Gaps, ellipses, lacunae and Duras


From Cynthia Cruz, writing in Poetry Foundation:

In Writing, Marguerite Duras calls for a new language, a language capable of speaking to the true state of the world:

There should be a non-writing, and it will come some day. A simple language without grammar. A form of writing consisting only of words. Words without grammar to sustain them, abandonment as soon as they have been written down.

Here, what Duras is describing is a writing made entirely of holes with no connective tissue–the exact replication of her experience. Something shorn of decoration, a writing that turns our gaze to the world and away from the writer. A language loose and broken, like beads jeweled along a frayed string of thread. Duras’s words are symbols, they are images. They escape syntax and grammar. Each word is its own universe of meaning. Each word an image compressed with its own world of meaning, floating on the page. Her words do not attempt to explain, how can they? There are no answers to the brutality she has seen, she has, herself, experienced: a childhood of extreme poverty and her girlhood, ended abruptly, as a result.


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