Destroy, She Said

ISBN: 080215154X
ISBN 13: 9780802151544
By: Marguerite Duras Barbara Bray

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About this book

In this classic novel by the best-selling author of The Lover, erotic intrigue masks a chillingly deceptive form of madness. Elisabeth Alione is convalescing in a hotel in rural France when she meets two men and another woman. The sophisticated dalliance among the four serves to obscure an underlying violence, which, when the curtain of civilization is drawn aside, reveals in her fellow guests a very contemporary, perhaps even new, form of insanity. Like many of Duras's novels, Destroy, She Said owes much to cinema, displaying a skillful interplay of dialogue and description. There are recurring moods and motifs from the Duras repertoire: eroticism, lassitude, stifled desire, a beautiful woman, a mysterious forest, a desolate provincial hotel. Included in this volume is an in-depth interview with Duras by Jacques Rivette and Jean Narboni.

Reader's Thoughts

Alvi Harahap

Two men and two women, all mentally ill, meet in a desolate French convalescent hotel and become their own tiny insular society. They spend much of the book engaging in conversations and semi erotic acts.This book might be built around an emptiness which grows more and more pronounced as it proceeds.Kinda not so easy book to read he..he..


Hard to understand what is really going on, if at all. This book might be pointless.

Santh memories

sumpah, sama sekali nggak ngerti baca buku inihikshiks^_^


Holy shit this is amazing. I was hungover from having too much champagne celebrating the birthday of James Lee Byars's ghost, & after finishing Glass Menagerie I couldn't actually convince myself to do anything productive, so I pulled this down off my shelf and burned through it. It creates a remarkable space of affect, a headspace, of how Duras herself puts it, fear--there's really a heavy-fucking-madness present, one that's expressed in the (once again Duras's own term) "hyper-reality" of the events, the closed of nature, the limited 'cast.' The shifting signifiers, shoving each character equally into the position of "protagonist" at different times, does such wonders to de-hierarchize the narrative, and the fact that it's another of Duras's 'in-between' texts (in between book & film), with performance notes at the end no less, makes it such a striking collection of set-pieces. Such anxiety.The interview at the end is great, both illuminating the film of the book (which I will probably watch in the next few days) & highlighting a lot of Duras's ideology, which is almost joyfully nihilistic, yet still in favor of the events of '68 as well as hippies?


در بین آثار «مارگریت دوراس» نویسنده و کارگردان فرانسوی کتاب «گفتا که خراب اولی» عجیب­ترین است، به مراسمی می­ماند که از رسوم آن بی­خبریم، اما با مسحوری آن را دنبال می­کنیم. درونمایهء کتاب، همان طور که از عنوان آن برمی­آید، خرابی است، و این خرابی یکسره تحمیلی. با این توضیح که خرابی در این­جا بری از خشونت است و بیشتر قرین تحلیل، تراش، صیقل خوردن و تعالی یافتن. پیش از این نیز در آثار دوراس شاهد نمونه­هایی بوده­ایم که همین جوهرهء «گفتا که خراب اولی» را در خود داشته­اند همان شیوء دوراسی که خود گفته، مثلا سایه روشن­هایی از موضوع اصلی کتاب حاضر را، با اندکی تغییر و تعدیل در عبارات و تصاویر، بعضا در «مدراتو کانتابیله» و «شیدایی لل»، و «اشتاین» نیز می­توان مشاهده کرد. در«گفتا که خراب اولی» با دنیایی از جنون یا بی­نظمی روحی گمراه کننده­ای سر و کار داریم: هر کلمه یا حرکتی به صورت مجزا و مجرد دارای منظری منطقی است، حال آن که در ترتیبی سلسله­ای و پیوسته، حالتی از ذهن به هم ریخته برای خوانشگر تداعی می­شود ا. شربیانی


Odd, atmospheric book. Apparently, there was more of a plot than I noticed. I just let it wash over me. It felt a lot like Last Year At Marienbad.


Hmm, I kinda think Duras went a little too far in the spare, nonlinear direction with this one. It's written to be a play and maybe it would have had more impact if I had experienced it in that way. Duras is one of my favorite authors and I found some of the images in this book creepily enticing, but I wasn't fully understanding the psychology of the characters. And is it just me or did this book make anyone else think of Blanchot's Thomas the Obscure?

Leonard Pierce

For all her skill and daring as a postmodernist, Duras doesn't get the kind of attention she should. Possibly because she is a lady. Anyway, this is her best novel, I think, a real killer.


اصلا نفهميدم !‌ حتما بايد يك بار ديگر بخوانم ولي حوصله ندارم . فقط اينكه تصويرهاش خيلي زنده بود . مثل اينكه فيلمش را ديده باشم .


This is just the kind of book I wouldn't get through if any longer. Luckily, at 85 pages, I managed it in two sittings. I definitely want to find the movie version. It's experimental and mostly plotless, the four main characters are interchangable, which was confusing for a minute, but then exciting. There's sex and quiet desperation, a wild forest beyond normalcy, set in a hotel in rural France. I happened to watch "Zabriskie Point" while reading this, and was struck by a similarity of tone. They both came out in 1970.


Edisi bahasa Indonesia


I am borrowing this from Dodie. There is no interview in the one I'm borrowing - no wait there is but it's all about the movie, no insight into this frustrating, gendered, ultra-French little roman. I pulled it off the shelf at her house and got engrossed, although usually I can't stand Duras. Yeah - I was engrossed, and then just grossed. No not grossed, bored and frustrated. It's like an illustration of "Vive la difference".


After reading almost all of Marguerite Duras' books and seeing all the movies, I can only say that I am extremely sorry she does not get the recognition she truly deserves.

Ofelia Hunt

Marguerite Duras almost never uses similies or metaphors.

Josh Kellar

Truly unusual "novel" - more of an experimental play than a novel, really. Will have more to say about it for AV club's wrapped up in books next month.

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