"Let's go see the horror, death:" On Marguerite Duras's No More

Note: This review is a combination of fragments written while reading the text and actual passages from the text. All italicized sections are direct quotes from No More by Marguerite Duras (translated by Richard Howard). 


Duras, in her last days, writing writing writing. We can't come out of the womb writing (though screaming is a kind of language) but maybe we can write our way into death, or until death takes us.

In the middle of the night--fears of death.

My father's death brought death to me.

Find something more to write.

I am the wild and unexpected
writer.

But don't you see, I have no voice except my writing?

Writing assuages my fear of death.

That is what I am, pursuit of the 
wind.

As a child, the wind entranced me. I'd find any opportunity to feel it. It was one of the few things that touched me.

I would love you until my death.

We loved each other until death. I will love him until I die. I wonder if he thought of me in his last moments, or was there only room for the terror of death?

I don't know where I'm going.
I'm afraid.

Let's go see the horror, death.

He was as real as me. Now what is he? I can't recover. We hold within us the ability to no longer be real. Then what do we become? What language can hold death?

This review is a duet

These are death meditations

The word love exists.

That you love me is the most important thing.
The rest doesn't matter to me. The hell
with it.

What does love become after death? I can't give my love to him. I have no body to love. Yet I love. I must love the memory, the residue, of the dead even though my love does them no good now.

I can't make it any longer.
I don't think this fear can be
given a name. Not yet.

A life of fear started with his death.

I feel crushed by existence.
It makes me want to write.

My hand is what writes.

I can't write the things that destroy me.

Death is the end of writing, the end of language. We can't write death, not true death. We can only write death as it's imagined in life.

The great fear: never writing the truth. Dying and never being known.

It's over.
All over.
It is the horror.

We can't go with Duras, with anyone, to the last moment, the last breath. It's the unknowable territory, the one depth that writing cannot reach.

Your kisses--I'll believe in them to
the end of my life.