Hiroshima Mon Amour

ISBN: 082883637X
ISBN 13: 9780828836371
By: Marguerite Duras

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Reader's Thoughts

Milton B.

Há escritoras e Escritoras, e a Senhora Duras pertence ao 2º grupo. Nesta obra encontramos uma história de amor de amor visceral e apaixonante, sem nunca roçar sequer o terreno peganhento do lamechismo. Agora é ver o filme.

Janice Marie Foote

Their pasts and their presents more than casually collide in this beautifully emotive yet short love affair.


Very vague... I think this is one of the few books BETTER as a film. "Read after watching the movie" is my advice.

Logan Pecinovsky

Incomprehensibility and unintelligibility does not indicate insightfulness or otherwise deep meaning. I am not a fan of this particular instance of French cinema.


A so/so love story. The film is pretty much a drawn-out version of Days Of Our Lives. I would recommend The Lover-it's much better.

Jean-claude Boulos

I enjoyed the film much more. Reading the screenplay was rather pointless.


Since this is a screenplay, rather than a traditional book it gives you an idea of what the film was trying to achieve when it describes the scenes (an arm comes on screen, it reminds the audience of this or this, etc.) which I found quite interesting.


This book is a rich read focusing on the often unexpressable emotions that are love, life, and loss. Duras attempts the difficult task of expressing these emotions and the pull have on us in this novel.


this is actually a screenplay, but i read it in my french class: 20th century drama....so there

Sofia Jacinto

Que murro no estomago que foi este livro. Único defeito: demasiado pequeno.«Uma noite longe de ti e esperava o dia como uma libertação.»

Gabrielle Grozea

"Esti cât o mie de femei laolalta. Asta pentru ca nu ma cunoşti". Superb.


** spoiler alert ** If people go back through their personal library, they will find only a handful of books or poems in their lives that served to ignite a genuine literary epiphany, an awakening of sensibility that made us realize the power of writing. For many of us, these books were assigned to us in school; but for me, a surprising percentage of my revelatory books were books I chose to read in order to avoid reading something longer (such as Dickens' Bleak House or Fielding's Tom Jones, both of which I was expected to finish in the same course back in university). It is worth noting that some of these books, which were discovered by accident, have left a stronger impression on me than all those pages of verbiage by Dickens and his ilk. This is not to disparage the novelists of the past; rather, it is to show that that which is art sometimes strikes a chord with us because it fits, or defies, preconceived notions of what prose ought to be. Marguerite Duras is primarily known to me as a novelist, but she has dabbled in film scripts and even directing as well. The apparent decline of French influence on American culture in the 1980s and 1990s means that her legacy is largely based on The Lover and its explicit film adaptation by Jean-Jacques Annaud. But with its enigmatic title, Hiroshima, Mon Amour, written in screenplay form, was my first introduction to Duras. It bears many of Duras' trademarks -- an illicit love affair, doomed to wither due to time constraints, cultural divides or the shattering of preconceptions one lover has about the other; the gliding between present narrative and memory; a heroine who was shattered by a public humiliation; and a man's attempt to rebuild her, perhaps for selfish reasons, but more often than not (in her novels) for reasons that are rooted in love and redemption, unconditionally. The setting is 1959, and an actress is in Japan, participating in an anti-war film -- a documentary, from what we gather. She has an affair, and the screenplay begins with a sex scene between her and her lover. It is demure by contemporary standards; for the most part, we see close-up shots of hands clutching shoulders. The morality of the affair is not at issue here; it is the pretext for something more important. The sex scene turns into a montage sequence of great significance for fans of serious film. Their lovemaking is intercut with shocking scenes from, of all things, the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima. The conversation is not taking place during their lovemaking; it happened earlier, or perhaps later, but we hear it during the sex scene to give hints about the emotional distress that the woman is suffering. (Film critics call conversations like this non-diegetic sound or "commentary sound": the sound is not part of the same scene on the screen. Non-diegetic sound is a technique that seems seldom used, and its potential for creating scenes of complexity is thus ignored.) She is distraught over buried memories; he is trying to assuage her fears, her possible guilt over a past incident. But after they make love, she glances at him on the bed, and has a flashback to wartime France, the France of the liberation -- and a flashback to a personal tragedy she's trying to suppress. As the story progresses, the characters gradually begin to focus on her past. She is haunted by her first love -- a German soldier in WW2-era France. Their love ended in tragedy when the Third Reich was defeated, and she bears scars of personal shame for having had a lover from the occupying army -- like many "collaborators," her head was shaved in public and she was made to stand, bald-headed, and face the scorn of the townsfolk. (It is an alarming leitmotif that she is haunted by images of Hiroshima's burn victims, whose hair was burned off by the heat.) Her Japanese lover, unnamed, makes it a personal mission to reach her through empathy, to establish a kind of personal space where she can forgive herself. There is an extended sequence where they are seated at dinner, and he is pressing her, asking her questions about her past, and she is answering -- but she is not responding to the Japanese man. She is back in the past, apologizing (for lack of a better word) to her long-done German lover, presumably murdered in the aftermath of the occupation. This is one of my favorite scenes because the story plays out without an interloping character explaining everything to the audience. We are left to discover for ourselves that she is trying to beg the ghost of her German soldier for forgiveness.(Aside: this note plays out like a scene from Duras' days as a court reporter, before she became a novelist. In her memoir Outside, a collection of journalistic essays, Duras recounts one particular trial -- a murder trial -- wherein the defendant, a woman, was clearly distraught, and barely answering the prosecutor's questions. The prosecutor began twisting the facts to suit his narrative of how the crime happened. One would think that the woman would leap to her feet like the heroine of a courtroom drama and object, but she was incapable, emotionally, of doing so. In fact, in spite of the stakes involved, the female defendant was seemingly miles away, her eyes downcast, unable to respond with anything more than, "I should like to explain, but I can't." That scene -- of one person trying to get a kind of confession out of another, who has retreated into the past -- clearly had a lasting impression on Duras.) To find a story like this was a revelation to someone weaned on Star Wars, which revels in cartoonish depictions of villainy. Hiroshima is about the internal struggle to come to terms with the past; it is not a fairy tale, and over the years I suspect it has been branded as an "art film" and dismissed. Most people will not even bother with this film, which is too bad, because there is a kind of everyday melodrama in it which will strike a chord with anyone still laboring under an unresolved trauma.


