothes, and a decent place to live So in exchange for all the material things the loser main character didn t have, I m supposed to turn a blind eye to the fact that every passage I m reading where he ripped her clothes off , couldn t even make it to the bed, and so on, is describing sex between a 14 year old child and an adult male.So,I mupset with myself for embracing such work, paying for it I don t want to support that kind of writing And frankly, I wonder what the author sees in that kind of stuff But anyway, enough The review is over and I ve talked for far too long on this Thanks for reading


  5. Evan Evan says:

    Maggie Duras was a hot little firecracker, giving up her 14 year old stuff to the family, the natives, and so on.But seriously, folks.This is an expanded recast of a tale Duras had already told in the earlier, shorter and much better autobiographical novel, The Lover , and although this one starts off just as beautifully and has lovely bits throughout, it gradually becomes stultifyingly repetitive and dull and fizzles out The earlier version, muchinternalized, focused, concentrated Maggie Duras was a hot little firecracker, giving up her 14 year old stuff to the family, the natives, and so on.But seriously, folks.This is an expanded recast of a tale Duras had already told in the earlier, shorter and much better autobiographical novel, The Lover , and although this one starts off just as beautifully and has lovely bits throughout, it gradually becomes stultifyingly repetitive and dull and fizzles out The earlier version, muchinternalized, focused, concentrated and concise, was a far finer distillate dreamy and swoon inducing throughout whereas this version, with itsremoved and distant perspective, conventional linear progression, ampler narrative and autobiographical detail, and extended dialogue passages saps the material of its poetic power and essence This may seem counterintuitive, but truth is not necessarily to be had in piling onand explicit detail and I would challenge anyone to do a side by side comparison of the two versions to prove my assertions The earlier version hadheart and replicated the lover narrator s non linear internal thought processes which made the reader feel closer to the mind of the storyteller, of the teller s thoughts I cared and felt when I read that Not so much with this one.The intrusion into the narrative of what seem to be instructions for filmmakers to follow in the filmed version of the story came off as a tad crass to me, as though I was reading a work of art one minute and a property the next.One thing I did like about this version is that the child s family is treatedsympathetically, especially compared to the movie version where their pettiness is almost two dimensional.The question for me is Which version comes closest to the aching sense of longing, the essence of wistful memory For me, it is the first version.I really wanted to like this and did, for about a hundred pages, but eventually found myself whittling it down from four stars to three stars to two stars.In essence, I thought this was a case ofis less


  6. Rad Rad says:

    One of my favorite books, by my favorite writer I first read Duras when I was 15 and i think, that has made all the difference Her writing touched me where no other writer has been able to reach till date The story, the plot, the characters are all irrelevant in her book You can t pickle it under fiction or non fiction No flowery language, no melodrama Reading her is just an experience, very intense, often tumultuous This book is about her love affair with the rich North Chinese guy y One of my favorite books, by my favorite writer I first read Duras when I was 15 and i think, that has made all the difference Her writing touched me where no other writer has been able to reach till date The story, the plot, the characters are all irrelevant in her book You can t pickle it under fiction or non fiction No flowery language, no melodrama Reading her is just an experience, very intense, often tumultuous This book is about her love affair with the rich North Chinese guy you could say but i could never call it a love story or say that it had romance Impossible to contain her in such lame labels In fact, each time i ve picked up any of her books, i ve just ached to pick up the pen and paper and start writingabout what I don t know It s just this overwhelming feeling to be with yourself and let the whirlpool inside flow out Sometimes i d be able to write and sometimes i d just return to her book, admitting to myself that she knows best how i feel Often i ve felt my discovering her was not just a random eventshe s almost like a planet squaring your moon.affecting your life choices, influencing your destiny, without you being able to crack the code of the scheme of things


  7. Emi Bevacqua Emi Bevacqua says:

    I disagree with the rave reviews for this fascinating retelling of the dramatic experiences of Marguerite Duras s adolescence The blurbs all over this book make it look like a tragic love story between a French person and a Chinese person in pre war Indochina But this is pedophilia Granted, the main character lies and says she s 16 but the whole premise is prurient she is actually referred to throughout the book as the child The exotic backdrop is hauntingly gorgeous but the family of I disagree with the rave reviews for this fascinating retelling of the dramatic experiences of Marguerite Duras s adolescence The blurbs all over this book make it look like a tragic love story between a French person and a Chinese person in pre war Indochina But this is pedophilia Granted, the main character lies and says she s 16 but the whole premise is prurient she is actually referred to throughout the book as the child The exotic backdrop is hauntingly gorgeous but the family of scum in hysterics in the foreground is wracked by economic and moral poverty I found their constant cries alternating with incessant laughter, the mother s mental state and the problems of the brothers one a sadist and the other involved with her sexually completely overwhelming


  8. Gracie Gracie says:

    I wasn t expecting much I heard that it was basically a retelling of the Lover and wasn t nearly as good Given all of the negative reviews, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised It has quickly become a favorite I read the Lover about a year ago and saw the film adaptation shortly after I didn t think that she could add much to the already rich story, but she really did.The North China Lover is a simple story It is semi autobiographical and tells of an affair Duras had as a child wi I wasn t expecting much I heard that it was basically a retelling of the Lover and wasn t nearly as good Given all of the negative reviews, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised It has quickly become a favorite I read the Lover about a year ago and saw the film adaptation shortly after I didn t think that she could add much to the already rich story, but she really did.The North China Lover is a simple story It is semi autobiographical and tells of an affair Duras had as a child with an older Chinese man while living in what is now Vietnam I found this telling to be muchraw and honest than the Lover, but at the same time wastender in many places I love Duras writing style It is the type of writing that is so simple and bare, but sticks with you and resonates.I would definitely recommend this book but obviously for older audiences


  9. Writerlibrarian Writerlibrarian says:

    If you haven t read the first book and seen the movie it s probably rubbish with pretty words But I ve read the original, I ve seen the movie, I ve read some about Duras life so this remixing of the most important part of her life in reaction to the movie which she did not approve of in a time where she was battling alcohol addiction, was in and out of hospital is brutally raw I like it I like it eventhan the original and it makes me want to read about the novel she wrote about her m If you haven t read the first book and seen the movie it s probably rubbish with pretty words But I ve read the original, I ve seen the movie, I ve read some about Duras life so this remixing of the most important part of her life in reaction to the movie which she did not approve of in a time where she was battling alcohol addiction, was in and out of hospital is brutally raw I like it I like it eventhan the original and it makes me want to read about the novel she wrote about her mother s life and the first time she wrote about the affair Lots of stream of conscience type of writing Repetitions of words, phrases The main characters do not have names still, except for the brothers and others real life characters The style is raw, like open wound raw It does give the story an urgency that original didn t have Which makes it better for me as a reader


  10. Caley Caley says:

    Long, overdone, and repetitive The prose was so sparse that the book ended up feeling disjointed and slightly pretentious I liked that I was giveninsight into her relationship than The Lover provided, but that s the only positive aspect of this novel By the end, I was so sick of reading We cried We laughed He laughed I cried that I too almost cried Out of frustration Wouldn t recommend this book.


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Любовникът от Северен Китай [Reading] ➶ Любовникът от Северен Китай By Marguerite Duras – Thomashillier.co.uk , , ,,.