I was going to watch the movie reccommended by a friend of mine, but it wasn't in the library. Luckily, I was able to get a copy in French from the script.This was so beautiful. How you can get to understand the characters, and their needs, and their past lives, and their sorrows, in only dialogue and a few moves. It's amazing. I love Marguerite Duras' prose so much. I want to see the film, like, now. Though I'm not sure if I'll enjoy it as much as the script. I usually prefer reading and imagining what the characters are doing than actually seeing it.A book without frontiers, a book about true love, about true pain, a book without names or nations in between. A masterpiece.


This text is so rich in its multilayered contemplation on memory, loss, and love- I could not stop thinking about it. I so deeply felt for the female protagonist as she struggled as her words failed to capture the intimacy of experience, which I relished even more as I found myself failing to articulate my response in reading this. I also found the perspective on dependency both comforting and completely agonizing.... ugh! I just die every time- it's SO good... This screenplay is remarkably poetic and definitely holds its own even against the movie (which is also AMAZING). In short: read the screenplay, watch the film- you won't regret it.

Ebtihal Abuali

تقييم الكتاب في القوود ريدز 3.9 من أصل خمسة وهو تقييم ممتاز، معظم القراء أحبوه، وبخاصة من قرأوا النسخة الفرنسية الأصلية، أو من قرأوا نسخاً مرفقة بصورة من الفيلم. البعض عبر عن اعجابه بالكتاب ارتبطاً بالاعجاب بالفيلم.شخصياً لا أجد أني أحببته ولا استمتعت بقراءته. أتصور أن بقدرتي مشاهدة الفيلم والاستمتاع به بصورة أفضل. الكتاب بصفته سيناريو فيلم قائم على الحوار بين الشخصيتين الرئيسين في الفيلم. الفصل الأول خلط الجمل الحوارية بمشاهد لما حل بهيروشيما بعد القنبلة. هناك ذاك الارتباط العاطفي غير المفهوم ( ربما غير المبرر والبلا حاجة للتبرير) بين رجل وامرأة التقيا صدفة. القصة المهمة أكثر بالنسبة لي كانت التاريخ العاطفي للمرأة الفرنسية التي أحبت "العدو" يوماً ما (جندي ألماني) ولم تنفصل عنه عاطفياً أبداً، حتى وهي تخوض ما يشبه علاقتها مرة ثانية. انه تطلب اعتذاره عن الخيانة، حتى وهي تعرف انه مات منذ سنوات بعيدة. أعتقد أن الترجمة لم تكن بارعة وربما فاتنا فيها أكثر مما نعرف. ملاحظات الكاتبة الملحقة بالرواية تقول انها حاولت ان تجعل المشاهد ينسى ان القضية هي فرنسية وياباني، ويفكر بهما فقط باعتبارهما رجل وامرأة. لا اعرف كيف يكون هذا ممكناً حين تكون الرواية لا تتوقف عن الاشارة للرجل بأنه "الياباني" والمرأة بأنها فرنسية.

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